The large sanctuary is dimly lit, all skin tones blended in shadows in the intimate atmosphere of the OneRace OneDay Summit. Singer Montell Jordan worships with a team of musicians on the darkened stage and their rollicking melodies and rhythms become an anthem as hundreds of voices join together to declare: “There’s an army rising up, There’s an army rising up, to break every chain, break every chain.” The mood in the room is electric, the sense of unity and common purpose is palpable, and the focus is clear: it is time for the church to rise up to be a voice of clarity in the confusion of these times. The 300 pastors and ministry leaders gathered in the room sense the uniqueness of this moment. A pastor from the platform humbly notes, “I have never been to a meeting like this before.” Brothers and sisters in Christ, black and white, Democrat and Republican, Baptist and Pentecostal. Gathered together under one banner: the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The holy hush of the Presence of God is in the room, and a realness of talk and presentation show that this isn’t just another reconciliation meeting where people do the talk, say the prayers, and go home and live as they did before. This is something different. Is it the real thing?
The OneRace OneDay Summit, hosted by OneRace Movement was in many ways a culminating moment for the church across Atlanta. It was a first-fruit of decades of prayer of pastors and righteous men and women of faith who have held the line, laboring in prayer and practice for a united church. But to the pastors gathered on March 22, in the grand story of God’s dream for Atlanta, this event was merely a stepping stone to the greater things yet to come. The thoughts of reconciliation and revival hung like glorious possibilities in the air as black and white pastors stood together side-by-side, sharing the beauty and healing found in the authentic friendships developed through OneRace’s intentional, multi-cultural pastors’ prayer groups. A black pastor shared his journey out of skepticism into hope. A white pastor challenged other white pastors to lead the way in confronting apathy and passivity. This is the real deal, and leaders’ testimonies began to birth faith in the room. Where could this faith lead? If OneRace Movement has its way, it will be to the top of Stone Mountain and beyond.
OneRace Movement is an organization leading the way in confronting division in the church and the deeper issues of the heart as it invites pastors and leaders to humbly begin to seek to become the fulfillment of the final prayer that Jesus prayed over His followers: that they would be one. OneRace gets its name from the Biblical Scripture in Acts 17:26: “and [God] made from one man every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth.” OneRace Movement believes that a church united across racial, denominational, and political lines is the only thing that can heal a divided and broken nation. According to their website, “through prayer and fasting, relationship and collaboration, OneRace exists to displace the spirit of racism and release a movement of racial reconciliation across Atlanta, the Southeast, and the nation.” This initiative of praying pastors’ groups is looking to gather 300 senior pastors to Stone Mountain on August 25th, 2018 to pray that God would bring reconciliation and revival to the city of Atlanta and birth a move of God that will touch every corner of the world.
OneRace Stone Mountain will be held on the 55th year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech that he gave from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interestingly, the Lincoln Memorial was built in part from granite hewn from Stone Mountain itself. The prayer and worship gathering will be a day-long solemn assembly, inviting 30,000 believers to gather together to fast and pray for God’s reviving Spirit to touch America like He never has before. Co-director of Operations for OneRace, Hazen Stevens says, “We are choosing to believe God at His word, that if His people, who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then God will hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. There are appointed moments in history where God’s Sovereign will and His people’s active participation align, and the will of God is able to be expressed. We are believing that this is such a moment.”
OneRace Movement is extending an invitation to all pastors to join and be a part of the organic, relationally-driven pastors’ meetings that are taking place across metro-Atlanta. So far, fifteen such groups are in the process, with more to come in the months leading up to One Race Stone Mountain. To connect with OneRace Movement, please visit their website at www.oneracemovement.com and also follow their updates and news on city-wide prayer meetings on their Facebook page. In addition, OneRace invites all believers to begin to pray alongside them for reconciliation and revival and to join the movement to be a part of what God is doing in this moment of history.
On March 22nd at OneRace One Day, a movement was birthed. Dennis Rouse, the keynote speaker at OneRace OneDay, challenged the pastors and leaders present to accept the mantle from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and other pastors who have gone before as voices for justice and unity. He laid out some hard truths as he shared: “If you are going to seek reconciliation you are going to have to be the pursuer of reconciliation. You can’t wait for somebody to pursue you.” Heads nodded in agreement as he proclaimed, “Reconciliation starts in the transformed heart of the individual who adopts a kingdom mindset of doing life together.” The clean sting of truth hit hearts as he shared: “Reconciliation cannot be delegated to a staff member. You will never see true reconciliation until your head pastor has the heart transformation.”
In ministry, there comes a time when all passions and perspectives within a person must bow the knee before a Presence. To the degree those passions and agendas align with the theology of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible is the degree to which the Church can have an impact in its cultural domain. The OneRace Movement is calling for hearts to turn where they have been in error and for new strides to be taken to see the will of God accomplished in the Southeast region as related to reconciliation and revival. The challenge to push past skepticism, to lay aside apathy, to release hurt, and to embrace the call for a united church has a cost. But the vision is high. And to the pastors and leaders running to join this movement, it seems to be a cost worth paying. Pastor Rouse declared to the gathered pastors at OneRace OneDay, “A united Church can be the voice to help aid and answer the questions of the young generation. While America has taught a tolerance without judgment and a goodness without morality, where is the voice that will champion the Biblical truths of both justice and righteousness?” A call has been sounded, and the Church is waking up. How far it will go is in the hands and hearts of those who will heed the call and say “yes.” In the words of Dr. King, “Let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!”
Follow OneRace Movement on Instagram and Facebook, and register for OneRace Stone Mountain at www.oneracemovement.com.