Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 12, 2009

Tiny church hosting big revival

Twins will conduct services for more than two weeks

INTERLOCHEN -- A local congregation is trusting God to use their small, rural church to spark a big revival.

Inland Baptist Church in Interlochen will host the Touch of God Crusade featuring the ministry of the Sutera twins, two longtime church revival leaders. It officially begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 28. The effort is long in duration, big in scope, buoyed by faith and supported with prayer.

"We are a little church. We want stuff to happen, but we want God to take it wherever he wants it," said John C. Gleason, the church's pastor. "(It) seemed like God did the orchestrating of it, not me. I wasn't the one calling the shots."

He had heard about the work of Ralph and Louis Sutera. Later, Ralph Sutera called and spoke to the pastor and then led a revival orientation earlier this year. The congregation of 75 to 100 members was united in the desire to hold the crusade and reached out to area churches alerting them to the event.

Gleason said his church struggled with declining numbers in the summer of 2008, and he had been praying for direction. The crusade is specifically intended for Christians "to spiritually wake up the people who do know God," Gleason said.

Ralph Sutera, who lives in Georgia, said he and his brother, from South Carolina, lead as many as eight revivals throughout the year in the United States, Canada and throughout the world.

"It's not just a performance. It is a desire to sharpen the life of the church so that it becomes a healthy vitality in the community," Ralph Sutera said.

The crusade features nightly services that begin with prayer. The schedule may fluctuate, but, in general, prayer begins at 5:30 p.m. with the service starting at 6 p.m. on Sundays. On Monday through Friday, prayer begins at 6:30 p.m. with the service starting at 7 p.m. There also will also be some daytime sessions.

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