I am so grateful that I was able to attend this last Solemn Assembly, Azusa Now, at the Memorial Coliseum with my entire family! TheCall gatherings have personally impacted my heart during extremely significant stages of my life. This gathering was another defining moment for me and my family as well as an H I S T O R I C // GATHERING for the Body of Christ in America and the Nations. I have shared some of my past ‘Call encounters’ on this blog but I would like to share some of them again as well as what I walked away with from Azusa Now.
04.04.03 – Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – 30,000
This Call was a part of the ‘Two Calls of California’ as the first Call done in California was held in Southern California on February 22, 2003 in the Rose Bowl. Then Lou Engle proclaimed a 40 day fast leading up to the second Call in San Francisco. I believe I was brought to this gathering because of the prayer and fasting between these Calls. I was not even walking with the Lord at this time of my life as I was entrenched in sin and rebellion. I was a 15-year-old sophomore and ironically it was the underground rap music coming out of the Bay Area at this time that had shaped my life doctrines of smoking weed, alcohol, and sex.
Somehow my parents brought me to this thing and I had no idea what to expect and didn’t have a clue who Lou Engle was. In all honesty I did not pay much attention to what was happening on the stage while I was there and actually left the park at some point to explore the surrounding area. However, I was prophesied over while walking up at the top of the bleachers and did get pulled into a prayer circle by my brother and his friend. I did not see any immediate fruit after this and my rebellion and recklessness actually grew stronger from this point for another 3-year period. But, I know that I was there for a reason and that the Lord started directing my steps, even though it got darker before He burst into my life again! And yes, my future bride, Aimee McGrady was there too!
“Only a massive repentance and prayer assault on the Hollywood Frisco strongholds will prevail.” Lou Engle (Source: Elijah List 2003)
07.07.07 – TheCall Nashville, TN – 74,000+
I was not at this event but my girlfriend, Aimee (Now my wonderful wife) attended this historic gathering which had over 74,000 people attending. She said it was one of the most powerful gatherings she had been to. I am thankful that she attended this as I know it fueled her personal purity and her passion for Jesus. I know for a fact that this gathering helped shape who she is today.
12.31.07 – TheCall Kansas City, MO – 20,000
At the end of the year we were able to go to our first Onething Conference from December 28-31 in Kansas City. I was really excited to see Mike Bickle speak and Misty Edwards (pre-dreads) sing for the first time in person. TheCall partnered with IHOPKC on the 31st to bring in the New Year. By this time, I was more conscious of Lou ‘The Rocker’ Engle as I heard him speak at a Jesus Culture Conference earlier in the year. His passion and zeal for prayer and fasting really stirred me up. I believe the biggest take away from this time in Kansas City was gaining an ever growing heart for prayer and worship.
08.16.08 – TheCall Washington D.C – 70,000
Okay, we did not make it TheCall in D.C, but I GOT THE GIRL, as that was the day we got married! As thousands dedicated and rededicated themselves to the Nazarite Vow – Aimee and I gave our marriage vows. I think it is cool that our wedding day lined up with TheCall event. We even had Ryan and Nina Landis sing a song over us that they wrote specifically for us – who knew they would be closing out TheCall Azusa Now!
11.02.08 – TheCall San Diego, CA – 35,000
Regarding moral issues, Lou Engle says Christians in America—particularly right now in California—”stand on a battlefield more significant than Iraq.”
After getting married 3 months prior we were excited to drive down with a group of people to contend for the sanctity of marriage as the issue of Prop 8 was being decided in CA. This was a very rich time in the Lord for us as we had helped start a young adult worship movement that started growing in 2007 and there was a grace for pursuing Jesus as the Holy Spirit was stirring our small mountain community. I would say this was the first time where I was actually going to TheCall filled up and really pressing in with a heart and vision for what the Lord was doing. I must say this song below was one of the highlights for me (still gives me chills) :
09.04.10 – TheCall Sacramento, CA – 18,000
This was as the 10 year anniversary of TheCall and a significant point in our lives too, as Aimee was 8 months pregnant with our firstborn, Liberty Reign Atkins. The fun fact about this is connected to Lou Engle as well, so I will briefly share. We went out to our 2nd Onething Conference together at the end of 2009. I believe around this point in life we had thought about having kids and then backed out as we were still very young and thought we were not ready as we had only been married for a little over a year! We ended up staying a few days after the conference for a Leadership Summit (Jan 2010). Lou starts rocking – I mean talking – and he is sharing about the Contending House of Prayer and how the muslim community is rapidly growing while many Christians have been stuck in the ‘American Dream’ and are no longer ‘bearing fruit and multiplying’ – anyways we decided to go against the spirit of this age and found out we were pregnant in February 2010.
Here were the 4 points that we were contending for in Sacramento:
1. “We are going to pray for our government.” (Psalms 2)
2. “We are going to call on God for a great river of the blood of Christ out of the Cross in Sacramento and Jesus to give us another Jesus Movement.”
3. “We are going to pray that a massive house of prayer movement will arise in every place calling on God for the harvest and loosing a generation into the missions movement.”
4. “And we’re going to believe that God is going to shape the elections.”
“God is the God that answers prayer!” – Lou Engle
02.03.2016 AzusaNow Pre-Call Rally – Revive Warehouse – Tuolumne City, CA
It was an honor to be able to host one of the Pre-Call Rallies in my home town with Ryan and Nina Landis leading us in worship. Aimee and I were given the opportunity to host some of the SAFA (Spiritual Air Force Academy) students for the night and it truly was a blessing. It was so good to be able to partner in this way – even though our town is small and unknown it was awesome that we could rally together in this way. The SAFA team was so kind and friendly and many of them blessed us by praying over us and giving words of encouragement to us. It was amazing to see some of the young Native American’s that stayed with us up on the stage during a segment of TheCall AzusaNow crying out for an AWAKENING and releasing healing over our Nation. It was powerful to have the First Nations People leading in dance and worship – such a blessing!
04.09.2016 – TheCall Azusa Now – Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
To be at this Solemn Assembly was such a blessing. It was on our radar for over a year and I knew this was something that our whole family had to be a part of. Getting there was something we really had to fight for – but we have been feeling the pull on our hearts to do life and ministry in the midst of family. Now we have 3 girls – Liberty Reign (5), Adessa Promise (3) & Riah Joy (11 mo) and we felt that the biggest thing we would get out of this was doing it as a family and believing that this would shape our girls’ future in Christ. It was WAY more of a challenge to have them there and stay engaged as much as we would have liked to, but it was totally worth it all!
After the 6 hour drive down the night before and the early morning wake up to get parking, take the metro and wait in line; it already seemed like a long day! We found ourselves inside the grand coliseum around 8 and set up camp. To make it even more of a challenge my wife had a wedding in Santa Barbara (2hrs away) on the same day! This was something that she could not say no to, so she left at 12:30pm to the wedding with her mom and our youngest. Shout out to my parents and Aimee’s mom for helping us and for being godly examples to our girls!
As the clouds covered us and the rain came and went in gentle waves – everyone pressed through. To be a part of a Joel 2 gathering, while the nations are raging according to the Psalm 2 prophecy, it was powerful to see His people crying out for an Acts 2 outpouring . On the stage and all around there was repentance, reconciliation and relationship as real men and women sought the heart and will of God together. There was not one negative thing said against the Church from the stage and I believe there was a real spirit of unity displayed that day.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #FLYINGUNITED <<<<<<<<<<<<<< < < < <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Jesus was glorified as different parts of the Body of Christ came together to lift up His name in praise.
(Eddie James and Worship Team)
The Gospel was preached, Salvation taken hold of, healings broke out, words of knowledge were released and prophecy was spoken.
(Photo Source: Facebook)
(Evangelist Todd White and Lindy Conant w/ Circuit Riders Worship Team)
Let this be the new normal Christian life, because NOW IS THE TIME and He is the One True Living God. I am walking away with a greater Love for Christ and His Body. I have a renewed mind and spirit to see the things of God take place in my life. I am answering THE CALL and extending the tent pegs by doing my part of HIS STORY. I am raising my family up to live and believe in the fullness of Jesus Christ unto His glorious return. #HistoryisHiring
Jesus, I pray that ‘Stadium Christianity’ would continue as Your people humble themselves and seek Your face. This truly is just the beginning and I am hungry and expectant to see more of the Presence and Power of the Lord manifested by His Spirit, through His sons and daughters. May all who were a part of this historic day GO FORTH in V I C T O R Y by the B L O O D of the L A M B!
And to end the night my beautiful wife and youngest daughter made it back just in time to see our best friends close out TheCall! God brings LIBERTY to the captives, He remembers His every PROMISE and He releases His rivers of JOY
Thank you Lou Engle and TheCall Team!
(Photo Source: TheCall Facebook Page)