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Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century Begins Conversations
A congress is slated for 2010 on the campus of Oral Roberts University

Contact: Jeremy Burton, Oral Roberts University, 918-495-6649, jburton@oru.edu

TULSA, Okla., Dec. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- In 100 years, the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has grown from a handful of individuals and organizations to a global force of more than 600 million people. A series of meetings has begun to discuss the future of this movement and how to introduce Spirit-empowered living to a new generation. These conversations will culminate in the Congress on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century on April 8-10, 2010 at Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, Okla.

"With more than 100 years behind us since the Azusa Street Revival and a new century before us, the time is now for a serious conversation on the future of the movement," said Reverend Billy Wilson, chair of the Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal and vice chair of the ORU Board of Trustees.

"Our hope is that through the work of the Commission new generations will experience the power of the Holy Spirit. They in turn will impact the nations of the earth and bring the greatest number of people to Christ in the history of the world," Wilson said. "Although the Commission is a broad Kingdom initiative, Oral Roberts University is a fitting place to facilitate this process and we are excited about what the Holy Spirit will do on campus during the next several months."

Three tracks of conversation have been established and include a leadership track, a scholars track and a new generation track. The leadership track includes leaders from the traditional Pentecostal/Charismatic community as well as leaders in new emerging ministries. The scholars track will include leading scholars from the Pentecostal/Charismatic community with an intentional focus on diversity to facilitate a broad range of thought. The new generation track will be a combination of new generation ministry leaders and students to reflect on Spirit-empowered living in their generation.

There are a number of anticipated outcomes from this process and the 2010 Congress. Questions and solutions for the future of the Spirit-filled movement will be brought forward; new, contemporary vocabulary will surface and be adopted; increased effectiveness in reaching and engaging new generations will be achieved; increased unity between traditional Pentecostals/Charismatics and emerging churches will be realized; and the continued growth of Spirit-empowered ministries will be encouraged.

"The ORU Board of Trustees is excited about the Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century and how it is positioning ORU in a place of servant leadership to the global Christian community," said Mart Green, board chair of the ORU Board of Trustees and president of Mardel, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla. "We believe the greatest days for ORU and the world are ahead of us as we embrace a fresh empowerment of the Holy Spirit."

The first leadership track took place the week of Dec. 7 in Newport Beach, Calif. Oral Roberts, founder, chancellor and trustee of ORU, visited this initial conversation and shared insights into the unique transition at ORU during the last year. Roberts affirmed and embraced the fresh leadership Green is providing as board chair.

The participants included Reverend Billy Wilson; Mary Banks, founder of W.O.W. Consulting Group in Houston, Texas, and a member of the ORU Board of Trustees; Keith Craft, senior pastor of Celebration Covenant Church in Frisco, Texas; Ron Carpenter, Jr., founder and co-pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, S.C.; Billy Joe Daugherty, senior pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Okla.; Daniel de Leon, senior pastor of Templo Calvario in Santa Ana, Calif.; Joe Champion, lead pastor of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas; Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Gene Evans, president of Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International in Douglasville, Ga.; and Jack Hayford, president of International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Los Angeles, Calif.

Also participating were Ralph Fagin, interim president of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.; Al Hollingsworth, founder of BOSS/The Movement in Ontario, Calif.; Mart Green, president of Mardel, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla. and ORU Board Chair; Rob Hoskins, founder of Book of Hope in Pompano, Fla., and a member of the ORU Board of Trustees; Kenneth Haney, general superintendent of United Pentecostal Church International in Hazelwood, Mo.; Walt Kallestad, senior pastor of Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz.; Rob Koke, senior pastor of Shoreline Christian Center in Austin, Texas; Vinson Synan, dean emeritus of Regent University in Chesapeake, Va.; Charles Scott, General Bishop of Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., in Joplin, Mo.; Kenneth Ulmer, senior pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church and president of King's Seminary in Englewood, Calif.; David Shibley, founder of Global Advance in Rockwall, Texas; Mark Williams, second assistant general overseer of International Church of God in Cleveland, Tenn.; and Larry Stockstill, senior pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, La.

The ORU Board of Trustees has established the Spirit Empowered Living Fund to receive grant monies for this process. A grant for $250,000 has been received and will be utilized to support the conversation tracks and the 2010 Congress.

For more information on the Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century, go to www.spiritempowered.org.