Jericho Rides Continue to Increase

September 30, 2015

Jericho Rides are the motorcycle version of Jericho Drives coordinated by Doug Stringer in the 1980s, as he mobilized churches across Houston to pray together while circling the loop around the city. The ride was founded by John Ojeda, a member of Born Again Motorcycle Ministry and active in several areas of Turning Point Ministries.

Like the Jericho Drives of the 1980s, the ride is fashioned after the battle plan God gave the armies of Israel in their defeat of Jericho in Joshua chapter 6. After Joshua and the army of Israel marched around the walls of Jericho seven days and then seven times on the last day, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. “The walls of Jericho are the stronghold in our lives, and when we ride and pray we will see the wall come tumbling down, we will see breakthroughs,” John explains.

The first ride was held with a couple dozen bikers in Houston in August 2009. “It was an awesome day,” John remembers. “We rode, and we prayed over the city of Houston and for our nation.”

Since that time, rides have been held in over 100 U.S. cities as well as in Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, and South Africa. Jericho Ridge VIII will be held June 4, 2016, and is already seeing a great response.

The concept is simple, John says, quoting James 5:16. “God hears the prayers of the righteous.”

For more information, visit www.jerichoride.org

Join Us In Prayer!

Two more statewide prayer events are on the TPMI/Somebody Cares calendar: North Carolina will be the site of the next RESPONSE prayer gathering on Saturday, September 26, at the Charlotte Convention Center, and Orlando will host The Response: Florida on Saturday, October 24. Pat McCrory and Rick Scott are the fourth and fifth governors to invite THE RESPONSE team to organize a day of prayer, worship, and fasted-ness on behalf of his state and the nation. Previous events have been held in Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

Doug Stringer and Rick Torrison are mobilizing the leadership team and meeting with local leaders from both states. THE RESPONSE is committed to intentionally crossing racial, generational, and denominational lines to lift up the name of Jesus. “We emphasize that there are no preachers pontificating and no political agendas,” Doug says.

Each event is divided into five areas of focus: Repentance (corporate and personal); Reconciliation (racial and generational);  Revival; Reformation; and Refreshing. For details and to register, click here.

A Catalyst for City-Wide Evangelism

“Houston shall be saved!” reverberated throughout the BBVA Compass Stadium.

As Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke made this declaration, hearts of believers were stirred with confidence. Through intercession and intervention, the Church of Houston continues mobilizing to reach her city. What began in homes and houses of worship decades and even generations ago continues today.

The Bonnke team came to invest in and serve the city at their own expense, and what a blessing they were. With fresh vigor and vision, the Bonnke Crusade, held at the BBVA Compass Stadium February 20-21, 2015, has spurred the Body of Christ in Houston to reach out even more.

Doug Stringer, recognized for his years of investment in the city, was asked to serve as local chairman of the Crusade Committee. Leading up to the crusade, 400 churches encouraged participation as four citywide prayer gatherings were held throughout the Greater Houston area. Believers from across the city joined together in prayer. Trans-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-denominational, the Church worshipped and cried out together for souls.

Doug also felt inclined to call the Body together in December 2014 for “21 Days of An Appeal to Heaven for an Awakening” (see The Lion of Lyons Avenue for one of many highlights from this initiative). Churches across the Greater Houston area as well as believers in other cities and countries joined in agreement. Various churches held subsequent 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting in January 2015. There was a stirring before and in anticipation of the Crusade.

When the time arrived, more than 27,000 men, women, and children gathered those two nights, in spite of rain and threatening storms, and over 2,700 people gave their lives to Christ! Rededications and testimonies of healing attest to the restoring hand of God in hearts and lives. Yes, there is a harvest, and it’s continuing.

Many recognized that the Crusade served as a renewed catalyst for the Church in Houston to unite in prayer and in reaching the city. Collaborative cross-denominational prayer networks and evangelistic networks are now strategizing together.

“It’s beautiful to see how the Body is coming together to pray and reach out. This kind of unity is one fruit from the crusade,” shared Stephanie Vigers. She and her husband, Pastor Donnell Vigers, were instrumental in presenting the opportunity for the Bonnke Crusade to the city’s pastors and ministry leaders. They are also encouraging churches across the area to participate in Celebration Sundays on the fifth Sundays during the year, with the focus on an evangelistic/salvation message as church members pray for friends and family and invite them to the service.

The momentum from the Crusade is continuing and building upon the foundations laid in Houston by many churches, ministries, and believers through the years. Ministries such as YWAM Houston, which is part of the Somebody Cares Houston network, are weekly reaching out to those in the Lower Westheimer area through Street Church, leading the lost to Christ and building on the foundati Save & Exit on laid years ago by Turning Point and Somebody Cares in the 1980s.

Churches and ministries like these serve their communities continually. Through service at local schools, with area police and sheriff’s departments to the business sector, evangelistic efforts are again increasing.

“Pray Houston” is an initiative based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 calling believers across the city–from small groups meeting in homes, lunchrooms, churches, retirement homes, wherever gathered–to pray based on this foundational scripture. Weekly, monthly, or as the group decides, the goal is to engage in prayer. This is one of several groups who are seeking the heart of God for a Spiritual Awakening.

The Prayer Team for the Bonnke Crusade coordinated by Ps. Gabi Soltau continues to meet and undergird citywide prayer and evangelism initiatives. “The team consists of leaders and pastors from around the city. Each is serving their community, and the collaborative efforts are impactful. It’s an honor to serve alongside them,” Gabi shared.

Reinhard Bonkke felt a strong inclination for Houston, Texas to be one of the host cities for crusades across America, and this crusade has had the largest response to date. And, as Evangelist Bonnke shared, “America shall be saved.”

“Because Houston was recently named the most ethnically diverse city in America, and with the diversity of industries, what happens in Houston has global implications,” Doug Stringer has stated at various gatherings across the region.

As the city continues on the journey to community transformation, impacting the various sectors of city life, we will persevere in prayer, worship, service, and sharing the Gospel. At the core is a driving belief that the Lord wants to visit not only Houston but also America again, producing a spiritual awakening that leads to salvation–one that will have rippling effects throughout the world!

The Lion of Lyons Avenue

For over three decades, Doug Stringer and his ministries have been stirring the winds for transforming revival, gathering believers from across the Greater Houston area and beyond. In the summer of 2014, the Lord spoke to Doug’s heart that it was time to seek the Lord throughout the city. Calling on the relational network of Somebody Cares Houston pastors and leaders, three weeks of prayer gatherings were scheduled, consisting of 21 Days in 21 different locations, from December 1-21. Below is one of many highlights from this time…

Once known as Houston’s “Bloody 5th” Ward due to violence, the area is indeed covered in crimson. The Blood of the Lamb’s presence is marked through the faithful citizens and ministers who have stood the ground and the test of time.

This community has survived the ebbs and flows from segregation to desegregation, from big industry such as Brown & Root/KBR to small business owners, and remains home for predominantly African-American, Hispanic, and immigrant populations. Housed within the 5th Ward are long-standing community-based churches, and among them is a pillar. Housed in what was formerly one of only two movie theaters where “people of color” in Houston were allowed prior to the Civil Rights movement is Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church, where Bishop Roy Lee Kossie, Jr. has been the senior pastor for over 50 years.

Saved during an A.A. Allen meeting, Bishop Kossie and his family have persevered, endured, and withstood the test of time. While others have moved to the suburbs, Bishop Kossie and his late wife, Barbara, stayed. Choosing to serve and invest in their community, they raised their children, who are also serving the Lord and successful in the eyes of man and God.

“From university professors, community development and media, to ministers, the Kossie family has established a legacy,” Doug Stringer says.

As we entered this House of God on December 2, 2014, for the second venue of our city-wide 21 Days of Prayer, it was as if we could hear the echoes from the balcony.

“I hear a sound,” Doug said from the pulpit. “I see a great cloud of witnesses who have filled these pews and balcony seats.” We could almost sense them cheering us on! It was fitting that Doug affirmed and honored Bishop Kossie and his congregation for their years of faithfulness.

A DREAM FULFILLED
Years ago, one of Bishop Kossie’s daughters, Karen Kossie-Chernyshev, had a dream in which she saw a multi-ethnic crowd coming down Lyons Avenue to the church. There was much praise and camaraderie, and they gathered in the church for a time of worship. On the platform she saw an Asian man leading the way. She did not know what to make of this but stored the dream away as a promise from the Lord.

Later, Bishop Kossie came to know of a young minister in Houston named Doug Stringer who had a deep passion and calling to see the Body of Christ rally together to reach their city. In time, prayer gatherings and pastoral coalitions occurred, each with a common thread of “unity with a purpose.”

When Doug called a diverse group of people from across the Greater Houston area to join him on December 3, 1999, at Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church for a gathering he called “Digging the Wells of Revival,” he had no idea it was the fulfillment of a promise. With the ministry’s worship band, known as the Coat of Many Colors, leading in song and Doug Stringer behind the pulpit, Dr. Karen realized His promise was now reality and was occurring right before her eyes!

A TIMELY RETURN
Now, just one day shy of 15 years after that historic evening, again Doug Stringer stood behind the pulpit, gathered with like-hearted and ethnically/denominationally diverse believers from across the Greater Houston area. The “Father of the House” sat stoically and quietly on the platform, but as Doug asked Bishop to pray, the room reverberated with strength, conviction and faith. Bishop prayed, and prayers became songs, and songs became declarations of God’s mighty power and grace!

As a symbol of honor, Doug laid at Bishop Kossie’s feet to pray for him. Later he presented Bishop Kossie and the church with a flag which has become known as the “Appeal to Heaven” flag. Doug retold its history dating back to George Washington. An appeal to heaven for an awakening within the Body of Christ today is what brought Stringer, his family, and team to LDDR Church that night.

Bishop Kossie understands the call, the charge, and the cost of Awakening. He has paid the price and led thousands to Christ. A leader of leaders, he provides oversight to ministers and tens of thousands who journey with him across the world. Though you may not hear his name on the evening news, his impact is known in the Kingdom

Truly Lyons Avenue has One continually watching out for her people. There is a sense that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has made Himself right at home. He has found a people hungry for His presence and resolute in their stand for Him. And even greater things are yet to come!