by Susie Wolf | February 1, 2015
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!