USA Cabinet Convenes with 300 Scholars at 40th Annual SPS Meeting
Memphis, TN.–The Empowered21 USA cabinet convened in Memphis, TN March 10, 2011 to discuss the Empowered21 USA Converge gathering (www.empowered21usa.com) that will take place February 29 – March 3, 2012 at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The E21 USA cabinet is also participating in the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, their 40th Annual Meeting.
“As more than 300 scholars and students meet for the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Memphis this week,” said Dr. David Roebuck, Executive Director of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Lee University, “we are thankful for the forum we have to explore the rich diversity of empowered Christianity. Our partnership with Empowered21 over the coming months will provide exciting opportunities for us to hear from the churches in America and to offer our gifts to the kingdom of God.”
Billy Wilson, Executive Director for the International Center for Spiritual Renewal and Empowered21 and Chair of the E21 USA cabinet said, “The E21 USA cabinet is excited about the upcoming Converge21 Summit that will convene at Regent University in 2012. This gathering is filled with potential to help leaders, scholars and next gen leaders address the future of Spirit-empowered Christianity―we believe the time is now for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Unites States.”
The United States remains vitally important to the expansion of the modern-day Pentecostal/Charismatic movement that has grown from a handful of hungry believers at the beginning of the 20th Century to over 640 million Spirit-filled believers worldwide in the 21st Century.
“The United States Church serves a critical role in advancing this movement through leadership, funding, media and modeling,” Wilson continued. “However, we also recognize a global shift in the leadership of Christianity is taking place as great waves of renewal fall on various parts of the world. The church in the United States must continue to evaluate our role in the global harvest.”
Dr. Carlos Campo, President of Regent University, said, “There is a clear sense of history among those of us who are meeting this week in Memphis in preparation for our E21 USA Converge21 Summit at Regent University. We recall the many spiritual milestones that have occurred in this great city—moves of God’s Holy Spirit that have had mighty repercussions in the Kingdom of God.”
“It is our belief that while others may speak of a ‘post-Christian, postmodern America,’ we stand firm in the belief that as our country acknowledges its spiritual roots and its cherished biblical foundations, God will continue to bless our nation with great favor,” Campo continued. “To that end, we gather together this week as leaders and scholars to have the conversations necessary to prompt renewal in America.”
The Empowered21 USA Converge gathering will be held in conjunction and partnership with the annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in 2012. The Society is the largest, most influential organization of its kind in the nation and brings together premier Spirit-filled scholars each year for interaction, fellowship and shared scholarship. The Society also publishes a journal entitled Pneuma that is read broadly around the world.
Memphis, TN, the site of the E21 USA cabinet meeting and the 40th anniversary 2011 Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting, occupies a sacred place in Pentecostal history. It borders Arkansas where the Assemblies of God was founded. Mississippi where the Church of God in Christ emerged, and is in Tennessee the home of the Church of God, Cleveland—all major contributors to the Pentecostal renewal in the Church. Memphis is also the home of the Church of God in Christ, it birthed the interracial ecumenical Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America in 1994, and is home to the historic COGIC Mason Temple, which provided the venue for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech the night before he was assaisinted in 1968.
Alton Garrison, assistant superintendant of the Assemblies of God, said, “The recent USA Cabinet meeting demonstrated the value of collective strategic conversations. As we planned for the Converge21 meeting I think we identified major strengths and challenges facing American Spirit-empowered believers. I am extremely excited about Converge21 and believe it will greatly advance the church’s ability to engage all generations with a relevant, biblical presentation of a Spirit-empowered life.”
Empowered21 USA is one of 11 global initiatives taking place during this decade that will involve the Spirit-filled movement in focusing on the future and engaging new generations in the power of the Holy Spirit.