(Photo: TheCall via The Christian Post)
Thousands of people who joined TheCall Detroit spent 24 hours praying and calling out to God for healing in the city. Though the event was met with some protest, participants came out of it convinced that God was already moving.
"It was an awesome 24 hour time of prayer & worship. We are tired. The Lord is moving in Motown," Pam Olsen tweeted Saturday.
The event kicked off Friday night with participants fasting, praying and singing at Ford Field. With no big name bands or speakers, the event was touted as a solemn assembly, rather than a festival, where worshippers seek God.
"We are not just seeking to have a good gathering. We are trying to move heaven on behalf of a desperate situation in Detroit," Lou Engle, co-founder of TheCall, said ahead of the event.
Though Engle stressed that the gathering was meant to break down all barriers and unite people as they seek God's healing hand, some saw the event as divisive, anti-Muslim and anti-abortion.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Michigan sounded the alarm and warned local mosques that TheCall would demonize Muslims.
In support of the Muslim community, some pastors held a small counter-rally outside the stadium Friday night and others chose to pull out of the event.
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries told The Detroit News that TheCall is "not anti-anything."
"I know people are getting confused about the rumors out there ... And we know there's word out there in the Muslim community that we're coming out against them, but we're not," he told the local paper. "This city needs healing."
Local clergy who supported TheCall expressed a need for prayer and healing not just in Detroit, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn, but the entire country.
The Pentecostal-style event consisted of worshipping and praying. Some participants opted to rest during some part of the 24 hours while others chose to stick it out all the way until the end – 6 p.m. Saturday.
Pastor Barbara J. Yoder, founding apostle and senior pastor of Shekinah Christian Church in Ann Arbor, Mich., stood on stage in the final hours of the event to motivate and challenge the city.
"God is beginning to overtake this territory and God is raising up leaders," she said. "God is calling you into the darkest places of Detroit.
"We call forth the awakening to break through ... God is going to visit this nation with an awakening!"
TheCall is a 10-year-old movement that was co-founded by Engle, who had a vision to call young adults into a lifestyle of radical prayer and fasting.