U.S. Pentecostal Body Enters Pivotal Moment, Urges Prayers

The nation's largest Pentecostal group has issued a special prayer call in the days leading up to key leadership change.

Prayers are being urged across the 2.8 million-member denomination for Sunday just before delegates head into its biennial General Council meeting where they will vote on a new head.

"We are asking churches across the nation to devote a concerted time of prayer this Sunday, August 5, for God's will to be accomplished in these key posts of ministry in our Fellowship," said John Maempa, director of the National Prayer Center, according to the Assemblies of God News Service.

Thomas E. Trask announced last month that he will step down as general superintendent, two years before his third four-year is up. Trask, who has led the denomination since 1993, said he will remain active in the Assemblies of God.

Delegates at the 52nd General Council will vote on a new general superintendent to fulfill Trask's remaining two-year term. Trask will leave the office 60 days after the General Council, which is being held in Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 8-11. Over 30,000 church members are expected to gather for the meeting.

The special prayer call by the National Prayer Center also comes as the denomination seeks to fill vacancies for assistant general superintendent, general secretary and executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions.

"This is a pivotal moment for the Assemblies of God; we must have God's direction," said Maempa, urging for continued prayer throughout the General Council.

The Assemblies of God is one of the fastest growing major denominations in the United States and is the largest Pentecostal body in the world. Its growth reflects the global Pentecostal and charismatic movement which is one of the fastest growing segments of Christianity. At least a quarter of the world's 2 billion Christians are believed to be members of these bodies.