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The Falls Church Anglican: The Long March to Healing Ministry Excellence

The Rev. Christopher came to The Falls Church in April of 2007 for a part time position, assisting in general pastoral care under the Rev. Rick Wright. Already knowing that the healing ministry was her passion, Wright readily approved her meeting regularly with the Cooks and serving as clergy oversight for that ministry. It was a providential decision. The healing ministry grew steadily stronger and more expansive. She was shortly given a full time position on The Falls Church Anglican staff. By January 2013, the healing and intercessory prayer ministry had grown to the point where it came out from under the pastoral care department and became a separate department with the Rev. Christopher as its director. As the ministry continued to grow, so did interest from other churches, many of whom would contact The Falls Church asking for help in developing a prayer ministry and in training lay participants. In response to that need, Christopher and her principal volunteers began planning for the creation of a separate more outwardly-focused healing ministry. This culminated in the formation of the Christian Healing Institute (CHI) in the Fall of 2014. Today, the Rev. Christopher serves as both the Director of the Healing and Prayer Ministries at The Falls Church Anglican and the Executive Director of CHI. The Falls Church Anglican supports CHI by allowing Christopher to wear both hats and by providing the infrastructure, teaching and ministry space, office resources, and so forth. This is the advantage of having a healing ministry intertwined with a church.

Rev. Kathleen Christopher, Deliverance Conference Oct 2019

We need to describe the astounding multiplicity of healing prayer opportunities available to the Falls Church Anglican parishioners and visitors. Most common are the healing prayers available at practically every worship service. Trained prayer ministers are invariably present at the altar rail or at the side of the altar to offer “prayer at the rail.”

Every Tuesday afternoon, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., various prayer ministers pray personally for those in need of healing or other personal needs. On Wednesdays, there is a noonday Communion service at the Crammer chapel which includes prayers for healing.

There is an Evening of Healing Prayer every third Tuesday of the month, 7 to 9 p.m. Also, on the first Tuesdays of every month there is a period of “Abiding Prayer,” 7 to 9 p.m., also called “soaking prayer,” where persons rest in the Lord’s presence and prayer ministers lay hands on them as they do so, silently praying for them.

On the second Sunday of every month there is an evening healing service in the sanctuary, at 7:00 p.m. This becomes a Generational Healing Eucharist four times a year. Rev. Christopher, the Cooks, and other well-trained prayer ministers also regularly meet with individuals for “intensive” one and a half to two-hour prayer sessions by appointment at various times during the week.

The Rev. Kathleen Christopher, through both the church prayer ministries and CHI, also organizes conferences on healing, deliverance, and intercessory prayer. There are normally two large conferences per year at The Falls Church Anglican. One is open to all and deals with general topics of healing and intercessory prayer. Another is more specialized, aimed at providing training for those in lay or ordained ministry and those in the mental health professions. For instance, in the Fall of 2019 a specialized conference focused on deliverance ministry. The presenters were both from the Falls Church Anglican and CHI but included others from the outside, including a psychiatrist from the West Coast who does exorcism and deliverance ministry within his practice.

Every year, The Falls Church Anglican hosts a twenty-five week Healing Prayer Class from September thru March. The fall semester runs thirteen weeks and covers Biblical aspects of healing and the basics of healing prayer, including listening to the Holy Spirit, the Biblical basis for healing prayer, and praying for physical and inner healing. In the spring semester, twelve weeks are used to cover more nuanced topics such as spiritual warfare, generational healing and other particular modes of healing prayer. It is in these sessions of instruction that the gifts of the Spirit and their practice within the healing ministry are taught.

The Rev. Kathleen Christopher is fully charismatic with strong gifting in discernment of spirits. I am a strong believer in the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit even during liturgical services,[19] and I asked Christopher how she felt, being a staff member, about the church limiting expressions of the gifts of the Spirit to less visible situations such home groups and healing and intercessory prayer ministries. She responded by saying that she was thrilled and totally content to be at The Falls Church Anglican. The mix of Anglican liturgy, excellent teaching and preaching by the Rev. Ferguson and others, and other opportunities for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate suited her well. She added that the reputation of The Falls Church Anglican as a church rooted in God’s Word and well-reasoned theology provided an opportunity for people who would never attend a “full-blown” charismatic church or ministry to experience the movement of the Holy Spirit in a safe environment.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2020

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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