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Charismatic Leaders Fellowship 2018

Mr. Garrett is with the guitar in the dark blue shirt.

This year’s Charismatic Leaders Fellowship took place in Augusta, Georgia, and was hosted February 19-22 by the Alleluia Community of that city. The Alleluia Community is a predominantly Catholic (but ecumenical) covenant community where families live in close proximity to worship together and support each other. Like other covenant communities, the Alleluia Community attempts to follow the pattern of the Jerusalem Christian community described in Acts. My friend, Bob Garrett, a Methodist lay person has led the community for years. He also led the worship team in skilled and wonderful worship music.

The sessions took place in the Alleluia Community’s school, a Christian school for grades K through 12. Our encounters with the children of the school were universally positive, even awesome. The kids parade every morning around the school’s perimeter with a cross and prayed for spiritual protection and guidance for that day – a great idea in view of recent school shootings.

The CLF is the descendent of the “Charismatic Concerns Committee” which in the 1980’s did great work in discerning the various movements within the Charismatic Renewal. Now the CLF is of less importance, but it still attracts many of the heroes and pioneers of the Charismatic Renewal.

Mr. & Mrs. Bob Garrett

Sadly, for us, some of these pioneers are now going to their reward with the Lord. The meetings opened with the announcement that the Rev. Larry Christenson, who was the leader of the Lutheran Charismatic Renewal, and a faithful attendant of the CLF, had passed away a month before. Thankfully, Sister Nancy Kellar, one of the most important leaders of the Catholic Charismatic renewal (dating back to 1970) attended, and I had the pleasure of renewing my friendship with her. She and my sister had been members of the same charismatic Catholic convent (Sisters of Charity, New York) for many years.

Sister Nancy Kellar is to my right, and her traveling buddy is Sister Mary McCormick

The theme of this year’s meeting was “spiritual warfare” and various speakers presented their experiences and denominational perspectives on the topic. The Rev. Scott Kelso, a Methodist minister, seminary instructor, and moderator for the CLF, opened the sessions with a talk reminding us of our authority and position in Jesus Christ.

The second session was by Mrs. Jane Guenther. She is an exorcist with the Catholic diocese of St. Louis and coordinates her ministry with the official priest exorcist of that diocese. She also teaches exorcism to Catholic seminarians. She presented the traditional Catholic understanding of the demonic, including a description of the work done by the desert Fathers in developing the understanding of the seven deadly sins. Many of the attendees found this information fascinating, as they had never been exposed to it.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2018

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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