At the beginning of February our clergy, staff, and several from Coker attended the MidTexas Global Methodists Annual Awakening. Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, President Pro-Tempore of the MidTexas Conference, shared her thoughts and titled her note “A Movement Not a denomination…” Rev. Dr. Hidde-Gregory went on to explain, “…I am still basking in the glow of all that God accomplished in our gathering.

I have resisted ‘charismatic’ movements most of my 52 years on this planet. I fell in love with the Methodist Church in a high church setting and then found my way over the last thirty years to loving all kinds [of] worship styles. Passionate worship whether with an organ, a praise team or a banjo is what my heart longs for, but there must be order for this Methodist.

Fast forward to the MidTexas Awakening. For the second year in a row, we have had ‘order-like’ worship. But the movement of the Holy Spirit has been so tangible during the Awakening that I cannot deny the authentic enthusiastic expressions of people’s faith.

The Holy Spirit had every single speaker preach from Ephesians and Romans. It was not planned. It was not coordinated… God just led us all to the same place. Carolyn Moore said she wrote three sermons before the Lord was satisfied. The preaching and teaching [was] absolutely anointed.

The Holy Spirit led people to come to the altar and pray anytime they felt led during the weekend.” Rev. Dr. Hidde-Gregory continued to share that even in the middle of a song “…there were people at the altar praying. Touched by the words of the preacher… there were people at the altar praying. Best of all, with no planning or coaching… no one prayed alone. Once someone came forward, someone would come beside them to pray.

The Holy Spirit led people, who had never raised their hands in worship, to raise their hands for the very first time. I had several older folks say they never experienced worship of God so powerfully.

The Holy Spirit poured out as we prayed for the generations of the church. Older praying for the young. Younger praying for the older. Crying out to God to bless this generation.

The Holy Spirit poured out as we ordained 22 ministers. Tears flowed as new ministers made sacred vows to God and his church.”

Amongst the new ministers ordained, was Coker’s very own Pastor Jose Mercado. Jose was a Licensed Local Pastor, who recently finished his Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary and he passed the Board of Ordained Ministry evaluation. Pastor Mercado was ordained a full Elder in the Global Methodist Church during the Awakening. This is a huge milestone in his life and ministry and a result of his years of hard work and fruitful, faithful ministry.

At the end of her recap, Rev. Dr. Hidde-Gregory reflected, “In processing my experiences… I wonder if what I am experiencing isn’t the difference between a denomination and a movement of the Holy Spirit.”