KANAPOLIS CHURCH OF GOD "I was blind but now I see."

KANNAPOLIS, NC — Years ago, the General Overseer of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee, faced a situation of things not working out as a pastor. Paul Walker was pastor of Mt. Peron Church of God. He wrote a letter of resignation and gave it to an elder. Paul was going to leave his job as pastor until a man with a prophetic voice knocked on his door at home.

Just before the Sunday he would announce his resignation, a man was led to go to his house and give him a word of personal prophecy. He spoke to Paul Walker and said, "You can leave your church now and you will do very well in the field to which you are going, but if you resign you will miss God. The man went on to tell Walker that if he would hold his position as pastor he would be a head of the denomination at the time the ‘flames of Pentecost’ were licking the world. Needless to say Walker held on. His 1,000 member congregation exploded into revival in Atlanta as the Jesus People invaded the church and the church swelled to 5,000 members. Today Walker is the head of the second largest Pentecostal organization in the world.

The fire is being felt even hotter at this time in the Church of God. The flame at the Kannapolis Church of God is burning right now as the power of God has saturated the sanctuary with signs and wonders. The people have pressed in to follow the typical pattern of revival. They are fasting and praying for God to visit the church. Many have pushed the plate back to seek His face. People are looking inward and are giving their lives to Christ. Kannapolis has become a house of prayer. Pastor Sam Crisp has worked at Cleveland where the leadership guides the church. He knows the inside of the denomination. But he had a hunger to be a pastor and accepted the position at the Kannapolis Church of God. He has a hunger for God that has caused many to turn away but those who have seen the transition of the church have seen the miracle of the visitation of Jesus. The signs of God’s awesome power have been felt among those who have pressed in.

One area of tremendous breakthrough is in the area of prayer. "I have 250 to 300 people who will go to prayer when I ask them. Our people are hungry for the Spirit of God. We started a ministry of praying a five-fold prayer blessing that covers five areas of a person’s life: the body, his work, his social relationships, his emotions and finally his spirit. We asked our people to pray for five people five days a week and intercede for them to be blessed. That caught fire—people were very eager to pray in this direction. God had me pray the five-fold blessing over the congregation. We started seeing answers to prayer. Then about the fifth week the Lord spoke to me and told me to begin to pray for the Bride. So we directed our prayer emphasis toward our people in the home church. People began to honor that and it led to prayer meetings."

With the people hungry to pray for people within their own church, God then began to show His face. Pastor Crisp related the next story of one of the most outstanding events that has ever happened at Kannapolis Church of God. "We had an elderly man named Jack Hayes who had partial sight in his right eye until 12 years ago. His left eye was blind since birth. He had never seen out of that eye. Then he went totally blind. It was on a Sunday night. I said if you want to be prayed for and receive the anointing, come down and sit in these 10 or 12 chairs in the front. I said after we pray for you, you just get up and let someone else take your place. Jack Hayes was one of the ones who was prayed for that night. He said that he had felt the touch of God on him that night when we prayed for him. It was after he had gone home that God gave him a tremendous dream. He began this dream at 1:30 in the morning. It started out as a dream, then it goes into a vision and then it became reality. God showed him a door in his dream that is opening and closing. A man stood at this door and looked at Jack and said, ‘Something big is getting ready to happen.’ Jack saw himself get up in the dream and then he realized that he was actually up walking through his kitchen. When he walked into the kitchen, all the lights are on. Now Jack doesn’t need any light because he has been totally blind for the last twelve years and he has never seen out of his left eye. He sees all of his kitchen totally lit up. At first Jack said to himself, I don’t know if I’m still dreaming or if this is real. Again the man said to him in the dream state that he was in, ‘Something big is going to happen." Jack walked over to the kitchen door to the backyard and flipped on the backyard lights and the entire yard was illuminated. Jack finally realizes that he is not dreaming anymore and that he can see out of his left eye. As the reality of what God had done set in, he began to dance out in the backyard with the lights on at 4 in the morning. Needless to say it was a tonic to those in the church to see God answer prayer this way.

Pastor Sam Crisp said this about the healing. "We have been down a long hard road to revival. Not everybody wants revival. In fact during the time period that I have been here, we have seen people leave because of the intensity in me and some of the other people to seek revival. We knew that we were on the right track. This healing is almost prophetic. Here is a man who has never seen anything out of one eye since birth and God does a creative miracle. I believe it is prophecy to our church that our eyes are beginning to open to the possibility of what God can do when prayer and fasting goes forth."

Jack Hayes went to the doctor for the first examination of his eyes. Dr. Burchfield saw Jack’s eye and was astonished at the miracle. The doctor ran out to the waiting room, gathered all his staff and said to them, "I want all of you to see a miracle." Meanwhile the pastor had been calling all day long. The pastor said that Jack had gotten someone to ride him around all day long just to see what the town looked like. He didn’t get a chance to talk to them until night time when they came home.

Pastor Sam Crisp told me the history of Kannapolis Church of God and how many great ministers had been called from the pews to serve God. The old church was established during a time of great sin in the area. The Cannon Towel factory is the major industry in the town. During the earlier part of this century, drunkenness and gambling were destroying the families and the town. The church was birthed in revival and where the old church foundation was laid was the place of gambling at one time.

The move of God was so great during that day that the people who owned the Cannon Towel Factory began to see a change in many of their employees through the great revival that had touched the town. Today the factory is owned by the same people who have constantly supported the church. Today revival is still at Kannapolis and Sam Crisp is beginning to see the reward of all the work that went forth.