On Tuesday night last week the sky around the city of Durban was burnished with a bright orange blaze. It could be seen from kilometres away and vehicles stopped on a nearby freeway to gaze at the consuming fiery tongues of fire. It was spectacular.
At the scene of the blaze fire hoses rained down litres of water; firemen frantically fought the blaze under the glare of powerful spotlights and dancing red, blue and yellow lights from emergency vehicles. Hundreds of people huddled together to watch.
What they were witnessing was unthinkable and unbelievable.
The Durban Christian Centre, Jesus Dome, was dramatically being destroyed.
Members of the church who had rushed to the Jesus Dome, an iconic building at the gateway to the city, prayed and wept.
Some bravely sang, their voices thin and choked with emotion, while they watched the flames abate, leaving angry embers, and the acrid smell of smoke. The Jesus Dome was in ashes.
But five days later 7 500 voices were raised to Heaven in praise, adoration and thanksgiving.
Growthpoint Kings Park rugby stadium became the focal point for the saints of the Jesus Dome to give a triumphant response to the Tuesday night disaster.
“We are coming back bigger and stronger,” was unequivocal cry from senior Pastors John and Joy Torrens. And the “amen” response was enough for passers-by to think there was a rugby match in progress.
“Out of those ashes will come something glorious,” said Pastor John in his Kings Park sermon.
Using Joshua 1:3, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you…” he exhorted believers to “say what Heaven is saying about our city…let’s possess our land…”
He said the founders of Durban Christian Centre, Pastors Fred and Nellie Roberts, had imparted in the congregation and ministry the DNA that made the Jesus Dome a house of prayer for all nations and gave them an unshakable belief in the power and demonstration of God’s Word. The Jesus Dome was a “place where miracles happen”.
The calamity has ignited a great excitement and anticipation that God is going to do something special not only in Durban but also across the nation, added Pastor John.
Pastor John said that the church has been amazed by the outpouring of love and support from the people of Durban and from churches across the country and overseas.
“It’s also birthed a spirit of unity and if that fire does that then I’m prepared to see more fires,” said Pastor John with a smile.
Founder Pastor Fred Roberts, speaking earlier in the service, pointed out that as he watched the church burn down the signage with the name “Jesus Dome” boldly caught one’s attention amidst the ruins. The building is gone, but Jesus is alive.
He pointed out that people often prayed for revival. “We don’t need revival. If you pray for revival then that means you’re half dead. What we need is a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God.”
Prophet Richard Gray brought a word of encouragement saying that the Jesus Dome would become a “global testimony” and lead to multiplied thousands being swept into the Kingdom of God.
From Sunday, June 19, the Durban Christian Centre will be having church in 2 500-seater tent loaned to the ministry by an upcountry church.
The tent will be pitched on the parking grounds, opposite the shell of the burnt out Jesus Dome. Services will be held at 8 am and 10.30 am and the early evening service at 5pm.