“We need to reclaim one of Christianity’s most sacred days,” says Apostle Neville Goldman of Ebenezer International in a letter to NMB Christian leaders, urging them to support the initiative.
Ascension Day was removed as a public holiday in 1994.
Goldman says “a group of concerned leaders believing that God had spoken to us”, adopted a proposal by Apostle Jerome Liberty of Victory Ministries International, that the initiative be hosted by PE FM radio station. “This created a neutral platform from which we could unite the Body of Christ,” he says.
In a Facebook post, PE FM says entrance to the Ascension Day prayer event is free but supporters can buy stickers at R10 each as a donation towards costs. Stickers are available at the offices of PEFM87.6, Word of Life Church, Word of Faith Christian Centre, Ebenezer International, Victory Ministries International, AFM Grace House (Arcadia) and Sprit Life Ministries (Uitenhage).
Acknowledging that the initiative is being organised at short notice, he calls on Christian leaders to “put our energy together to accomplish the reclaiming of Ascension Day.”
“On that particular day we would like to build an expectation of this to become an annual event where we pray for our city and we pray for our leaders,” he said in an interview. He also said the pastors who have united behind the initiative hope that it will spread nationwide.
Pastor Jimmy Crompton of Word of Faith Christian Centre said in an interview: “I am expecting a massive turnout — approximately 10 000 people. We desperately need a strong testimony throughout the city.”
Speaking earlier this month, at the pastors’ first meeting about reclaiming Ascension Day, Liberty said: “The enemy steals the very core values of Christianity.” He said they must cry out to God for unity among the city’s churches, so that they would all pray towards common values, common vision, and against a common enemy.
In his letter to city Christian leaders, Goldman urges them to add their names to more than 62 leaders who are already standing behind the initiative.
He says unique aspects of the proposed annual event are:
- Christians in our city taking back one of the most sacred events in our Christian calendar
- Praying for the city – There are no cities in South Africa who have put aside a day to pray for their city and council.
- Promotes Church unity
- Public testimony of united Christian church.
For further information about the initiative please email Apostle Goldman at firstname.lastname@example.org