Signs and wonders, revival at PE school

Shannon-Leigh Barry addresses St Thomas High School learners and teachers at the assembly which triggered a powerful move of God at the school.

St Thomas High School in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth has been transformed by a move of God over the past two months during which hundreds of learners have committed their lives to Jesus Christ and a number of miracles have been reported.

The revival began at a school assembly on Monday, March 5 when about 500 learners put up their hands when former St Thomas learner, Shannon-Leigh Barry, 25, asked for a response from anybody who wanted to know the Jesus that she had been speaking about. Shannon-Leigh was leading the assembly at the invitation of her father, Mark Barry, a teacher at the leading Northern Areas school which has more than 1 000 learners.

Since the March 5 assembly, several hundred more learners had turned to Jesus, and there were regular manifestations of spiritual gifts such as healings, prophecy and speaking in tongues at the ongoing revival meetings at the school during breaks and after school, said Shannon-Leigh in an interview yesterday.

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Shannon-Leigh Barry

She said that God had been working radically in her life over the past three years. At a Jesus Culture conference in Johannesburg, just days before she addressed the school assembly, she had yielded to a call by God to be totally obedient to His promptings. She went to the conference with the Word Of Faith Christian Centre worship team, of which she is a member.

“That conference sparked everything. I now understand that the gifts of the Spirit are free and are there to be imparted, and that a whole generation is only going to change once all these things are activated and we become mobilised,” she said.

At the time that her father invited her to speak at the St Thomas assembly, the morale at the school was low following extensive negative media reports featuring the involvement of a learner from the school in a cellphone sex video.

“I had spoken at an assembly at the school before,” said Shannon-Leigh. “But this time I had an expectancy and I believed that God had called me to speak purpose and destiny and life into the school.”

The breaktime and after-school revival meetings moved to the school clubhouse venue after they outgrew the classroom where they were held at first.

She said that after she had shared her testimony she told the assembled learners and teachers that for the first time she felt brave enough to make an altar call.

“I  asked them: ‘Would you like to know this Jesus who I speak about, because He is the one who turned my situation around? ‘

“I just saw all these hands go up and you can hear me over the mike saying WOW!”

Shannon-Leigh said that after she prayed a prayer of salvation with around 500 learners she heard God say to her: “Now show them what purpose and destiny is — prophesy!”

She said she protested to God that she felt that she was “just a baby” and “not mature enough”.

“But God said: ‘Just Go. Speak. I am with you’ “

Shannon-Leigh prophesying over St Thomas learner Luke Tyler

And so she obeyed. In one of four prophetic encounters, she called out a Grade 9 boy, saying:” Morne,  would you please stand.” She said people around the boy called out that his name was Muneer. But God told her to carry on speaking. Later she learnt that the boy’s original name — the name which was  on his birth certificate — was Morne. When he was in Grade 4 he had converted to Islam and his name became Muneer. Her words had impacted him because it showed that God knew him by name. Since then the boy had testified that Christ has now changed his life.

After the assembly she met with three St Thomas teachers, deputy principal  Tommy Faltuin, Warren Campodonico and her father, Mark Barry, who lead United In Christ (UIC), an interdenominational Christian movement, at the school. They were amazed and encouraged by what had happened and invited her to continue working with the children at UIC meetings outside of class times.  She said she believed that the revival was a dream come true for Campodonico who had faithfully headed up UIC at St Thomas for more than a decade.

Parents join their children at a recent Christian rally at St Thomas High School.

She said she was still holding a number of meetings at the school every week and that the salvations, and signs and wonders were continuing. They had also invited parents and youth pastors from various churches to join the children at a Christian rally at the school on the last day of the previous term.  Many learners were now speaking and singing in tongues, and a number were prophesying and learning spiritual dancing. She said that the low morale that had weighed down the staff and learners had “completely lifted”.

Even a Muslim teacher, an aunt of hers, said she had to support what was happening at the school because she had seen pupils changing for the better right in front of her eyes.

Shannon-Leigh described several healing testimonies from the revival. At the initial assembly, a young Christian girl came forward and asked her to pray for her unbelieving brother who had cancer. The next day the brother went for medical tests and was amazed to learn that all trace of the cancer was gone, she said.

An outside revival meeting during breaktime.

In another healing account she told of a boy who asked her to pray for his sister who had HIV. They prayed together, and now, six weeks later, test results show that the sister is free of HIV. The day after she heard she was healed of HIV she got news that she had a job and was now working in Cape Town.

Shannon-Leigh also said she had prayed for a boy who had an eczema rash over much of his body. After four days his skin was clear, to the amazement of classmates who used to tease him about his appearance. She said the boy was    now full of hope.

As Shannon-Leigh has found more and more of her time taken up by her newfound “revivalist” ministry, she has recently resigned from her counter job at a car hire company. Through a pastor who heard her testimony at the Jesus Culture conference she is being flown to Cape Town to minister to a school there. Next week she will be ministering at two youth conferences in Nelson Mandela Bay.

During some meetings children fall under the power of God.

Regarding her continuing involvement at St Thomas, she said she wanted to raise 40 leaders among the children at the school.  “My vision is not to take kids out of their existing churches but to develop them as leaders who will make an impact in their churches. I want to grow them and establish them in God so that by the time they reach matric they will be ready to impact universities, the youth environment and their families.”

She said: “The teachers in the UIC play a big role in imparting to the kids knowledge of the Word and discipleship. I also honour Pastor Denver Marks from Word of Faith Centre and Pastor Shaun Baron from the Schauder Baptist Church who have toiled the soil of St Thomas High and worked extensively at the High school previously,  as well as teams from different churches who come and do schools ministry. “

She said that in her ministry at St Thomas she was fully accountable to her church.

“I am just an ordinary girl doing extraordinary things because of Christ Jesus in me. I give Him all the Glory. When you love someone you do anything to please them and make them happy. This is why I do what I do because of the love I have for Christ. That makes it so easy to show the love of God because He first loved us. “

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  1. Wow that is awesome man praise God

    • why do they fall backward, when the prophets all fell on their faces when in the precence of God?

  2. Woman of great destiny :) Rock the world for Jesus!

  3. I just don’t think the “falling” is so much from God. Where in the Bible is that stated to be from God? but this IS amazing!! this community needs this and I will trust (others too!) and keep praying that many more will be saved–and TRULY saved.

    • After Jesus’ resurrection He breathed on His disciples and they received the Holy Spirit… and they fell down! :)

  4. @yvonne: there are countless times recorded in the Bible where people fell because of the glory and holiness of God e.g. Genesis 17:3; John 18:6; Matthew 28:4; Acts 9:4 etc.

  5. except there’s a difference there VIX… in every verse you cite Jesus is either there in the flesh or God is audibly speaking. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess nothing like that happened at these meetings, so Yvonne’s concerns are justified.

  6. Hi guys, just outta curiosity – can u suggest a good church to visit In cape town. In there next week and would like to attend.


    • Yes Joe Great fellowship at Pinelands Baptist. Come at 9am for the Classic Service in the Church or at 10am across the way in the Pinehurst School Hall for the X- plore service for the young and dynamic and great for families. See you! Joe and Ruth

  7. The Bible is true revelation from God. But it cannot contain all of God. Paul said we should not quench the Holy Spirit but we should test everything. Regarding falling, surely the kind of questions we should be asking are: Does it contradict God’s Word? What kind of fruit is being produced? The most amazing testimony I have ever heard of good fruit coming from falling applies to missionary Heidi Baker. She fell under the power of God at a conference and remained “down” for several days. She testifies that as a result of that transforming encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ her ministry in Mozambique exploded with an exponential increase in salvations, feeding of orphans, restored lives and miracles.

  8. wow Shannon-Leigh! awesome job ur doing-thank you. our youth so need God in their lives. may our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you as you continue to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.

  9. This is just too wonderfull. We bless God for this and we thank this young lady who has allowed God to use her. This is but the beginning of the revival that he is bringing to South Africa. Praise God, praise god, praise god.

  10. @VIX, thanks for those verses–I see what you mean. I do not exactly agree with the charismatic ways, but if it does do good (like in the instance of missionary Heidi Baker) and Jesus Christ is gloridied by it, it MAY be acceptable to the Lord. And most of all, the Bible does state this! Miracles are rare(or not?) Nowadays, but this just gives Christians the strength to keep believing. That God is able and that we believe in a perfect, loving, awesome God. @vince: still, if something does not seem 100% fine to me, I will pray about it and see what the Word has to say!

    • @ Yvonne – hi ! :-) The reason why miracles seem rare is not because God has changed- He doesn’t ! – but because of man’s lack of faith or sheer unbelief – see passage where Jesus could do no miracles in His home town because of their unbelief. Believe and receive ! :-))

  11. When you are obedient God sends His Holy Spirit ! Wonderful Girl – go for it , and save souls

  12. We r so grateful that God is working among the youth.I commend Shannon-Leigh for her obedience to God and 2all the other men of God involved.This proves the principle that it is God who makes the seed that was sown to grow.We need to support such initiatives wholeheartedly,to give the next generation a sense of awareness of who God is.They r hungry to know.Keep it up Shannon-Reuben&Ann

  13. Radical for Christ obedience is better then sacrifice revival is here….if the young ones can be touched in schools then this ripple effect of the Holy Spirit is movin through our community the destinies of our young ones are in the hands of us the redeembed believer….we should refrain from being relgious act on the word believe the word and ddo the word cus The Word is alive(Jesus) keep up the faithfull work shanna Gods gonna reward you this is just the start

  14. Are people getting truly saved? I exhort you earnestly in love to listen to Paul Washer on youtube to hear the true gospel and Justin Peters for proper biblical discernment. Justin Peter’s will be visiting South Africa from 1-17 June 2012. If possible do your best to see him.

  15. Let’s give God the glory for what He is doing!It is amazing what God can do with a life fully surrendered to Him.Praise His Name!

  16. WOW, it’s indeed powerful. Shannon-Leigh Barry, I wanna thank you for being obedient to God’s word. God works through obedience and faith. We should keep them in prayer.

  17. The peripheral issues are too often highlighted as the most significant – such as the falling phenomenon. I think the question should be whether or not Shannon is doing what Jesus said – to make disciples of all nations. And I think the answer is yes. Before we criticise the question to ourselves should be – Am I making disciples? The world is changed by testimony of actions performed and outcomes experienced as a result, not by opinions! Glorify God by doing what He said!

  18. Why the name “signs and wonders”

  19. This is the time where the will happen where GOD’s rammants will arise to lead and teach those for His kingdom Well done. Praise GOD and Thanks you Jesus for your Blood u shed.

  20. Leonie Bartlett

    Wonderful way to emulate Jesus. Teach the gospel and it will be followed by signs and wonders (which of course, point only to God). “He came to set the captives free.”

  21. As a learner I’m not convinced that there has been a visible transformation in the lives of my peers. Sure some have fallen down, some have reported how they have been coached into how to speak in tongues but they still don’t know Jesus and went back to their old lives

  22. Pingback: Revival everywhere… it’s visible everywhere now | Faith + Hope + Love