The Gathering Church – The Church Journey
February 18, 2020
I had the privilege to visit The Gathering Church. The church is located in a shopping plaza, and occupies a large space in the plaza. The Gathering Church has been at this location for about 7 years. Gene and Karen Wolfenbarger are the founding and Senior Leaders of The Gathering Church. Pastor Gene has been serving the Kingdom of God in full-time ministry for nearly four decades. Since the birth of The Gathering Church in 1999, Senior Pastor has made it a priority to be about the Father’s business here at home and in the nations of the world. 
The Gathering Church is a house of prayer. They seek to be the fulfillment of Jesus’ words as He looked into the future and said, “My house will be a house of prayer” in Matthew 21:13. The phrase house of prayer is from Isaiah 56:7, where it is used twice: “These [foreigners] I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The first and greatest calling of the Church of Jesus Christ is to PRAY. As Oswald Chambers wrote, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.” (Isaiah 56:7; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 6:9-13; Psalm 119:147; Mark 1:35; Philippians 4:6; James 5:16; Revelation 22:17) .
I arrived Wednesday evening for prayer time at The Gathering Church “40 Nights of Personal Revival”. Even though I only attended two nights; 38 and 39 of the 40 nights I was deeply moved spending time with a group of Christians silently spending personal time in prayer. The 2-hour format was very conducive to personal pray time. It started with the person facilitating explaining to those attending could move around to find a spot to pray. They could also come and go during the 2 hours. Wonderful live worship music was provided setting the mood to allow folks to sit and listen to the music in between spending time in prayer. Sample of the music at the this link: (https://www.facebook.com/thegatheringprayer/videos/490059761600534/
The music breaks were provided about every 20 minutes for the leader to speak. At the halfway point (1 hour) Holy Communion was partaken. The final hour finished the same with the last few minutes left for the Pastor to conclude the prayer time.
40 Nights of Personal Revival JAN 5 – FEB 14 Every Night 6pm-8pm
I arrived early in the day to inquire about the prayer time scheduled for Wednesday evening. I met with Don as he saw me standing outside, so he unlocked the door and let me in. Though he was in meetings with leadership he graciously spent a few minutes showing me around. While I was in the worship center, I spent a few minutes praying for the 40 Night Prayer Revival. After returning later in that evening I briefly met Pastor Gene Wolfenbarger. This was a time for personal prayer, and was not designated for fellowship. Although if there was a need the large foyer outside the worship center was a great location.
Church Website: https://thegatheringfamily.com/
Location: 8729 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920
Date Visited: 2020 February 12th & 13th.
The Gathering Church is located in a shopping plaza it occupies a large space in the plaza.
Walking through the front door you see a large welcoming foyer with couches and chairs. It’s a great location for fellowship.
Inside the worship center they have comfortable chairs facing the raised floor used by the music worship team and Pastor.
The timing of my visit to The Gathering Church “40 Nights of Personal Revival” was exactly in line with what The Church Journey is about. It’s all about spending time in prayer and meditation, as well as praying for the church I am visiting. The time spent communicating in prayer was very fruitful in building my personal relationship with God. I wish you could have experienced it with me, as it provided time for me to get down, and get honest before God. Prayer is important part of our relationship with Christ. Seldom do we become closer to him than in prayer. I only attended two nights 38 and 39 of the 40 nights, and was pleased I attended both nights.
Over the years I have been to church services in many different settings. It doesn’t matter where the church meets, in buildings with a steeple, a high school auditorium, a hotel meeting room, in a movie theater, in a cemetery, or under a canopy in a parking lot, God is always with you. “For where two or three gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV). It’s important to remember that Church is made of the people in the body of Christ. After His bodily ascension, Christ continues His work in the world through those He has redeemed—the Church now demonstrates the love of God. In this way, the Church functions as “the Body of Christ.” Christ provides you the path to walk and provides divine wisdom for you to apply every step of the way, to every facet of your life as you live your life. I am thankful that God provided prayer as a resource to communicate, and have a personal relationship. As I close this out I think of the song written by Fanny Crosby “To God be the glory, great things HE hath done.”
“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.” (Psalm 5:1-3) NIV
If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.
May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.
Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.
May this find you well and happy, God Bless
The Gathering website, “About” (2020, February 17) Retrieved from https://thegatheringfamily.com/