“Can any good come out of Reno?” Pastor Brent Brooks of the Reno Christian Fellowship has frequently asked this question of his congregation. But in light of what is happening in Reno these days, he is quite sure the answer is a resounding and emphatic “Yes!”
Reno is a far cry from your typical Bible Belt town. Historically, Reno was the place where state laws permitted easy and quick divorces, even for people from out of state.
Nevada as a whole has built much of its economy on human vice, including gambling and legalized prostitution. It continues to be a city that ranks high compared to other American towns in terms of divorce and addiction to gambling and drugs.
But in recent months there has been a stirring in Reno that has the potential to drastically change the character of that town and even provide a positive example to other cities across America.
On March 2, there will be a gathering in Reno that organizers are calling the Reno Acts 4 OneCry for Revival Conference. A diverse group of nearly 400 pastors and ministry leaders will come together for the first time in many years to seek the Lord, learn about revival, pray, and see what God wants to do with their growing sense of unity.
Providing much of the behind-the-scenes leadership for this gathering is Pastor Brent Brooks, the conference organizer. “While this city has a history of great darkness, things are happening that are changing all that,” said Pastor Brooks. “I and many others want to see revival in our community.”
The March 2 gathering is being co-sponsored by the leading Latino, African-American, Charismatic, and Evangelical churches in the greater Reno area. Speaking at the event will include Life Action’s Executive Director, Byron Paulus; Dr. Walter Price, former president of the California Southern Baptist Convention; and Pastor Bill Elliff of The Summit Church in Little Rock, AR.
What are the local pastors’ hopes for the day-long event? Pastor Brooks says Jeremiah 33:9 is what they would ultimately love to see for Reno: “Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.”
More specifically, the goal is to bring leaders together with a common purpose of bridging the natural barriers that typically divide followers of Christ who come from different cultural backgrounds. They desire to communicate visibly to the greater community that they are ONE, consistent with Christ’s prayer in John 17.
But Pastor Brooks and the other pastors involved are praying for even more: “We want to learn how God has moved in communities in the past and get a clearer picture of what He can, and hopefully will, do here. We don’t know specifically what He will do, but we feel it’s much more likely He will do something spectacular if we are together than if we remain divided.”
- that all Christian ministry leaders in Reno will want to be part of this event
- that Satan will have no ability to incite divisiveness
- that unity will grow
- that revival will break out in this otherwise unlikely town
. . . for the glory of Jesus Christ and the salvation of many!