This year is a season of power for New Mount Zion AME Church. Located on 1401 Old Bainbridge Road, the church is hosting Power Revival ’08 – a four-day celebration bringing together influential preachers from around the nation. The event was designed with the community in mind and the pastor, John F. White II, said he hopes everyone will come out to support the occasion.
“This is an opportunity to be empowered,” said White, who has been the pastor of the church since 2003. “We’ve invited powerful people to infuse not only our congregation but Tallahassee as well. Not only do we have Methodist preachers, but we have Baptist preachers too. We’re covering all avenues.”
White said he and his wife, the Rev. Maria Mallory White, a former Florida A&M University journalism professor, began planning the revival last year and wanted to do something different for 2008. To that end, White said he went with the idea of having a different preacher each night.
“We have the best and brightest,” White said. “We tried to pick the best that America had to offer. The preachers were chosen because of their ability to share God’s word.”
The revival, which began Sunday, kicked off with Bishop John R. Bryant who was featured in Ebony magazine as one of the 15 great preachers of America. Bryant, who spoke at both the morning service and the evening service, said he deeply enjoyed the revival.
“We are midway through the highest season on the Christian calendar,” Bryant said. “There is only one star of this show and his name is Jesus.”
Other Power Revival ’08 speakers include: Bryant’s son, the Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant of Empowerment Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church in Maryland; Elder Kenneth Duke, the pastor of New Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church located in Miami; and the Rev. Dr. John Guns of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville.
The FAMU Gospel Choir will also be singing at the revival. FAMU’s Greek organizations are lending a hand by serving as ushers. White said he is happy to have the University on board.
Cynthia Benjamin, a member of New Mt. Zion and a choir member, is proud of the revival. She said it is definitely a good idea.
“The spirit of the Lord is going to show up and show out,” she said. “The revival is the time to revive our spirit. It’s like a refill. We deal with a lot of people on a day-to-day basis who are not saved. We have to go forth and let these people know about the Lord.”
Benjamin said God is able to do anything but fail. After surviving a disastrous car accident in 2007 “without so much as breaking a single nail,” Benjamin said she couldn’t wait for the revival.
“If God has something for you to do then you are going to do it,” Benjamin said. “I’m looking forward to the revival.”
Power Revival ’08 concludes Wednesday at 7 p.m. White said he hopes it will have a lasting impact on all who attend.
“It is my prayer that souls are saved,” White said, “and that people are changed and that some people will decide to unite with our church.”