A huge THANK YOU to His Inscriptions friends who prayed for last week’s ministry trip to Springfield, Tennessee! It was an amazing week of training roughly 60 leaders at City of Faith International Church which culminated in a mighty outpouring of God’s POWER on Sunday morning. Photos and testimonies follow.
REPENTANCE IS STILL IMPORTANT TO GOD!
Although it was the pastor of City of Faith International who invited me to speak at his church, I knew that God was sending me on assignment to pray in the city!
As I prepared to travel South, I asked the Lord to show me what was hindering ministry in that region. Three times in my research the same historical event surfaced: racist murders of one white man and 7 black men in 1880-81. (See newspaper clippings here and here.)
Since the crime rates in Springfield are among the highest in the nation, I decided to investigate whether this event might be at the root of those statistics. Here’s the story from 1880 in a nutshell:
Lee LaPrade was a poor, white farmer who lived on the outskirts of town and was thought by people in the town to have received an inheritance: money from a relative in France.
On August 30, 1880, a mob of black men decided to steal the money, forcing their way through LaPrade’s bolted door one summer night.
LaPrade insisted that he had no inheritance, and as tensions escalated the black men began torturing and eventually killing LaPrade, leaving his body in a ditch five miles west of town.
The white community in the area wanted vengeance, and began arresting black men to retaliate. Two men (Jack Bell and Arch Jamison) were arrested and thrown in the county jail. Unfortunately, they were later taken from jail by white men in masks and lynched (hung), without a trial, from a nearby tree.
Another seven black men were arrested by the sheriff and scheduled for trial on February 14, 1881. Two turned state evidence and were released. Four days later, a mob of 50-60 white men seized the other five (Jim Elder, Jim Higgins, Bob Tweat, Sock Mallory, and Lum Small) as they walked from the jail to the courthouse.
These five men were lynched from the East balcony of the Robertson County Courthouse, which still stands today.
Robertson county at one time had the highest number of lynchings in the state of Tennessee. The photo below shows the historic courthouse with its balconies - a building which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.*
COMMUNION AND RECONCILIATION RELEASE POWER!
Knowing that there is still tremendous racial injustice in our nation, and seeing the obvious impact of division in the Springfield area, I asked Pastor Gardner if his church would be willing to let this “Yankee White Girl” from Massachusetts repent for this and some of the post-civil war issues that seemed to still be cropping up in the city. He readily agreed!
After teaching two sessions on “Hearing God” and “Spiritual Leadership,” I devoted the next two Saturday sessions to Communion and Repentance.
I shared the story of the Springfield murders and guided leaders through a teaching on Intercession and Repentance.
(Listen to the story and the 20-minute teaching on intercession here.)
Christ is outside of time, and we are seated in heavenly places with Him. We have the unique opportunity in the Spirit to deal with even historical events that are at the root of current traumas in our nation.
Through repentance, the Blood of Christ, and reconciliation, we can change the spiritual climates of our families, churches, cities, and nations; repenting as Daniel did for iniquities passed down through the generations. Healing will follow!
To intercede is often to take very practical steps to bring healing. In this case we felt that taking communion together with the leaders at church AND doing on-site communion privately at the courthouse were both important.
Leaders repented to God and to each other for white supremacy, hatred, and the shedding of blood, believing that this reconciliation would help to heal the regional traumas that still exist today. (Deuteronomy 19:10; Matthew 5:21-26.)
Many families in this church were grieving fresh losses of spouses and children to drugs, disease, and even a shooting, and I wanted to help bring restoration and hope to this community through prayer even as I taught these principles.
A spirit of repentance fell as we prayed that day, and we made seven decrees of justice for the black men who were hung, as well as one decree for the white man who was murdered.
A small team of us then took communion again at the Robertson County Courthouse, along with an 85-year old intercessor who has prayed there for 15 years.
This precious prayer warrior cried when I told her I had come all the way from Massachusetts to pray in her city! Although she is a Methodist, this lady firmly agreed that a new move of God is imminent, and said she had hoped to see it before she “graduated” to heaven! I felt like I was sitting with a real-life “Anna!” (Luke 2:36-38.)
The pictures below document our team telling her the story of the 1881 murders and praying beside the courthouse.
So much happened as a result of these prayer times!
Immediately after we took communion in the church, the power of God fell and we anointed a new team of 12 intercessors. Some of these leaders had never even heard of the term “intercessor” but had a gift to pray.
Their pastor had selected them to receive an impartation, and by the time we finished, the anointing in the church was so thick I could barely walk out of the sanctuary.
I was escorted back to the office, where they brought a few more people to me for prayer or prophecy.
As this was happening, we heard an amazing testimony. One of the young leaders who was attending the training had lost her father that week. I had prayed for her and her mother the night before.
This girl had listened to the story of the 1880 murders and knew that I was speaking of her ancestors; the lynchings were a shameful family story that had been covered up for years. She had only heard of it once or twice from a grandparent, and she was shocked to hear the entire history.
The pastors quickly brought this girl back to me in the office and I asked her to tell me what she knew. She confirmed that what I had researched was true, and that a spirit of death had been “murdering” her family members for generations.
Praise God, not only did He confirm the story but He also allowed us to pray with her to break the curses connected to this event, stop the spirit of death from impacting her family, and bless her as an intercessor and deliverer. She left a whole lot “lighter” than she came in! YES, LORD!!!
Sunday’s services were also very powerful, with a strong prophetic anointing in both services and a long line of people who wanted ministry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is a lot of witchcraft in the area and I had spoken on the difference between the power of Satan and the power and authority of God. (Acts 8)
(Watch a Live service on Facebook here.)
Three unsaved youth came in off the streets in the middle of the second service. I learned later that they had gotten into a tight spot. One of the boys had a Christian grandmother who used to tell him, “If you’re ever in trouble, take yourself straight to church.”
That morning - remember we’d just prayed for strongholds to be broken in the city the day before - the boy came straight to OUR church, and brought two friends!
The pastors brought over to them to pray, and I released the power of God onto these snake-chained, cowboy-hat-wearing young men, prophesying to each of them about their God-given calls in the Kingdom. God doesn’t care what they look like! He’s just glad they came!
These young men will be meeting with the pastor of City of Faith this week; please join me in praying that the Lord continue to touch them and draw them into the Kingdom of God as His beloved sons, honoring that praying grandmother!
We also ministered at the church's women’s shelter and at the home of some church members, praying for two women in particular who were bound by sorcery and witchcraft. In every place, the power of God came and touched people mightily!
The pandemic has not cancelled the Great Commission!
Your prayers make an impact, even down through the generations. Ask the Lord to show YOU what needs restoration in your family or city! You may be the only ambassador Christ has in certain situations.
Because of your partnership in prayer, we are already seeing God release POWER and a fresh outpouring of His Spirit in the state of Tennessee! We’re taking practical steps toward racial reconciliation as we pray for an end to civil unrest.
Violence is never the answer to injustice. Yet it is only the sons and daughters of God’s Kingdom who carry true peace.
As He did with Joseph, Daniel, Esther, Jesus, and Paul, God is still releasing spiritual wisdom to unlock and heal the natural division and trauma you see in the world around you. I’m so excited to see these Tennessee leaders arise and take the land for Jesus!
I believe God is raising up a mighty army of deliverers who move not in pride and presumption, but in peace, humility, repentance, justice, and love.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com.
*Historical information gathered from news clippings (sources above) and from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, published in 1886 and available online.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.