Intercession at the Pastor’s Prayer Summit. Photo: Wolf Soto, Red Army Press (Gallery Below)
By Tom Campisi
“When God’s leaders draw nearer to each other, God draws nearer to the city.”
That was the faith-filled expectation expressed by Dr. Mac Pier following the recent Pastor’s Prayer Summit hosted by LEAD.NYC and Movement.org. Three-hundred pastors and leaders, primarily from Metro New York City, convened at Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania for the 33rd annual Summit. The theme of this year’s conference was “Forward.”
“It is a remarkable annual gathering spanning the past four decades,” said Dr. Pier, founder of Movement.org. “Over 48 hours, we worship. We pray. We build cross cultural friendship. We take communion together. We do mission together.”
“Whenever God’s people gather together to pray in unity, there is great blessing for the Kingdom of God,” said Rev. Matt Anderson of Star of Hope Ministries in Paterson. “This was clearly seen at this year’s Prayer Summit.”
On Monday evening, Dr. David Ireland challenged the pastors and leaders to commit themselves to a bolder and broader prayer life with his message, “The Year That It Happened.”
“Defining moments must take place for us. I believe this year is going to be a different year,” he said. “The Lord has plans for you…If we will lean in as a faith community, God is going to do something mighty for us.”
Ireland, the founder and senior pastor of Christ Church in Montclair and Rockaway, New Jersey, spoke from the book of Nehemiah.
“I love that little book (Nehemiah) because it is about a little man that did big things,” he said.
Like Nehemiah, who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in the face of much adversity, we too, must pray bold, daring prayers.
“God is not like you. He is not like me. Stop thinking small,” Ireland said. “Look at Nehemiah, he didn’t go by himself. He was going (to build the wall) under the King’s directives.”
On Tuesday night, one of the highlights of the Pastor’s Prayer Summit (PPS) happened when Dr. A.R. Bernard interviewed Adam Durso, president of LEAD.NYC, and his father, Pastor Michael Durso. The two men candidly shared how their relationship has been restored after a nearly seven-year breach.
RELATED: Pastors Adam and Michael Durso Share Testimony of Reconciliation at Prayer Summit
Other speakers at the PPS included: Matt Thompson, senior pastor of Jubilee Christian Church (Boston); Bishop Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles’ Wings; Dr. Nicole Martin, Chief Impact Officer of Christianity Today; Dan Buttafuoco, attorney and founder of the Historical Bible Society; Mark Matlock, interim CEO of Movement.org; Marc Rivera, senior pastor of Primitive Christian Church in Lower Manhattan; Jon Tyson, senior pastor, Church of the City New York; Mark Atkinson, director, Neighborhoods, LEAD.NYC; and Brian Alarid, president and CEO of America Prays.
The PPS included three breakout sessions: Worship Academy with Israel Houghton, who also ministered in worship on Tuesday night; Moving Upstream with Care Portal, a session that connected churches to a nationwide platform that meets the needs of kids and families in crisis; and “The Marriage Equality Act & Navigating Current Cultural Realities,” with Dr. A. R. Bernard and Attorney Justin Giboney (AND Campaign).
Following the PPS, Dr. Pier reported that 44 churches adopted a day of prayer for the region through LEAD.NYC’s new prayer initiative. Additionally, 24 churches signed on with Care Portal to help children in foster care and another 24 connected with the He Gets Us campaign (one of the sponsors of the conference).
Dan Buttafuoco, a PPS sponsor, spoke on the importance of apologetics and the reliability of the Word of God during the Monday afternoon session and displayed Bibles and manuscripts from his Historical Bible Society collection that spans nearly one thousand years.
Other sponsors and participating ministries, such as Hope Day, Urban Hope NYC, and Jesus Week, offered information and opportunities in upcoming events that will serve the city and beyond.
In a welcome letter to PPS attendees, Adam Durso, host of the conference, spoke about the power of prayer agreement and the power to push NYC and beyond into a future of spiritual and social flourishing.
“Across different ethnicities, cultures, worship expressions, and denominations, we are all united in the name of our Savior King. We are united to see Him move in power among our communities!”
“Let’s get excited to see our city and region move Forward, together we desire to see Kingdom flourishing!”
Those thoughts were echoed by NYC Mayor Eric Adams in a video appearance at the PPS.
“I want to thank you for all you have done for the city and for New York is especially during COVID-19 and our recovery. I feel strength inspiration from the faith community every day. And I am committed to work with you to solve the injustices around us…”
The PPS also featured a strong showing and zeal for their communities from New Jersey pastors, who met on Tuesday for a lunch hosted by Pastor Anderson and Star of Hope.
“We were greatly encouraged to see a group of more than 35 Pastors and leaders, dedicated to serving the State of New Jersey, come together for lunch on Tuesday at the Summit. Great connections were made, and God was glorified. This year’s goal of 30+ New Jersey leaders was a blessing…next year we’re aiming to double or even triple that number!”
Anderson, like other pastors, also expressed thanks to Dr. Pier, Adam Durso and the team at LEAD.NYC/Movement.org for their efforts in coordinating the PPS.
“When Pastors are given the time to unplug, connect with other leaders, and receive from the Lord, it goes a long way towards establishing healthy churches in our cities and beyond,” he said.
For more articles like this on the local Christian community in New Jersey and NYC, please subscribe to our mailing list.
Pastor’s Prayer Summit Photo Gallery. Credits on all photos: Wolf Soto, Red Army Press