Something’s Up at Solid Rock: Spiritual Ignition Sparks Fresh Fire at Florida Church
By Carl Stagner
“The revival…changed the course of the future of our church!” “Our networks and net worth won’t be able to contain the net-breaking season we have entered!” “Revival has hit Solid Rock!” Recent posts on the social media of the Kissimmee, Florida, congregation of the Church of God known as Solid Rock Community Church suggest something’s up—something big, and something possible only by the coordination and synchronization of the Holy Spirit. Revival isn’t a word to be thrown around loosely, yet signs of fresh fire, and a new wind blowing, are emerging in a place where prayer is prevalent, repentance is requisite, reconciliation of relationships is on the rise, and the third Person of the Trinity is given freedom to lead.
The last Sunday of January was a turning point. From the platform, courageous speakers called out the lies drowning out the voices of truth in society, disproportionately hitting the young Black demographic hard. “Shaming shame” proved an overarching theme of the day as the spirit of depression and suicide was exposed and publicly rejected in the name of Christ. While acknowledging “it’s okay to not be okay,” the message the congregation clung to was the availability and accessibility of transformative power.
Pastor Matthew Quainoo observed, as others have, the thematical consistency between what God had done in their midst and what happened at the close of 2022 in Atlanta during NIYC. Each experience saw the Spirit deal explosive blows to the proliferation of depression and suicidal strongholds. Pastor Quainoo reflects, “We believe part of revival is the Holy Spirit enabling us to confront social and communal powers and principalities.” Referring to the 2 Chronicles 7:9 passage describing societal transformation and, in particular a “healing of the land,” Pastor Quainoo says, “We’ve seen a healing of the land socially, and we’re speaking prophetically when and where there is oppression. This includes teaching of African American history, addressing health care needs, providing access to vaccines, helping the homeless, and so on. We’re actively constructing a community pipeline to get people to get people off the street. That’s a definite part of our revival.”
But revival in Kissimmee is more than just what Solid Rock has committed to do in terms of mission. They’ve taken practical steps, as guided by the Spirit, to free up their worship gatherings to allow time and space for what God really wants to do. Personal agendas and plans take a back seat to God’s plans, as even the liturgy has been adjusted accordingly. “There’s a portion of our service we have literally revived: a time of laying on of hands. We used to put that toward the end of the service; those who wanted to stay behind and pray, those who needed salvation, those who wanted to rededicate their lives remained while others left” in the flurry of dismissal activity. Pastor Quainoo explains that they’ve moved it to “the middle of the service.” Lately, people are taking advantage of the opportunity, in droves, to come forward to the altar, ask for prayers for healing and deliverance, offering spontaneous testimonies, and confessing sin. And, they’re seeing breakthrough!
“After the pandemic,” Pastor Matthew recounts, “we really saw sort of a slowing of new membership and salvation.” But, in the first several weeks of 2023 alone, they’ve seen more people indicating a desire to be saved, and more people wanting to make Solid Rock their church home, than all the months of 2022 combined.
“They’re going from death to life!” Pastor Quainoo can’t help but exclaim.
Of course, revival events don’t always equal biblical revival, though definitions can be conflated; still, the latter can feel elusive to the church desiring to see spiritual awakening. But a one-night revival event just a few weeks ago only added fuel to the fire beginning to burn brightly in the hearts of the people of Solid Rock Community Church. Guest speakers Jonathan and Candice Lambe brought prophetic words of admonition and encouragement to a crowd of listeners whose hearts were prepared and tender for response. Moments of individual attention given to revival participants led to numerous individuals letting guards down, accepting exhortation, and embracing breakthrough. Testimonies started in abundance, declaring pivotal moments of conviction and deliverance; even broken marriages have begun the process of resolution. The work is far from done, and it won’t be easy, but Pastor Quainoo praise God for what the Spirit has started.
Now that the church has also entered into a special celebration of Black History Month, the opportunities to give God all the glory are endless. With great conviction to celebrate Black history throughout the year, Pastor Quainoo describes how Solid Rock Community Church ensures the truth of history, societal maladies, and inequities are addressed. From carefully selected children’s books and curriculum, to community empowerment workshops and much more, Solid Rock is making sure that the justice work of God’s people isn’t understated or overlooked while revival is at their doorstep. In fact, for them, it’s all part of the revival work God is bringing about in their midst. A Black Business Expo, for instance, modeled after a similar offering helping the community surrounding Celebration Church at Columbia, Maryland, is a potent witness and source of practical support to Solid Rock’s neighbors. Supporting Black mental health, marriages, and other issues are at the top of the Kissimmee church’s priority list as they live out their faith, not just proclaim from a pulpit what they say they believe.
“These aren’t just spiritual issues,” Pastor Quainoo insists. “Christianity has something to say. And we have a biblical mandate: we proclaim the Year of Jubilee to everybody, including the ‘least of these.’”
So, what would Pastor Matthew Quainoo say to other pastors longing for revival in their church and community? “We need to recover our historical roots, particularly in holiness movements like ours, where we understand the vitality of the fruit of the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to be free-flowing in our liturgy. Sometimes it seems we’ve replaced the Holy Spirit with Planning Center. Worship becomes an experience that actually worships the worshiper. The golden calf becomes the person in the pew. Let’s re-establish the holy of holies. Let’s recover the primacy of prayer; it cannot be the background or an afterthought, as it has become in so many churches. Let’s even recover some of our hymnody, too—some of the songs of Zion that were Holy Spirit-inspired, like ‘Standing on the promises, I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call…!’” We cannot write the Holy Spirit out of our worship!”
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.