Those who spend time around Christian-based justice ministries, whether centered on stopping human trafficking, adoption advocacy, ending abortion, or other causes, will inevitably hear one event mentioned over and again: TheCall Nashville, when more than 75,000 people gathered on July 7, 2007 at the stadium home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
A prayer movement first convened by Lou Engle and Pastor Ché Ahn in 2000, TheCall invites local churches and Christian believers of all backgrounds into a Joel 2 sacred assembly. The first four Call events were held from 2000 to 2003. After the national prayer gatherings ceased for four years, Engle received several words and confirmations that 7-7-07 would be the date to mobilize a next generation of the Jesus movement through prayer and fasting.
Ten years later, Christian leaders across America pursuing a variety of callings share what they experienced in that blazing hot Tennessee stadium—and how one day-long prayer gathering continues to impact their lives.
Matt Lockett, Executive Director of Justice House of Prayer DC – Washington, DC
I had been familiar with crusade-type events like that of Billy Graham, but TheCall Nashville was something altogether different. It was my first exposure to an authentic Joel 2 sacred assembly whose sole purpose was to corporately cry out to God on behalf of the nation. It was more than an event—it was an extravagant offering to the Lord.
Something profoundly impactful happened that day, and I’m one of the affected. It was more than an event: it was catalytic for a justice generation. TheCall Nashville branded everyone there with something more enduring than anything the world has to offer. I know something was initiated in my own heart that has kept me in hot pursuit of God’s heart.
Today, I am living my life as an intercessor for America, and I will not rest until we get revival and awakening. I have given my life to full-time ministry aimed at raising up young people to experience what I experienced there.
Nicole Hudgens, Policy Analyst for Texas Values – Austin, TX
I will never forget being with the thousands gathered that day and hearing two young women declare that the answer to abortion is for the church to engage in love and adoption. For the first time, my eyes were truly opened to understand that the Body of Christ carries the answers to so many of the overwhelming, heart-breaking problems in our nation.
TheCall Nashville challenged me to not just petition God to stop problems, but to ask and implement His solutions. Now as I work in the field of public policy to protect the unborn and family values, I realize we can carry His solutions. We need only to ask and engage.
Darrian Summerville, Pastor of City Servants Church – Reston, VA
I celebrate TheCall Nashville gathering that took place exactly ten years ago. In my estimation, it was one of the most intense times of corporate prayer and praise that I have ever attended. Although I had no grid for what all was happening, I felt I had engaged in a level of corporate prayer beyond anything I had ever experienced before.
It was there that my heart began to fully awake to my call as an intercessor and somehow I felt the destinies of the other 75,000 people in attendance were being unlocked as well. Ironically, my path was also reunited with an old high school classmate, Brian Hume, after nearly twenty years—for which I have TheCall Nashville to be thankful for.
Ultimately, it was a day of profound sobriety and spiritual sacrifice, as we cried out for God to pour out His spirit on America. It’s a cry that continues today, rising from the local church we launched in recent years and the Moravian Watch national prayer movement.
Melissa Jacobs, Adoptive Mom and Prayer Leader – St. Louis, MO
TheCall Nashville was a defining moment for our family. My husband Jeremy and I attended the event with our four small children; the youngest was about six months old at the time. We knew God was calling us to get involved in the pro-life cause, but we didn’t know how or what we were to do.
The single most impactful part of the day for us was putting on Life Tape and praying silently in a stadium full of thousands of people. The holy hush that fell over the stadium in those moments is something I will never forget. We came home and knew we needed to start a Bound4LIFE chapter.
We began praying silently on the sidewalk outside local abortion centers. I say centers because, at the time, we had several to choose from and would rotate between them. Today, ten years later, Missouri has only one abortion center in the entire state. That is the fruit of 7-7-07 for us.
On a personal level, that day had lasting impact in our family as well. We now have seven children, and hope to add more through the gift of adoption in the future. God did a huge work in our hearts that day—literally shifting the entire course of our future and giving us a new perspective.
Branden Polk, Founder and Principal at Arrowhead Advising– Washington, DC
I drove ten hours from Virginia to TheCall Nashville. As I sat in the stands, on the hottest day of the year, it seemed, I felt hunger—more than hunger within my body, rather desperation in my heart for God and for direction in my life.
I had just graduated from college, fatigued spiritually and mentally from academia. That day I felt a burning in my heart, as I had at so many other Call events. On this day in Nashville, however, I felt a literal burning, a fire of love that consumed sin and anxiety, destroyed fear and regret, and provided hope for the future.
Looking back, I remember being stationary in my seat with my head in my hands, tears falling from my face, as Misty Edwards sang the words, All consuming fire! You’re my heart’s desire! My tears were not from pain. They were not tears of hopelessness or depression, as I had so often felt during that time of my life. Instead these were passionate drops of surrender to a God who was gently and persistently pursuing me.
Terri Shepherd, Administrative Director at Capital Life Church – Arlington, VA
TheCall Nashville was not just some good idea conceived in the heart of man. For more than 75,000 of us who responded to the summons, it was a call to radical obedience and holy lifestyle. It wasn't a gathering to lob up wishful prayers in hopes that maybe God would see fit to answer. This was a day of intercession, of offering ourselves to be the answers to our own prayers, and returning to our first love that we would be equally yoked with Him in building His kingdom.
A defining moment for me came when Randy and Kelsey Bohlender took the stage to share the story of adopting their beautiful little girl, Zoe. I knew that God was birthing in my heart the desire to adopt as well and to fight to see that every child is loved, cherished, and welcomed in this world.
My heart's cry is not only to see the horror of abortion end, but to see an adoption movement rise up in the church to take our rightful place in carrying for the orphan, the fatherless, and the mother in crisis. This has been my charge since that solemn day. He shared a tiny sliver of His heart with me that day, and it has set a course for my life ever since.
Pam Olsen, Co-Director of local International House of Prayer – Tallahassee, FL
TheCall Nashville marked the entire Olsen family in a profound way. Jesus wrecked our hearts during the repentance walk before we even reached the stadium. Then to cry out to God for hours with others for our nation, we would never be the same. We had started a house of prayer in Tallahassee in 2005; now this event introduced us to contending prayer for the ending of abortion and Bound4LIFE.
We invited Matt Lockett to Tallahassee, and here we are 10 years later having seen astounding answers to prayer! We gave Life Bands to our Governor and over 50 of our legislators, who proudly wore them during a historic pro-life legislative session. We have given Life Bands to many presidential candidates, including Donald Trump—none of which would have happened without being at TheCall Nashville.
Our son, Jared, was 20 at TheCall Nashville, it was there that God truly set his heart totally ablaze for Jesus. He has written a book with Matt Lockett, Prayer that Impacts the World, and they have gone to the nations together for the cause of Christ.
As a governmental intercessor for decades, I am so thankful for Lou Engle and TheCall team for the impact they are making in the courts of Heaven and on the lives of multitudes, my family included. My entire family, including our five grandkids will be at Awaken the Dawn and Rise UP-The Call DC in October—crying out for another Jesus Movement to sweep our nation.
TheCall continues to host corporate prayer gatherings nationwide, including large events this year scheduled for July 22-23 in Cleveland, Ohio and for October 9 in Washington, DC.
Josh Shepherd has served on staff at The Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, Bound4LIFE International, and currently as a contributor for Christian Headlines.He earned a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Colorado. Josh and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshMshep.
Photo Caption: More than 75,000 Christians gathered to pray and worship on July 7, 2007 at TheCall Nashville. During one portion of the day-long gathering, they placed red tape over their mouths with the word “life” written on it—praying in silent solidarity for the lives of unborn babies lost to abortion.
Photo Courtesy: Bound4LIFE International