Hundreds of San Quentin prisoners attended the 2017 Annual Protestant Revival in the prison’s Garden Chapel. It was four days of worship and praise.
The Oct. 18, 20, 21 and 22 event was themed “For the joy set before Him,” quoting Hebrews 12:2 of the New Testament.
“Looking toward Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” according to the Holy Bible, New King James Version.
On the third night Pastor Tony Chikere of One Accord Ministry moved the large prison congregation and the few guests with his sermon “The Presence of God.” Pastor Chikere’s heavy Nigerian accent was clear when he said, “God gave us the power of love and not the power of fear.”
“You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to see something is wrong in the world today,” Chikere told the crowd. “We are not seeing the signs the way we should. We’re in need of the Holy Spirit, that second touch.”
Pastor Chikere talked about what it means to thirst for Jesus and to redirect your priorities. “You should place God’s agenda as the priority,” he said passionately.
“When you surrender your life to God, it’s a different kind of life,” the pastor said. “The things you surrender to the Lord, the Lord lets you keep, but the things you hold on to can be taken away.”
Sister Linda Jackson sang a beautiful rendition of “I love Jesus” before the sermon began.
“I love Jesus, I worship and adore you” sang Jackson, her heavenly voice rising with every lyric. “It’s glory in the cross,” she continued, with the vocal range of Patti LaBelle.
“Every time I come here I get juiced up,” Jackson said. “If you want some church, you come here.”
The second day, the men in blue led the service. Harry Smith opened with a prayer for the North Bay fire victims.
The chapel drama team performed a mime/dance interpretation to the song “Let Go and Let God” by Dewayne Woods. The Mime Ministry was made up of Andress Yancy, Orlando Harris and Vertrice Laster. The group brought the church to a standing ovation.
Ferrari Moody presented the sermon for the night.
“The revival is for the joy of God,” Moody said. “I see treasure when I look into the crowd. I got faith somebody will be saved tonight.”
Moody paced the stage and aisle, personally engaging the congregation and teaching on having the right understanding and view of God.
The Praise Team (the choir) had the crowd on its feet with bodies waving, heads bowed and hands in the air in deep worship. They sang “Bless Your Holy Name” and “Some Ask Why We Sing.”
The revival was about community and having a relationship with God.
Bishop Lam Chung of ASATT Church in Houston, Texas, gave the San Quentin congregation words of inspiration the first night of the revival.
Pastor Jeff Reed closed the event.
“We want to be humble before God,” Yancy said. “We had different churches coming together in one accord. The revival renewed my spirit that Jesus died for our sins. Now I can turn my negatives into a positive.”