History of Glory of Zion Prayer Group
On Sunday Evening, November 16, 1980, a small group of people met for the first time in the living room of DuPre and Shannon Spiller. They met faithfully for several months and the prayer of the group was that the Lord would raise up a leader from among the Clergy or Religious at St. Ignatius. Doug and Chris Shafer were involved in that first meeting. In August 1981, Sister. Maria Patterson from St. Louis, MO was hired as Liturgy Coordinator and in January 1982, Sr. Maria became actively involved in the Prayer Group as Facilitator. The Prayer Group Meetings was moved to the Chapel at St. Ignatius Church. Also, at the same time, Sister, Maria conducted the 1st Life in the Spirit Seminar for the Core Group. At that time, the core group consisted of 8 people including Doug and Chris Shafer. In March of 1982, the 2nd Life in the Spirit seminar was held and about 30 people participated. Sister Maria took a group from St. Ignatius to St. Louis to attend a Catholic Charismatic Conference, which was held September 4-6, 1982. The 2nd core group was formed and it consisted of Doug and Chris Shafer, Carnnie Harmon and Sister Maria. The 3rd seminar was held in the spring of 1983 and was also attended by a large group of people. Shortly after that, attendance at prayer meetings began to decline. One by one people dropped out of the Sunday night prayer meeting until there were only 6 people. They were Doug and Chris Shafer, Carnnie Harmon, Lucy Kephart, Kate Lacy, and Teresa Seibert. From time to time we would have one or two maybe even three or four people drop in but they didn’t come back on a regular basis. A third Core team was formed and it consisted of these six people. We met faithfully; we even met on Holidays. We rarely cancelled and only when the weather was too bad for anyone to travel to the Church. Starting in June of 1983 we started receiving, in the form of Prophecy, what the Lord’s plan was for us. He told us that He would empower us, and that He would give us gifts of Healing, Praise Discernment and Love (June 11, 1983). We had the image of being children in a playpen and that God was nurturing us as the Father nurtures His children. We knew were spiritual babies. The Prophecy that we received on November 13, 1983 was “I say to you, so has My Son sent His Disciples out among the people, so too I send you. I send you to do greater works that they. I send you with My hand of power and glory upon each of you to walk in faith, to talk in faith, to act in faith, to rest in My Word. To act upon the Word that I have granted you through my writings and through the writings of My Disciples for they have written strong messages to you… You shall do mighty works just as Jesus Disciples went and did. You shall heal, you shall preach, you shall give teachings. You shall rest and you shall grant peace to all who come in contact with you, for I am with you. I rest My hand upon you and I shall be with you always”. And “Behold, I will do a new thing. My Spirit is poured out upon you. It runs down as the Oil of Gladness runs down Aaron’s beard. It fills you with power. Claim this power, believe you have it”. We were also told that the Lord was laying a foundation and that we were the cornerstones and that He was giving us a special anointing. On February 26, 1984, we received yet another Prophecy for us. “I say to you my people, I am building a temple, I am building a My people, I am raising up a temple. I am raising up a people…I am laying a foundation. I say to you even as I speak a foundation is laid”. But still we struggled. We struggled with personal and individual growth and growth as a “team”. We had no music ministry and if Kate wasn’t present, we usually didn’t have Prophecy. Doug would receive a prophecy occasionally but for the most part, we considered Kate our Prophet. During that time we were very low-keyed but we tried to draw others to us. Chris wrote an article for the Voice, which is the Paris Newsletter and we started putting notices in the Sunday bulletin once a month. Our prayer was for a music ministry and for more men. In early 1984 we found out about the Southeastern Regional Charismatic Conference in New Orleans, LA. Some of us had never attended such a gathering and were at one point thinking of disbanding the Prayer Group. We agreed that we would wait until after the Southeastern Regional Conference before we would take any action. So early in the morning of March 16, 1984, Kate Lacy, Lucy Kephart, Carnnie Harmon and Teresa Seibert all headed South to New Orleans. Little did we realize the impact that trip would have on us and on this prayer group. During the weekend we started to question why we were there. The ‘FIRE” Team was in New Orleans and Fr. Emile LaFranz was a key leader there. On Saturday afternoon we attended a workshop by Sister Ann Shields. We decided to ask her for help in discerning our purpose as a prayer group. We didn’t feel that we could reach her but suddenly she was walking toward us. We told her briefly who we were and where we were from and asked her if she could tell us what we were suppose to be doing. She became thoughtful and after a brief moment of silence say that she felt perhaps we were to be an Intercessory Prayer Group. We thanked her and went away but I still had my doubts. However, her message was confirmed at the Sunday Healing service. Fr. LaFranz was leading the service and he had a “Word of Knowledge” that went “My brothers and sisters in the renewal. There is something-new coming for you. You have stood in the breach and you have been faithful. But I am calling you now to be more faithful. I’m calling you right now to expect more but know My brothers and sisters that there will be persecution but you will have the power. I have gathered you together and some of you are small in number but I have placed you there for a purpose – to save the Church and then the Church can save the world…”. He also had another word for us. He said there is a small group present who has traveled a long distance to be here. You are called to be standing in the gap…. We knew that it was for us. We left New Orleans renewed, confident that we were to remain a group and the Lord would provide for us. While we were at the conference, we noticed that other prayer groups had names and banners so we decided we wanted a name and a banner also. So we asked the Lord for a name and on April 7, 1984 God gave us our name “Glory of Zion” based on Revelations 21: 22-27. On August 16, 1984 we had our first planning meeting for what would become the Mid-South Regional Charismatic Conference. Our first conference was held on November 4, 1984. In the years since then, our prayer group has remained steady. Our prayer is for more couples, families, men, women and Youth. We continue to conduct Life in the Spirit Seminars and do Mid-South Regional Conferences. Three of our faithful women are now in the Religious Life; we have 2 Deacons, 1 Ordained Priest and 4 more in various stages in the Seminary. We are by no means perfect. We still have a lot of growing to do but we are blessed with the knowledge that God has His hand in the Prayer Group. He is watching us and we claim His promise that He is always with us.