History of Stand in the Gap Coalition
Where it all started Clay - County Kentucky Revival
Drugs have become an epidemic in poverty stricken Appalachia. In Clay County Ky, just a few years ago, drugs had grown to epidemic proportions. In the 6th lowest income county in our nation, one in six residents had been arrested for drugs. The problems were no longer isolated among the trailer park kids, but affected every aspect of the community. There were no jobs. The water was so bad, residents couldn't drink it for the most part and the land was dark, dreary and depressing.
This prompted churches and community leaders to cross denominational lines cultural lines to begin prayer efforts. These were not casual prayer meetings, but cries from parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, seeing loved ones addicted and dying, crying out to an Almighty God.
Prayer climaxed when prayer groups organized an effort to take their prayers to the streets of Manchester, Ky and do a public prayer march. The equivalent of 20% of their small county (4,000 people showed up to march). But results were amazing.
In the first 8 weeks there were 212 arrests of drug dealers and 18 elected officials were convicted for different crimes.
Since that time 4,000 drug dealers have been arrested with a 97% conviction rate. 1,500 people have gone through rehab.
50,000 children have been reached with drug awareness education.
An organization called Operation Unite was formed which now works in 32 East Ky Counties and is a national driving force for the fight against unlawful drugs.
Operation Unite has successfully caused legislation to be passed to support those willing to try recovery programs. 24 long term facilities are now funded with 1,100 beds available. Kentucky residents can be admitted without charge.
Operation “ UNITE” is an acronym meaning Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education. It reflects the three-pronged, comprehensive approach deemed necessary to combating substance abuse in Kentucky.
Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, Inc.
Operation UNITE was launched in April 2003 by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers in response to a special report, “Prescription for Pain,” published by the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper during January and February 2003.
In a community of 1,900 Manchester now has 1,400 new jobs. The land has changed and is arrayed with color in the spring, summer and fall. The water coming from the same wells is now so pure, it is being bottled and sold. The city, Manchester has renamed itself and is now called Manchester, City of Hope.
Appalachian Dawn, How the Revival Spread
The Sentinel Group, is a ministry who is dedicated to traveling the world and documenting true moves of God. Over the last 25 years, this group headed by George Otis has traveled the world documenting true moves of God. During that time, they have documented 800 moves of God, but only two have been here in the United States, that was until they heard of a Prayer March taking place in Manchester, Ky in May of 2004.
They traveled to Manchester and spent a year making a documentary called Appalachian Dawn. This documentary is so moving, it has stirred the whole region around it and is touching the nation. (The 17 minute trailer is at the bottom of the photos under the Prayer Marches tab.)
God Breathed the Prayer Revival into East Tennessee
The story how revival spread into Harrogate Tennessee, where other groups had already come to the point of forming prayer networks about the drugs. The documentary was the spark to ignite the flame and after 10 months of prayer, Dr. Edwin Robertson, Dan Spurlock and others began planning a prayer march of their own.
Harrogate lies in the northern section of Tennessee, where it boarders Kentucky and Virginia. Groups formed at LMU University, Virginia and in Middlesboro Kentucky to march into Cumberland Gap. 8,000 people (30% of their county population) formed to participate on Sunday, Nov 6th 2011, again making news of revival spreading.
Unknowingly, groups had been meeting in practically every county around Claiborne praying for the drug issues. Union County had a prayer march, 2,000 participating. Cocke County had a prayer march with 1,500 participating. Lee County Virginia in September of 2012 had a 4th march with 1,500 participating.
Dr. Robertson had organized the SIGCO which is a coalition of all interested counties. Some 12 counties wanted to participate and attended regular monthly meetings in Harrogate. On the anniversary several other counties felt they were ready for their prayer marches to see the bands of evil broken from over their counties.
Meanwhile in each county, let's get a snapshot of what was going on. Stoney McLain in Hawkins County had already been a part of a prayer group of between 70-100 that called themselves "Christians Against Drugs'.He learned of Appalachian Dawn and purchased and distributed 1,000 copies of the trailers. Results ignited results all through the county.
Another group developed to organize prayer efforts in Hawkins County
called "Expecting God's Help" led by Dr. Blaine Jones.
A prayer rally was held at Cherokee High School with 1,300 attending, and at Volunteer High with 1,000 attending. Prayer Groups developed all over the county meeting weekly in front of public schools and other areas. 500 met to prayer walk the Justice Center. Men's 6 am prayer breakfasts organized with 50-100 attending. 16 new twelve-step programs developed in area churches., a "Recovery Court was founded as well as a county Anti-Drug Coalition.
Meanwhile, SIGCO planned a regional effort of prayer marches to take place on Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2011. 7 cities and 10 counties would participate. Billboards, over the road banners, literally thousands of yard sale signs, posters and banners advertised the marches and on a near perfect Sunday, people took to the streets.
Hawkins County (5,000), Claiborne County (3,000 in Tazewell) Campbell County, (1,000 in La Follette), Scott County ( 2,000 in Huntsville), Bell County, Kentucky, ( 500 in Middlesboro) and Grainger County, 300 Rutledge with a late start, and Jamestown down in Fentress County.
Only time will tell. You pray, then watch to see what God does next. We know He's at work. We're watching.