December 13, 2023

Reclaiming the Land

Alliance pastors, leaders, and National Office staff gathered and marched to consecrate One Alliance Place to the Lord and His purposes.

On December 7, 2023, President John Stumbo, the National Office staff, local Alliance pastors, and other Alliance family members gathered to consecrate the property of One Alliance Place, the future home of the C&MA National Office that will also serve as a welcoming gathering place for the greater Columbus, Ohio, community and a model for changing the posture of church engagement in society.

During a prayer time at its November 2023 meeting, it occurred to the C&MA Board of Directors that the site had never been consecrated to God and to His purposes. Previously, the property had been a place of unbridled sin. Drug activity, prostitution, and violence had thrived there while the old Kmart stood vacant, providing a convenient hiding place for illicit activities. As President Stumbo noted, “In biblical times, when God’s people were ready to take a step forward, they were called to consecrate themselves and the land. So, that’s what today is about.”

Prior to heading out to the property, those gathered worshiped the Lord in song. Mike Plunket, pastor of Risen King Alliance in New City, New York, led a teaching on cleansing prayer and our spiritual authority in Christ. Mike defined this as “the right and the ability to direct one’s speech into the ‘heavenly realms’ (Eph. 6:12) in such a way that agents in the spirit realm submit and obey, with corresponding outcomes in the natural realm” (see Mark 11:23). This is also known as binding and loosing (see Matt. 18:18). An example of spiritual authority is seen when “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matt. 10:1).

Drawing parallels from the tumbling walls of Jericho in Joshua 5, C&MA Corporate Secretary and Great Lakes District Superintendent Thomas George declared to those gathered for the prayer walk,

“Family, we are walking onto land that the Lord has provided for the sake of His name, His fame, His glory. We go and pray over this land. We go out to do battle in Jesus’ name and to command the enemy to flee. Spiritual realities are many times like this wall, a massive wall that gets in the way of what it is God is already doing, a wall that has never been breached. This land, as we know from stories, was used for evil, for the destruction of men and women and children. The Lord intends to bring life into this community, to cause flourishing that will stand as a declaration of the mystery of the gospel to this community, to His world, and even to the heavenly realms. It may have been a stronghold of the enemy for a long time. The walls may be thick. It may seem impenetrable to us. But God wasn’t depending on us to do it. You think we’re letting Him down? You think He’s waiting on us? He’s standing, sword out, ready to go. And He invites us into what He is about to do.”

Pastor Mike Plunket gives final instruction to those gathered for the prayer walk.

As groups of 15 filed out to the construction site, one National Office staff member carried a flag emblazoned with the phrase “An Appeal to Heaven.” A key aspect of the service involved taking back the enemy’s ground by confessing and repenting of the sin that had defiled the land. Examples of this biblical practice are seen in Daniel 9, Nehemiah 9, and elsewhere. In our God-given authority, those gathered spoke directly to the powers of darkness and canceled all of Satan’s legal rights to the property. Participants then declared the lordship of Christ over the land and called down God’s blessings on it, claiming spiritual promises and Scriptures.

Noted Alliance historian and author, Paul King, who attended the event, writes,

“I so appreciate John Stumbo’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit for the need to cleanse and consecrate the newly purchased property for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the future of The Alliance. I was humbled and honored to be a part of this vital ministry. As we gathered together out on the site, we exercised the authority of the believer, we bound spirits and took back ground for the Kingdom. I sensed in the Spirit that we were standing at the gateway to the city, battering down the gates of hell and pushing back the darkness.”

Although unable to attend the event in person, Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, offered words of encouragement and affirmation over the consecration of One Alliance Place:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. May God sanctify the property, may the Holy One give the land new life from its previous unholy use to The Alliance’s redemptive and hopeful mission.”