BELLS, Texas – 30,000 young adults gathered on a 400 – acre private ranch near Sherman, Texas to lose themselves in a trance of worship, passion and praise, May 24-27. One Day 03, sponsored by Passion Conferences, brought together an army of college-age individuals from across the nation, willing and ready be engulfed by the awesome power of God.
Maintaining the theme of the event, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. (Joel 2:15),” the memorial day- weekend event climaxed in seven hours of nonstop worship, teaching and prayer.
Louie Giglio, founder and director of Passion Conferences led OneDay with other well-known speakers, worship artists and other Christian leaders; though the names of the speakers and musicians were not released prior to the event, the enormous crowd evidenced the presence of the true heart of worship.
"They didn't come to see us, they didn't come to see people, they came to see the living God," said Giglio.
Groups drove or flew from many states and even foreign countries to attend the weekend, many staying in campsites located across the ranch's rolling hills. Due to the torrential rains over the weekend, 800 students were relocated to the nearby Sherman High School, resting in sleeping bags across the floor of the school’s Gym; despite the discomforts, the students and leaders remained undaunted as they awoke to an hour long impromptu worship service.
Jason Ebeyer, a Baptist Collegiate Ministries director at Southeastern Louisiana University brought his youth group after participating in the first OneDay event in 2000.
"I’m excited not only for what God's going to do in the life of my students but in my life as well,” said Ebeyer.
The OneDay03 speakers challenged students to open their hearts to God’s hands, and shift their purpose of living to worshiping God.
"We believe [God] had something very specific to accomplish in each of these lives," said Beth Moore, a Houston-based speaker and author who delivered one of the Monday messages.
Pastor and author John Piper of Minneapolis in his message defined the day as "the gathering and the awakening of a generation passionate for the holiness of God."
Monday's speakers also included actor Kirk Cameron, who has recently starred in the "Left Behind" films; Joshua Harris, author of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye"; and Heather Mercer, a missionary captive under the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Worship leaders included Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall and Matt Redman, who began the main session on Monday with "O Come, Let Us Adore Him." Similar hymns were used throughout the event, as were modern worship songs.
"They just really focused on the fact that it's not about us -- it's about Christ," said Leah Hunt-Hendrix, a student from Duke University, noting the leaders’ passion to declare a God-centered message. “I think that's exactly the message that our generation does need to hear."
By Pauline J.