When the Sunday evening service attendance starts rivaling the Sunday morning service attendance on a weekly basis, anyone who regularly attends church knows that something is going on.
At New Destiny Ministries, an AG church in Hertford, North Carolina, the move of the Holy Spirit is what’s going on — and it’s drawing in people from the community who’ve never been to the church before!
Pastor Philip Harden and his wife, Angie, have been ministering at New Destiny for the past 18 years. Recently, Philip says, he felt God wanted to take the church in a new direction. So, in June, after talking with the board and congregation, the church’s name was changed from Faith Assembly of God to New Destiny Ministries.
“Two months later, an outpouring of God’s Spirit began,” Philip says. “In the last three to four weeks we’ve had eight people get saved, seven baptized in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, and numerous healings.”
Philip says a number of the healings have left doctors mystified and unable to medically explain the miraculous touch of God.
JADA WILL NEVER WALK
“Through a series of miracles, we were able to adopt Jada, who was just over two years old that February (2018),” says Cindy Harden, Philip and Angie’s sister-in-law. “Jada is a twin, but her mother didn’t want her because Jada had so many medical issues.”
Cindy says that prior to the adoption, Jada’s heart stopped beating on two separate occasions for extended periods of time and had to be revived, she was on oxygen due to sleep apnea (repeated stopping and starting of breathing when asleep), was globally developmentally delayed, had hearing loss, and her lungs were considered underdeveloped and very small.
“When we adopted Jada, she was in a wheelchair, was on multiple medications, and doctors told us she would never have the ability to walk or talk and would always require a feeding tube,” Cindy says.
But over the past several months, prayer has led to huge changes in Jada’s young life.
“After prayer, Jada (who is 6) is now walking — she just got up and walked down the church aisle one day,” Cindy says. “She’s eating regular food and she’s even begun to say a few words!”
Cindy says that the doctors are simply amazed and have no explanation for Jada’s miraculous breakthroughs. However, Cindy does, and as she has shared with the pediatricians, the answer is prayer!
Sissy Duncan, 67, and her sister, Mary Tribble, 62, each had serious health issues. Sissy’s doctor believed she had MS as well as breast cancer.
“We prayed before I went to see the specialist concerning MS,” Sissy says, “and when I got there, the specialist examined me and reported no signs of MS. Later, my doctor found a lump in my breast. Pastor prayed for me and I was slain in the Spirit where I saw a black spot float off from my chest. When I went in for the mammogram and biopsies, everything came back negative.”
Although skeptics may place Sissy’s healing in the “coincidental” category, Mary’s healing leaves little room for anything but divine intervention.
“Mary had a stroke last year and it affected the whole right side of her body,” Sissy says. She couldn’t walk straight, her right arm was held to her chest, and her right hand was balled up in a fist — she couldn’t straighten her arm or open her hand.”
That is, until prayer.
“Pastor was praying for her and asked her to lift up her arm and open her hand — and she did. You should have seen the look on her face!” Sissy exclaims. “Then Pastor asked if she would take a walk with him. She didn’t think she could, but then she got out of the wheelchair and she walked straight! Now’s she doing things she could have never done before — she’s even doing yardwork and cutting her own hedges. That’s a miracle!”
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
For four years, two months and two weeks Shane Love, 56, had been on oxygen. He was diagnosed in July 2018 with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which limits a person’s ability to breathe.
“I was hospitalized in July 2018 for two weeks with stage 3 COPD, I had lost 30% of my lung capacity, and my oxygen level did not get above 86%,” Shane states.
But then, a few weeks ago, he was prayed over at church.
“It felt like a cool wind rushed through my body,” Shane says. “I felt like I was coming into the world for the first time — it was an unbelievable experience. I felt like a new man — it was miraculous!”
Since that time, Shane hasn’t been on oxygen and his oxygen level is up to 96%.
“I love this church,” he says. “I feel the anointing (of the Holy Spirit) every time I pull up into the parking lot.
CRIPPLING ARTHRITIS GONE
Amanda Love, 45, and Shane’s wife of 23 years, had rheumatoid arthritis in her legs, back, and hand along with a deteriorating spine disease. Two weeks ago, she was prayed for.
“I have one hand that I could not close,” Amanda says. “I could only pinch together my pointing finger and thumb, but I could barely pick up any weight.”
However, after prayer, her hand became fully functional again.
“I can make a fist and pick up things now with no problems at all,” she says. “And my legs and back, sometimes they’ll start to hurt, but I’ll just rebuke the devil and it stops.”
Amanda agrees with Shane that the Spirit of God can be felt even before entering the building.
However, she says she has a surprise in store for her doctor when she sees him at her upcoming appointment.
“I’m going to shake hands with him with my healed hand,” Amanda laughs, “and is he ever going to be shocked!”
HOLY SPIRIT IMPACTS
Pastor Philip says that these are just a few of the miracles that have taken place, noting another lady, who had severe allergies that required the regular use of an inhaler, hasn’t used her inhaler for weeks, despite being exposed to things that used to cause severe reactions.
“Another lady told me that as she was driving by the church, she felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit from the highway,” Philip says. “She told me she had to turn around and come into the church to see what was going on — I thought that was just awesome!”
Amanda says that it’s not just physical healings she and Shane have experienced, but relational as well.
“Since we started coming here six years ago, our marriage is stronger, our relationship with God is stronger,” Amanda says. “And if you come in here and don’t feel something, there is something seriously wrong because it’s radiating through this whole place and through the people in this place — it’s just overflowing.”
Pastor Philip confirms that feeling.
He shares that the woman healed of her allergies brought her boyfriend to church and he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
“He told me later,” Philip says, “‘Man, I went to church when I was younger, but when I walked into this place, something got a hold of me and I could not believe what I felt!’”
Philip says that the young man doesn’t know much about church or Pentecost (yet), but he knows that God has taken hold of him and it has changed his life.
A growing excitement and expectation for the move of the Lord has swept the congregation. Members have been inviting friends and neighbors to attend, who have then begun inviting their friends and neighbors. However, Philip says the move of the Spirit isn’t just for Sunday church, but for every day of the week, Monday through Saturday.
“I’ve encouraged people to take their faith outside of the walls of the church,” Philip says. “I’ve told them, God may speak to you about someone you meet around town or in a store — be willing to lay hands on them, pray for them, and see what happens.”
In addition to taking advantage of those “divine” encounters, New Destiny has a food truck ministry, clothing ministry, outdoor music events, and toy giveaways for kids where God can direct church workers and volunteers to those open doors and hearts He has prepared to receive the gospel message.
“I’m amazed, to be honest, to see this outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Philip says. “People’s faith has increased and now they worship with the anticipation that the Spirit of God will come down, people will be saved, healed, and fill with the Holy Ghost . . . it’s just been amazing — all of what God is doing!”