August 26th, 2022. The blazing heat of summer could still be felt as the sun went down on a quiet evening in Charleston, West Virginia’s capitol city. Near the magnificent Capitol Complex, you could hear the faint sound of music and see the glow of teal light through stained glass windows. On Greenbrier Street, you might enter the door of a hundred-year-old church. You would not, however, be entering the main entrance—huge wooden doors sitting between columns at the top of two dozen stairs. Instead, you would enter an unassuming chapel door where you would be directed by ushers up a set of winding stairs which spiral into the back labyrinth of this centenarian structure. After making your way to the second floor, through a hallway past offices and parlors, you would enter a whitewashed, wooden door.
The main sanctuary of Ruffner Memorial Presbyterian Church was filled to standing capacity. Attendees flocked to this historical site for an equally historic event. The magnificent, twenty-foot-tall stained glass windows were illuminated only by the waning glimmer of twilight. Cheers, singing, praying, travailing, and worship rang out. Flags waved in the air; shofars bellowed, even above the tight yet spontaneous musicians. The sound of the worship, led by Christopher Hylton of IOU Ministries, could find a place in the tents of the 1970s Jesus Movement as easily as the services of the Brownsville Revival.
Ignite WV, hosted by APC Ministries and the West Virginia Prayer Alliance, was a two-day conference which aimed at uniting the West Virginia Church to bless its capital city and to pray with humility for God to heal their land. The Ten Prayer Regions of West Virginia, as recognized by the West Virginia Prayer Alliance, were not the only areas represented on this occasion.
Representatives from twelve Appalachian states addressed the room. Each one spoke, praying for their homes while the others prayed alongside them. Some of them flew in, while others drove upwards of 700 miles just to be present in the room for this monumental event. Billy Joe Young, Former Director of the Mississippi Prayer Alliance, drove tirelessly through the day, arriving just in time for the event where he would be the first of a dozen intercessors from across Appalachia to pray that evening. This feat was among the most paramount of goals by APC. Ignite WV would mark the first time since its inception in 2017 that it would be able to gather members of all twelve Appalachian states simultaneously.
Between the movements of prayer for multiple states, the crowd was invited to sit. Many of them tired from traversing the city all day ministering to those living without housing or struggling with substance use. Perhaps they were worn from participating in the city-wide Prayer Tours hosted by Jackie & Dale Smith, West Virginia Prayer Alliance Coordinators. Others had returned from partnering with ten avenues of charity to bless the City of Charleston as part of the mandate of this event.
This rest would not pass without a glory-filled presentation of dramatic art. Led by Pastor Vicky Hamilton, Word in Motion Performing Arts from Birmingham, Alabama, flooded the aisles and stage of the sanctuary, adorned in majestic, colorful wardrobe while carrying ornate, flowing banners of praise. They presented their offering—a profound declaration of praise to Yahweh and the Risen Lion of Judah.
The roars of applause were equal to the tears of heartfelt worship throughout the room. As Jackie Smith gave out a groaning cry, I can only think that these were the moments to which Apostle Paul was referring in Romans 8:26. Her prayer was accompanied by the building of a raw, intense musical outpouring.
This eclectic mix of cello, saxophone, mandolin, and guitar was led by Lisa Shields-Morgan, mixing Appalachian influences with worship to reimagine the post-grunge song “Shine.” Lisa beckoned, “Heaven, let your light shine down,” to both the crowd of physical and spiritual witnesses. A clarion precursor of what would be declared once again the next day.
August 27, 2022. Leading up to Ignite WV, Jay Morgan, Director of APC Ministries and West Virginia Prayer Alliance, traveled to each of the Prayer Regions of West Virginia to visit with the coordinators and connected ministries, as well as to promote the upcoming event. While capturing interviews with the coordinators and leaders from these regions, with their natural and cultural landmarks, Jay Morgan, received multiple words from the Lord. And this was literal.
Access, Heritage, Freedom. Single words at key locations. Rally, Heritage, Authority. Buzz words in the prayer community that carry deep meaning. Perspective, Catalyst, Healing, Passion. One word for each region. It was apparent that these words resonated deeply with the regions, but also represented the purpose of the destiny of West Virginia as a whole.
White canopies were scattered along the stone courtyard of the South Plaza at the West Virginia Capitol building. Underneath each one, an exhibit representing the Ten Prayer Regions of West Virginia. Among the collected histories being told of revival movements from throughout the state’s history was a five-foot menorah burning with oil, interactive books and trivia, crafts and quilts and relics, and even a living history performer in a colonial dress telling stories from the faith-filled history of the region. Each of these tents were also geared toward representing each of the prophetic words given for the regions.
As you walk around these pavilions, interacting with history and community, you would see prophetic artists painting on huge canvases, participants worshiping with flags and singing, food trucks positioned under the shade of trees—all of this nestled into the beautiful floral landscaping, gushing fountains, and bright stone of the courtyard.
On a make-shift stage—a wide platform partway through the huge stone stairs leading to the gilded doors of the governmental seat—worship teams led all-day music ministry for all attending. Each of these worship leaders have an interesting common thread. Though their music itself each carried a unique character, these ministers had all led worship during powerful West Virginia revival movements.
Mirroring the focused prayer of the preceding night, each of the leaders of the Ten Prayer Regions stood upon the capitol steps and prayed fervently into the purpose and healing of their region. The positive, hopeful, empowering words given to the regions furthered a narrative of redemption, restored identity, and coming revival that the intercessors of West Virginia are committed to.
The state capitol building of West Virginia has a golden dome, evoking the state’s official colors and perhaps the veins of scattered gold which lay in the larger veins of coal which the state exports. This giant rotunda towers above the scene at 292 feet—more than four feet higher than the federal capitol building in Washington D.C. A golden eagle is perched atop it, surveying the great mountains and valleys, the Kanawha River, and the adjoining Kanawha state forest.
Almost three-hundred feet below stood a group of spiritual eagles. A prophetic vision, originating from an intercessor from Kentucky in 2017, told the epic tale of the world-weary Eagles of the West Virginia Hills awakening and arising out of the rubble around them, shaking off the debris and soaring into the Heavenlies. In their mouth, a Deed to the Land. This prophecy, elaborated further in a prophetic word by Becky Keener of Mountain Mama Rising, was a parallel for the prayer leaders and intercessors of West Virginia returning to spiritual power and providing support for the younger warriors in preparation for a coming spiritual awakening.
Without ever hearing this word, John Cook, an artist, in a car full of angelic-tongue prayers and declaration of hope, scrawled on a piece of scrap paper with saliva-softened watercolor paint he found in his pocket. An eagle, carrying a deed in its mouth flying above the mountains. Later, he drew an eagle perched next to the face of Jesus and a shining West Virginia inked onto parchment like a tattoo of an Armenian Icon. On the reverse, the words “Deed of Trust” written in a graffiti-esque calligraphy. When Pastor Jay Morgan was gifted this, everything made sense.
This Deed traveled to all fifty-five counties across the summer of 2022, being prayed over and signed at every single county courthouse. Larry Cole, a prophet at Torch Bearer Leadership Development, wrote a declaration that was read in every county. “I call Heaven to acknowledge that mercy and truth are established within this land today, drawing the Face of God to precede Justice and Judgement which create a habitation for His throne.” These powerful words could be heard throughout the entire complex.
And now, just like the fifty-five signers of the Declaration of Independence and the final ratifying signature of Continental Congress President John Hancock, the deed was signed by Jay Morgan with a feathered quill provided by Prophet Matt Mitchell. This exact pen was seen in a vision of the deed’s signing, and even this detail could not be overlooked by Mitchell who even procured diluted paint from the on-site artist to use as ink. Surrounded by the signers—eagles from around the state who were committed and fervently supportive of the vision—the declaration was read a final time at the ultimate seat of governmental power in West Virginia by Pastor Lisa Shields-Morgan.
Then, the fire fell. The people of God worshipped at the top of their lungs, a roaring flood of song. Rapid prayers from evangelists, specifically geared toward empowering others to engage the harvest, poured out from the mic. Jovanni Canales, an evangelist from New York, proclaimed fiery empowerment. Rob Reynolds, a street minister with a passion for the imprisoned and those bound by addiction, prayed authority and courage into those wishing to evangelize to the marginalized. Nik Walker, a young re-baptizer and revivalist, blessed the young and old to engage the harvest. Isaac Carpenter, a young WV revivalist, passionately prayed and released the "river of revival" to flow through the state and region.
Without prompting or permission, many rushed toward the fountains asking to be baptized. In the water, people knelt as these revivalists baptized them. They were surrounded by onlookers cheering and friends of the rebirthed hugging them and celebrating. People from age nine to forty-nine were quickly dunked into this spontaneously ordained baptismal—a scene straight out of Acts 8. “We should know what’s gonna happen when we put evangelists around water,” Pastor Jay Morgan said, “somebody’s going to get baptized.”
As the event came to a close, the sun began to set, letting golden light spill through the trees. If no-one knew what had happened in this place, there was no denying that this capitol, and even the state as a whole, would never be the same. There is something special that happens when intercessors catch onto what God is saying and make it their sole devotion. This, paired with the decree in II Chronicles, implores the Father to hear the cry of His people. For those that desire a healed Appalachia, following the model of APC Ministries and the West Virginia Prayer Alliance could be a prudent place to start. Bringing together intercessors from every region of West Virginia and representatives of a dozen states, Ignite WV marked a powerful time of unity, prayer, blessing, and empowerment.
Appalachia Prayer Center Ministries is a multi-ministry network based in West Virginia. Birthed out of a season of prayer and revival in Christ Community Church, this ministry followed the lead of the Holy Spirit to create a place "where the flame of intercession will never go out in Appalachia." Since its founding on August 27, 2017—marking the anniversary of the Moravian Prayer Movement—APC Ministries has become a network of like-minded pastors, intercessors, and leaders from Alabama to New York who desire to see true, Biblical revival come to our land.
The West Virginia Prayer Alliance exists to mobilize regional and statewide prayer, unity, and equipping events, developing initiatives to help any Christian, congregation or prayer group in West Virginia who desires awakening and harvest to have the resources to do so. Following the 55 Strong in Prayer unity gathering on
September 29, 2018 in Charleston, WV, the WV Prayer Alliance connected regional networks of churches and prayer groups all over WV.
Jason Michael Morgan is a multi-disciplinary creator from West Virginia with experience in all areas of film, music, writing, and design. His work centers on stories with purpose, community building, and mastering a personal synthesis of creativity and leadership. As Media Director for APC Ministries, Jason has overseen the production of books, teachings, shows, and events that have empowered thousands. As an independent producer, he has produced debut albums for rising artists and benchmark films for West Virginia cinema.