MY THRESHING FLOOR EXPERIENCE IN ATLANTA
(Behind the Scenes)
BY CHI-CHI LANIER
In my life I have experienced few things that I would consider an awesome experience. The day I got saved, the birth of my daughter Michelle and witnessing the birth of my only grandson William Jr. would, for me, acknowledge the claim AWESOME! Recently God opened a door for me to attend a conference in Atlanta, GA. My experience at this conference was, in one word, AWESOME! “The Threshing Floor” conference hosted by Juanita Bynum Ministries was held in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, April 5-8, 2006. Over 50,000 people were in attendance. For those who did not get a chance to go, this is a glimpse of my experience there.
It was October 2005 when I began to see announcements about this conference on The Word Network. The first time I saw this announcement, I had a strong desire to attend the conference. I knew God was prompting me to go. I can tell you, it was not your usual conference. For me it was four days of impartation of power, a divine connection to glorify God. The scenes, the music and the declarations even in the announcement of the conference were very powerful. This was a clarion call and later I found it was a clarion call for many others too. In November 2005 I began shopping around for hotels and airfares. To my surprise, the hotels in close proximity to the Georgia Dome were already booked. This affirmed my previous notion that many others had responded to this clarion call. My journey to this conference alone was not my original plan, nor my choice, but I believe God wanted it that way to limit distractions. So I flew the wings of Air Tran, seat 14C nonstop, alone. While waiting for my flight at the Pittsburgh International Airport, I met two wonderful ladies whom I did not know. Before asking them, I knew they were frontline women making the pilgrimage to the Threshing Floor. I also wound up rooming with a saint from Delaware. That was a real blessing. Upon arriving in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and taking the MARTA train to downtown Atlanta, I observed one of the characteristics of Atlanta. There is always a lively hustle bustle atmosphere there. Such was the case at my hotel. I flew in a day early to avoid long lines but what I found upon arriving at the hotel, that decision was shared by many others. I checked in and took the elevator to room 827 and upon opening the door was a full view of downtown Atlanta facing south and a full view of the 6 lane rush hour traffic and the hotel parking lot with buses, vans, and church vehicles lined up for The Threshing Floor. I was really hyped up now.
For the first night, we were instructed to wear white. It was such a sign of unity and desired purity. About 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, I traveled to the lobby of the hotel and was astounded by all of the pilgrims in their beautiful white. Some garments long, others short, some lacy, some sparkling, people young and old, black and white, men and women, all adorned in white. Thousands were also draped in their Talis (prayer shawl) worn and waved throughout the entire summit. I can imagine this was the scenario at all the hotels as well. I communicated with people from England, California, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia and Michigan. I would not be surprised if all 50 states and other countries were represented there. I was told that some planes arriving in Atlanta had mostly Threshing Floor passengers and the excitement was great on those planes. Even the hotel staff, cab drivers, waitresses and waiters felt the urgency and inquired of us. I was privileged to share Christ with many even to the engineer who came to my room for maintenance.
DAY ONE, WED. APRIL 5TH: Upon entering the enormous dome, I looked up at the oval shaped roof of the dome that let in the sunlight and I had this feeling that God had encapsulated us, watching over us in the dome. The dome was filled except the area behind the stage and the extreme top tier. This being the first night, we were informed that this evening’s event would be taped live at 8:00 p.m. on The Word Channel. So cell phones, including my own, began to relay this information quickly to family and friends back home. For those who did not have cell phones, we shared. At some point and throughout the summit, between speakers, they continued to play a song called “We Wait” from Juanita Bynum’s newest CD. This anointed song placed a hush….a peace in the auditorium and certainly in my heart. The beginning night was colorful with processions, banners, song and dance and the powerful blowing of the Shofar. This set the stage for the rest of the week. But when they carried in the Ark of the Covenant, it was just as I envisioned it in scriptures, I began to weep. It was so powerful. The men were dressed in blue and white priestly garments carrying in the Ark of the Covenant…..so powerful. Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Psalmist Judy Jacobs, Psalmist Myron Williams and Psalmist Kurt Carr lead awesome worship. The words spoken to us on this day empowered us and power was transmitted and power was unleashed.
DAY TWO, THURS. APRIL 6: Strong impartation began. Upon arriving at the dome at about 7:00 a.m., expectation was elevated as we entered the dome, everyone moving very quickly towards a good seat. There was no agenda or program listing handed out to us. The Holy Spirit set the stage. We never knew who the next speaker would be, we just “waited”. One of the many things I gleaned from this day is that honor and integrity in our personal life is vital to answered prayer.
Speakers were Tonya Hall, Bishop Paul Morton, Author Stormie Omartian, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Psalmist Valerie Boyd and Psalmist Terry MacAlmon sang. Prophetess Bynum let us know that singer Mariah Carey was also in the dome enjoying the Threshing Floor.
DAY THREE, FRI. APRIL 7TH : The impartation continued. Speakers were Evang. Darlene Bishop, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Bishop Thomas Weeks, III and Bishop Tudor Bismarck, Psalmist Ce Ce Winans. Many were dancing, jumping and laid-out prostrate. The dome staff seemed to be mesmerized at the ministry and worship in the dome. Police officers and troopers with the large hats, standing guard at the exits, gazed at the people seemingly amazed and momentarily forgetting their duties, were marveled by the move of God. Demonic systems, Gen. 24:14 and why people don’t pray went forth. The word of God and the presence of God was so strong in the dome that many had to be carried or assisted out. The words spoken to us this day empowered us and power was transmitted and power was unleashed.
DAY FOUR, SAT.APRIL 8TH: The impartation intensified and finalized. Speakers were Dr. Cindy Trimm, Dr. Michelle Corral, Prophetess Juanita Bynum and Psalmist Myron Williams, Psalmist William Murphy and Psalmist Micah Stampley sang. Warfare music was played throughout each day and at some point, I just stopped taking notes. My body had become weary and tired because we were in the dome from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily except for a break between 3:30 and 5:00 for dome maintenance; but it was a welcome tiredness. I was especially affected by the words Dr. Trimm and Bishop Weeks spoke. God revealed new revelations that I had never before heard. People were dancing, jumping, screaming, shouting, wave offerings and laid out prostrate on the floor all over the entire building. It was like a deliverance service, yet it wasn’t. It was like a conference, yet it wasn’t. It was like a church service, yet it wasn’t, no workshops, just intense impartation, intense worship, intense praise, intense fellowship. The food and bathroom lines were quite long throughout the four days but for me, I didn’t need food. I was receiving sweet manna from heaven. The meeting put me in the mind of Acts 2:1-2 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (The New Scoffield Study Bible, King James Version),
Upon leaving Atlanta, the airport was sprinkled with many wearing the official recognizable Threshing Floor T-Shirt. For me, this is what I gleaned from The Threshing Floor and what I am imparting through this writing. My heart is forever changed. My life will never be the same. It is no more my agenda but God’s agenda. Anything else I might try to do on my own is flesh and the flesh must die in His presence. Power at this conference was truly unleashed from powerful, purified people, thus this is now my goal, behind the veil in The Most Holy Place. To get there and remain there, you must be purified.