Charlotte 714: Fix the Church First, Then White House

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A community of Charlotte Christians joined together ahead of the Democratic National Convention with one goal in mind: to repent and ask God to raise up the Church.

Sunday's event, called the Charlotte 714, served as the culmination of a 40-day fast and months of prayer meetings for the world, for the nation, but mostly for the city's churches.

"Our moral and spiritual decline in America is the direct result of the light hiding under a bushel and the salt sitting in the salt shaker," Charlotte 714 organizer David Benham said.

Hickory Grove Church was one of the congregations that took part in the call to prayer.

"Before we look at the problem of the United States, let's take a look inside and see what it is in us that needs to be changed by the Lord," Hickory Grove's senior pastor Clint Pressley admonished.

"Charlotte has been termed the Queen City, and we just came to dare and believe that once again that the Queen City would remarry her King with violent love and covenant," prayer intercessor William Enders said.

Local pastors partnered with other churches to proclaim salvation and moral healing through Christ, not political candidates.

Watch a recap of the Charlotte 714 prayer event below:

"We believe that getting the White House right will not fix America, but we must first get the Church house right," Jay Stewart, pastor of The Refuge Church, said.

They say while it's wrong to put Jesus in a box or political party that doesn't mean Christians should stay out of the process.

"As Christians, we're supposed to approach the ballot box saying, 'In what way does my vote honor the scripture the most?'" Northside Baptist Church Pastor Brian Boyles said.

Charlotte 714 took its name from 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Worship leader John Waller said he was writing a song based on that verse when he learned about the event.

"God had put 2 Chronicles 7:14 just on my heart, and then I got the call from David Benham, and that was a major confirmation," Waller said.

Waller talked more about why he feels the values of those in leadership are so important. Click below for his comments.

Others like Minister Vanessa Briggs, with Bethel Outreach International Church, said she also received confirmation.

"I know that God is real, and I know that when He sees us coming together - black, white, doesn't matter who you are - now you can do something because we're taking our position in Him," Briggs said.

Midwood Baptist Church's Cheryl Baldwin hoped the prayer event would foster a spiritual awakening.

"We desperately need it (spiritual awakening) in our country; we need it in Charlotte; we need it in our churches, that more and more people will come to know Christ," she said.

Charlotte 714 drew an estimated 9,000 people from more than 100 churches and 50 different ministries in and around the Charlotte area.

The prayer gathering was simulcast online, and organizers hope to replicate it in cities across the country. There is already talk that Atlanta may be next.

*Originally aired Sept. 4, 2012.

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