On September 14, 2005, Bishop Levy H. Knox of Living Word Christian Center in Mobile, AL received a special phone call from the office of President George W. Bush inviting him to represent Mobile, AL at the National Day of Prayer and pray for those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Washington National Cathedral. As Bishop Knox saw Pastors and Leaders come together for a common cause, this brought about a fresh desire in the heart of Bishop Knox to bring local city Pastors together for an Opportunity for Unity, which has been also termed as OFU.
In November 2005, the first meeting of city Pastors, representative of various churches in Mobile, AL (with no personal agendas other than to see the churches and city united in prayer) was held at the Prince of Peace Embassy. As stated by Bishop Knox, “Our Strength Lies in Our Solidarity”. They deemed it important not to wait for an opportunity of tragedy, as did the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but continued the efforts of coming together in prayer on a monthly basis.
In April 2007, the prayer gatherings matured into a Citywide Concert of Prayer bringing together local Clergy and their congregations from the greater Mobile and Gulf Coast area for a Prayer, Praise, and Unity Gathering at the Mobile Convention Center. The first year’s concert of prayer received an overwhelming response from others to become a part where “One Church will gather…One People will unite.” As quoted by Vice President of the Mobile City Council, (District 1) Fred Richardson of this gathering, “It was diversity at the highest level and for the highest cause…”
During this time, Mayor Sam Jones had launched a bold Love Your Neighbor (LYN) campaign, building on the city’s rich ethnic diversity. Bishop Knox and other ministers took LYN to another level and made a quantum leap of faith in leading a movement to break down the walls of ethnic separation that prevailed for centuries in the Christian Church. Surely, the Kingdom of Heaven invaded the city of Mobile and the Gulf Coast.
During our initial and (seven) subsequent gatherings, we experienced powerful prayers from our city’s rich diverse Clergy and intense, passionate, and diverse praise and worship as church worship teams unite under the direction of Worship Leader Pastor Delia Knox. “Around the globe today we find networks of ministries who are changing their cities and regions through the power of UNITY. I am convinced that a clarion call of the Spirit is being sounded for the body of Christ to dwell together in unity, love one another with a pure heart fervently, and see our city invaded by the Holy Spirit”. Bishop Levy H. Knox