Participants at the Miracle Healing Crusade raise their hands in worship June 11, 2022 at the Carbondale Pavilion in Carbondale, Ill. (Ethan Braun | [email protected])
Participants at the Miracle Healing Crusade raise their hands in worship June 11, 2022 at the Carbondale Pavilion in Carbondale, Ill.

Ethan Braun | [email protected]

The Door Church Hosts “Miracle Healing Crusade” at Carbondale Pavilion

June 14, 2022

The Carbondale Pavilion was filled with a host of people, eager to convene for the evening in the hopes of receiving a spiritual experience. At the front stood evangelist Micah Wright, sharply dressed in suit and tie, carrying an air of strong conviction with his voice as people closely listened to his words.

On June 11, the “Miracle Healing Crusade,” a multi-day evangelism and revival meeting was hosted by The Door church, located just within sight of the pavilion. Led by Pastor Terry Haynes, The Door has been operating in Carbondale since 1980 with the mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Carbondale community.

Barry Bayles, an active member of The Door said he believes establishing these sorts of community-driven meetings can help to bring encouragement, especially in recent years.

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“I mean, even before COVID, but [also] since COVID, we’ve seen things change,” Bayles said. “There’s people who are dealing with a lot of emotional stresses, economic stresses, mental [stresses], their family, their marriage, all kinds of things. […] One of the things we really believe is that God wants to help people during these times, during the times when they’re desperate and they need some hope.”

People were packed into the pavilion taking in the worship music playing and raising their hands or standing in reverence. Several times throughout the service, Wright would call members of the congregation with physical ailments up to the front of the crowd in the hope that God might heal them.

Wright originally hailed from the Missouri-Illinois area before he and his family moved to Arizona in 1993. At Haynes’ behest, Wright decided to come to Carbondale to preach at the event, and it was his first time in Carbondale since his departure in ‘93.

Participants gather for the Miracle healing Crusade at the Carbondale Pavilion June 11, 2022 in Carbondale, Ill. (Ethan Braun | [email protected])

Wright describes his primary motivation as a desire to use his own experience to bring others to Christ.

“The goal ultimately is to see people, their lives changed,” Wright said. “’99 is when I got saved. And what that did is it changed my life in such a way that what I used to be… it was like, it was literally a miracle. […] And so my experience motivates what I want for other people. […] And that is a passion to me that if other people could know and experience God, that to me is the best thing in the world, that they know it.”

Lennon Thompson, a Christian hip-hop artist who sometimes goes by his stage name LT, opened the night with his own original music before Wright spoke to the crowd. Thompson said his goal, first and foremost, was to provide a Christian message for younger generations to hear.

“For me personally, they asked me to do a couple of songs, and I like reaching the youth,” Thompson said. “That’s my goal, to project a positive message to the youth. […] I bring a different vibe, a Jesus vibe, that’s just the type of vibe I want to bring.”

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For many outside of the Christian community, the term “Crusade” may be off-putting, given the historical and political connotations associated with the term. Caleb Swartz, member of The Door and one of the people who helped set up the event, believes their use of the term “Crusade” to be more of an effort to redeem the term from its negative associations in the past.

“I understand those concerns, absolutely,” Swartz said. “Because obviously, you have things like the Crusades that you learned about in the Middle Ages, and those were wars and a lot of horrible things were done. So that’s part of why we call it a ‘healing’ crusade. So, rather than it being a crusade [where] we’re going out to attack somebody, […] we’re taking a good thing to the streets, and we’re distributing a good thing, or we’re spreading the real gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Staff reporter Ethan Braun can be reached at [email protected].

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