Glory of Zion has not always been as vibrant in praise and worship as you see on the webcasts today. In 1984, it was a small Bible church whose worship service consisted of two hymns (first and last verse only). But Robert and Linda Heidler had a vision to bring their little church into glorious praise and worship. So when Robert put me in as the worship leader, we broke the foundations of tradition by singing two hymns and a chorus. When the tumult from that settled down, we sang two hymns and two choruses.
And so it went on over the next few years. The church gradually opened itself up to this new dimension of worship. One by one people began to respond to the wooing of Holy Spirit as different ones would close their eyes and, without even realizing it, raise their hands. Of course, there was that memorable Sunday when I came in and said, “Let’s all stand up and praise the Lord!” An older lady on the front row who was very hard of hearing said to her husband, louder than she realized, “Do we have to?” As her grouse echoed through the sanctuary, the whole place broke into laughter. Many had thought that same thing, but when it was unintentionally vocalized, they could see that they either needed to change or move on. Many did one of the two.
Then came Chuck and Pam Pierce in the late ‘80s. As we came to understand Chuck’s ministry of prayer, Robert asked him to begin to teach us in the ways of intercession. Soon we began to mix worship and intercession. Chuck would prophesy and I would sing what he prophesied. As we moved in this new combination of worship, prophesy and intercession during the week, our Sunday worship services began to increase in power and depth, feeling the effects of our midweek intercession times. Then, because of the discernment the intercession brought us into, we began to war in our worship.
During the early ‘90s, tongues and prophecies began to increase in our services. We would war against the principalities and powers until the heavens broke and a spirit of prophecy came down like a mantle from the sky. Then in 1994 my wife, Violet, began to “sing” prophetically. The musicians soon began to pick up the song and played along. This brought us into a whole new arena: prophetic song. Songs began to fall on us from heaven. Thom Rana began to play prophetically on his guitar and we would sing what he played. LeAnn Squier broke us into new levels as a prophetic psalmist and worship leader, and Chuck Pierce brought us into apostolic worship: worship that facilitates the government of God.
The first decade of this millennium proved to be a fermentation time for our new generation of worshippers. Many of them started on the team as teenagers, making the transition over the years from singers and musicians to prophetic worshippers. It has been such a joy to see many them end this decade as leaders. They have different strengths than those of us who pioneered our worship in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, but we have learned to synergize their strengths with ours in order to enter into a whole new realm of worship.
Today we exhibit a broad front in worship. Our leadership is both trans-generational and multi-cultural, as is our worship. We can separate into several worship teams, each expressing a different style or focus, or we can combine into one homogeneous group capable of demonstrating any number of worship expressions. LeAnn Squier continues to lead and mentor many in the realm of prophetic song. Thom Rana has paved the way for many musicians to prophesy on their various instruments, and Chuck Pierce has provided an apostolic covering for us to continually press into new and exciting realms of worship.