I have made no secret of the fact that I believe Ern Baxter's message; "Thy Kingdom Come!" - which was the closing address at the Kansas City Shepherds Conference 1975 - was probably the most dramatic and powerful message that he ever preached in his life. That's not just my opinion. Charles Simpson said of that meeting;
"Many people have said that it was the single most powerful meeting that they ever attended, and that the message was the most inspiring that they had ever heard".
I have heard the audio tape of that message countless times and it never fails to stir me considerably. I was tremendously excited therefore when I was printing out the New Wine Magazine - November 1975 - to find that there was an official report of THAT night at Kansas City.
Here's what they said about it;
"The climax of the conference came Friday night at the last session. As praise and worship poured forth with increasing and deepening quality, the Presence of God filled the entire auditorium.
As the worship heightened, the Word of the Lord came forth in a scriptural exhortation from Joshua 5:13-15, the story of Joshua's encounter with the Captain of the Lord's hosts. When His command to Joshua was read; "Remove your sandals from your feet for the place where you are standing is holy", all present simultaneously removed their shoes, moving even further into worship.
Next prophecy came forth directing the men to bow down in the Presence of God. 4, 500 men went prostrate before the Lord, initiating an awesome period of deep intercession. At intervals throughout the worship, intercessory prayer was offered for God's sovereign movement in America, and for the realization of maturity in the Body of Christ throughout the world.
Against this backdrop of worship, Ern Baxter came forward to speak on the theme, "Thy Kingdom Come!". As Ern portrayed the majesty and Lordship of Christ throughout eternity and the inevitability of Jesus' victory, both now and at the end of the age, the men repeatedly came to their feet in spontaneous worship, acknowledging the King of Kings and rejoicing at the end result of Jesus' Lordship, the establishment of His Kingdom by His supreme authority.
At the close of his message Ern instructed the gathering to greet each other, embracing and praying for one another in a spirit of love. As his request was carried out all over the auditorium, the Spirit of God moved among the men, breaking down barriers, disolving suspicions and healing relationships. And that was how the conference ended. With brothers in Christ affirming and blessing one another, pledging love and faithfulness, leaving the auditorium united in the love of Jesus Christ.
Of the fellowship and openness, Ern Baxter observed, "We seemed to be witnessing God's kind of ecumenism, which is first that of the Holy Spirit and then of 'the faith".
Whatever the ultimate results, one thing is evident. God chose September 23rd through 26th in Kansas City, Missouri as His appointed time to instill in 4, 500 Christian leaders a fresh vision of the Kingdom of God and of the Body of Christ, joined together by covenant love, functioning in a balance of diversity and authority. May the same cry that was formed on the lips of the shepherds who gathered in Kansas City be transported into the hearts of all those who seek Jesus' Lordship; "Thy Kingdom Come!".