The story of PrayerWorks begins in the heart of God and expresses itself in a long history within the church of Fort Wayne. Over the last 50 years in particular, God has raised up pastors in the city like Bob Yawberg, Ron Hawkins, Steve Terry, Ron Allen, Don Delagrange, Robert Bell, Ben Bouwers, Monte Sheets, and countless others, who have pursued a collaborative spirit of prayer within the region.
There has also been a group called the Fort Wayne Intercessors who have stood in the gap praying for a move of God in the city and region like Daisy Bailey, Gina Jehl, Phyllis Hansen, Deborah Hughes, and many others over the decades.
Along with this pursuit of God collectively within the church, in 2018 God raised up Mike Packnett, then CEO of Parkview Health, to begin a citywide movement that brought together not only pastors but also Christian leaders in business, nonprofit, education, government, and beyond.
In August of 2021, at the Global Leadership Summit, God prompted a local pastor, Chris Norman, to contact the developers of Electric Works while it was under construction. God gave Chris a vision of 50 to 100 different churches and organizations coming together in unity to lead a 24/7 prayer room on the campus of EW. What he didn’t know is that God had already given many of the Fort Wayne Intercessors prophetic visions of a prayer room at the former General Electric buildings.
God then raised up around 40 donors in the city within the next couple of months to help pay for all construction costs, the first few years of the lease, and start-up furnishings – leaving all the operational costs to be annually funded by churches. The Love Fort Wayne board also agreed to be the umbrella nonprofit, which made the vision possible. In addition, during 2022 God raised up an advisory team of 16 diverse leaders.
While this brief history is only a small snapshot of how PrayerWorks came into being in January 2023, it does reveal that no one church, leader, or organization could have made it happen. Hosting God’s presence in this 24/7 prayer room has only come into being because God himself is leading it. It’s also important to note that this citywide initiative is part of a wider global movement of prayer, worship, and mission that is bringing unity to the church and preparing the bride of Christ for his return.