In October 2013, Andrew headed Down Under for a series of meetings that kicked off in Victor Harbor and culminated in the Gold Coast. In both Victor Harbor and Melbourne, Andrew preached to packed-out churches where people had flown in from across Australia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, and the South Sea Islands, in expectancy of the miraculous. God did not disappoint, as many were baptized in the Holy Spirit and healed both emotionally and physically.
Andrew was encouraged as he met with Pastor Chad Mansbridge of Bayside Church International in Victor Harbor, who launched the first Charis Bible College (CBC) Co-op school in Australia in February 2014. This program will enable like-faith churches across Australia to host the first-year CBC program for local correspondence students and to open up the DVD instruction to other Christians, church members, and leaders. Pastor Andrew MaGrath of Hope City Church hosted the Melbourne meetings and will soon be incorporating various CBC correspondence courses into his church’s School of Ministry.
After leaving Melbourne, Andrew headed to the Gold Coast to hold the first-ever Gospel Truth Seminar (GTS) in this magnificent area of Australia. The CBC Gold Coast team, Byron and Leesa Hamilton, David Carter, and Jessica Sharp, hosted the GTS at the Dream Centre, October 31-November 2. The team was concurrently in preparations to launch Australia’s first CBC, which opened its doors in February 2014.
CBC Gold Coast became a reality when the prayers of one man, Rod Smith, met with the faithful obedience of one couple, the Hamiltons, during the summer of 2010. It was then that Smith prayed fervently for God to bring a CBC to the Gold Coast area. Simultaneously, the Hamiltons were responding to the Lord’s call to move from Springfield, Missouri, to Colorado Springs to attend CBC Colorado. Little did they know that God was preparing them to be the answer to Smith’s prayer.
After graduating from CBC in 2012, the Hamiltons flew to Australia, Byron’s homeland, to visit his relatives along with Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) partners throughout the continent. When they arrived in the Gold Coast, they met Rod and Lisa Smith. The Hamiltons informed the Smiths that they were scouting the land for a good place for “someone” to develop a CBC in Australia—never thinking that “someone” was them!
Upon arriving back in Colorado to begin their third year at CBC, Leesa shared with classmates about her trip to Australia and the wonderful people of the Gold Coast. As she did, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart about God’s plan for her and her husband to be that “someone.” Once it was settled in the Hamiltons’ hearts that they would be returning to the Gold Coast to launch a CBC, they shared their news with the Smiths. But Rod already had some “inside” information about the new school. Two days before Rod received their phone call, God had told him to stop praying for a CBC Gold Coast because his prayer had already been answered.
GTS Makes Its Way to the Gold Coast
Andrew arrived early on opening night in order to personally thank the thirty-five prayer ministers who had generously volunteered to serve during the conference. The volunteer team consisted of local pastors, AWM partners, and ministry leaders with their teams. After spending time with the volunteers, Andrew was welcomed by a line of people that had already formed in anticipation of receiving prayer and ministry. After sharing stories of how AWM had changed their lives through radio and television, CDs and DVDs, books, and other resources, the crowd thanked Andrew for coming, letting him know they had waited many years for him to make his way to their area.
To Andrew’s pleasant surprise, nearly 600 people were on hand for each of the five sessions to hear the life-changing message of the Gospel. At the end of the services, people flooded to the altar to receive salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and miraculous healings. Eighty-seven people in all received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, including ex-pastors and new believers alike. One woman, who had been trying to pray in tongues for twenty-two years, finally received her prayer language after hearing what the Bible teaches about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. She couldn’t believe how easy it really was to receive.
Receiving the message of grace and faith was a huge step for the Australian people, many of whom come from denominational and legalistic backgrounds. It was a fresh wind to many in attendance who had never heard God’s Word taught the way Andrew teaches it. One man admitted, “My wife didn’t want to come to the conference; she only came to spend time with me. After listening to the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news of grace, she was so excited that she went to the bookstore and bought books, CDs, and workbooks. She could hardly wait to get home to start studying. It was already changing her life.”
Even before the meetings ended, reports began streaming in from the prayer team of all sorts of healings, including an elderly woman’s hearing that was restored and a person incapacitated by fear who was delivered and set free. Many others were set free from depression and religious bondages as they heard the Good News for the very first time. And now, well after the meetings have concluded, Byron and Leesa Hamilton continue to receive reports from those who discovered they were healed of chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, and more.
The hunger for God’s Word at the Gold Coast GTS didn’t end with the meetings. Over 200 people attended an informational session regarding CBC Gold Coast, resulting in preregistrations and interest cards being completed for possible attendance at the new Bible college.
As this article is being written, plans are already being made by the CBC Gold Coast team for another GTS Down Under. If the anticipation for a move of God is as great as it was at this GTS, it should be an exciting time!
This post has been adapted and reprinted from the article "On the Road with Andrew... Gold Coast Australia October 2013" written by Byron Hamilton, and originally printed in the Spring/Summer 2014 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries' Gospel Truth magazine.