Church Renewal weekends, sometimes known as Lay Renewal, are not common in Oklahoma like they used to be. However, several churches have held this type of event of prayer, revival and fellowship in recent years, thanks to the organization and strategy of Walter Prichard.

Steve Dennis, pastor of Checotah, First, was introduced to Church Renewal by Prichard at Moore, First.

Checotah, First hosted a Spirit-filled weekend Aug. 8-10, that Dennis feels will bring a fire back to the church family that’s been needed for way too long.

“This was my first time to experience a lay renewal, and what a blessing and life-changing weekend we had,” Dennis said.

With lots of planning involved, Dennis sought help from Prichard and others in his church family, such as Lynn Featherston, who became the coordinator for the event.

After the event, Dennis is confident the Church Renewal weekend “started a fire that will continue to change our church family and community.”

Vinita, White Oak also held a Church Renewal weekend. After the weekend, comments and evaluations were recorded.

The comments included: “Awesome, humbling, uplifting and hope filled…. Opened my heart more and made me realize I am not alone in my life…. The weekend was a true blessing and a joy. I’ve come to know even when I feel at my lowest there are others who are going through the same things if not worse, and I’m not alone…. Received blessings and opened up to my barriers…. We need to have another one of these…. Eye opening.”

Tulsa, Lynn Lane had a strong response to their Church Renewal weekend. Pastor Keith Stone encourages other pastors to participate in Church Renewal weekends.

“Our church was changed,” Stone commented. “People who have never spoken in church shared during the testimony time. Some prayed for the first time publicly. More than 90 percent of those attending our Sunday morning worship service made a public commitment for Christ.”

The congregation at Shawnee, Temple has also participated in Church Renewal. With no surprise, Pastor Mike Craig supports Church Renewal based on the results he has seen in his church.

“Our church members heard people talk about how God has helped them through many issues just like the issues we face in our lives,” Pastor Craig explained. “We are a closer church family because of the Church Renewal weekend.”

Many pastors agree that if you want to have a weekend in your church that will produce change, call Prichard. They say the conversation will sound something like this: “Hello, I’m Walter, have you ever heard of a Church Renewal?”

For more information on Church Renewal, contact the BGCO Church Outreach Team at 405/942-3800, or contact Prichard at