This is part of a series of articles on African-American pilgrimages to the Holy Land compiled by Dr. Ruth Pauline Plummer.
By Bishop Edward A. Coles
As 4th generation Church Of God In Christ (COGIC), I have experienced many genuine and incredible spiritual encounters during my 69 years of life.
My initial experience of the Holy Spirit at age of 5 was unforgettable and matchless. However, my experience of Israel at the First Holy Convocation of the Israel Jurisdiction COGIC is comparable.
It has been one of the most authentic experiences of Christ and His great gift of the Holy Spirit: It made Israel real.
As we moved from one amazing historic site to another the Holy Spirit opened up the divine significance of God’s word and the life of Christ. Suddenly the Bible came to life and reconfirmed my belief in God’s word. Not only did the Bible come alive, but my relationship with Jesus Christ was renewed and revived. So many things on this journey of Israel were perfect.
Our Israeli tour guide and his knowledge of Israel with biblical references, and his narration, were incomparable. He is gifted; matching places and times with the scripture. The sights of Israel’s terrain and geography up close is surreal and indescribable. I saw some of God’s best creations from the prodigious mountains, valleys and waters to camels and mountain goats.
I viewed monuments and miraculously-preserved buildings and relics of Jesus' time and that of our ancient patriarchs. I heard prolific and inspiring messages from presiding Bishop Sheard, Bishop Glenn Plummer, Father Kelly and others. I tasted the Mediterranean cuisine and partook of the Israeli diet in its purest form. I became a part of the culture living their way of life. The smells of the foods, seasonings, and ointments were pristine.
Touching the rocks, architecture, and waters was exhilarating. My heart was profoundly touched by the services and fellowship in real time with the saints. The service on the Sea of Galilee was filled with momentous waves of gratitude and praise. I felt the “Come” invitation of Jesus to Peter that inundated me with hope and focus that Jesus had called us together to completely rely on Him and His word.
Words fail me to adequately express this REAL experience of my lifetime. My life was added to on many levels. A sincere thanks to Bishop and Dr. Plummer for sponsoring and coordinating an excellent opportunity for REAL saints to have a REAL experience of the REAL Christ in ISRAEL.
Dr. Ruth Pauline Plummer serves as president and CEO of Covenant Daughters Television Network and Covenant Daughters International Ministries. She also serves as the 1st Lady of Israel for the Church of God in Christ. She is a member of the ALL ISRAEL Advisory Board.