Over 30 churches in Columbus, Ohio, worshipped the name of Jesus as one body for the third annual ONE NIGHT at the Celeste Center of the Ohio State Fairgrounds on March 10. 

ONE NIGHT is organized by a team of 180 volunteers who have a desire to see the name of Jesus lifted above denominational and cultural barriers. This team ensured that attendees would be able to worship in a distraction free environment by not having any church names listed or promoted. 

The purpose of ONE NIGHT is to simply worship Jesus. Their goal is for united worship and prayer to be an expression of unity, but to activate and engage in unity 365 days of the year as the body of Christ.

“The way that we reach the world is by showing how we are this united body of Christ,” Jack McClintock, a member of the organizing team, said. 

The organizers of ONE NIGHT see the gathering as something that needs to be prioritized as a community. However, because no churches were acknowledged or recognized, the organizers of ONE NIGHT found it somewhat difficult to convince others to desire to contribute their time and money towards putting on the event.

“Knowing that challenge, it has been equally and surpassingly met by people who, recognizing the importance of this, out of a step of nothing but faith and desire to see the name of Jesus lifted, have come and sacrificed tons of their time and resources to make it happen,” McClintock said. “It’s a clear testament that God is moving in a powerful way in our community.”

Many college students and campus ministries attended ONE NIGHT as well. Grace Alguire, a student at Ohio State University, has attended every ONE NIGHT event and longs to see the unity that is spoken of in Revelations cross every divide. She wants to be a part of revival that happens in Columbus, so she prays in the center of the Ohio State campus every week. 

“At the first ONE NIGHT, the Lord really emphasized that He was raising up an army in Columbus,” Alguire said. “One of my biggest heart cries is to see revival and to see a united body. I long to see every nation, tribe, and tongue come together. I believe God is really bringing revival to Columbus right now and so naturally, I want to be a part, and ONE NIGHT plays a huge role in that.”

Alguire believes that unity in Columbus and unity on her campus are intertwined. She feels that, regardless of which experiences revival first, the other will follow.

“Seeing the city unite and break down denominational barriers, tears down [campus] ministry barriers as well,” she said. “We’re all after the same thing – saving souls and glorifying Jesus.”

Independence Newland, another Ohio State University student, wants to see the body of Christ working as one. He feels that it is easy for campus ministries to look at themselves and be convinced that the way they do ministry is the way that is right.

“When we humble ourselves, we realize that we were all created in the image of God and we exist this side of heaven to live out one mission together,” Newland said. “The church is better together. The only reason we face division in the church is because of our sin and selfish ambition, but ONE NIGHT puts that aside for one night and together we simply rejoice in the Lord.”

The ONE NIGHT organizing team wants to continue providing this opportunity for the Church and is already working on next year’s city-wide worship event, and will be for the next year. They are collecting people’s stories and feedback from their ONE NIGHT experience on the homepage of their website, so that they can share what God did and continue to improve the event. 

“The opportunity,” Newland said, “to set aside your campus ministry affiliation, or your church affiliation, and realize that we are in this together as the city of Columbus for a calling so much greater than ourselves — that is what it is all about.”

Janelle is a junior Journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin. After college, she hopes to become a foreign correspondent to continue sharing people’s stories. Janelle is involved with the Baptist Student Ministry, Austin Stone Community Church, and is a Campus Renewal Media intern.