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Christian Group Plans ‘Sacred Assembly’

Promise Keepers, the Christian ministry that has drawn more than 2 million men to a series of stadium rallies since 1991, announced plans Tuesday for its biggest effort yet: a mammoth gathering in October on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

The event, dubbed “Stand in the Gap,” is patterned on the biblical concept of “sacred assembly.” A dozen times the Bible portrays God as calling the Israelites to gather for prayer and repentance. This event is designed to pull together large numbers of Christian men to acknowledge their sinfulness and move toward spiritual revival.

The organization’s founder, former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, said at a Washington news conference that he got the same feeling this week, visiting the future site of the event, that his team used to get at the huge stadium at the University of Michigan before a game.

“The vision I had is that men would come together and celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ,” McCartney said. “It’s exciting to think about what God might do.”

The planned gathering is reminiscent of the 1995 Million Man March on Washington, but Promise Keepers officials insist their idea is about 4 years old. Organizers of the Million Man March, led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, said that a million men attended; the National Park Service estimated 400,000.

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