How did Merge start?
In the summer of 2012 Bill and Barb Herzog, Vic Cales, Ron King, and Todd Thomas met at a coffee shop to talk about working together on doing some joint services. Out of that conversation saw that we had a need for deeper relationships with each other and other pastors in our region. We felt that we should meet to worship and pray and see what God might be saying. We decided to meet with no agenda but God’s presence and prayer crying out for revival. The first meeting was at the Herzog’s home were about 12 pastors gathered and God’s presence was strong. The next month we met there again and more pastors joined in. At that point we started moving it to a different location each month. We kept meeting and moving around the city, well, around northwest Ohio and asking other Pastors to join in. The group eventually put the name Merge on what we were doing because that was what we saw God doing, merging our hearts together for each other, for our city and region. We worship, pray for our cities, the local church we are meeting in, for each other and then we eat together. It has been amazing to watch leaders clear their calendars to be together. So many stories of lives touched by the prayers prayed and the relationships developed.
In 2014 we put our heads and hearts together and brought in an equipping event called Power and Love. About 25 churches supported the event and up to 800 people gathered to be encouraged and trained to go and share our faith
On January 7th, 2016 we helped put on “Toledo Pray’s” where about 500 believers gathered to pray for our region. At the end of January we held a 2 day Prayer Summit where 36 pastors and leaders gathered to worship and pray. It was powerful and our lives were changed and our hearts were connected together to do this Kingdom life together. Being challenged to take it to another level relationally and spiritually.
On May 5th, the National Day of Prayer, we worked along side of the NWO Prayer Breakfast team and the vision of 500K and put on the evening prayer event, "500k Day of Prayer/Northwest Ohio." We had around 600 people from different churches attend with 14 different pastors lead us in prayer. It was exciting to have the church gather and pray as one voice in our city.
This is just the beginning and we are excited to see what God has for us as we press into His presence and unity.