Tom and Sue
Mc Gowan purchased The Farm 6 years ago-Tom was reluctant to do so, Sue was
much more willing. Prior to purchasing the farm, Tom encountered God as he was
standing in a field that overlooked the farm. God prompted him to purchase the
farm, but Tom rejected God twice.
The third time he surrendered to God’s voice.
Tom agreed to buy the farm, under one condition: that the farm would be Gods’
and he (Tom) would be the project manager.
A few years
later, Tom witnessed a big revival near his hometown of Rochester, NY in a farm
field. Right then and there he hit his knees and told God that he wanted to see
that happen on his farm. Within the first year or so of owning the farm, Ben
(Tom and Sue’s youngest son) said he wanted to host a youth event on the farm.
For the next few years, they tried to host several youth events, but nothing
really materialized, until November of 2022 after a disappointing turn out to a
mud run. Tom said “we need to stop trying to make money off these runs and just
host one to gather youth to hear the Gospel.” That afternoon with one phone
call, we had our first church on board and the planning began.
was our first meeting to begin planning Encounter 2023. From there, God began
to put all the pieces in place to make it a reality. As with most things God
orchestrates, he had more than a youth event in mind.
In the early
spring, “Chip” shows up at the farm to ask Tom if he would be willing to host a
revival in September of 2023. Tom did not hesitate to say yes, this time,
knowing this was an answer to that prayer three years ago in Rochester, NY. For the next several months leading up to
Encounter, leaders from many area churches began to pray for the event and
continued to do so on a weekly basis. We began to see God putting the pieces
together. Bi-weekly worship services began in May as representatives from 20+
churches began to gather at the barn to worship and pray for Encounter and the
revival, asking God to do what only He can do. As the event drew near,
volunteers and provisions began to pour in, more evidence that God was at work.
Finally, the day arrived, and God blessed the
event on August 5
with beautiful weather. The kids began to arrive,
and the place filled with excitement. It was a joy to see the kids interacting
with each other, especially after the isolation they had experienced the last
few years. To see the body of Christ, working together