The Bulova Watch and our St. Louis Story: Renewing the Moravian Lampstand
It’s more than a watch. It’s a story.
Over the last decade, Lou Engle founded a small network of contending Houses of Prayer in various strategic locations across America. Many battles were fought in prayer, many victories were won. Even so, a cohesive strategy seemed elusive. From Aug. 8-12, 2013, leaders from across the nation gathered to contemplate how we would move forward at a corporate level to maximize the full scope and promise of this network. At that time, we adopted a new name, Ekklesia Prayer Communities (EPC). In this same period of time, Darrian Summerville, now the Director of the Moravian Watch, had a series of encounters that significantly defined how our family of prayer would come to understand it’s new beginning and next long-term mission. While our DNA is contending prayer, our value system is heavily relational. In the story that unfolded, these two notions would soon be fused in a new way. Earlier in the year, before the St. Louis gathering, a luxury Bulova watch had been given to Darrian as a surprise gift. In the amazing story that followed, God unpacked a prophetic storyline that led our gathering of leaders, like a breadcrumb trail, to better understand the mission we now pursue: raising a true Moravian Lampstand of prayer across America.
“Where is your watch?” he asked me. I had no idea what he was talking about.
HISTORICAL ELEMENTS AND PROPHETIC PLOTPOINTS IN THE STORY
San Diego to St. Louis was the first leg of the flight path of Charles Lindbergh in his famous plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. From there he would journey to New York, then from New York to Paris on May 20–21, 1927—the first successful transcontinental flight in history. Our founder, Lou Engle, had a prophetic story that somewhat mirrored this journey. Not coincidentally, Charles Lindbergh’s story has provided great personal inspiration for Lou over the years. Likewise, over the course of 2010, 2011, and again in 2013, Lou made journeys from southern California to St. Louis, the sum of which formed a prophetic download, a template of prayer, that we believe is ultimately intended to go transatlantic and be carried to the furthest reaches of the earth.
The famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh, owned a Bulova Watch, which he carried with him across the Atlantic. After his triumphant journey, that model was rebranded and The Lone Eagle and sales exploded. Interestingly, the Bulova Watch Co. also contributed to the cash prize which inspired Lindbergh to attempt the dangerous, solo transatlantic flight. After his success, Lindbergh became an instant global celebrity and a national hero. However, prior to the notoriety he brought to the equation, the superior technology of Bulova had remained largely unknown. It was the intersection of aviation and technology aboard The Spirit of St. Louis that suddenly made The Lone Eagle a bestseller, and propelled Bulova’s reputation as the most revered timepiece in America.
While superior crystal technology developed later, Bulova was first to develop a technology around sound, generating a 360 hertz vibration instead of a balance wheel as the timekeeping element in their Accutron technology. This is the reason the tuning fork is the company’s logo.
Bulova was not only a technology, but also media pioneer. Because of their patented tuning fork, they are considered the first official electronics company in America. They also ran the the first television and radio ads (as seen above), in which they would sound a beep at precisely 8:00 pm, so that the rest of America could synchronize and reclaim the drift of their own timepieces back to a more precise, uniform standard.
Bulova’s impact far surpassed watches. The company was instrumental in the development of modern aviation. Prior to mobile, precision chronometers, the use of airplanes was mostly limited to carnival stuntmen and crop dusting. Bulova brought precision to the equation that enabled future commercial and military applications, along with the space program, as charting a course from one destination to the next required predictability and accurate timing. In fact, NASA used Bulova technology to land men on the moon. There is a Bulova timepiece on the moon, inside the lunar lander, to this day!
SPIRITUAL TOKENS OF A GREAT MORAVIAN RENEWAL
While there are many more pieces to this story than we can share here, the prophetic significance can be summarized thus:
There is a “sound” that the Lord wants to produce. This sound is a matter of clarity and timing.
A tuning fork, by definition, is that which aligns all other tones. Without it, the symphony and harmony of many other sounds is impossible.
Something began in St. Louis that is meant to “go viral” across the nation, even as The Lone Eagle, riding aboard the Spirit of St. Louis, exploded in sales. This happened when the Aviator and Watchmaker joined forces.
The Aviator represents courageous, contending access in the high places, i.e. intercession in the heavens.
The Watchmaker represents the appointed time of prayer on the earth.
Joseph Bulova, the man who founded the company, immigrated to America from modern Czechoslovakia. In old world terms, this is the region of Bohemia/Moravia! In other words, a son of Moravia built a physical watch by which America calibrated her understanding of the times. The Lord used this Moravian Watch to tell a modern version of an ancient story, and thereby to get us spiritually synchronized to His timing, heart and plans! He is not finished with America. There is hope!
Even as Bulova pioneered technology, timing, sound and media, we want to leverage advances in technology to break new ground in interconnected prayer. This is the sound we proclaim: It is time for a true Moravian Lampstand once more! (Read more about the Moravians here).
For Lindbergh to achieve his goal, he had to fly through the night. There was no way around it. Even so, shall we. Thus, the first priority of the Moravian Watch is the NightWatch.
Our St. Louis story concluded with an unexpected kiss from God. Without knowing all the details yet to unfold, or trying to achieve any synchronicity with history, we later discovered that our summit actually concluded on the anniversary of the famous Moravian Pentecost, Aug. 13, 1727. We are humbled, awed…and committed to this process. Quite simply, it’s time.