Powerful things have happened in tiny rooms.
It is referenced time and again in the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus held a Passover meal, now known as the Last Supper, in a tucked away room surrounded by disciples. After he was crucified, his apostles met in a small space, the “upper room,” to hide, pray and regroup. It is written that Christ appeared to them in that very space, prior to his ascension.
Like those miraculous experiences, Johnny Taylor believes he too has felt the presence of God in a small room. It began with a group of friends, meeting in a private room in Dalton, who came together to pray.
“We have been getting together for a couple of years for a prayer group. We meet on Monday nights. It was just in a home, not in a church,” Taylor explained.
That room turned out to be a very unique place, where inexplicable events occurred.
“I wasn’t there but, one night, oil started rolling down the walls. That was about two years ago,” he said.
While Taylor was not present, he was around for other happenings that followed. He said that although the oil stopped flowing from the walls, the spiritual energy continued to build.
“Last year, during the election, we started feeling like our prayer times were getting more intense. The Lord would speak to us,” he said. “After the election, (God) told us he would show some things. We had no idea what that meant. We had never been through anything like this.”
Taylor said they were instructed to examine Romans 12:1 and 12:2 and continued their meetings. In January, they had a particularly long meeting, continuing their prayers until nearly midnight.
Jerry Pierce was one of those who was reverently praying.
“He got on his knees and started praying. Then he laid on the floor for about 45 minutes ... we prayed for his wife, Joyce, who said that she felt something in her shift,” he said.
The Pierces continued their prayers throughout the week, sequestered in their home.
“They didn’t go anywhere after the prayer meeting which was on Monday night. They were reading Psalms and praying,” Taylor said. “On Friday, Jerry picked up his Bible and noticed that it was wet. He asked Joyce if the grandbaby had spilled anything and she said no. But it was just in the book of Psalms ... Pslams 39-63.”
Pierce brought the Bible, which continued to secrete oil, to his prayer group. That’s where Taylor and his fellow group members first set eyes on the marvel.
“It was fascinating. When they brought it to us, the oil was already through the new testament. Over the next couple of weeks, two or three weeks, it was through Revelations,” he said.
“Then it stopped and went back to Genesis. It was becoming saturated so Jerry put it in a bag which also started to fill with oil. I had the idea to try to make a vial with the oil.”
That is precisely what they did. They started giving away vials of the oil, entirely free, to people they knew or those who requested it. As word spread, they started having more and more inquiries, and the oil continued to flow.
“God told us that we should give it away so he could replenish it. That’s what we started doing,” Taylor said.
While they were faithful, they also had more concrete concerns about the oil. They enlisted the help of a Dalton chemist who tested the liquid. The results it yielded only strengthened their resolve.
“During this whole thing, we have told everyone, ‘we want to keep it all in the light. What we know, you know.’ We just want to be good stewards of this and do what God wants us to do,” he said.
“(The chemist) said that it had the characteristics of mineral oil but was not manufactured. They best they could tell us ... they don’t know where it came from.”
The purpose, Taylor said, is simply to share it. They are not to promote it, advertise or profit from the oil in any way. In return, those who receive the vials will be blessed. Many of those who have received the oil claim it boasts healing properties.
“We have received testimonial after testimonial. There are claims that it has cured stage-four cancer, a broken arm, pancreatic cancer,” he listed. “Jerry, the one who owns the Bible, his brother, was in the hospital. They thought he had a stroke. We brought the Bible and anointed him with oil. He was later just diagnosed with a kidney infection.”
Since the oil began to flow from the Bible in January, they have filled 22,000 vials with oil, sending it out to individuals around the country and even around the world.
It continues to flow today. For Taylor, it has been an awe-inspiring experience, one that has brought together many people, including those of different faiths. They have visited dozens of congregations to share their story.
But one thing is for sure — it never becomes routine.
“It never gets common. It is just as brand new today as it is the first day I saw it. We have always prayed that we would steer this thing right. We don’t go out and try to convince anyone or anything like that ... we’re just the stewards,” he said.
One way they are providing that stewardship is by visiting various congregations around the state. Taylor said they are coming to Darien’s Glory Worship Center Aug. 11, 12 and 13.
“We will be there at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning. We will tell our story, speak and pray, then we will give away the oil,” he said.
They hope it will give those that seek the oil what it has given to them — a sense of peace and hope in knowing that God is with them.
“God told us that ‘anything man makes can only represent me ... what I make is me.’ We are challenged by it but we don’t try to convince people to believe it. We can’t explain it ... but, at same time, we can’t deny it,” he said.
“Somewhere in between there’s God.”