Church: Full Harvest International Church (South Bay)
Hometown: Decatur, Illinois
Family: Wife, Priscilla, father of four
Broadcast: Founder/president of Clarence E. McClendon Ministries (CEMM), which sponsors the weekly international TV broadcast ‘A Miracle for You’; also in the cast of “Preachers of L.A.”
Q: You’re gearing up for your “Spirit of Prophecy” Conference later this month—what do you hope to accomplish with it?
A: The prophecy convention is one of three annual conventions we do every year. The theme of Spirit of Prophecy is taken from Revelations 19:10, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
What that verse actually means in the original language is the evidence that Jesus is alive and with us is what the spirit of God continues to reveal Him to us in fresh ways that are related to our time.
People hear the term ‘spirit of prophecy’ and they think Armageddon. No, this is the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the church—the spirit of God revealing to the church the Lord is saying now for this time in this season, and we believe each year there is something schematic that God is emphasizing to his body and we have a part to play in that.
What’s great about the convention is the time that we are ministering and establishing those connected to this audience to what we believe the spirit of the Lord is saying to the church.
Q: People still remember your Harvest Fire Crusades, will you bringing that back or is this conference a progression of that event?
A: Harvest Fire served its purpose in its day. We are doing another conference in August, which will be held in Atlanta, as the modern incarnation of Harvest Fire— that’s our major conference of the year.
Harvest Fire was a long time ago. People were still doing 7-8 day meetings at the time. Those days are over unless the Holy Ghost extends the meetings past three days and of course, we’re certainly open to that.
Q: You’ve said you knew at seven that you were called to preach, what made you so sure?
A: I heard the voice of the spirit of the Lord call me. I went to my father, a pastor, and asked him how do you know if God is calling you to preach and he said, “You’ll know if it stays with you. It never leaves you.”
Some people hear an audible voice. Some people have the spirit of the Lord reveal something to them. Some people are saved and just go for it. But if you’re called of God, I believe there is a significant moment when you recognize that. I received the call from God at seven. I knew beyond the shadow of any doubt I was called at eleven.
Q: How have you changed in the years since you’ve come to Los Angeles?
A: My vision has always been global. There has always been a tremendous evangelistic worldwide thrust to the vision God committed to my care. Coming to Los Angeles confirmed it and expanded the vision in me for a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church and ministry.
At that time there was over a 110 or so languages in the Los Angeles area and I recognized that God literally brought the world to Los Angeles.
To have an effective ministry in Los Angeles, I believe, at least for me, my ministry had to cross culture. That is one of the most significant impacts L.A. has had in my ministry and in me,— a need for a cross culture and multi-ethnic community.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for Clarence McClendon today?
A: One of the biggest challenges is assisting people in recognizing that the church at large is shifting in its paradigm. We are in the mist right now of a global charismatic and Pentecostal reformation that is no less significant than when Martin Luther nailed his “Ninety-Five Theses” [centering on practices relative to baptism and absolution in Catholicism] to the church door. There is a fuller disclosure of the revelation of the person of Jesus Christ. The greater challenge is helping people move into what Jesus is saying to his church and releasing the performance based Christianity of yesteryear.
Q: Are you on track with your goals?
A: I believe I am. We’ve had to spend a number of years laying an Apostolic foundation for a fresh move of the spirit of grace. One of the things I believe enabled us to function in our first incarnation in Los Angeles, the way we did as quickly as we did, is that we were building on someone else’s foundation—the foundation was already laid there.
When I moved I had to lay my own foundation and that has taken some time, but I believe that we are on track. And I’m certain than in the next several months that people will recognize how global our outreach has become.
Q: What kind of preacher would you characterize yourself as?
A: I am a prophetic revelatory preacher.
Q: What do you believe the future holds for you and Full Harvest?
A: Stay tuned. By April or May of this year people will be seeing a full manifestation of what we believe the Spirit of the Lord is directing us to do. Here and elsewhere. We just opened a global ministry office in London that will be assisting us in our ministry to the U.K and even Africa. We are looking at facilities in the rest of the continent. There are some very interesting things that are happening right now.
Q: What would the teenager you were when you and your brother crusading around the country preaching think of the man you’ve become?
A: That young man would be absolutely amazed at what Jesus is actually able to do with a life that simply desires to say yes. He’d be amazed, not surprised, because even the good is so much better than I anticipated and the challenges are also so much harder.
Q: What is your biggest joy these days?
A: Seeing my youngest son, Seth, have love and adoration for the things of God.
Q: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
A: Is that I am in still in love with Jesus of Nazareth.