Gilgal Education Center Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ancient Gilgal Camp Discovered In Israel              

Gilgal Education Center to open for tourism in the Jordan Valley

Dallas, TX  – July 13, 2012 Gilgal, the ancient camp where the Bible says Joshua and the children of Israel first settled after entering the Promised Land, has been uncovered, according to the Moreshet (Heritage) Foundation Israel (MHF Israel).  The Gilgal Education Center in Israel’s Jordan Valley will soon open for tourists to witness the many evidences in connection with this archaeological find.

Moshav Argaman has contracted with the MHF Israel to develop the site for mass public access.  Tax deductible contributions to help with the project can be made in the United States to the Gilgal Fund of the Father’s House Educational Foundation (www.fathershousefoundation.com), a registered 501c3 non-profit organization based in Glen Rose, Texas.

“Throughout biblical history, this site is associated with an array of events, all marked by the theme of renewal – Jacob reconciling with Esau, the Israelites renewing covenant with God, Samuel renewing Saul’s kingship, the people reaffirming David as their king, and more,” says Dr. John Turner, Executive Director of Father’s House.  “It is amazing that we can stand in this ancient sandal-shaped camp and envision those scenes.”

In ancient Israel, there were actually many gilgals, not just one.  The basic meaning of the word gilgal is “sacred circle of stones,” more specifically two circles converging together into one.  Evidence now indicates that the two circles together looked very much like a sandal to symbolize the fulfillment of the promise that “every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours?” (Deut 11:24)

In April 2009, The University of Haifa in Israel issued a press release of Archaeologist Adam Zertal’s work in which he discovered five huge stone-lined camps in the Jordan Valley, each in the shape of an enormous foot.  In the article, Zertal says that the foot held great significance as a symbol of the ownership of territory, control over an enemy, connection between people, and even the presence of Deity.  Though there were many gilgal camps, one in particular held special significance in Israel’s history as summarized below.

This is the ancient camp site where:

  • Jacob (Israel) crossed to reunite with Esau (Genesis 33)
  • God’s 500-year-old promise to Abraham began its literal fulfillment as the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and placed their first official “foot print” in the Promised Land (Gen.12,13,15)
  • Joshua and the children of Israel set up camp after crossing the Jordan; where that generation of wilderness wanderers were circumcised; and, where they celebrated Passover, eating their first unleavened bread in the Promised Land  (Joshua 4,5)
  • Samuel affirmed and renewed Saul’s kingship (1 Samuel 10-11)
  • David was reaffirmed as King (2 Samuel 19)
  • Elijah and Elisha walked before Elijah was taken up in the chariot of fire    (2Kings 2)

For more information about the Gilgal Education Center, and how to travel there, visit www.gilgaleducationcenter.org or contact Kevin Bentley at kbentley@fathershousefoundation.com or 817-556-1061.

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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

StoneWater Church Named After Ancient Gilgal Crossing

Gilgal Education Center to open for tourism in the Jordan Valley

 Dallas, TX  – July 13, 2012  The little country town of Granbury, Texas knows StoneWater Church by their effectiveness in connecting meaningfully with 1500 worshipers every week, but not many know how they got their name.  Some might think it came from a nearby subdivision, but it is actually inspired by a well-known biblical event – when Joshua and the children of Israel left their wilderness wanderings behind and crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land.  To celebrate the occasion, they took 12 stones out of the river bed and built a memorial.  Recently, when StoneWater’s Lead Pastor Jeremy White stood at the ancient Gilgal camp where the Israelites first observed Passover In the Land, a new awareness was born in him.  He said, “I used to know this story as black and white words on a page, but now it’s in living color!”

Jeremy and wife, Misti, along with two children, Jenna and Hudson, live on a 160-year-old family farm, just a few miles west of Glen Rose, Texas.  It was in this rural setting that Jeremy and Joey, his younger brother by twenty months and Executive Pastor of StoneWater Church, grew up together, hunting, playing football, and riding motorcycles.

In 2003, the brothers decided to take a road trip to Victoria, Texas to retrieve the newly purchased bike that Jeremy had found on eBay.  However, as it turned out, this trip was about more than two brothers chasing after a hobby; it was the birth of a dream and a church.  The road to Victoria and home again provided the opportunity for Jeremy, a youth leader in Dallas, Texas, and Joey, pastor of a small congregation in San Saba, Texas, to brainstorm the beginnings of a church that would reach the unreachable, minister to young families, and help men to become leaders in their own homes. “I had two heart desires: to be on the ranch, and to be in ministry.  I never saw how the two could go together,” said Pastor Jeremy.

By the winter of 2004 the dream was becoming a reality, and the soon-to-be Granbury, Texas church needed a name.  Because of his love for Joshua 3 and 4 where the Israelites were commanded to take stones from the dry river bed of the Jordan River to build a memorial to the Lord’s faithfulness, Pastor Jeremy requested that friends and family study the passage, looking for a name for the church. “Misti suggested StoneWater.  I thought it was a bad idea at first, but then another couple who are friends of ours independently suggested the same exact name.  It grew on me. Like the ancient memorial at Gilgal, StoneWater could become a living testament to generations of God’s faithfulness.”

Today, fifteen hundred worshipers gather each Sunday at StoneWater Church (www.stonewaterchurch.com) to fulfill the God-given mandate and church mission to “reach and equip people for Christ”. Since its inception on October 16, 2005, StoneWater has launched a new satellite church start in Glen Rose, a model they hope to replicate throughout rural Texas wherever a life-giving church is needed.  They have also sponsored four additional independent church plants in nearby Texas towns.

Even today, the ancient Gilgal camp is a place of covenant and new beginnings.  Moshav Argaman has contracted with the MHF Israel to develop the site for mass public access.  Tax deductible contributions to help with the project can be made in the United States to the Gilgal Fund of the Father’s House Educational Foundation (www.fathershousefoundation.com), a registered 501c3 non-profit organization based in Glen Rose, Texas.

For more information about the Gilgal Education Center, and how to travel there, visit www.gilgaleducationcenter.org or contact Kevin Bentley at kbentley@fathershousefoundation.com or 817-556-1061.

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