Bemidji Report


Last week the Mayor of Bemidji, Minnesota, located at the headwaters of the Mississippi River introduced our Fireteam to the business and government leaders in his city.

Mayor Larson’s introduction provided the Fireteam with the keys to the city. The Mayor also joined with us as we conducted our Fireteam outreaches on Friday and Saturday September 20-21 of last week

Bemidji with a population of 13,413 people is the county seat of Beltrami County, which has a population of 44,442 people. It is the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, ND and Duluth, MN. The city is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, the White Earth Indian Reservation, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Bemidji lies on the southwest shore of Lake Bemidji the northernmost lake feeding the Mississippi River and as such, is deemed “the first city on the Mississippi.”

Bemidji Mayor Dave and Mrs. Ilona Larson

Well, that was so gooooood!!!! Now, where to start with my report/testimony? It was a long, wonderful, weekend of visits, events, making connections and foundation building.

There were marketplace (Fireteam) visits to the cities commercial retail businesses, and offices, visits to the city service departments, to nursing homes, manufacturing places, all sharing the Good News, offering prayers for people, prosperity for our cities businesses, and introducing the training and instructional materials available at the Fellowships’ www.fgbt.org website. At every visit we were well received with openness, sincerity and warmth. Not a cold shoulder in the entire bunch.





*Of special note Mayor Dave and his wife Ilona were Born Again and Baptized in the Holy Spirit in a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in 1972.


Douglas Raine FGBMFA National Director in Charge of Fireteam Outreach reports a wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all who participated in the Bemidji Cass lake Outreach. The Fireteam included FGBMFA members from Texas, Nigeria, Saint Paul and Bemidji, Minnesota, as well as groups such as Kingdom Generation and local teams, from Bemidji FGBMF Chapter, Bemidji Women’s Aglow Chapter, Leadership of Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribe, FGBMFAmerica’s Saint Paul Chapter, Chi Alpha College Fellowship, Young Adult Koinonia, Rock With Jesus Group, Bemidji Mayor Dave Larson, Bemidji Area Churches, Shekinah Redeeming Love Church, Twin Cities Hmong Community and Twin Cities Churches.

On Wednesday April 18, Dan ‘Doc’ Severson, US Senator Candidate, was the main speaker at the Saint Paul FGBMFA Chapter Luncheon held at the Hmong Market. Every seat in the Restaurant was filled. After the Saint Paul banquet the team drove three hours north to the Bemidji Cass Lake area. At 7:00 PM in the evening thirty-one people attended a Fireyeam Training session at the Sanford Center.

Thursday April 19, the Fireteams ministered to employers and employees in the downtown Bemidji and Cass Lake. Forty-one businesses were prayed for in the marketplace. One of our Fireteams provided personal testimonies to a tenth grade class of Native American Students at Cass Lake. Thursday evening Dr. Zik Ikeooha and Doja Adewolu Nigeria shared there testimonies at the FGBMF dinner meeting in Bemidji.

Friday morning and afternoon was special as members of the Fireteam met with Cass Lake/Leech Lake Ojibwe tribal leaders. Chairman Archie Larose opened the doors of the reservation to the team and provided the Veterans Memorial Building for our Friday and Saturday evening crusades. Ten inches of snow which had fallen a week before the meetings prevented the erection of a large meeting tent originally scheduled to house the event.

Friday and Saturday evening a Crusade Meeting was held in the Veterans Memorial Building, see Testimonies below.

Sunday- Team leaders presented Gospel message at a number of Bemidji Cass Lake area Churches.

Individual Testimonies

John Tolo: Saint Paul, MN

Last night, as the bus rolled in, a young Hmong man who had resisted participation on the team all weekend began to manifest a demonic spirit aggressively. He stepped out of the bus and ran right up to me. The spirit began lying. I told it to be quiet, for him to repent and suddenly it came out. As he broke free he went from defiance to brokenness and in deep sobs poured out a story of years of abuse and pain. His sister, who is married to our bus driver, came over to Jen and I overwhelmed with relief and gratitude as the young people from our team stepped in and began to minister to their peer. Freedom!

More to come… John Tolo

Douglas Raine: Greenville TX

Two young male adults approached me while on my way to breakfast, one of the men reached out and touched me, and asked “Can you have a word with me?” Both of these young braves were high on alcohol and marijuana. They would blow cigarette smoke in my face and would use the “F” word often as part of their normal speech. In the midst of our discussion one man prayed to receive Jesus while the other, who was controlled by a demon received deliverance. Once the demon was cast out he ran after me in the hotel lobby.  I turned and embraced him in a bear hug as he prayed to receive Jesus. When I asked him how he felt, he said, “this is the best I have ever felt.” PTL!

…Phenomenal weekend…here are a few hi-lites:

Bryan Denzer: Saint Paul, MN

Hey every one! Bemidji was awesome!!! So many testimonies already… we met with the mayor and hung out with him all day Thursday. We conducted a Fireteam outreach to the city’s businesses, met and prayed with many business owners, went to the hospital, prayed for people and invited people to the meetings. So much has happened already. Ministering to a lot of broken people and loving on them. Our schedule tonight is a 7PM indoor crusade meeting. Probably 300-400 people coming. I had gotten a prophetic word about John Tolo being on the radio for publicity, and it happened yesterday spontaneously. The meetings have been awesome with a lot of healings and deliverances, salvations and God’s love pouring out on the people.

David Tolo: Saint Paul, MN

There were at least two deliverances by the Hmong women behind closed doors (in the hotel). These four girls had shaman roots, full on screaming, demonic manifestations etc.

Becky Fossand:

Oh my-gosh, my calves hurt today – may the Holy Ghost party never end. We prayed and processed what happed during the meetings last night. Lots of amazing testimonies – tried to count the testimonies – just the healings we were involved in, 2 people with hip pain healed, 8 people with back pain healed, 1 leg grew longer! 2 people with neck problems healed, 6 people with knee pain healed! 2 migraines gone, 6 people with shoulder problems healed, 1 gluteus maximus (Cody’s butt), 1 lady got feeling back in her thigh, 3 people with hands and wrist problems healed, 1 person with sciatic pain healed, 3 things with the newly coined term – “soziatic roots,” 9 partial sozos, several partial mass sozos, taught at least 13 individuals to hear from God who were able to prophesy in minutes. YES, lots of Testimonies! Do it again Lord! Need to keep rolling. Peace, Becky

Drew Schlagel:Houston, TX

I had an awesome time in Bemidji, made some great friends, really felt like family, and saw the power of God move mightily. I really enjoyed it and hopefully, God willing, I’ll be able to go back in the future.

Friday night I saw several people with knee problems healed. A young lady was refilled with the Holy Spirit! A man was healed of vision problems, several people were healed of painful headaches. I prayed for a guy with an injured foot, and believe he was healed. A young man was set free from a spirit of rejection. Saturday night, a man with numbness on the left side of his face due to an accident was completely healed! A young man was baptized in the Holy Spirit. A young lady, who had not previously been able to speak out loud in tongues, is now able to! A young man’s shoulder was completely healed. This young man had asked for prayer the night before and nothing had happened, but Saturday his shoulder just popped back into place! The Holy Ghost was moving mightily and people were laughing, and falling out under the power of God! It was truly amazing and I’m so glad I was able to be part of it. I even got a chance to preach some on Sunday at the native church. God is good! Look forward to what else God has in store. Revival has truly begun!

Suzanne Barbknecht: Prayer Leader,Bemidji, MN

-Salvation: 2 people that I’m aware of gave their lives to Christ

-Physical healing: I personally observed (2 hips, 8 backs, 2 necks issues, 6 knees, 2 migraines, 6 shoulders, 1 gluteus maximus, 3 wrists/hands, sciatic pain healed, restored feeling to thigh, to name a few!)

-Emotional healing and deliverances

SO much forgiveness and reconciliation between cultures, area leaders, denominations, Families. Many different churches and ministries were coming together, growing unity in the Bemidji Christian Community. This weekend created even more momentum in the community here to keep moving forward with the Holy Spirit.

Here’s one story of God impacting a life in our Bemidji Community: I met a young Native American woman. She and a relative came together and they were highlighted to me from the second I saw them. I was drawn to them just to talk with them, get to know them and speak words of life and love into them. The young woman, at first, was very quiet. She seemed uncomfortable and unsure of herself. I just kept speaking words of life to her and telling her that she was beautiful. Later in the day, she came up and asked me if I would paint with her. (There was an area for creative, worshipful and prophetic art.) So we painted and talked together and we got to know each other more closely. As I sat with an empty canvas, I sensed God telling me to paint her a picture and give it to her. So I gave her a painting of a purple flower coming out of lush green grass with the words “Freedom in Love” surrounding the scene. I believe God is going to bring her deep freedom through the Love of Jesus. I was able to share this with her and pray and prophesy over her. Near the end of our time together she came back up to me, thanking me for the painting and asking if we could exchange contact information. I saw her genuinely smile for the first time that day as we hugged goodbye.

I know I will see her again and spend time with her. And God will open more doors to love her and help her know the freedom that Jesus has for her. In fact, we’ve been texting since yesterday and are making plans to have pizza together. I am looking forward to getting to know her better and hearing more about what God is doing in her life. A wave of freedom is heading her way.

Major shifts occurred this weekend in individuals, in our communities, in our cultures, and in our region.

God is on the move! Thank you SO much FGBMFA Members for partnering with us in prayer.

Laraine T Roach Bemidji

This weekend I saw people of all ages, races, colors, genders, “importance of title” and spiritual background come together and laugh, cry, scream, play, dance, paint, sing, do spiritual warfare with flags, raise their voices, make art, hug, cook, serve, clean, protect, minister, receive and give, reach-out and proclaim their authority into the spiritual atmosphere.

It was the closest thing to seeing into Heaven that I have ever observed which could be because Heaven has come so close to us last weekend in Bemidji. We can’t help but reflect His Glory.
We now need to build on what was accomplished with this Holy Ghost party and not let the claimed land slip back into the darkness.

The relationships forged this weekend need to be protected, maintained and nurtured. Thank you John Tolo for your humility in following what the Holy Spirit is whispering in your ear, and for trusting all of us to help in this mission.

This Fireteam Outreach was organized in response to a vision Douglas Raine Director of National Outreach received while praying with John Tolo, President of the Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota Chapter, in March of 2010. In Doug’s vision he saw “three hundred men kneeling on one knee on the west bank of the Mississippi River lapping water with their left hand while they looked straight ahead, (like Gideon’s 300 faithful men who lapped the water by putting their hand to their mouth) (Judges 7:6). Then Doug saw a fire starting at the “northern-most” part of the Mississippi River and spreading south to the city of St. Louis and then branching off and going west to the Pacific Ocean and east to the Atlantic Ocean while continuing south to the Gulf of Mexico. The fire appeared to be a cleansing the land by the Holy Spirit.

Bemidji is a city in Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was at 13,431 at the 2010 census.[1] It is the county seat of Beltrami County.[4] Bemidji is the principal city in North Central Minnesota and the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota. Bemidji houses many Native American services, including the Indian Health Service. The city is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Bemidji lies on the southwest shore of Lake Bemidji, the northernmost lake feeding the Mississippi River and, as such, is deemed “the first city on the Mississippi.”

In Jesus’ Name,

Robert W. Bignold, National President
Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America