Jon and Jolene and Lamplighter Ministries mourn the loss of precious friend and prophetic father Jay Swallow.
Dr. Swallow is best known for his pioneering work bringing healing and reconciliation between Native Americans and whites, both in Oklahoma and across the land. Jay, known by his Native name Roaming Buffalo, labored ceaselessly over decades with his covenant friends John Benefiel and Negiel Bigpond to build bridges and bring healing where ancient animosities had prevailed. This covenant bond soon matured into the bridge-building network HAPN, or Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network.
Like a herd of buffalo, the earth trembled at the sound of his voice! Humble yet fiery, Dr. Jay Swallow had invested his life in one final assignment before departing this world. He returned to the Sand Creek battlefield upon which his fathers and mothers had drawn their final breath during the tragic massacre of their tribe. He had been summoned there for one final assignment of forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice.
Shortly afterwards his health began to decline. Surrounded by his precious wife Joan, by friends and family, the prophet of the Lord today has entered the whirlwind.
Jay was always quick with a joke. But he was one of the fiercest warriors known to the body of Christ. And it was Jay whom the Lord encountered with a verdict that came to be known as the “Divorce Decree from Baal.” Jay was on a Native reservation, summoned by elders grieved by an unyielding cycle of suicides. Not knowing what to do, Jay sought the Lord in a field one night. A bright light began to descend, and as the light drew nearer he saw that it was a scroll. Instructions were written on this scroll to summon the principalities to Heaven’s court so that a verdict of justice could be granted.
That verdict became the Divorce Decree from Baal, which has unleashed breakthrough and transformation nationally and globally since this time. But even more important, when the Court was seated and the verdict declared, suicides on this reservation stopped on a dime. And a generation of youth were freed.
Let me close by offering you a few insights about this project itself. At the beginning of the year, I saw how the Lord desired to extend the “Turnaround Project” with three distinct phases—Enter the Whirlwind, Prophet in the Whirlwind, and Mantle in the Whirlwind. Praying for Jay and following the updates from his family, I felt that his time was soon to “enter the whirlwind.” For this reason, the “Prophet in the Whirlwind” picture includes a buffalo to honor Roaming Buffalo. And it includes two Native American prayer feathers, symbolizing a double portion of God’s grace expressed through our friend.
I was so relieved when Jay outlived this phase—rejoicing that my perceptions were wrong. Then came the sudden passing of John Paul Jackson and Leanne Payne, with our precious prophetic friend Colleen Sherman more close to home. And we came to honor many prophets entering the whirlwind in this season.
I personally believe, with Jay and perhaps others, that his human spirit simply became too big for his deteriorating body to contain. True to his name, Jay has been summoned home to explore, to roam, to be free. Only now the American Plains have given way to the glory of Heaven itself.
A prophet of the Lord has entered the whirlwind. Heaven will never be the same! And the next time it thunders, the next time the heavens tremble and the earth responds, you might just wonder if Roaming Buffalo is close by.
A final thought. Dr. Swallow carried a mantle for healing this nation, for Israel, and for the nations and tribes of the earth. Just as Elijah went up in a whirlwind, and Elijah’s mantle came down, know that Jay’s mantle is in process of being imparted over this ensuing time. There’s a mantle in the whirlwind, and a legacy we are all summoned to honor by embracing as our own.