Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms (2018-2022) reported from U.S. Congregation: 2,345
Total Seminars Conducted (2018-2022): 181
Personal Seminars in 2023: 9
Digital Enrollments for 2023: 20
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations, 2023: 244

Upcoming Seminars
April 14-15 Blanchard church of Christ, Louisiana
April 16-18 Graceton church of Christ, Texas
April 19-21 World Video Bible School, Maxwell, Texas
April 22-23 Bridgewater church of Christ, Katy, Texas

HTHSOE Checklist
Featured Work: Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma
Editor’s Note: We love to see small rural congregations regain their footing and begin to grow. The story of this congregation is an example of what HTHSOE training can accomplish when the church is persistent and follows the model. Keno Shrum serves as the local preacher and one of their shepherds.  The journey has not been easy, and they have had setbacks, but after two years, the congregation has grown in every metric and surpassed all goals. This story of conversion serves to remind all of us never to give up on anyone, regardless of how long it takes to bring them to the cross.
Persistence in Evangelism
Written by Keno Shrum

We had another great week as we were blessed as a congregation to witness another baptism! We first met Shania through one of our members who has since passed away. Shania lived in his apartment complex, and he started visiting with her about God. He introduced Jamie and me to her, and we went through BTTB. She recognized what the Scriptures commanded but she did not respond immediately because she did not feel she was good enough. We visited with her and explained that coming to God was not about being perfect but about recognizing how broken we are and turning our lives to the One who can heal us, the Great Physician. Ultimately, she decided the time was not right.

However, we kept in contact with her for the next two years, and occasionally, she would worship with us. We kept her in our prayers and watched her grow and mature as an adult, and we were so happy when she contacted Jamie and said today was the day. So, before services, we sat down with her to recap BTTB. She said she had been praying daily and really thinking about it, and she woke up today feeling that she was ready to commit her life to God. We are excited for her and pray that she grows in Christ!

This is a perfect reminder for us that our job is to plant and water (1 Corinthians 3:6, 9). Sometimes we can get discouraged when we do not see immediate results, so I would encourage anyone reading this to not give up. Plant, water, and pray! The rest is up to God. Shania reflected on the studies we had done two years ago and today God gave the increase! All Glory to our Father!

Congregational Reports

Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: David Marker (elder) reports, “This past week, we continued to follow up with our contacts. Brooks Boyd and I visited with both of our benevolent contacts; those visits went well, and we hope to have a Bible study eventually. On Tuesday, we updated the congregation, via virtual, on all that has been done in the first quarter. We continue to challenge the brethren to stay focused in submitting contacts. We believe communication is key to our success as we encourage everyone to get involved. We have the new mover contacts for April, and we will begin organizing those efforts to deliver our gift bags. We have had six hot contacts in our high school class. Those studies are progressing well! Rob Whitacre, Brooks Boyd, and I will be meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss additional avenues that hopefully will help us to be more efficient and effective in our efforts.”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “Bret Smith brought an excellent speech at Lads to Leaders highlighting the evangelism process, and he won first place! In the picture, he holds an HTHSOE contact bookmark in his hand. The work continues, and this experience highlights how the youth have picked up on the importance of what we do!”

Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Keith Ritchie (preacher) reports, “John Valdez, age 85, agreed to a Bible study with Johnny Vaughn, and they have been studying for some time. Johnny brought John Valdez to the church building, and we went through Does It Matter. John was ready to do what was necessary to be in a right relationship with God and obeyed the gospel. I have a second study with William Whitaker tomorrow.”

Mossy Head church of Christ, Crestview, Florida (digital): Phillip Gaither (member) reports, “We are ready to begin executing what we have learned. We have been given access to the congregation’s website to begin the process of reaching the lost. It is now time to put the training into action.”

Lake City church of Christ, Florida: Jim Flegert (elder) reports, “Last Thursday we had a baptism, and showed a video of the baptism to the congregation on Sunday. As of Sunday night, our six sign-up sheets that we began last Sunday had a total of 165 names. Our leadership is extremely excited about our members stepping up to make our new evangelism program work. Our membership is 140, but several members have placed their names on more than one of the following categories: Greeting Visitors, Compassion Cards, Mission Mondays, Hosting Meals, Bible Studies, and Miscellaneous.  Our compassion card coordinator has made ready our new compassion card room.”

Monroe church of Christ, Georgia: Charles Harris (regional instructor) reports, “My wife and I studied BTTB 3 with Angie this afternoon. She has now been baptized into Christ. We met Angie through our addiction recovery work. She has great zeal in wanting to tell others the truth. I found out today she has been trying to teach others what we had previously studied. I see a future soul winner! I plan to study BTTB 3 with Ephesus through Zoom by the end of the week. We had a family visit Sunday morning. They picked us to visit because I had door knocked their neighborhood a few months ago. Now they will start being ‘card bombed.’ My wife, daughter, and I will begin a study with two family members Friday. We will also begin a study on Friday with a wife and daughter whom we met through our Bible Correspondence Program.”

Peachtree City church of Christ, Georgia: Lew Foshee (elder) reports, “We continue to collect contact cards, and are currently developing a prospect list from cards received. Our compassion card coordinator and team are continuing to mail cards to individuals that have been identified, in addition to members who have fallen away. We are assigning coordinators to each area. We continue to emphasize the importance of our evangelistic efforts in our closing comments after each service.”

Carrollton church of Christ, Georgia: Dave Leonard (preacher) reports, “Be planters, not pickers was the theme for the sermon on Sunday.  We studied from Matthew 22, following the program outline.  On Sunday evening we had encouragement from the elders, guidance from one of our deacons regarding the prospect list, and one of our deacons led us in prayer over our prospects by name.  It was moving to see the growing involvement!  Our coordinators had the names and cards organized for us and we finished with 154 cards to be mailed throughout the week!  We’re looking forward to following up.”

Stafford Road church of Christ, Georgia (digital): Daniel Welker (preacher) reports, “It has been a busy time at Stafford Road. After church on Sunday, my wife received a text from a friend named Emily who has been coming to church for some time. She was present when we preached through the Back to the Bible lessons, but she was not converted then. The text said, ”Hey, I have a lot of Bible questions for Daniel. Could we meet for breakfast Tuesday?” We agreed.

When we met, we talked about her Bible questions. Then I asked her to describe her baptism in the Baptist church. She realized she needed to be baptized for the reason found in the Bible. I asked her, “What hinders you from being baptized for that reason?” She said, “Nothing, but I would like to bring a friend to the baptism so you can meet her.” Of course, we agreed, and I thought, “A prospect.”

We met at the building and took Emily’s confession and baptized her for the remission of sins. We talked with Emily and her friend, whose daughter is ten and wants to be baptized, but her mother is not sure her daughter understands the full meaning of baptism. She asked for my help, and I asked where she goes to church. She told me she goes to Broad Street church of Christ, and I said she must help her friend to become a faithful Christian. She said she had been praying for Emily since they had worked together at Waffle House.

This is the ninth conversion since we started the work at Stafford Road. We are training two soul winners. Kris, who was recently baptized, has a list of ten people he wants to prospect for studies. A local preacher asked me to teach him how to do Bible studies. We will watch the seminar DVD together, and he has a list of people he wants to approach for studies. Tonight, I am studying with Calvin Eubanks and his roommate. Calvin was baptized after we studied, but he stopped coming to church. He recently returned. He said he would like to serve at the Lord’s Table. I told him that would be great, but it would be good to study more so he would better understand his commitment.”

Beattie Road church of Christ, Albany, Georgia: Brian Howard (preacher) reports, “We continued our study with Joan Kosola on Book 2. She expressed how much she appreciated reading the Word for herself, and she said that it had already answered a lot of her questions. We had quite a few visitors Sunday; a few are potential studies. I will reach out this week. Two members had a few studies with a man who was in the hospital last week. He knows what he needs to do, and we are praying he makes the right decision to repent and obey.”

Lafayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jessie Teague (deacon) reports, “Saturday we had about 10-15 people use HTH new movers list for door-knocking.  We had about 37 visits. Out of those, we have four or five names that showed promise for studies. We added their names to the contact list for compassion cards. Group 2 will meet Sunday to send out the cards. The elders have been making visits with previous card recipients. We have at least one Bible study in progress.”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (regional instructor) reports, “Our new converts class is preparing to graduate those who have completed the material. One focus is to encourage new converts to be part of the new class that will begin in July. We currently have two Bible studies ongoing. Our groups, each led by an elder, are working on the new movers’ program, visiting our shut-ins, and contacting and strengthening the wayward. We are gearing up for our Aloha Christian Camp in May (an island-wide camp hosted by the churches of Christ on the island).”

Jerseyville church of Christ, Illinois (digital): Jake Medford (preacher) reports, “We finished the lesson on John 4. We have a few contacts for our congregational contact list and hope to grow it. We are planning our first VBS in years and considering other events to get more contacts.”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Dougherty (regional instructor) reports, “This week I focused on new converts. We have twenty since 2020. Considering we only had about 30 members at that time, it was exciting to see the power of the gospel working. I put all our conversions on a spreadsheet and listed their names, designating them as active, inactive, unknown (e.g., sporadic attendance, M.I.A.), or deceased. This way, we will have a good idea who to prospect. Some are older ladies who are not able to travel the 30-45 minutes to services.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “As expected, Sunday we had many visitors. Many stemmed from invitations extended by members. Thankfully, we were able to generate many contacts and one Bible study. One of the couples had questions and desired to know more about the Bible. We have scheduled a study with them for Tuesday. This marks the second study that we have put on the schedule this week. Pray for receptive hearts and successful studies.”

Coldwater church of Christ, Murray, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “This past week we focused on contacts by sending compassion cards. We also have a study set up with one of our teens. We hope to go through Does It Matter? with this prospect.”

Central church of Christ, Paducah, Kentucky: Adam Faughn (preacher) reports, “The last two weeks have been amazing. Jalise Willis came to services on April 2 after talking the previous week to our youth minister. As it turns out, she had been raised in the Lord’s church and had been baptized at a very young age. She admitted that she had no idea what she was doing. Now, after a lot of life events and having been away from the church for many years, she studied about baptism and was ready to put on Christ for the remission of her sins. We were honored to baptize her. She brings with her six children plus a niece she is raising. Last Sunday, Jalise’s three oldest children—Javianna, Javaughn, and Jarod—were immersed by one of our elders. We rejoice that this family is getting on track with the Lord, and we pray we will be able to encourage them further. We are continuing to send cards and meet on Mission Mondays. We have a possible study coming with a young adult lady who is marrying one of our new converts. We pray for good soil. To God be the glory!”

LaPlata church of Christ, Maryland (digital): Eric Sykes (regional instructor) reports, “I completed Lesson 2 of Back to the Bible. The person really enjoyed the lesson, and we scheduled Lesson 3 for Thursday. My son had to reschedule the Lesson 3 study. I am going to teach my first HTHSOE Seminar this Saturday. I am excited and nervous at the same time.”

Samford church of Christ, Steele, Missouri: Kyle Imel (deacon) reports, “We are starting Mission Monday this week, but we renamed it Samford 16 Night rather than limiting it to a specific day. The 16 comes from our mission of Mark 16:16. We hope to visit with several prospects this week and set up one or two Bible studies. Our two active Bible studies are in the red book. Hopefully we can finish that soon. If there is no response, we will go through Does it Matter.”

West Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “Transition Thursdays have been the newest addition to our congregation’s efforts to implement the HTHSOE model. This week will be the third Transition Thursday. Participants have been consistent and persistent in attempts to engage prospects in personal Bible studies. May God continue to bless the efforts of our brothers and sisters in Christ to win souls for His Kingdom!”

Fordland church of Christ, Missouri: Josh Romo (preacher) reports, “We continue to receive positive feedback from our compassion cards. We now have 18 prospects receiving cards. Our Gospel Meeting begins Sunday with Chris Butler. He will preach sermons to motivate our evangelism efforts.”

East Flushing church of Christ, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “By God’s grace, we consistently pray for the contacts on our bookmarks and send compassion cards to contacts, new movers, those on our HTH/HTH mailing list, and visitors. We took visitors to eat at a restaurant on Sunday. We have several ongoing Bible studies. We appreciate your prayers.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “We sent compassion cards to prospects, and encouragement cards to the wayward. We continue to emphasize the process. We are updating the strategy to reach new members and to include those that have yet to totally commit. We have ongoing Bible studies, and we are revising our HTH/HTH new movers’ efforts. We continue to do the work and keep the faith in God for His will to be done in seeking the lost!”

Hermitage church of Christ, Pennsylvania (digital): Mike Bevridge (preacher) reports, “We are praising the Lord! His word is powerful. We baptized Stephanie this evening! Back to the Bible works. My wife, my sister-in-law, and I studied with Stephanie. She read the Bible verses, and we discussed a few questions related to the booklets. Satan puts stumbling blocks, barriers, and doubts in our minds. Do not believe it! Step around barriers. Keep in contact with your prospects.  Show lost souls how much you care. Call them, text them, send a card to them, befriend them, and invite them to your house. The saying is true —people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Dellrose church of Christ, Tennessee: Mike Hovis (member) reports, “Yesterday, Jerry preached the first lesson from the evangelism material. He is dividing the lessons over multiple weeks. We passed out bookmarks to the congregation. Wes Hovis explained the purpose, and we took time for members to add names to their bookmarks. Members were asked to think of names this week and bring the bookmarks back Sunday. We are moving toward a prospect list. During our business meeting on Sunday afternoon, the men decided to repurpose money from local radio spots to start sending HTH to our area on a regular basis. We are discussing how we will organize our groups.”

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “This past week opened new doors as we continue to study with a family that has been receiving compassion cards. One opportunity has opened from an individual who visited Sunday and requested a study! We are starting another study soon with a family who has been visiting for a while. There are more opportunities that we are cultivating, but until those doors open wider, we are praying these current opportunities will turn into souls added to the kingdom!”

Madison County church of Christ, Jackson, Tennessee: Steven Sprouse (preacher) reports, “We continue to hear good things about the church from our prospects. We are seeing multiple visitors each Sunday due to compassion cards. A Bible study is scheduled for Tuesday. Tuesday is our Transition Tuesday. We plan to assign members to visit prospects and deliver new movers’ baskets.”

Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “Since yesterday was Easter, we had more guests than usual. Most were relatives of members, and many attend other congregations, but it was a great day to see the building have over 60 in attendance when we typically have 35. Last night presented an opportunity to study with a young man. This study is set up for Thursday; it will bring with it a challenge that I have never faced before. I am not sure how to approach the issue, but God willing, we will study and plant seeds. We appreciate all prayers.”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “We finished with our first round of mailing cards. This week we gathered new contacts for more cards. We devised a plan to include cards for visitors. When we had visitors, we did not know how to include them but decided that the elders, preacher, and staff will focus on sending each visitor a card, and space them out through the week. This way, no one is left out. Saturday night I was honored to baptize MaKayla Dabbs into Christ.”

Freewill church of Christ, Gainesboro, Tennessee (digital): Andrew Scott (preacher) reports, “Greg Loftis, who we have been prospecting for some time, obeyed the gospel tonight. We used Does it Matter? for the study. When he read Romans 6, he said, ‘Andrew, no one has ever taught me this before.’ He is fighting cancer and continues with treatments. Please remember him in prayer. To God be the glory!”

White Oak church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee (digital): Austin Fowler (regional instructor) reports, “Sunday, we had our biggest crowd of the year, 59. Visitors continue to return. We hope to transition them into the Bible study step in the next few weeks. Wednesdays, we write cards to new movers.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “Easter Sunday, we totaled 111 people at worship service. We talked with so many people and made new friends. Afterward, we had 20 children stay for an egg hunt and finger foods. It was a great encouragement to see many familiar faces and to make new friends with guests. We were well prepared to receive these people into our building, and we think we made a lasting impression of love and care. God has blessed New Hope very much and given us great chances to welcome back members. A lady who has been visiting a few weeks, wanted to place membership after being out for a while. It was a great week!”

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We had six new contact cards. The majority of these contacts are from visitors and new movers. Our compassion card team Number 1 wrote 82 cards. We had our first Mission Day last week. We had a new member, Nicole LeBlanc, at Mission Day, and we are encouraged by new volunteers. When children are out for the summer, we hope attendance will improve. We had three Bible studies last week. We are revamping the front cover of our House to House Heart to Heart. After the magazine changes are complete, the website will be the next project. Our new convert class will be complete in two more weeks. We will have four new converts who will graduate.”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We continue to review bookmarks on Sunday mornings. We ask members to submit contact cards for those who are facing events that might cause them to appreciate compassion cards. We also include others we know (friends, families, and neighbors) in similar situations. We have prayer specifically for those we are prospecting. This week we had one contact card submitted. Card Team 1 met Sunday evening and completed 26 compassion cards. Last week five members made seven follow-up visits and contacts. Two of our elders and our preacher meet for Mission Mondays to review contact cards and visits so they can make plans for follow-up and visits during the coming week. We reach out to specific members to include them in assigning visits and follow-up. We use a spreadsheet to track all contact cards, follow-up visits, assignments, and other pertinent information.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “This week has been unlike any other week I have experienced directly. Following the tornado that hit Covington almost two weeks ago, there has been a constant outpouring of support for those affected. So many Christians from surrounding areas have come to help with clean-up and serve food. Many of our members have served in various ways as well. Our building is the hub for serving food, and we are going out every day to help people recover from this tragedy. On Monday, we provided lunch for all the faculty and staff as well as many students from our local elementary school that was destroyed by the tornado. We are making many contacts that we hope will turn into prospects, and eventually, Bible studies.

“We had several visitors Sunday. Some are friends or relatives of members who have been talking to them about visiting, including the parents of Nikki, our newest convert. We met Monday evening to write cards to these visitors. We will follow up after three or four weeks of cards. PJ, one of our members, is studying with Ashley, a friend who has visited a couple of times in the last few months. They are studying Book 3 of BTTB Wednesday. Pray for our efforts to reach the lost in our community.”

Highway 95 church of Christ, Taylor, Texas: Benjamin Dossey (preacher) reports, “Plans for our upcoming VBS are ongoing, and we are excited to be able to get the flyers for VBS in our new movers’ baskets. We continue to cultivate relationships with the contacts we have made through the new movers’ program as well as the compassion card program.”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We are excited after the baptism last week, and we hope to start a new converts’ class soon. We have several currently in Bible studies. All aspects of the evangelism program continue to go well. Our greatest challenge is turning the contacts into Bible studies through prospecting. We have many events coming up this summer to connect to evangelism.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (regional instructor) reports, “Many of our Bible studies are in the crucial points of booklet three. Please pray for them! Also, this week, we will be door knocking using the HTH edition. We will be utilizing the students of the school as they end their quarter.”

Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder) reports, “The Fruitvale congregation continues to prospect a number of folks. We pray these folks will be willing to study, and we look forward to the opportunity to teach them. We are convinced sticking with the Evangelism Model will provide us the best opportunity to bring glory to God.”

Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “Beginning in May, our congregation will host a Family and Friends Day. Our elders are encouraging the members to bring a family member or friend to morning worship on the first Sunday of the month. Our preacher will preach on a unique aspect of the Lord’s church (worship, organization, or the plan of salvation, for example). Worship will be followed by a meal. As with all efforts, we pray that this will generate interest in the gospel, which will lead to personal Bible studies.”

Lackland Terrace church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Greg Campbell (preacher) reports, “We have been sending compassion cards. We plan to do better visiting those who are new movers by sending them Compassion cards. We have had several visitors for worship on Sunday and Wednesday night Bible study who were invited from members in the congregation! I am impressed to see our older members inviting friends.”

Schertz church of Christ, Texas: Jay Stewart (elder) reports, “This week the Schertz congregation hired Scott Springer as our new full-time minister. He will replace our beloved Stan Crowley who has been our preacher for exactly 20 years. With Scott onboard, we are excited to partner with him in our evangelism efforts that began over a year ago. Next week, we are hosting Glenn Hitchcock for our Spring Gospel meeting. This event was highlighted in our recent door-knocking effort when several folks respond with interest to our contact. Finally, we had a large number of visitors today at our worship service as may be expected on Easter Sunday. We are working to set up Bible studies with one family who are not Christians, but they have attended at least four times in the last six weeks.”

Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “Yesterday, we had our highest attendance for the year at 175. This was slightly higher than our Friends Day one month ago (172). One of our elders continues to teach a new converts class on Wednesdays in an effort to retain those we are baptizing. Next Sunday evening, we are planning a special evangelistic sermon from Acts 8 entitled, “How To Be Saved.”

NOTE: These reports are from Christians and congregations enrolled in the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. These emails are sent to teach and provoke one another to remain focused on the mission of Christ. Each week, we share several reports and highlight one with more details. We hope you enjoy reading them.