Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations in 2021: 649
Seminars in 2021: 52 in 11 states.
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations so far in 2022: 430
Personal Seminars in 2022: 32 in 12 states
Digital Seminars in 2022: 7

Upcoming Seminars
August 7-9 New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee
August 17-25 Polishing the Pulpit

Featured Work: AMC-Knoxville, Breaking Down the Wall of Unbelief!

On July 23, hundreds of Christians assembled at the Karns church of Christ to begin a domestic mission campaign. These campaigns are an attempt to reach the lost in our local communities using the combination of HTHSOE training, tools, and experience in past foreign mission fields. We spend hours each day in training and role-playing. In order to make contacts and prospect them into Bible studies, we use the following tools: House to House/Heart to Heart, Benevolence, Community Outreach, New Movers, Compassion Cards, and Prayer. The results were truly amazing.

Saturday was a travel day to allow those that came from all over the United States to arrive. People from ten states participated in this campaign. We began with a cookout to allow the team members to meet one another and fellowship. After dinner, we had a period of singing and a devotional. Rob led us in our first class on how to fill out a contact card. The first step in the evangelism model is contacts. If we fail to record information properly, we have to throw the soul (contact card) away!

On Sunday, we began the seminar with Lessons 1 and 2. We had a wonderful meal together, and then Rob taught effective door-knocking strategies. Austin organized us into our evangelism teams for the week. Sunday’s emphasis was on how to effectively use House to House/Heart to Heart. The magazine is an excellent door opener. Many of the workers were interested in receiving it, and we created a target list for mailing. After the evening evangelism lesson, Jericho responded to the gospel. The watering of the planted seed was clearly seen!

During Monday-Wednesday, we broke the day up into thirds. We spent mornings learning more about evangelism, and then knocked doors in the afternoons. Each day we used new strategies including prayer, community service, compassion cards, and new mover baskets. Then in the evenings, Rob taught the evangelism seminar to train the congregation. Attendance was outstanding during this event! On Wednesday evening, Andrew asked to be baptized. Ben Schaffer and Sam Lawrence studied with him that night using Does It Matter.

On Thursday, we delivered new movers baskets and succeed in making contacts and prospecting. In the afternoon, Rob and Austin did a mock Bible study to show people the different principles that we have been teaching during the week. After the demonstration, several groups practiced the techniques. The members of each group took turns being the teacher, prospect, and silent partner. Thursday night, we all went to the Karns’ fellowship hall to send compassion cards to the new contacts. More than 200 workers helped to send cards from both West End and Karns.

On Friday, we encouraged our groups to move into the prospecting stage of the evangelism model. They went back to people they had met earlier in the week to make visits, mow yards, take food, clean up fallen trees, or start Bible studies. This was an exciting day. During the evening, we had our congregational outreach using a backpack drive. Rob explained how to turn the backpack drive into an evangelistic effort and provided a video lesson to share with the congregations. This may be the highlight of the entire campaign as dozens of contacts were made and a Bible study began.

This is the third American Mission Campaign, and each one produced two baptisms during the event and reached at least a 30 percent success rate at the door. There is now no doubt that mission work works in America! We have broken through the wall of unbelief and now have a working model for the future. We learned several lessons that will be highlighted in Friday’s Success Strategies for the next few weeks. Stay tuned for these new tools!

Congregational Reports

Karns church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: We welcome the Karns church of Christ into the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. Last week they hosted our second American Mission Campaign for the year. They had two baptisms during the week. We left them with hundreds of contacts, prospects, and ongoing Bible studies. We can hardly wait for their first report next week.

North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Bryon Shultz (preacher) reports, “This Saturday, we had our clothing giveaway and also gave away produce from our garden. We have 58 contacts from that effort. Angel and I immediately followed up on a contact named Dorris.  When people came to receive clothing and food, we recorded their names, addresses, and any concerns they mentioned. Dorris said that her main concern is being alone. We visited with her for about a half an hour. We offered to take her to lunch on Wednesday, and she said she would love that, so that is our plan. We will also send compassion cards to her. In addition, we will follow up with other the hot contacts from this week’s effort. We had a visitor this morning who saw the clothing give away and decided to stop by. We gave her a visitor’s bag, and we will send cards as well. Mandy’s dad has been visiting with us for several weeks. I am working with him, trying to find the opportunity to have lunch together. In our morning service, I preached a lesson on the role of elders and encouraged the congregation to support them and their efforts to lead the congregation in the way the Lord wants us to go. In our second service today, the elders reiterated our determination to use these evangelism tools. We are assigning leaders for the various teams and projects. Please pray for the laborers and their efforts to God’s Kingdom.”

York church of Christ, York Pennsylvania: Fred Nowell (preacher) reports, “In the last couple of weeks, we have become more focused on evangelism as a congregation than in the last 20 years. We have organized all the materials and will soon have a whole room dedicated to evangelism. We continue with contact lists and sermons that promote the need and responsibility for all Christians to seek and save the lost. We are also promoting the need to encourage and edify each other as we begin. Terry (elder) had a brief study with a man we helped, but he is not interested in another lesson at this time. We pray that the kindness given him by Mark (a deacon) and Jere will produce fruit later on. Mark and Debbie had a study all set for Sunday evening, but the lady chose to cancel. Although these studies did not start or finish as we would have liked, it is encouraging to see members willing and excited to study with others. As we all continue to understand and use all that we were taught, we are confident that the church here will grow spiritually as well as numerically. Our prayers continue for the good work and love expressed for the kingdom and lost souls.”

Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, Ohio: Jeryl Webb (deacon) reports, “We have several members that have been unable to attend due to Covid, yet we still remain encouraged. I addressed the congregation this morning concerning their individual contacts, and we talked about finding prospects. We passed out contact cards and more guidebooks. Barbara Duff shared that a friend of hers has cancer. We will be sending her compassion cards and praying for her. Anne Thomas shared her thoughts about a friend with whom we will be working. The elders and I had a meeting today and discussed the next few steps in our evangelism efforts.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “I am so proud of the group of our members who went to the church in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, and helped with door knocking and their VBS. We made several good contacts for them. Please pray that they will be able to follow up on them and that those people will be open to the gospel. Our new converts class continues to be well attended. Neil Bringle is doing a great job teaching them. We have a few Bible studies in progress. On Monday night, we wrote many compassion cards to some who have visited our services, including Judy Jones whom we met during AMC. Judy told us she had attended the worship services of the church in another town when she was young, but that was decades ago. She visited with us Sunday morning for Bible class and worship. This is a result of the prospecting work done by several of our members. She said she would be back. Please pray that we are able to study with her. We are not sure if she is an unfaithful Christian or if she has never become a Christian. The work at Covington is continuing to move forward. Please pray for us as we strive to reach more with the gospel.”

Parkway church of Christ, Kentucky: Will Hester (preacher) reports, “We officially finished the John 4 series. We have assigned everyone to an evangelism group and will begin in earnest with cards/other efforts through these groups. During our AL VBS mission campaign, our group knocked 300+ houses in two days. On the same trip, one member of our youth groups decided to put Christ on in baptism! Officially for the year, Parkway church of Christ has had five baptisms in 2022! We believe that through HTH/HTHSOE, we can have several more baptisms before the end of the year!”

Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: Clint Monroe (elder) reports, “We finalized our groups and appointed our group leaders at our weekly evangelism meeting. We have one Bible study starting this week. We have also been prospecting a couple who has been visiting with us, and we hope to start a Bible study soon. Two other studies are in the developing phase. Next week will be our gospel meeting, so we are focusing on inviting people from the community. Brent has continued preaching from the Back to the Bible series. After the gospel meeting, we are planning to start our compassion card campaign. Hopefully, the gospel meeting will yield several contacts.”

Fayette church of Christ, Alabama: Kaleb Hall (preacher) reports, “The compassion card teams received their final assignments for our first round of prospects. We will begin follow-ups next week, and we look forward to setting up some Bible studies.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital enrollment): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “A year ago, Cynthia Ross taught book 1 of BTTB to Tynasha Collins, but she decided not to continue the study. On Sunday, Tynasha shared with me that she needed to hear the message of salvation preached. On Monday, she studied “A Few Minutes with Someone Who Loves You” with Netta Davis. She decided last night around ten to obey the gospel. About eight members came to the building to witness her baptism. Tynasha has had a brain aneurysm that developed back in June, and she has had a stroke and ongoing seizures. She is a young lady who was healthy before that time. She was on our individual and congregational contact list. We visited her in the hospital and sent out Compassion Cards. The plan works for those who are willing to work the plan.”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “Aloha from the Honolulu congregation! We appreciate all your prayers for the two prospects we mentioned last week. We have begun the Bible studies with these individuals. Please pray for God to give the increase. This past Sunday, I (Lima) was able to take three families out to lunch (prospecting) and got to know them even better. This past weekend, we had a Kid’s Day (fellowship, food, and fun) event and had some local visitors come by during the event. We will be sending them cards to thank them for their visit and to invite them to come back. For the first time since 2019, we will be conducting a congregational meeting to help encourage the members with the vision and the plans our elders have in mind as we move forward.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: Cody Westbrook (preacher) reports, “Kelly Foster walked through the doors of the Southwest building a couple months ago with her grandchildren. She said that as a child, she had been baptized into the Catholic Church. She had recently reconnected with her dad, who is a member of the church of Christ on the east coast. They began talking about spiritual matters, and he told her that she needed to find a sound congregation of the church of Christ and directed her to us. After a few weeks visiting, she walked up to Brett, one of our elders, and said, ‘I want to be baptized!’ She was immediately connected with a sister in the congregation, Elaine. They studied through Back to the Bible in short order, and Kelly was baptized into Christ. She is now attending faithfully and bringing her grandchildren with her. Please keep Kelly in your prayers. She is a babe in Christ who is also fighting cancer.”

University church of Christ, Montgomery, Alabama: Faires Austin (elder) reports, “Since January through July of this year, we have had 105 families move into our 36109-area code. Our New Movers Ministry has been very busy. Some families have not been home to receive a basket, but many have. We are in the process of organizing our members to go back to many of these prospects and establish a relationship with these families, hoping they will visit our services. Our goal is to study the Bible with them and convert them to Christ. Our Card Ministry is getting new requests every week. People in our area and those that are well beyond our location are requesting prayers. We send cards to encourage and uplift these families and individuals. Hundreds and hundreds of cards have been sent. Visitors’ bags continue to flow to our visitors, and we are making contacts.  We are also doing some evangelistic work at the Eastdale Estates Retirement Facility. Each Sunday at 3:00 p.m., we conduct a worship service for all of the residents. Several of the residents ride our church bus to our worship services on Sunday morning.”

Aberdeen church of Christ, Maryland: Will Brown (preacher) reports, “We have four completely new movers baskets that are put together from the youth VBS efforts. One was given out this week. We have two Bible Studies scheduled for this week. Both studies came from contacts members made from prospecting. We now have another card team established and are beginning the process for visiting those who received cards. We pray for God’s continued blessings with our evangelism work.”

Deerfoot church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Harp (preacher) reports, “Jeffrey Howell is planning to have a study on Wednesday with Frank Salumn. Frank is very close to obeying the gospel. Please pray that this study takes place. Lynn Timmerman is doing a Bible study on Acts with Jacquie Hearn. On Saturday, we had a back-to-school drive where 40 families registered with our congregation. From these, we believe there will be many contacts and prospects for Bible studies. Richard Harp also has a study set up for tomorrow with Jacob Ramey. He has visited several times and has agreed to study through Back to the Bible. Jeffrey Howell is also having a study with Alex Taylor on Thursday. The study with Jacob went extremely well! We are meeting for the second study tomorrow and the third one on Wednesday. He is a former youth minister.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We had our VBS from last Sunday through Thursday night, and it was a great success! Our modest-sized building never tallied fewer than 131 people, and the kids and teens seemed to learn and have great fun! We have shown love to all visitors and built relationships over the week. We have several that have expressed their plans to attend from now on. These are great opportunities! Pray for us that we take advantage of these open doors, and that God will be glorified!”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder/preacher) reports, “We had a fifth Sunday, but we had only four groups, so a few from each group volunteered to send cards. We have a few active Bible studies, and we are creating more contacts. We have some members who are taking visitors out to eat. We still have a few things to add to the evangelism program and a few more things to fix to be more productive. We hope to have more events to create more contacts in the future and to have more training.”

La Plata church of Christ, Maryland: Eric Sykes (member) reports, “We just returned from Chicago where we visited my mom. She has Stage 4 breast cancer. She was not doing well, but now that she is at home, she seems to be improving. Please keep us lifted up in prayer as we work on getting her to obey the gospel. She is 83, and her name is Mary Sykes. We had two baptisms. One of our elders baptized his daughter Joslyn Evans on 7/18/2022. I do not have any pictures. I baptized my grandson Krvin Sykes on July 25, 2022. My daughter-in-law, Tabetha Sykes, just completed lesson 2 of Back to the Biblewith one of her co-workers. We pray she will complete lesson 3 this weekend. I am so proud of her. This is the first Bible study she has ever done on her own, so please keep her lifted up in prayer.”

Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton, Virginia: Ben Phillips (preacher) reports, “We were excited to host our VBS last week but had to reschedule after a positive COVID case and exposure of many different families. We have thankfully been able to reschedule and are hoping for guests from our community. This Saturday is our first area-wide door knocking effort. We are partnering with the saints in our area to help a smaller congregation in Smithfield, Virginia, reach out to their community. We are praying that this effort will be a help to the brethren and produce fruit to God’s glory.”

Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “This week we revisited our bookmark cards and tried to make new prospects and contacts. We sent out several compassion cards to those on our list. We plan to do some in person visiting this week. We continue to build relationships with the hope of studies. Our visitors from the past three weeks were back again, which is very encouraging to us. They have declined offers to go out to eat, but we pray that we will get to know them better and study with them soon.”

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “July was another exciting month for East Main. We rejoice in the baptism of three souls this month. Kylie Taylor was baptized on the July 21 by her father. Kylie is the daughter of Chris and Tisha Taylor. Chris is one of our deacons at East Main. Chris and his family attended the House-to-House Seminar in Rome, Georgia, this year. Jace LaCroix was baptized on July 20 by Avery Bayes. Jace is the son of Marc and Mandy LaCroix. Both of these young people were baptized at Bible camp. East Main attends Indian Creek Youth Camp in Alabama and Short Mountain Bible Camp in Woodbury. Bible camps are very effective with our youth. Hunter Griffin was baptized by Seth Ferguson, our college minister, on the July 31. Hunter is the son of Paige Griffin. With the recent baptism over the last couple months, David Brown, one of our elders, will be starting another new convert class soon. David Brown is also responsible for discipleship of new converts. “East Main has several Bible studies in process, including the following:

  • Gavin and Alundra Torino continue to study with Jon Mitchell going through the Bible.
  • Chris and Jenny Saetveit continue to study with Jon Mitchell and Brad Rowley.
  • Tristan and Amy Zerner is studying with Billy Taylor and Brad Rowley.
  • Cody Brown, a new convert, is studying with Tim Hayes.
  • Chelsea Lane, a new convert, is studying with Audra and Tim Hayes and Gail and Brad Rowley.
  • A young man who chooses to remain anonymous at this time is studying with Brad Rowley.

“In July we had a total of nine contact cards turned in. We sent an average of 56 compassion cards each week. We had a total of ten in-home visits. We had four service projects in the month of July. We are improving our new mover strategy by leaving a contact number and a note when no one is at home.

“East Main held a backpack drive this past Saturday. As with all community outreach, our goal is to generate contacts. The drive was very successful with 286 backpacks dispersed. We are currently working on contact cards generated. Compassion cards, service projects, and in-home visits will follow accordingly. We pray for opportunities and open hearts to react with the appropriate action to spread the gospel. We are looking forward to our seminar with Rob Whitacre in September. We are promoting the event in every way possible.”

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “We have had a blessed week! We had a young girl and her mother baptized after we had finished the Back to the Bible studies. We are very excited for these new converts as we begin a new converts class. We are currently working with five more studies and how to have baptisms and new brethren soon. We also had our VBS this past weekend, and it was a great success! We followed the advice that a brother suggested, and we were able to reach out to the different visiting families this week to follow up with them this week.

“Our next event is our Gospel Meeting at the end of the month. Please be praying for our efforts reaching others with this meeting. Our theme is entitled, Why Be a Baptist? A former Baptist preacher who converted to the Lord’s Church a few years ago will preach. We have arranged the lesson topics, and it will be a GREAT week to save the lost. Pray for our dear brother preaching and for the souls eternally changed through this meeting.”

Oak Hill church of Christ, Covington Georgia: Tate Sutton (preacher) reports, “We had a group deliver baskets today. We had several good responses and actually made a friend. We pray that we can reach these contacts with the gospel.”

Warner Robbins church of Christ, Georgia: Dave Dominque (elder) reports, “We are still working to change our culture and build an evangelical mindset. We still meet on most Sunday mornings to discuss what works and what does not. We go through our list of prospects and the fallen, as well as sick and other unknown prospects. We are not as successful as we should be. We think our issue is with the follow-up. The good news is our compassion teams (visitation teams) are meeting each Sunday afternoon. Approximately 40 people meet (ten to twelve per week). We feel we should have more people involved. Today we assigned Glen Braly, one of our elders, to focus on the overall process and help us figure out what adjustments we need to make to be more effective. We have prospects, but we are not closing with them as effectively as we should be.”

Schertz church of Christ, Texas: Jay Stewart (elder) reports, “This week, Schertz rebounded from a few members having COVID, including John and Eta Grubb. John was able to present three lessons this week, all with evangelism focus. We were able to follow up John’s morning lesson with a welcome fellowship meal, where we had one visitor. We also had one new name added to our compassion card list—the first in a few weeks. We are constantly looking for those opportunities and now are encouraged that we will have doors opened for future Bible studies with a member’s aunt.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “This week, another lost soul obeyed the gospel! At the age of 86, Margy Hall had been studying with her granddaughter and grandson-in-law (LeAnne and Bill Meade), who are members of our congregation. When visiting her in the hospital and renewing this conversation, she ecstatically decided she wanted to obey the gospel! She was baptized into Christ in a hospital bathtub on Friday, August 29. Unfortunately, this morning, I received a call from Bill and LeAnn that she had passed away on Sunday, August 31. However, they find great comfort in knowing that they did not give up, and she did obey the gospel! Margy Hall taught our family at Paintsville a profound lesson. We should always remain persistent in speaking and studying the Bible with the lost. We never know when our work on earth will be done! Please keep her family in your prayers and continue to pray for the seed being sown throughout our community.”

Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “This past week we had several visitors at services, so we are following up with them this week. Also, we started a study with four family members of our latest new convert. He has been talking with them since his study, and they decided it was time to see what he had learned. The study went extremely well, and Lord willing, we will have the second study this week. It is imperative that we utilize the zeal of new converts to reach their family and friends. Some will be interested, even if they have long-standing or varying religious beliefs. Please keep us in prayer as we allow God to provide the increase while we plant and water.”

Monroe church of Christ, Georgia: Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “The work is alive and well here in Monroe. We have been gathering numerous contacts from our monthly door knocking efforts. We are prospecting for Bible studies, and I believe baptisms are in the near future.”

Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (preacher) reports, “The last few weeks have challenged us to keep our evangelistic efforts going. We have had the passing of one of our key members, and about half of the congregation have been sick. We are trying to get us back on track. We found someone to take over the duties of the lady who passed away. We are continuing our specific prayer and card program with those that are in the hospital, including one of our members who was in a bad car wreck. In two weeks, we will begin our monthly door knocking, so we are promoting it from the pulpit and in the bulletin. We have ordered additional tables for the auditorium for our visitor bags. We have made a distinction among visitors, recognizing the different needs between those who are traveling through and those who are living in our area so we can focus our evangelistic outreach on local visitors.  We will have two tables set up, one for each group. We also have had special postcards printed to focus on the needs of Christians who are passing through and a different version focusing on evangelism of the lost in our community who come through our doors. Please continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for all of you.”

East Ridge church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Charles Cochran (preacher) reports, “We are happy to report a baptism. This happened on Saturday night. Seth Coley studied lesson 3 of Back to the Bible with Russell and Tonya Lively. They had invited him to supper and then studied together for almost four hours. Seth had visited our services with his uncle, Donald Payne, who had also taught him. Donald baptized him. It was a joyful occasion. We also had a restoration on Thursday night. Lynn Logston confessed she had been unfaithful in attendance. We prayed and she wrote a statement of unfaithfulness, which was read before the assembly Sunday morning. We had a great day of worship on Sunday. Melvin Otey shared some powerful lessons. He encouraged us to continue evangelizing. We also had a wonderful VBS with a large number of visitors in attendance. Our work continues to go forward.”

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.