Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms (2018-2022) reported from U.S. Congregations: 2,345
Total Seminars Conducted (2018-2022): 181
Congregational Enrollments in 2023: 27
Digital Enrollments for 2023: 28
Student Enrollment: 119
States Reporting: 16
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations 2023: 735

Upcoming Seminars
September 8-9: Monticello church of Christ, Arkansas
September 10-12: Windsong church of Christ, Little Rock, Arkansas

HTHSOE Checklist

Featured Work: East Main Church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 

Editor’s Note: Changing the culture in a large congregation is one of the most challenging works in HTHSOE. Guiding large vessels toward local growth takes strong leadership, patience, and persistence. When you already have a strong attendance/contribution board, the motivation for growth is sometimes more difficult to harness. A slow transformation has occurred since meeting the eldership of East Main at the first American Mission Campaign in Rome, Georgia. The leadership routinely reaches out with questions and suggestions. This week’s report proves that an evangelistic culture can be cultivated in a large congregation.


Turning a Large Ship Takes Time
By Brad Rowley (Elder)


On Sunday, our compassion card team wrote 139 cards—a record! Our card team and their cards are an important part of our evangelism efforts because they provide opportunities. Last week, we received four new contact cards.

On Sunday, the elders requested the congregation to help with Mission Day. Due to the surge of contacts from VBS and the backpack drive, we are falling behind on our follow-up visits. East Main has a long list of new movers each month. Murfreesboro is growing fast, with new families moving in every day. We encourage our youth and families to help deliver these baskets as a service project.

We had three Bible studies last week, with two brand new studies. Of the four new studies this month, one was from a new mover basket contact, two were from the backpack drive, and one was a personal contact.

We give God the glory! We are usually packed every Sunday with new people with whom we are fostering good relationships, and we send cards every week! When turning a large ship, remember “to turn just one degree at a time.”

Congregational Reports

Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: David Marker (elder) reports, “We have had several folks excited about the ongoing work in our evangelism program. From an elder’s standpoint, it is very encouraging to see everyone working together in the bond of unity. We have numerous visitors, and I would attribute that to the hard work of everyone going the extra mile to invite someone. While utilizing all the different methods in the HTHSOE model, we have had the most success with the invitation cards. We had several visitors last weekend, and we noticed one family had an invitation card they had received from us. We had a homemade ice cream supper Sunday night, and we invited several of our contacts to attend. We had three visitors who came and two of those were hot contacts. Brooks Boyd, elder/minister, is having a Bible study with a lady who is the daughter of a recently baptized lady. We have others that we hope to get into a Bible study soon. We continue to pray for a bountiful harvest!”

College Avenue church of Christ, Enterprise, Alabama: Phillip Rabren (HTHSOE graduate) reports, “Sunday, Caleb Cochran (preacher) brought the second lesson on John 4 and followed the second Sunday use of the Evangelism Bookmarks as laid out in the Curriculum. A five-minute training video was shown that morning on Prospects and Compassion Cards. On Sunday evening, Caleb provided training on the Compassion Card ministry, and everyone received the training card to follow along. Saturday, Gregory, a soldier from our local military base, was baptized into Christ. His girlfriend is a Christian and has been patiently encouraging him for a long time to consider his need to examine his previous baptism and his understanding of other church practices. He has been visiting for several weeks, has received cards, and has been taken out to eat. Recently, Caleb gave him some Scriptures to consider and a chapter to read from Dan Chambers’ book entitled Churches in the Shape of Scripture. He called Caleb Saturday morning and told him he was ready to be baptized. Caleb and other Christians met him at the church building, and Caleb baptized him into Christ. To God be the glory!”

Farley church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Ed Linebaugh (elder) reports, “We started our compassion card ministry, training the congregation, plugging people into their roles, and have ongoing Bible studies across the congregation.”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “We had 20 participate Sunday in writing cards to send out. Currently, we are working with eight contacts. We ordered invitation cards to add another tool for our members to hand out. A member come forward asking for prayers Sunday; she was convicted by singing You Never Mentioned Him to Me. We continue to plow forward, hoping to schedule studies with good contacts. Several studies continue to be in progress.”

Highway church of Christ, Benton, Arkansas: Steven Ford (preacher) reports, “Our Compassion Card team wrote 27 cards. We have ten prospects. We have had at least five baptisms this year. We continue to focus on reaching the lost.”

Lake City church of Christ, Florida: Jim Flegert (elder) reports, “We are looking forward to the possibilities of our more recent contacts becoming potential prospects. Our most recent mission Monday prospects are showing promise from two of our card recipients. We pray that these two and the three recent movers will allow our BTTB team to conduct Bible studies.”

Niceville church of Christ, Florida: Joe Palmer (preacher) reports, “We mailed 235 cards. Our compassion card ministry is almost set up. We had a great card meeting, and everyone was encouraged. On Sunday night, I taught a training session entitled, What I Learned at PTP and reviewed the interaction with Rob and the regional trainers. We are continuing to work with our past visitors and contacts. We had two Bible studies this week. Soon I will focus on the Visitor/Greeter ministry and getting our visitation team fully trained.”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “Sunday, we prayed for those on our bookmarks. The Compassion Card Group sent 11 cards last week. The Community Visitation Group visited six from our local address list and left 86 door hangers for those not home. Our New Movers group delivered two baskets and left three door hangers. The Evangelism Application Class had ten attendees. We had 19 in the New Converts class. The Greeters Group reported three visitors this week. We collected two contact cards to work on. WCOC had one Bible study and one baptism this week!”

LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jesse Teague (deacon) reports, “Never limit VBS to just children. Marie was invited to the adult Bible class during our door-knocking for VBS. She decided to visit. She came every night and to worship the following Sunday, meeting most of our members. Then she missed a few times. She received a lot of cards, and good brothers and sisters visited and took her food. She came more often and studied with us. On Wednesday (while we were at PTP), she obeyed the gospel! On the other side, Ken, David, and Curry have been studying with Robert. He agreed to the third study, but he was not ready to leave his denomination. We need to continue to engage and encourage him. There is always hope.”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Dougherty (preacher) reports, “A young man visited Wednesday night. We invited him back, and he came Sunday morning. He was an atheist until a few months ago; I will begin studying with him tonight. He readily accepted my offer to learn more about the Bible. We had eight visitors; one was a lady who has been on our prayer lists for a few weeks. One of the sisters has been talking and studying some with her. On Friday night, we met with a mother and son who were recent converts but had quit attending a while back. The son recognized that he was in a bad way and asked for help returning to the fold. He and his mom were both in attendance yesterday, and it was great to have them return. To God be all the glory and honor.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “Last week paid dividends for our family’s efforts at Paintsville. We have two Bible studies set up, with a possible third coming later in the week. The first Bible study is a woman who relocated to our area recently and began visiting our congregation on the recommendation of a friend. The second Bible study will be with the daughter of two of our members; she desires to correct her spiritual standing. She sought us out for a study! The third possible study will be with a gentleman who has visited with a friend in our congregation the last few weeks. He has been asking questions about our worship and practices. He has felt welcome since he started visiting. This could lead to a wonderful conversation about his salvation! God has bestowed so many blessings on the Paintsville congregation in 2023. We appreciate prayers for the seed to fall upon receptive hearts in these studies and that God will give the increase!”

LaPlata church of Christ, Maryland (digital): Eric Sykes (regional trainer) reports, “We had a wonderful time at Polishing the Pulpit last week. We met a lot of amazing saints. We currently have two open Bible studies, and both prospects are entering Lesson 3 of Back to the Bible. We appreciate all prayers for these needs. We have eight in our New Converts training class. We sent out 24 compassion cards and added two prospects to the prospect list. We had four visitors this week. We have 12 prospects to visit this week; we will give them care packages.”

Southside church of Christ, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Freddie Klein (preacher) reports, “We continue to preach through BTTB during our Sunday service. We knocked on doors on Sunday and had one family very interested; we will follow up within the next week. Three souls are close to obeying the gospel. Several bags were hand-delivered to those who participated in VBS.”

Looxahoma church of Christ, Mississippi: Blake Hawkins (deacon) reports, “The New Movers deliveries are such an easy way to get everyone in the congregation involved in going door to door, and next week we will begin taking those baskets. This should help increase participation in future door knocking. The women are planning a ladies’ day in two weeks, and the registration form will retrieve contact information on each visitor so we can send thank you cards after the event. We have a gospel meeting scheduled in October, another opportunity for community outreach that may garner more prospects.”

Iuka church of Christ, Mississippi: Robert Wimbish (elder) reports, “The church at Iuka experienced our first baptism resulting from Back to the Biblestudies. Four visitors have been to our services due to our Food Giveaway Day. Lance continues to provide powerful sermons with an underlying theme of reaching the lost. We are planning our door-knocking strategy and will provide the first training session this Wednesday. The results of the congregation’s efforts leading to a heart receiving God’s Word are already being seen, and it is beautiful. The byproduct of these efforts is just as beautiful; the heart of our congregation is swelling and starting to overflow into the lives of those around us. Given the chance and willing to take it, we can change the world, and the effort is also changing all of us.”

West Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “Members are set to resume several Bible studies. The congregation is prospecting about twelve prospects and actively seeking new contacts. Compassion card group three completed thirty-five cards to be mailed this week. Transition Thursdays resume this week after a change in schedule due to Polishing the Pulpit. We appreciate all efforts to reach the lost!”

Foristell church of Christ, Missouri: Rod Jackson (elder) reports, “We sent out 100 compassion cards this week. On Sunday, we completed our post-seminar adult Bible class. Our deacons reported on different areas they are responsible for Sunday as we continue to focus on evangelism. We hope these monthly reports to the congregation will encourage visibility and excitement around evangelism. We had one study with a visitor, using Book 1 of Back to the Bible. We appreciate all prayers for these studies and for continued progress.”

Samford church of Christ, Steele, Missouri: Kyle Imel (deacon) reports, “We are getting ready to visit several contacts who have received cards from us. We added a couple of contacts in the past few weeks. One of the contacts was a visitor who had received several cards. Others are sick in our community.”

East Flushing church of Christ, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “In addition to the continual visitors at worship and our current Bible studies, we are working to follow-up with contacts. We provide transportation for the contacts who attended our Vacation Bible School, back-to-school giveaway, and a picnic in the park events. We appreciate all prayers.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “This week the congregation conducted two Bible studies, one using Lesson 3 of Back to the Bible, and one using Does It Matter. Both prospects decided not to obey now, but we have plans to continue studies and relationship with them as long as they will let us. A study is scheduled this week with a member and her granddaughter; we pray for that study. We are in our fourth week of mailing compassion cards to a bereaved widow and a contact in the hospital, and we will plan a personal meeting soon. The New Movers ministry delivered twelve baskets to the community. Leaders are meeting to organize the work and putting coordinators and assistants in place. We are encouraging and preparing the congregation for this great work.”

Cary church of Christ, North Carolina: Larry Fife (preacher) reports, “God continues to bless us. We are in a building phase right now with our evangelism coordinators. They are recruiting for specific areas and beginning to train. We have a few Bible studies ongoing. Sunday, we start our New Converts class to strengthen their faith. We have set up an evangelism room where all of our materials can be accessed, and this room can be used for Bible studies and our class for new converts.”

Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (elder) reports, “I used the Making It Operational PowerPoint from the HTHSOE website for my sermon. I taught on the Great Commission and showed the congregation how every member must be involved in evangelism. I explained how important every step is in the process, and that if we stay with that flow and evangelistic model, the church will grow. It is not a coincidence that churches nationwide, from every demographic, have grown when following the model. It is an effective, actionable plan to help us fulfill our roles in the Great Commission. I handed out bookmarks before services began. At the end, several people had already filled them out. We had 57 in attendance, so I hope to have 450-500 contacts by next Sunday. Then we will start prospecting. Jesus said that many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14), but we will only get to the few by going to many. We have a command and a workable plan, and we have only scratched the surface in the past two years. We’ve doubled in size, but there is much to do. As the hymn says, ‘There is much to do, there’s work on every hand. Hark, the cry for help comes ringing thru the land. Jesus calls for reapers, I must actively be. What wilt thou, Oh Master? Here am I; send me!’ We sing it. Do we mean it? Are we singing with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). The proof will be in the fruit of our efforts. We appreciate all prayers as we also pray for all who labor in God’s name.”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “We are ending our third month of mailing cards; our workers are diligent to be timely and caring. We include our shut-ins and elderly, and they appreciate the positive attention. We have had two baptisms in the last two weeks. Garret Graves, a young man dating one of our young ladies, has been studying the Word. Then, a lady raised in the church here in McKenzie who was baptized as a teenager, Robin Thompson, was re-baptized. She was not certain as to the reason for her baptism when she was young, so she wanted to be sure. We have had one contact in the last three weeks: a non-member family that worshiped with us for a while and then quit. We pray for more contacts soon.”

West End church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Adam Wilson (member) reports, “Oleg continues to meet with the church at every opportunity, including last weekend’s men’s retreat. On Sunday, three members (Lance Champion, Adam Wilson, and Chris Templeton) independently pursued the Back to the Bible study with him (how exciting is that!) Oleg went out to dinner with Adam, and they completed Book 1. The plan is for Chris to complete the last two studies with him because they have so much in common. This will be Chris’s first time leading the studies, so we appreciate prayers for his confidence and understanding and for Oleg to continue to have an open heart.”

East Ridge church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Charles Cochran (elder) reports, “We had a Back to the Bible study last night. We visited a couple who brought their children to VBS. We set up a Back to the Bible lesson with them. I had a Bible Correspondence Course student request that cards be sent to her mother. We will be doing this. Good things continue to happen at East Ridge.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We have a meeting scheduled with a lady this week to talk about her faith. We appreciate all prayers as we discuss the gospel with her.”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fultz (elder) reports, “We had six contact cards submitted this week and one visitor Sunday morning. The greeters record the visitor’s names and addresses and provide them with visitor bags. Greeters add each local visitor to a list to receive compassion cards. Card Team 3 met before Sunday evening services and wrote 55 compassion cards. Members made five follow-up visits and contacts, not counting phone calls and texts. Two Bible studies were completed, and one is scheduled for this week. We thank God for two baptisms as a result of the Bible studies! We had 11 in our New Convert class Sunday morning.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “On Sunday morning, we had several visitors; we have been prospecting them, and we are getting close to Bible studies. We installed Brad Evins as a new deacon. He will be leading our local outreach and evangelism ministry. Brad and his wife, Becky, will be doing great things for the kingdom. We informed the church that we had assigned every member to a compassion card group. We read the names of every person in the first group meeting this Sunday afternoon to write cards to prospects. Sunday evening, Hollie responded, confessing the sin of neglecting to assemble with the saints, and asked to place membership with us. After services Sunday night, Briley Bringle, the daughter of some of our members, was baptized into Christ by her father, Neil. We are so proud of her! Jeff Phillips (associate minister) has a Bible study with Jake and Ryan on Tuesday night. They are brothers. Bible studies have been planned but not scheduled with Jordan and Amanda. I believe at least one of our visitors is ready for a study. God is truly blessing us with opportunities. All we have to do is walk through the door.”

Lackland Terrace church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Greg Campbell (preacher) reports, “One of our elders stepped down due to health struggles. He has served for decades. It was an emotional occasion when he read his letter to the congregation. We had a successful Bible study with Meredith Daniel; we got to the first star in the red booklet, and she was ready! Attached are some pictures of the baptism!”

Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “Ferman and Jerri Rosales visited Midtown on a Sunday recently. Our preacher, Brandon, invited them to study the Bible, and they were baptized into Christ! We have four to six contacts at all times, and the brethren take turns writing cards each Sunday immediately following worship service.”

Canyon Lake church of Christ, Texas (digital): Jesse Stuart and Raoul Ferris (evangelists) report, “We all rejoiced with the baptism of Jonah Ulbrict. He has grown up here at the Canyon Lake church of Christ and has been attending with his family since his early childhood. In addition to our evangelism efforts this week, we hosted 14 members from Northern Oaks church of Christ for a door-knocking training. We trained them in methods of door-knocking, follow-up, mapping out your area, organizing compassion card writing and mailouts, and how to use a calendar for evangelism follow-up. We set up a Bible study using Back to the Bible with a young man named Joseph Buenrostro at the Bandera church of Christ, introducing this young man to Anthony and Hailey Scherffius. Anthony is the preacher for the church there. We hope to have our next study in two weeks. This week’s numbers at Canyon Lake evangelism efforts include the following: Baptism: 1; Doors knocked: 111; Business visited: 1; People answered: 43; Contact Cards collected: 10; and Bible Studies:1.”

Eisenhower church of Christ, Odessa, Texas: Allen Weakland (elder) reports, “As August closes, the Eisenhower congregation witnessed Marissa obeying the gospel Wednesday.  The Easlons have been studying with her for several months. This young mother has been serious about her decision and has demonstrated her conviction through attending worship and Bible study. There was not a dry eye in the building. Marissa’s grandmother has been a member at Eisenhower for over 16 years. Maria informed me that Marissa’s obedience to the gospel was her prayer, and now it is a reality. May God be praised.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (regional trainer) reports, “We continue to implement parts of the program. We have a few studies going on, and we will study with a couple this week. I will be teaching the students how to use Back to the Bible, including strategies to get Bible studies. This will allow me to use them in evangelism while they are here for two years.”

Granbury Street church of Christ, Cleburne, Texas: Ryan Cowan (deacon) reports, “Our preacher, John Haffner, and I met with Rob at PTP to discuss some strategies for our efforts at Granbury Street. We discussed what options are available for congregational training and how it takes a little time for fruit to mature. Rob was encouraging. Kerista Cowan continues to train ladies to manage our compassion card writing. Generally speaking, we are sending out about 100 cards per week. Currently, 13 studies are in progress. Bill Hughes, one of our deacons, is studying with a friend and two other family members of a sister in Christ who put on baptism a few months ago. We are working hard and looking forward to our next Mission Monday scheduled for September 11.”

North Jefferson church of Christ, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda (preacher) reports, “Our VBS plan appears to be working slowly but surely. VBS is every Wednesday night in July and August. One couple (Caleb and Angel and their two children) are coming to all services, and individuals are trying to set up the Bible study. They are attending the Sunday AM Foundation class (new convert class); they receive a lot of positive feedback from the wife. We have broken 100 at least two weeks of the VBS. Shane Johnson is working on Jeremy, a fellow player in the roller hockey in Winnsboro. The family is looking for a church home. Tonya Larsen, a wayward Christian, was in the assembly after many years. Ron (a grandson of a North Jefferson couple) has been attending for three weeks. We are building that relationship and hope to have a study set up soon. Elliott and Jannah Ayo moved from Winnsboro to Bogata. He is the band director at Rivercrest, a nearby school. They have twin boys. A home visit was made to get acquainted, but no one was home. Gabby and her children (a lady who works with Janice McCain) have been coming to VBS and attended worship on August 20. This relationship started two years ago.”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We have Bible studies that are progressing slowly. Others are prospecting potential Bible studies. My study with a couple is almost complete. I am doing some pre-marital counseling, which led to the Bible study in the first place. There is a wedding coming soon, and then we will baptize them both. Our fall gospel meeting will be here in a month; we will knock on doors with the same approach at AMC. Ongoing training is continuous, and cards are going out like clockwork. The New Converts class is growing and going well. We have more members placing membership, and we will have more baptisms soon!”

Bridgewater church of Christ, Katy, Texas: Doug Suggs (member) reports, “One compassion card team met Sunday to address cards to recent visitors from our area. A recent convert has been reading Growing in Christ with the friend who invited her. Both are enjoying the study, and they are learning.  We had visitors yesterday, and one requested to place membership and will do so after meeting with the elders. Another man placed membership after meeting with the elders. We are getting the program in place and are excited about our prospects for growth. We appreciate all prayers.”

Graceton church of Christ, Diana, Texas: Johnny Willeford (elder) reports, “The Graceton church of Christ family continues its work in the Lord’s Kingdom. Wednesday evening, the congregation watched our online conference with Rob. It is hard to believe that it has been six months since we started a new direction on evangelism in our community. The discussion at the online conference opened the eyes of many about what we are trying to do and how important continued training is. Group A signed 104 compassion cards. Six individuals will receive cards this week. We reminded writers that this is not a time to chastise those struggling with their faith and obedience but rather an opportunity to uplift and encourage those struggling. We met with our Mission Monday group; we have added three new individuals to work in that area. On Wednesday, we will have more training for the ones working as greeters and inviting visitors to an after-service meal. We are adding another couple to this group. We had two new visitors on Sunday morning. We appreciate all prayers for our efforts here at Graceton.”

Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (elder) reports, “Our Wednesday evening private Bible study continues, and we mailed over a dozen compassion cards last Sunday. We have had two couples place membership recently and are praying for the baptism of one of our young people soon.”

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.

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