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: 42
Remote Enrollments for 2023: 31
Student Enrollment: 138
States Reporting: 21
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations 2023: 1,099

Seminars completed for 2023!

HTHSOE Checklist

Featured Work: Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma 

Editor’s Note: We are so impressed with the work of this small congregation in Oklahoma. They have more than doubled in two years. Their members are engaged in evangelism and are led by a unified eldership/pulpit. This past week, an unbeliever taught another unbeliever the gospel using Back to the Bible, and they were both baptized. It is a fantastic story . . .


An Unbeliever Teaches an Unbeliever
By Keno Shrum (HTHSOE Regional Trainer)

The perfect end to a fantastic week came on Monday evening. Two Sundays ago, Matt and I studied with his in-laws, Ken and Renee, who are visiting from California for the holidays. When Ken visited in September, he clearly stated he had no interest in church or religion. He turned down his daughter Kassidy’s invitations to worship. However, this time, he and Renee accepted Kassidy’s invitation and visited several times. The first time, around Thanksgiving, I asked them if they would be interested in having a Bible study. They agreed, so after worship services, we went out for lunch and then came back to the building for the study. I was prepared to go through BTTB with them, however, when they filled out the survey, Ken stated that he did not know if the Bible had contradictions or not and that he was unsure that the Bible was the inspired word of God. He said, “Keno, you may believe that, but I have no religious experience. Everybody says their Bible is right, but I need evidence.”

So instead of Back to the Bible, I switched to Believe the Bible. After going through Lesson B, Ken seemed somewhat convinced but not solidly. We scheduled a study for the next Sunday, but something came up. We rescheduled for last Sunday. Sunday morning, Ken attended, but Renee did not. After lunch, I decided that due to the lack of time before they leave to go back to California, Does It Matter would be best suited for our study. As we went through the study, Ken asked many questions to ensure he understood the verses we were reading. My gut feeling told me that “Today is the day.” I felt certain he would accept the Gospel.

It turned out that my gut feeling was wrong. He said he recognized what the Bible said about salvation but was still not 100 percent convinced the Bible was indeed the inspired word of God. He said that as a retired sheriff’s deputy, he relied heavily on evidence and needed to soak everything in and process it. He also said that Renee would be upset if he were baptized. I asked him if she would be willing to go through the study. He said he doubted it because her brother attends a denomination, and it had been made clear that if she did decide to go somewhere, it would be with him.

I told Ken I understood, and that God never expects us to have blind faith. The evidence is there. I asked him to go back through Believe the Bible and Does It Matter on his own time and to call me if I can help or answer any questions, even if it is after he returns to California.

Today, I got a text that Ken and Renee were ready to be baptized. It took me a minute to wrap my mind around what had happened because I hear so many Christians say that they CANNOT teach someone else. Yet here we have a man, a non-believing man, who had taken the HTHSOE resources home and taught himself AND his non-believing wife, and they both realized that they needed to be baptized! So tonight, they came to the church building, and their son-in-law Matt, a deacon here, baptized them both! It just happened to be Matt’s first time to baptize anyone. I cannot tell you how proud I am of Matt and Kassidy for never giving up, always living right, and being the example that they have been.

Afterward, Kassidy told my wife and me that 21 years ago, someone at the church she attended with the family told her never to give up on her dreams. What took place tonight was her biggest dream. She had written that dream in the front of her Bible as a teenager and in the front of every Bible she has owned since then, and tonight, her dream came true!

I have studied with many people over the past few years. I have been blessed to have the honor of baptizing many people. A non-believer teaching a non-believer, and both being baptized, is my first! What an amazing God we serve! All glory to Him!

Congregational Reports

Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: David Marker (elder) reports, “As we review our efforts this past year, it has been very rewarding to see everyone working together in this evangelism effort. We planned many events, delivered numerous baskets, and visited many people. It is encouraging to see everyone working together with a purpose and in a bond of unity. So far this year, we have had four baptisms, fourteen restorations, and seven placed membership with us. We have a third Bible study that we pray ends in our fifth baptism this week. We hope to finish this year strong and pray that all the seeds sown this year will result in a bountiful harvest in 2024.”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Rob Martin (elder) reports, “Our congregation is blessed to have so many workers for the Lord! Participation in card writing, visits, and Bible studies is phenomenal! The excitement is contagious. A young Christian couple, Zeb and Gracie Green, placed membership and asked to be put to work. God continues to bless our efforts!”

Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (evangelist) reports, “Joe Garza started visiting our services last summer. He came to our New Converts/Searchers class, was very engaged, and had great questions. He was interested in studying the Bible, and so we did. He, like I, came from a semi-practicing Catholic background but was not really sure about his understanding of what the Bible taught. Joe’s job causes him to travel a lot. We had all but finished the last study in Does It Matter when he had to go overseas for what was supposed to be two weeks. Instead, it turned to 6 weeks. The entire time Joe was visiting and studying, our congregation sent him cards of encouragement, took him out to eat, and had him over to their homes. When Joe came home from this last business trip, he was sitting in his usual spot when Maria and I walked up behind him. When I tapped him on the shoulder and offered my hand to shake his, he pushed it aside, hugged me, and said, “We need to talk. I need to be baptized.” We finished off the study during Bible class time, and he was baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of his sins that day. He was overwhelmed with emotion when he came out of the water. I told him afterward that from the first time I spoke to him, the first time he visited, I thought we would see this day. Why? Because he was so open, friendly, and wanting to learn. He was asking, seeking, and knocking, and looking for answers. This year was remarkable for Chase Park, especially since we have been coming out of COVID-19. The most amazing thing about this year was that of the 16 conversions we had, 9 of them were led to Christ through the efforts of someone other than our ministers. Local evangelism works best when the local members are sold on saving souls. May 2024 be the best year ever in reaching the lost! God bless and remember Joe (and the five other folks we are currently studying with) in your prayers.”

Monticello church of Christ, Arkansas: Josh Walker (preacher) reports, “As we close out 2023, we continue Bible studies, and more visitors are returning because of our efforts to welcome and get to know them. Prayers are coveted as we continue progressing with our evangelism program and study with those responding to our efforts.”

Foothills church of Christ, Searcy, Arkansas: Josh Alexander (preacher) reports, “The Foothills church of Christ had ten baptisms in 2023, the most we have seen in a long time—possibly ever. Over the last six months, we have been striving to become organized in evangelism as we follow the model and practice congregational evangelism. We are growing consistently, to the point that we are out of room in our auditorium and in parking space. We will begin construction on a new building soon. We will bring energy into 2024 and have an evangelistic focus. The world is lost and dying; the gospel must be spread. We have to build our contact base and prospects. We still have some Bible studies to schedule. We expect 2024 will be a great year as we set to exceed what was produced in 2023. To God be the glory.”

Sunset church of Christ, Nashville, Arkansas (remote): Zach Williams (preacher) reports, “Bookmarks, contact cards, and compassion cards are in full swing. Members have been trained to use BTTB (88 percent of those surveyed said they are now comfortable conducting a Bible study!) Members are on fire and motivated to work. Over 40 Bible studies have been conducted. Elders are on board with our One Mission. We began in July, and we have already had five baptisms due to congregational evangelism. Now that we have this foundation established, it is time to train our Transition Team/Special Forces.”

Lake City church of Christ, Florida: Jim Flegert (elder) reports, “With our Mission Monday being administered on Sunday during the winter months, today our team received seven assignments. Four visitors attended our worship service today, and our visitor team contacted them. At present, our members are participating in seven Bible studies. We also have 12 new movers aligned to receive baskets on the first Sunday in January.”

Niceville church of Christ, Florida: Jim Palmer (preacher) reports, “We sent 46 cards this week. We had one meal scheduled with a visitor, but it was postponed because I was sick. Our card teams and leaders are doing well, and we have started our efforts to recruit inactive members to get active in the Compassion card ministry. We are working through the budget to ramp up our efforts. We planned to start our Ambassador Training on Wednesday night. This is our name for the people who do visits and studies, but it was postponed because of my sickness. Getting our ambassadors trained, organized, and active is going to be critical. I feel confident we can do it. Our new converts are doing well and are attending Bible class and worship.”

Fayetteville church of Christ, Georgia: David Gulledge (associate preacher) reports, “Dave finished preaching from the Back to the Bible study booklets. Our Compassion Card Group 3 met and wrote cards to two prospects.”

Oak Hill church of Christ, Covington, Georgia: Tate Sutton (preacher) reports, “We delivered new mover baskets Sunday with positive results. We helped a needy family with plans for Christmas and set up a potential Bible study. We also wrote cards last week. We have had six baptisms this year!”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner(deacon) reports, “ACTS created eight cards Sunday and sent 18 cards last week. The Prison Ministry Group has submitted a package for two volunteers prospective to work and assist with Bible studies with the students in DeKalb RYDC. We have scheduled a meeting with Cherokee County Jail officials in early January to discuss the installation of BTTB and Does It Matter presentations on approximately 1,500 tablets. WCOC is preparing to send three ministers and several volunteers for a month-long mission trip to India in January. Our goal is to baptize 1,000 sinners. This mission has been conducted every year and has been very successful. We had 16 in our New Convert class. The Greeter Group reported that we had five visitors this week. WCOC had three Bible studies this week.”

LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jesse Teague (deacon) reports, “We sent cards to four people (all from new-movers door knocking) with about 15 people signing cards. We have continued visits from two souls who need more study and repentance before they can obey the gospel. Reid has studied and worked with them; we pray they will continue to learn and be willing to obey!”

Warner Robins church of Christ, Georgia: Daniel Stearsman (preacher) reports, “We praise God for the great chance we have had to serve in Warner Robins in 2023. Our theme this year was Boldly Exalting God, and we have given considerable attention to seeing Him over all, in all, and through all (Ephesians 4:6). At the beginning of this year, we had 16 goals, and we have accomplished most of them. We rejoice in works local and abroad, including our coming Home Sunday, the focus on Rise Up and Build with Lads to Leaders, the zeal and enthusiasm for mission work in Costa Rica, the work of GST/GSOP, the hiring of Damien Walker to lead in evangelism, and the focus on grief, widows, and widowers with Dean Miller. In all, 28 baptisms resulted from the work of our members. We look forward to more opportunities to serve in 2024. To God be the glory!”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Lima Esene (preacher) reports: “We have a total of 20 baptisms this year. As a congregation, we are working to improve discipleship and to encourage these new souls to be faithful to God. We have three Bible studies ongoing. Our new movers group went out this past weekend to deliver bags to some of our new neighbors. We send cards to local visitors when they attend our worship services. Our new converts class continues; soon they will graduate from the class. Last week, a new convert studied with a long-time friend, and he was baptized. We rejoice and welcome our new family member, Brady Faauliuli. I am in a Bible study with a man named Michael. We request prayers for him, as there are struggles ahead. We are excited for the new year. To God be the glory!”

Jerseyville church of Christ, Illinois (remote): Jake Medford (preacher) reports, “In the last few weeks, we have met our attendance records for Sunday Bible study, both worship services, and Wednesday Bible study. We set a new record twice on Sunday evening the past three weeks. It is exciting to see the transformation of Christians wanting to learn, mature, and desire the word. We have four names on our compassion card list, and new contacts are returning. We are coming to our first anniversary of starting this program, and the transformation is undeniable. Some days, we double the number of individuals in attendance over last year. We have had seven baptisms in total this year to date. Lord willing, we will be working on this program in the future!”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas (remote): Dustin Dougherty (regional trainer) reports, “I ordered invitation cards from Vistaprint; hopefully, I will start using them soon. We hope to start a new converts’ class soon as well as something like a quarterly area singing.  As the year ends, I am working hard to take what I have learned to other congregations throughout Kansas. The church is weak in the mid-west, and the need for evangelists is great. I will continue to practice it personally, teach it congregationally, and pray that God will open doors. We appreciate all prayers for all the congregations in Kansas.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “The year 2023 was the greatest year of growth in the history of our congregation. We had 19 baptisms and over 20 restorations this year. Since enrolling in the House to House School of Evangelism in April of 2022, we have had 28 baptisms. Following the biblical example of evangelism and using the materials and techniques provided through the school has led to unprecedented growth. The numbers are astounding to us. However, they are only a small sample of the growth in our church family. It is amazing what happens when we go back to the Bible and refocus our mission on the great commission to teach, baptize, and teach. Our primary goal in 2024 is to surpass the totals for this year. We encourage all congregations to plant and water the seed, knowing that God will give the increase in ways you could never imagine.”

Central church of Christ, Paducah, Kentucky: Adam Faughn (preacher) reports, “Wednesday evening, one of our young men, Grayson Graziano, was baptized by his dad. Grayson has been thinking about this decision for some time, and we rejoice that he put Christ on in baptism. Another prospect finished Book 3 with one of our ladies this week. While she was not baptized, we are continuing to encourage her. She has some specific issues she is working through, so we are helping her think biblically about those things; we pray she will be baptized very soon. One of our ladies and I will begin a study with another prospect this week. We are praying for an honest and good heart. On Sunday, Noah Davis led us in a study of how everyone has a place in evangelism (1 Corinthians 12). Then he trained on using meals and mentorship. Our card-writing team met on Sunday night for the last time this year.”

La Plata church of Christ, Maryland (remote): Eric Sykes (regional trainer) reports, “We had three visitors this week; we added three to our prospects list and sent out 57 compassion cards. Three families (11 people) attended on Sunday as repeat visitors. We pray they will place membership soon. We completed BTTB Lesson 2 with a young man who has been on our prayer list for several months. We have three scheduled to complete Lesson 3 this week. God willing, we will add a few new family members this week. We visited two prospects and dropped off gift baskets this week. We are entering Week 3 of congregational training. We are training members on BTTB Lesson 2. We currently have eight new converts attending Bible classes for new converts. We appreciate all prayers as we strive to implement the Evangelism Model here in La Plata.”

Southside church of Christ, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Freddie Klein (preacher) reports, “We have had five baptisms this year. We continue to study with several souls as they work through elements of salvation and gain a better understanding of God’s Word. We showed the video about hesitation and had a good conversation afterward. Our card group sent out the final invitations to our Christmas Eve lunch. We have three families coming so far, and maybe more. Several of our high school and college members are conducting their studies. The culture is changing.”

Looxahoma church of Christ, Mississippi: Blake Hawkins (deacon) reports, “Between services, we shared a meal and had a devotional about servanthood. As servants of God, we are commanded to love our neighbors by extending hospitality and benevolence when needed as well as by sharing the gospel. Evangelism and servanthood work together, and the message encouraged brethren to remain engaged in the work. After the second worship service, teams wrote compassion cards. We should continue to shift the congregation’s culture toward one of being evangelistic.”

Samford church of Christ, Steele, Missouri: Kyle Imel (deacon) reports, “Samford had a baptism yesterday! Jess obeyed the gospel. We have reviewed the books with him for several weeks. We had read about half of the red book when he realized he needed to be scripturally baptized. We continue to study with Emma and Denari. Yesterday’s baptism brings us to six for the year.”

West Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (remote): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “One personal Bible study took place using BTTB Book 1. The second study was delayed due to illness. A study using Believe the Bible is scheduled for Thursday. Compassion Card Group 1 prepared twenty-two cards. The congregation welcomed four new Christians who were baptized this year. This year, a dramatic increase in personal evangelism occurred due to HTHSOE training. Congregational evangelism began to develop, resulting in Bible studies that would not have been possible without members who, by the grace of God, worked the model.

Fordland church of Christ, Missouri: Josh Romo (preacher) reports, “I have attached a picture of Larry Graham. He is 78 years old. He began visiting with us at the invitation of a deacon, Jason Bahnmiller. Larry asked a few weeks ago to speak with me about how to become a member at Fordland. We studied Does It Matter. When we reached the salvation part of the study, he realized that how he was saved was different than what the Bible said about salvation. When he realized it, he asked to be baptized into Christ! Counting Larry, we have had seven baptisms this year!”

East Flushing church of Christ, New York (remote): Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “We are thankful to the Lord for a total of four baptisms for this year. We are encouraged that as we seek to save the lost, plant the seed of the kingdom, and water it, God will add the increase. We are looking forward to the upcoming year. We appreciate all prayers.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (remote): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “We had a visitor to whom we gave a visitor bag and had lunch. That went well, and we are sending thank you cards for the visit. We are preparing to mail compassion cards to wayward members, hoping they will remember their First Love and return home. The congregation had seven baptisms in 2023. Prayers for all the work being done in the kingdom and all that will be done in the future, according to God’s will for the Gospel’s sake! We continue to encourage members to follow the plan and trust the Lord.”

Streetsboro church of Christ, Ohio: Ralph Price (preacher) reports, “We finished Book 2 of Back to the Bible Sunday morning. We continue to send compassion cards each week. We are praying that some of these prospects will turn into studies. We are using many possibilities as we contact them.”

Greenville church of Christ, Ohio: John McGiffin (preacher) reports, “We completed our holiday basket and community meal Sunday. One family attended on Sunday morning, bringing their children to class. They are interested in coming back and asked for information about the church. We had an atheist request prayer and broke down with the kindness shown. Maybe hearts are softening? After the morning service, on December 31, we will work in teams to do our first round of transitional visits. We will work in teams. This allows anyone wishing to participate to eat lunch, make the visit, and then return for the evening service. This will accommodate a few members who travel a long distance, allowing them to be a part of the process without a return trip.  Currently, we have ongoing Bible studies. For the year, we have had four baptisms. One occurred since the seminar as a direct result of Back to the Bibleby Bobby Bates. We are anxious for results. “Be strong and of good courage and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all of the work for the service of the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

New Concord church of Christ, Ohio: Terry Townsend (preacher) reports, “Another 80 compassion cards were mailed out. Personal follow-up visits will soon take place. We have just received our first New Movers List, and we will begin sending members out with gift boxes this week.  One of our elders and his wife will begin Lesson 1 this week with a couple who have been visiting for over a month. We are praying fervently for good results. Several more contacts have been made, and a new round of cards will begin on December 31. We have just completed Lesson 2 of Back to Bible with the congregation as the Sunday morning sermon. We have had great response thus far!”

Sullivan Village church of Christ, Lawton, Oklahoma: Steven Hill (preacher) reports, “We are mailing cards like clockwork. We are greeting visitors and giving them visitor bags; some stay for lunch. Yesterday, one visitor agreed to start a study. We have new movers getting a warm welcome. We have a wonderful new convert class, and it is flourishing! We have taught evangelism in Bible classes, preached it in sermons, written it in articles, and practiced it among the members. Members are getting along better, visiting longer, serving more, volunteering, and stepping up like never before! If there was ever any doubt, I have witnessed the changes and can say confidently that once a congregation begins an evangelism program together, they grow and become unified in the work and in love! To God be the glory for this amazing congregational transformation!”

Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (elder) reports, “What an amazing week it has been in Coweta! Last Monday morning, I went through BTTB Lesson 1 with Chris. We met Chris in June 2022 when he served us at a local restaurant. We have visited with him many times about God and invited him many times to come to worship with us. He surprised us two weeks ago when he showed up Sunday morning. I went through Lesson 2 with him this Monday; we are going through Lesson 3 Wednesday. He has accepted everything we have studied thus far and looks forward to studying again. Last Wednesday, Michael John and I went through Lesson 2 with Dustin; we are scheduled to go through Lesson 3 on Wednesday after class. Dustin came from a Calvinist and Methodist background, but he recognizes what the Scriptures teach and has been receptive to the first two lessons.”

York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “We continued to have many of the same prospects attend services as recurring visitors. We continue to have encouraging conversations with prospects. Follow-up discussions are scheduled for early January, and we hope they will lead to Bible studies.”

Union church of Christ, South Carolina (remote): Terry Hale (preacher) reports, “We had our third baptism this week. We are excited as we are a small congregation of 25. Christopher Rutherford is the brother of one of our members. We have three ongoing Bible studies as a direct result of Compassion Cards.  We are using Back to the Bible. We are trying to reach two other people who are on our prospect list. We started with five names on our list and have studied with three. This is so exciting.”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee:  Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We had three contact cards submitted. Card Team 3, led by Elmer Morris, wrote 27 compassion cards. Several New Mover Bags were assigned for delivery. Last week, members made four follow-up visits and contacts.”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “Group D met Sunday to get their weekly mail-out assignments. As of today (Monday), I have another Bible study set up. We appreciate prayers that God will give the increase.”

Chapel Hill church of Christ, Tennessee: Matt Jones (deacon) reports, “We met to assign coordinators over various work areas. We reached out to each to get their agreement; so far, everyone is eager to serve. We have a follow-up meeting with all coordinators Thursday to review the program and the areas they will coordinate. Evangelism table supplies have been ordered, and we have identified a location for all the compassion cards and where they will be written. Our official start date will be January 7 (although we already started behind the scenes). We have had nine baptisms this year.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “We brought two families before our members who needed Christmas presents for their children. They responded generously, as they always do. We will follow up with these families. Several visitors attended Sunday. The Foster family visited again, as well as the Moons. We had a gentleman visit who is a Christian who recently moved into our area. He told us he intends to worship with us regularly. One of our compassion groups met Sunday, and we wrote several cards to prospects. We have had more members turn in contacts for the compassion list recently. They are beginning to see the benefits of showing others we care by sending cards. One lady on our compassion list is in very poor health. I intend to visit her this week and will try to set up a Bible study.”

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We had three Bible studies. Seth Ferguson will start a new study with our most recent new convert, Cole, Tuesday. Our compassion card team wrote 35 cards Sunday. This week, we will complete the Back to the Bible series with Stephanie Pedro. Shatika, a new convert, had success encouraging her son Elijah to attend Bible class and worship. Avery Bayes, our family and youth minister, will follow up. We pray that Elijah is open to a Bible study in the future. Our new convert class continues to have great attendance, with 15 present. East Main is thankful for 21 baptisms in 2023. The elders have set goals for 2024. Jon Mitchell, our pulpit minister, will preach an evangelistic sermon on January 7. Tim Hayes, one of our elders, will follow Jon by presenting our evangelism plans for 2024. We will hand out new bookmarks to the congregation at the close of the worship service. Plans in 2024 include a new invitation card, training videos, and a revamp of our current website. We are so thankful for our members who work hard in these efforts. It is our prayer that we have more members involved in 2024. To God give the glory!”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee:  Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We have had a great year of learning and growth. In the latter half of the year, most of our work has been about becoming more involved in the community, visiting, and doing good overall. It has been a blessing to see many in the congregation dedicate their lives more to the work of the church, and I’ve enjoyed seeing members seek to understand the gospel better. Many members have said that they have certainly grown in their faith this year and believe they can better share their faith with others! We have tilled the soil of many in the community, and there are many opportunities for us to share what we have learned. Please pray that we continue to grow this way and that more people can come to know the Lord through the gospel message! My count for our baptism number is 9 for this year.”

Forest Hill church of Christ, Germantown, Tennessee:  Scott Cain (preacher) reports, “Baby steps. Baby steps to the door. Baby steps down the hallway. “Baby steps onto the elevator… baby steps into the elevator…” Baby steps. One step at a time. The last month has seen great progress, one baby step at a time. Almost 500 compassion cards have been sent, one card at a time. Several families who have received cards have visited, and those relationships are being developed one interaction at a time. The outreach (prospect) list is nearing our anticipated capacity with over thirty names, one name at a time. Bible studies have been held with at least six people, one person at a time. There have been three baptisms, one soul at a time. Others have quickly fallen in love with the congregation, but they have not yet obeyed the Gospel: that happens one study at a time. The baby steps continue behind the scenes, & each must be taken with eyes looking ahead. Leaders and coordinators have been tapped and prepped in the major efforts underway, such as compassion cards, pew greeters, and gift bags. The elders have a tweaked schedule tailored to the congregation’s needs, and this schedule includes a week-by-week list of questions that the leaders must decide before the steps can be implemented: they’ll be addressed one week at a time. One day at a time. One week at a time. One soul at a time. One study at a time.  Just like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (regional trainer) reports, “As we come to the close of 2023, the Southwest congregation is excited to begin the new year with various evangelism efforts. I will preach a lesson on Quantity, not Quality as we re-do the list of ten people on bookmarks. Shortly after, I will begin teaching another group of Christians how to teach Back to the Bible in connection with Evangelism Visualized. We look forward to continuing our Bible studies and a few potential prospects. We made three solid contacts using the New Movers work last week, and at the beginning of the year, I will visit with a couple who requested a follow-up visit. Finally, there will be changes to our program to improve and implement more workers in the congregation who have the zeal to win souls. All in all, it will be a great year in 2024, teaching the saved to teach the lost.”
Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We are happy to report that Denisha Wiltshire was baptized Sunday morning. One of our elders, Joe Bentley, studied with her and baptized her into Christ. She was happy, thankful, and excited after she was immersed. She is a coworker of Joe Bentley. Wrenn Penick came forward requesting prayers; she wants to be more involved in the Lord’s work. Baptisms and individuals coming forward have become regular occurrences at Northern Oaks; we believe it will continue with the Lord’s increase. While we have evangelism going in the right direction, we still have a lot of room for improvement, and will continue to work the plan!”

Canyon Lake church of Christ, Texas (remote): Jesse Stuart and Raoul Ferris (evangelists) reports, “We have made a full circle of the model, and now we start all over. We grow in more experience, knowledge, and zeal to spread the gospel each time. As we look for a new evangelist to work here at Canyon Lake, we are excited to have Justin and Lauren Guess laboring with us. This will provide the elders time to seek out the right brother to fill this role. Justin and Lauren know the American Mission Campaign and the HTHSOE model. Both are evangelistic and will provide us with much-needed assistance. We continue to study with our new converts and do follow-up work. Despite many members being away during the holidays, we seek contacts and prospects. To God be all the glory!”

Wheeler church of Christ, Texas: Garrett English (preacher) reports, “We have a few prospects who are almost ready for a visit. I plan to visit one this week who is confined at home. Well over 120 cards (that we know of) have been sent to those who have lost loved ones recently or who are recovering from surgeries. We also pray for their hearts to be ready for the gospel.”

Granbury Street church of Christ, Cleburne, Texas: Ryan Cowan (deacon) reports, “One of the most successful initiatives we have implemented since we began to emphasize evangelism is our new believers’ class, also known as the ‘Foundations Class.’ Will Cammack teaches the class that consists of three new converts and a couple of more experienced Christians. The class encourages free discussion on basic principles and promotes individual participation in a low-stress environment. To enhance the learning experience, we have provided a computer monitor to share WVBS videos from the instructor’s laptop easily. Will has used Kevin Rhodes’ book Beyond Baptism as his guidance for instruction. Using this class as a launching point, Will and a few other members have created personalized study sessions with additional materials from authors like Bobby Bates. Currently, Ashley McIntosh and Kaitley Cowan, both members of our congregation, are studying with two of the class’s converts. The Foundations Class serves as a landing spot for Sunday AM visitors. Our members, tasked with identifying visitors on Sunday mornings, have been instructed to direct visitors to the Foundations Class. While we may not always have Sunday AM class visitors, or they may arrive after the class has started and sit in the auditorium, our goal is to send all attending visitors to the Foundations Class. We are immensely thankful for our elders and for Will Cammack for their dedication to this class. It is just one way we strive to ensure that our new believers are nurtured in their faith and commitment to the Lord.”

Graceton church of Christ, Diana, Texas: Johnny Willeford (elder) reports, “We had four visitors at the AM service and three at the PM service. Card Group B signed 129 compassion cards for 12 individuals and families, ten of whom are new movers into our community. Our Mission Monday group is in the process of visiting with these prospects over the holidays. So far, all those we have visited have welcomed us to their homes and have kindly received interest from several about the church. We are hoping that visits will lead to Bible studies. We held our annual game night and gift exchange Sunday evening. One visitor attended and participated. We ask for prayers for one of our newest members, the granddaughter of our deacons, Keith Hendricks. She was born with heart problems about two months ago. She had to be taken back to Dallas over the weekend with some complications.”

Itasca church of Christ, Texas (remote): Justin Hopkins (preacher) reports, “We are excited to begin the training. So far, we have watched the first four training videos and have two more before our Zoom meeting to begin the Operational Model.”

Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder) reports, “Welcome our new sister, Diane Wilhite, who was baptized on Sunday night (December 17). In the picture, she is flanked by the Smiths who took her through Back to the Bible. Brother Smith remarked, “It was awesome to see the light bulb come on as she realized her need to obey the gospel.”

Crosby church of Christ, Texas (remote): Jon Wheeler (elder) reports, “One week ago, we had our highest attendance this year. One Action teams prepared cards for two co-workers of two ladies in our congregation. One recently had a stroke, and one had a son in the hospital. Cards were sent to five ladies who were visitors at a recent ladies’ function. We are designing special door hangers for those people who do not answer the door when we deliver new mover baskets. Our person nominated for Visitor Coordinator enthusiastically accepted this important role and is already recruiting door greeters! Training will be provided in January for this group. We had nine baptisms this year.”

Timberville church of Christ, Virginia: Elliot Asbury (preacher) reports, “We had two baptisms yesterday, bringing our total to five. The last two came to us looking for a church where they felt welcome. They came on our potluck Sunday and stayed for lunch. I studied with them for two hours after lunch, and then Mike studied with them later in the week. Sunday, I preached, “Are you a disciple or a counterfeit Christian?” They both responded to the invitation and were baptized. This means we hit our 10 percent goal! Back to the Bible has been an incredible tool in four studies. They said they learned more about the Bible in the last two weeks than ever before.”

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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