Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations in 2021: 649
Upcoming Seminars (Finished for 2022)
Featured Congregation: Westend church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee
New Convert Mean More New Converts
Editor’s Note: After reading the reports this week, the work being done by West End in Knoxville stands out as one to be highlighted. The HTHSOE model emphasizes how new converts are the key to a growing church because they provide more contacts. Here is an example to demonstrate that concept. This is an email from Ruth Insell, followed by a report from Adam Wilson.
Ruth Insell (member) reports, “For a long time, I have prayed ‘Lead me to some soul today; Teach me Lord just what to say.’ After I attended the campaign in Knoxville, I had the right method. Since the campaign in July, I have used Back to the Bible with three ladies. Two of the ladies that Rhonda Cook and I studied with were from the campaign. The third is a coworker of one of the new converts. All three have been baptized. One lady hesitated after lesson 3. She said she knew she needed to be baptized but was not ready. I went back to my books from the campaign and used the last few questions from Does It Matter. Then I used some of the techniques in the book How to Close the Study. Our sweet sister was baptized at 4:30 this afternoon. Praise God.”
Adam Wilson (member) reports, “From day one, we have spoken about the importance of new Christians in turn teaching their friends and family. On Thursday, we saw the first of many fulfillments of this hope. We met Becky Vineyard during the door knocking campaign in July, and she put Christ on in August after studies with Rhonda Cook and Ruth Insell. Becky has shared her faith with many others. Specifically, Becky and Ruth studied with Holly, using the Back to the Bible series, and now she is our newest sister in Christ! We cannot wait for Holly to share her hope with her loved ones.
Bethel church of Christ, Martin, Tennessee: We welcome back the Bethel church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. Three years ago, they hosted HTHSOE training. A lot has changed in three years, and they asked us to come back and teach them what we have learned and help them set up our new HTHSOE model. Their preacher is Brad Brewer, and he is very dedicated. We look forward to working with them again.
McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: We welcome the McKenzie church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. This seminar was truly led by the elders and promoted by their preacher. They have incredible potential for growth. We look forward to their first report next week.
North Bradley church of Christ: Andy Sneed (elder) reports, “We have some hot leads going on as we speak. Cards are going out. We are still trying to balance the number of our coordinators to match the size of our congregation. We are getting there. We have not had any baptisms yet, but that could change soon. We have collected names of contacts to place on our prospect list for the past two Sundays. We now have seven names.”
Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “I started the sermon series from John 4 this week by talking to the congregation about the bookmarks and keeping a list of names. Slowly but surely, we are getting things in place.”
Mid-Town church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “We officially launched the compassion card program Sunday! Every member is involved in the program, from our elders to our new converts. We divided the congregation into four teams. We typed a list of the teams and handed a copy to each member. We also posted a copy of the teams in the hallway. Immediately following Sunday worship, the brethren make their way to our evangelism room where cards, stamps, an explanation of each contact, and instructions are provided. I collect the cards and mail them throughout the week to our contacts. After sending cards for four weeks, we plan to follow up personally with the contacts with the goal of scheduling personal Bible studies. We are looking forward to showing them the compassion of Christ followed by the gospel!”
Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder/preacher) reports, “Currently, two studies are ongoing, and one has been postponed due to medical reasons. Please continue to pray for our efforts. This is a picture of our compassion card cart.”
Highway 95 church of Christ, Taylor, Texas: Benjamin Dossey (preacher) reports, “We began writing our compassion cards yesterday with 15 congregational contacts. For this first week, we had everyone in the congregation write them so that we are all on the same page as to how they are to be done.
Additionally, we are beginning the new movers program. We have a team that is ready and excited to prepare welcome baskets for visitors and those new to our community.”
Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “We have made the Personal Evangelism Resource Center (PERC) a regular feature in our church foyer and a regular column in our weekly bulletin. The center is continually stocked with copies of Back to the Bible and other personal evangelism materials. Our New Converts class has been established as a regular part of our Wednesday night adult curriculum. This is a private study for invitees only, and it is taught by one of our elders weekly. Our plan is to allow students to attend that class for approximately one to four sessions and then move them to the Fundamentals of the Faith class as new students come into the New Converts class. I also learned this week of another personal Bible study now in progress.”
New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We continue to review the bookmarks with our personal prospects on them each Sunday. We pray for the individual prospects and those on our compassion card list. Members continue to do a great job of submitting contact cards. Sunday night, Card Team 1 wrote seventy-six cards. Last week, two visits were made, and six more were assigned to volunteers to the congregation. To train volunteers, we are using a sheet of tips garnered from Rob’s presentations and HTH materials. Each volunteer is receiving one-on-one training. We had a conversion as a result of sending compassion cards for five weeks to an individual. A faithful member had a sister in her seventies who had never obeyed the gospel although her husband and children were members. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. Although she lived in the next town, we decided to shower her with compassion cards, and we made the extra effort to visit her after sending cards for five weeks. She obeyed the gospel in the fifth week. We rejoiced Sunday over this soul that was saved.”
Edgewood church of Christ, Maryland (digital): John Wilkie (preacher) reports, “We are working through BTTB book 2. Brother Tillery taught the class, and some have turned in names. We should have more names by Sunday to increase our mailing list. Our Hispanic class will start this Thursday, using the Spanish material.”
East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We are excited to report Jeff Nelson was baptized Sunday by David Brown. Jeff has been studying with David Brown (elder) and Wayne Liggett. They have been studying Back to the Bible since October. God does answer prayers, and His word is powerful. Many prayers were raised on behalf of Jeff and his wonderful supportive wife, Emily. We are thankful for Wayne and his wife, Teresa. They deliver baskets, make in-home visits, knock doors, and are learning how to teach the gospel with Back to the Bible. We are thankful for members who supported mission day on Saturday. We had 24 in attendance. We watched and discussed two videos, “Back Door Bible Studies” (episode #44) and “Hesitate” (#45). We delivered baskets and had seven follow-up contacts. Those present included men, women, and children. Mike and Angela Weeks are working on improving our new mover basket strategy. Once we get these improvements in place, I will share them in a report. We are working with Paul Fulks (elder at New Union) and some of our members to improve administration. Last week we had two Bible studies, wrote 70 compassion cards, and received two new contacts. A couple of follow-up contacts were very positive also. God has blessed us with opportunities to cultivate the soil with several families. We are so thankful for our evangelistic-minded members who work so hard; I wish I could mention all of them by name in our report.”
Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, Ohio: Jeryl Webb (elder) reports, “It looks promising that we have found a new minister to work with us. The attitudes of our members are changing for the better. Members remain eager to work. We have also dealt with delays due to sickness and death, and these situations have affected our attendance.”
York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “We have started putting our efforts behind our evangelism program. It has been difficult for our members to build courage and confidence to approach this undertaking. However, we have been sending compassion cards for two weeks. The prospect names are beginning to flow in from members, and the contact cards are being filled out. We have a ladies’ group that is helping to organize and distribute the contact information and the compassion cards to our members for writing and mailing. Our Evangelism Room is set up right off the front foyer, and the door is always wide open. We have not had many visitors to our building yet, but we have handed out a couple of visitor bags and new mover baskets. Fred finished a Wednesday night study of the Fishing for Men book, and he has started another series to go through Back to the Bible. The elders and I have brought multiple sermons about evangelism.”
Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “God gave the increase with another baptism into Christ! Currently we have 11 names on our contact list. We met Wednesday night to assign visits and remind everyone of the three questions to ask to transition to the Bible study. To God be the glory.”
North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Bryon Shultz (preacher) reports, “We are working on cards and finished the new movers’ program. We will start again in April. A lady named Doris was baptized in October. I am now conducting a Back to the Bible study with her granddaughter. I finished book one, and I hope she will soon follow her grandmother’ example. I feel we need more instruction about how to follow up with prospects, especially with asking for a Bible study. We have a couple who will lead in those two phases, particularly when we have our monthly mission class.”
Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “Jeff Phillips will be studying with Tori Thursday. They have completed Back to the Bible and addressed some objections she had about baptism. She has still not decided to obey, so they will be starting Does It Matter? Our new convert, Dustin, is on fire for God. He is considering visiting Heritage Christian University to tour the campus. His mother, Beth Bursi, has visited services a few times. She saw Back to the Bible on our evangelism table and picked them up. I offered to go through them with her. She said she would think about it. We have been flooding her with cards and thanking her for visiting. We have a marriage class that meets on Tuesdays. A couple from the community attends. We hope to get them interested in a study. We met Monday night to send compassion cards. The Lord is truly blessing our work.”
Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: We were able to meet with the elders and preacher during our visit to the Martin area this past week. They reviewed their progress, and we discussed additional pieces and adjustments that were needed. We are impressed with their focus on reaching the lost and believe they are ready to reap a great harvest. Clint Monroe (elder) reports, “Group 1 is sending out the last round of cards to reach those who have fallen away. The elders plan follow-up visits after the mail-out. Glenn Ary, an elder, will start the class designated for those willing to conduct Bible studies in January. The elders will continue working with those willing to greet visitors and establish new prospects.
Brent Arnold (preacher) reports, “We updated our information on the front of House to House/Heart to Heart to highlight services we provide to the community. We have the following services listed: free transportation to services, free community assistance, Bible classes for all ages, youth program for children and teens, in-home Bible studies, and free Bible correspondence courses. We switched to monthly mailings. We have made more of an effort to use the back to share a personal message with our community and advertise upcoming events. This effort has resulted in more contacts and a Bible study.”
Parkway church of Christ, Fulton, Kentucky: Will Hester (preacher) reports: “Last week we mentioned that we had the unique opportunity to help a local group with money to build houses. We also gave out three new mover baskets and informational folders to the families that will move into the homes in Cayce, Kentucky. Our jail ministry is thriving, and we are using the techniques in the School of Evangelism to teach men in the Fulton County Detention Center. Since implementing these techniques, we have had four baptisms there in the last three months. God is good!”
Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Escene (preacher) reports, “Our ladies Bible class that meets every other Thursday has been doing some great things for our congregation. They are encouraging members and new converts through cards, meals, and visitations. The highlight of this week was another soul added to the Lord’s body. Khristian, who has been studying the Bible the past couple of months, made the decision to put on Christ after morning worship December 4. All the glory and praise to our Father in Heaven.”
Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “Our congregation meets on Sunday evenings to conduct the evangelism workshop. Last week, the compassion cards group sent 32 compassion cards. Three families working together helped a mother and her child by assembling and moving heavy furniture and cleaning the interior of their house. We have three Bible study in progress.”
New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “Yesterday, we had a kid’s service night; the youth at church served food to the older folks. We served around 40 people, and several were people we had visited and contacted. We are continuing to add to our contacts and build relationships, and we are in a great place now with prospects!”
Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “Last week took us in two excellent directions: working with one family to lead into a Bible study and revamping our children’s classrooms to create an interactive learning area. We have special plans to make one focus of the room all about evangelism. We are excited for these small steps that continue to strengthen the congregation and reach out to share the gospel with the lost. God is doing wonderful things!”
Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “We sent out 40 cards to contacts generated through our recent evangelistic outreaches. We will be visiting those to whom the cards have been sent! On Wednesday, our family at Paintsville received a treat. A new convert of only six months delivered his first invitation. He has an interest in possibly attending preaching school! Please continue to pray for the progress being made at Paintsville.”
Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (minister) reports, “It takes time to prepare and set up an evangelism program. During our meeting yesterday, one person stated that we are still learning to walk but also observed that if we make as much progress next year as we have made this year, we will be incredible. Let me recap. Those able to lead a Bible study are now the majority of the congregation, which is great, but the majority of the congregation actively looking for those studies is now huge! We have had several to call the building asking for Back to the Bible material because they have a study that night. That is exciting. Saturday, we are preparing to go door knocking and use the new door hangers that have holiday gift boxes on them. We thought this would get people’s attention. It has been stated that our door knocking events have been a delight for those who have gone out. Our neighborhood is receptive, and we are making connections in the community. We start back this next week with a push to get out compassion cards to those who are in need to soften hearts for the gospel. Continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for you all.”
Riverbend church of Christ, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “Several months ago, I took a couple (boyfriend and girlfriend) out to eat who had been visiting on Wednesday nights. We had a great time, but I needed one more time with them before transiting to asking one of the key questions to get into a Bible study. I have not seen them in a while. Then the young man called and asked me for the phone number of Barry, one of our preachers. He wanted to do some pre-marital counseling. He is a member, but his girlfriend is not. We are hoping this opportunity leads to a Bible study. Our compassion card groups continue to send cards, and we will soon visit some of our contacts.”
Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (preacher/elder) reports, “We have followed up with those who attended our evangelism event in person. We continue to reach the lost with cards, the new movers’ program, and our HTH mail out. We are recording information from visitors and taking them out to eat. We still have a few in Bible studies and others who are prospecting contacts. This Sunday, one elder plans to teach new members about our Evangelism Program.”
East Flushing church of Christ, New York: Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “We continue to send compassion cards for the new movers’ program. We started sending compassion cards to members who have not been in the building recently. Lord willing, we will have a Zoom Bible study with someone who requested the Jules Miller Visualized Bible Study Series. To God be the glory.”
Willette church of Christ, Tennessee: Jack Honeycutt (preacher) reports, “Kelly Russell was baptized into Christ after services last night. We welcome Kelly and her girls, Haidyn and Bella, into our church family.”
Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “We started sending cards to several contacts made during our Thanksgiving giveaway. We had around 35 people say they were interested in wanting to know more about the church. Every one received several cards or will over the next few weeks. Our teams are talking to around eight contacts each and will start sending cards. We plan to follow up with a call and then an in-person visit. We pray these efforts will help us get to know and trust each other so that one or more studies will develop among these contacts.”
Rabun County church of Christ, Tiger, Georgia: McKinley Pate (preacher) reports, “We have had positive feedback from a delinquent family who received cards the last two weeks. We have one more week of card sending before we make a visit. We are using other outlets to reach people with the gospel.
Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Dougherty (preacher) reports, “In October, we hosted Paul Mays in Beloit for a singing and preaching gospel meeting. One sister, Jo, invited a friend, Sharon, to come. On the second night, at the end of the second lesson, Sharon said she needed more information, so Paul visited with her. She was unable to attend the last two nights, but Jo and her family started doing Back to the Bible with her. I came in to conduct the third booklet study with them. After our meal and some apple pie, we prepared to begin the study. We were having high sustained winds that evening, and just as we began the study, the power went out. There were some candles still lit from dinner, so instead of postponing or canceling the study, we did the entire study by candlelight. As we reached the end of the study, Sharon made the best decision of her life and decided that she wanted to be baptized for the remission of her sins so she could follow Jesus. We made the 40-minute trip to the church building, and just a little bit before eleven o’clock on Friday evening, Sharon had her sins washed away. It is so encouraging and exciting to watch a lost soul become born again. All praise and glory to God.”
Wewoka church of Christ, Oklahoma: Gage Coldwater (preacher) reports, “This week we had three baptisms. Wednesday, we baptized Shala Huntley into Christ after studying with her. She has been attending regularly with us and had confided with one of our evangelistic women that she would like to be baptized into Christ. She is a private and reserved lady and wanted everyone to be gone before she was baptized. We encouraged her to go ahead regardless of a large crowd. I baptized her and she was so glad afterwards that everyone was there to encourage her. After six months of working with two young men from our community, we were able to baptize them yesterday at worship. We first met these young men and many of their siblings when a sweet couple at our congregation, the Grandstaffs, offered to bring them to worship. They came every week. They have been loved by every member of our congregation. Various members have given them odd jobs to help them make extra money. They learned the gospel and were so excited to obey the gospel. They found true family in the church here at Wewoka. Please pray for these young men and Shala as they grow in Christ.”
LaFollette church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) report, “We recently baptized Jeanie Schaefer. We met her a couple weeks ago while door knocking for our tent meeting. She came four of the five nights. One of our families befriended her, and a few days later, we started to study Back to the Bible with her. We worked through the books quickly, but she was unsure about baptism. She thought it would make her further away from her deceased husband. We talked about his character and what he would tell her to do. After a few moments, we were headed to the building to baptize her.”
Marietta church of Christ in, Oklahoma: Chase Green (preacher) reports, “We have been studying with a lady who had questions about rebaptism and her marriage. Her marriage checked out from the information she gave us, according to Matthew 19, and we just baptized her into Christ after studying, Does it Matter with her!”
Hatler’s Chapel church of Christ, Tennessee: Michael Tuberville (elder) reports: “Ally Tackett was baptized on Sunday after completing Believe the Bible, Back to the Bible, and reading Allen Webster’s tract, 7 Ways to Die. This is our third baptism in our congregation of 30 people this year. We are so thankful. We are also working with a Mennonite and another lady in the community who is very ill.”
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Keith Ritchie (preacher) reports, “Davey came to me Sunday after worship and wanted to talk. He did not know if he was scripturally baptized. This evening, we went through the Does It Matter lesson. After this study, he knew he had not been baptized for the remission of his sins. He has an honest heart. The angels are rejoicing and so is Jacksonville! To God be the glory!”
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.