Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations: 2,345
Total Seminars Conducted: 181
Personal Seminars in 2023: 2
Digital Enrollments for 2023: 19
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations, 2023: 93

Upcoming Seminars
February 3-4: Fordland church of Christ, Missouri
February 5-7: Samford church of Christ, Steele Missouri
February 19-21: Friendship church of Christ, Tennessee

HTHSOE Checklist

Featured Work- Glencoe Church of Christ
Editor’s Note: Ernest Benjamin is one of our HTHSOE graduates and regional instructors. He serves as the pulpit minister of the Chesapeake church of Christ. He is training the congregation in the HTHSOE model. There are times that the training is able to reach beyond the members and prick the hearts of the lost who sit among the saved. I hope you enjoy reading this report!
Growing and not Looking Back
by David Marker
We are off to a good start in 2023. We have a more organized, concerted effort with a renewed focus on evangelism. In January, we have been meeting each Sunday afternoon to focus on our contacts and writing compassion cards. So far, we have 15 contacts and have sent out 494 cards. On January 26, we had 13 volunteers for Transition Thursday, and we visited all of our contacts.

We also have begun a New Converts Class that is averaging 10-12 each week. We have revived our teenage class, and all six that we have in attendance are a direct result from our evangelism efforts. There is no denying it—our society is one that is largely dominated by doubt, disbelief, and skepticism that sometimes spills over into the church. Often, we make the excuse that the area we live in is extremely difficult to evangelize. But I believe we can all agree that the areas in which we live would pale in comparison to what the Apostle Paul dealt with on his missionary journeys. So, we have doubled down on our commitment, and God is blessing our efforts.

From the first Sunday in January until the last Sunday, we have seen a 25 percent increase in Bible class attendance and a 16 percent increase in worship attendance. Brooks Boyd is doing an excellent job from the pulpit and is consistently motivating us in these efforts. To say that we are motivated would be an understatement; to God be the Glory!

Congregational Reports
Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “We are happy to have two new Bible studies underway. One is a friend of a recent convert, and the other is a relative of one of our members. We are hopeful of great results from these studies.”

Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “We continue to progress on our implementation of HTHSOE materials/methods. A snowstorm slowed us down Wednesday due to widespread power outages (including our building). We were unable to assemble; therefore, we did not finish our BTTB book three for training purposes. Lord willing, we will complete book three on Wednesday night. Sunday, our preacher completed part one of Jesus, the Politically Incorrect Evangelist. We also introduced the contacts bookmark, assigning the congregation the first step of identifying at least ten contacts. Compassion card groups were assigned, posted, displayed on PowerPoint, and given to each individual in the Sunday assembly. Displays for compassion cards are being assembled and stocked this week to prepare for our first compassion card group meeting in about a week.”

York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “We made another announcement to remind members about praying for Prospects on our bookmarks and to ask for contact information for those who are experiencing health concerns such as illnesses or surgeries. A couple of members brought names, but they took the contact cards home because they did not have the information with them. We have continued to send Compassion Cards and to receive thank you cards in response. One lady is now enrolled in a correspondence course because she is not able to attend in person or have visitors currently. We are planning our first follow-up visits. In preparation, we distributed your message and video called Never Go Empty Handed to our interested members. Please continue to pray that our members are willing workers and that our efforts are fruitful.”

Aberdeen church of Christ, Maryland: Will Brown (preacher) reports, “This week we combined two church efforts. We needed people to put together New Movers baskets. So, we decided to combine Lads to Leaders Sowers training and added the energy of our young people to aid the evangelism effort. It was a great time and wonderful to see church unity. Members provided the materials, and the youth finished the baskets. Next, the baskets will be delivered to those on our New Movers list. Please continue to pray for our evangelism work.”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “I have meals lined up so we can prospect a few contacts and turn those into studies. I am trying not to do everything on my own. I am encouraging my elders and the congregation to make 2023 even better than 2022. We need to build on our success from last year and get more Christians involved. Imagine if everyone participated! We need to refocus on gaining more contacts and prospecting them by using our card ministry.”

Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (elder) reports, “One member invited a young lady to services yesterday. She has grown up, like so many others, in a harsh worldly setting. She has dealt with a lot of trauma in her life that resulted in poor decisions that led her down a trail of despair and disappointments. One of our members reached out and brought her to services; we hope to have a Bible study with her soon.  This young lady seems to be searching for something to fill the void in her life, so our prayer is that she will be receptive to the gospel through a personal Bible study.”

Freewill church of Christ, Gainesboro, Tennessee: Andrew Scott (preacher) reports, “I preached the second lesson last night and the response was amazing. I had members asking for how they can reach their families and friends. Everyone took materials with them. I cannot explain the joy I had seeing the members so eager to get busy. God has blessed us, and I know He will give the increase. The Freewill congregation definitely is an army of soul winners.”

Madison County church of Christ, Jackson, Tennessee: Steven Sprouse (preacher) reports, “We have a Bible study with an individual and a group of six at the end of this week. We are working on our visitor bags and compassion card room. We prayed during worship for our contacts and preached a third lesson on John 4. We began training on how to use the BTTB studies.”

Bethel church of Christ, Martin, Tennessee: Brad Brewer (preacher) reports, “We sent our first batch of Compassion Cards last week, and we are still working on getting our Evangelism Room organized and functional. We have New Movers Baskets and Visitors Bags ready and available for our members’ use.”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “Sunday we delivered part 4 of Jesus the Politically Incorrect Evangelist. With this series, we are learning from the Master teacher how to evangelize effectively. There are so many good lessons from this study! Our evangelism table is now ready for use! Sunday, we will have the congregation take the names from their prospect list and begin to fill out the contact cards.”

Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “My wife and I made a visit to a couple who had received compassion cards; we had a short but good visit. They talked about all the cards that were sent and how much they appreciated them. I am noticing more of those little things taking place since we hosted the seminar. We have more interaction and involvement. I believe more are starting to realize that even the smallest things can be part of the work that is needed to promote growth. Members are bringing items for new movers’ baskets. Names are being given to us and members are thinking about those who could use encouraging mail. Some members have been working hard to encourage their families to attend. It is definitely a work in progress, but more are starting to pick up some of the pieces.”

West End church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Adam Wilson (member) reports, “West End began ‘reheating’ contacts this week. The compassion cards do such a great job of making contacts feel important, loved, and supported. The cards ‘warm them up’ for a visit from the church. We recognize that over time, the memory of us will fade, and our connection will ‘cool.’ If a contact was not reached by the fourth week (following the last cards) or later, we are ‘reheating’ them with another week of cards to refresh the connection. Then we will visit contacts the following week. Pray for us to have the opportunity to ask every contact the three questions that will bring eternal healing.

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We rejoice in the baptism of Kennsy Neice by our family and youth minister, Avery Bayes, Thursday. Kennsy is currently dating Blake Olive. Blake has been studying BTTB with Kennsy since October. Thursday, Blake and Kennsy called Avery with some questions from their study. After they answered her questions, Kennsy decided to be baptized. We also rejoice in the baptism of Tristan Zerner by Brad Rowley, one of our elders. For several months, Tristan has been studying with his wife, Amy, and Billy Taylor, one of our deacons, as well as with Brad, for several months. Sunday during lesson three, Tristan made the decision to be baptized. David Brown, one of our elders, will be begin a new Bible study next week. Brad Rowley has been training his cousin, Mitch Rowley, in BTTB through Zoom. Mitch lives in Cooperstown, New York. East Main sent a box of HTHSOE material to the congregation at Cooperstown so Mitch can teach others the series. Mitch is already in a Bible study with his son-in-law, Will Dennis.

“East Main generated two new contacts last week and had two Bible studies. Tim Hayes, a deacon, had a service project.  On Sunday, Trey and Erica Robinson met with the elders to be identified with us. Trey and Erica moved here from Georgia and have been visiting for about a month. Our greeter team did an excellent job welcoming them. Jon Mitchell, our pulpit minister, took them out to eat to get acquainted. We are excited to have Trey and Erica as part of our church family. David Brown wrapped up our discipleship meeting by adding three new volunteers, Wayne Liggett and Jacob and Anna Stratton. David has assigned mentors to our new converts. Mark Isenberg continues to teach the new convert class with good attendance. Seth Ferguson, our college minister, is working with one of our students, Nick Smith, to start a new study.”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We continue to review bookmarks each Sunday. We ask members to submit contact cards for those who have had events causing them to need compassion. We include others we know (friends, families, and neighbors). We have congregational prayer specifically for those we are prospecting. Our members have been consistent in submitting contact cards each week. Eight new cards were received this week. Card Team 5 met after services and completed 72 compassion cards. Last week, six members made a total of eight follow-up visits. We anticipate beginning a Bible study this week. We have more workers. The young man who was restored week before last participated in writing compassion cards this week.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “I preached this week on making disciples. We studied about how to make friends, get to know them, and then introduce Jesus to them! The lesson was a refresher course on what we have been learning. It was a nice day for the church, especially since we ate together at a potluck dinner after worship. We were able to sit with a few visitors and get to know them over a meal, and it was wonderful prospecting!”

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “We have begun to build evangelism into our classrooms to help the children here, while still keeping it child friendly. We will be making visuals relating to the church and sharing the Bible with others through a train-themed board based on Proverbs 22:6. We will have pictures available in the coming weeks. We have had several families visit, and we continue to make contacts. While we begin to work with these, and are looking to make more contacts. Please pray that we keep having opportunities to reach others.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “Our newest convert, Nikki, is doing well. She called Becky to see if they could continue studying now that she is a Christian. Becky happily agreed. They met before our midweek service. After hearing about the death of Sophia Smith, Nikki asked for her family’s address. Sophia had been a part of the group who had originally knocked on Nikki’s door. Nikki wanted to express her gratitude as well as her sympathy for them. I am also continuing to study with Charles and Dustin.

“On Sunday, we had more visitors. A middle-aged couple came in who had visited a couple of times several years ago. We gave them a visitor bag, and I asked if we could take them out to lunch. They declined but were open to getting together to talk later. The families who had visited last week came back. We will be following up with them soon. On a less positive note, Mr. Craig has not visited again. I reached out to him via text and offered him a copy of Muscle and a Shovel. He declined, saying that he has a hard time reading at his age and with his condition. He expressed that he is very firm in his beliefs. I am not giving up, but he might not be open to the truth.

“On Monday evening, we met to write compassion cards and to pack bags with Oreo balls for our booth at the city’s Chocolate Tour Saturday. We are trying to expand our influence and reputation in the community. We packed over 2,000 Oreo balls! Please pray for this outreach effort.”

North Bradley church of Christ, Cleveland, Tennessee: Keith Wilson (preacher) reports, “Brenda Hill, my mother-in-law, was the first contact my family submitted to the congregation. She has been a lifelong member of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination, so I knew we had a tall task. However, she was open to having the Back to the Bible study from the get-go. The compassion cards helped, but she had already started attending for the last couple of months on her own. We studied the first two books with her, and, unbeknownst to us, she studied the third and final book on her own. Various members encouraged, studied, and talked to her about obeying the gospel. In total, it took about eight to ten weeks from the initial compassion cards to her baptism tonight.”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We had a baptism this week. Marcus Wilson was baptized by Anthony Castillo. We are thankful for his decision to put on Christ, and we appreciate Anthony for his willingness to have a Bible study with him. Others are engaged in studies. Our deacon in charge of evangelism is teaching a special training class on the Believe the Bible booklets every Wednesday. We have more members taking down visitor information. We have special training meetings as needed. We will continue to follow the steps of the evangelism program and to increase participation so that lost souls might be saved.”

Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder) reports, “We had nine visitors for worship Sunday, proving the Evangelism Model works. Two studies are ongoing, and Compassion Cards are being sent. As a congregation, we are seeing the change in culture that we pray results in the conversion of precious souls. Please continue to pray for us as we pray for your efforts.”

Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “The congregation continues to write cards each Sunday, and we pray together for bookmark contacts on a regular basis. We have received positive feedback from those who have received the cards. One man was so grateful that he came by the building during the week to give a donation. Our regular attendance is steadily growing, and we have been having a lot of visitors lately. We are mindful to talk with visitors and get their contact information before they leave.”

Highway 95 church of Christ, Taylor, Texas: Benjamin Dossey (preacher) repots, “We sent cards to 13 people last night. This weekend, we will take welcome baskets to those who are new to the area.”

East Flushing church of Christ, Flushing, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (evangelist) reports, “We continue to send compassion cards. We plan to follow up with door-to-door visits and deliveries of welcome baskets. Sunday, a new convert brought a visitor who is having a Bible study with us. Thank you for your prayers.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “We conducted at least three Bible studies, mailed compassion cards to contacts that have lost loved ones, and visited new movers in the area. We believe a relationship will develop because of the positive response. On Sunday we had our first fifth-Sunday family and friends fellowship day since the pandemic. We had over a dozen visitors. We confirmed a Bible study with a family, and we are still working on two more families that are prospects. We are off to a good start, but there is much work to do this year.”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Dougherty (regional instructor) reports, “A former evangelist from our area who moved away has been in contact with me about a friend of his. We are trying to set up a study. He let me know Saturday that his friend is ready to study, and his wife and mother-in-law are interested. We pray all three will see the undeniable truth of Scripture as we go through the studies.”

Parkway church of Christ, Fulton, Kentucky: Will Hester (preacher) reports, “We currently have two prospects, and we plan to start discussions with them soon. We humbly ask for prayers for open hearts. Within the next month, we plan to reboot our card program with a streamlined approach. Our hope is that by streamlining the program, we can garner more interest in being involved in it.”

Coldwater church of Christ, Murray, Kentucky:  Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “Let me introduce you to Kaden Johnson. He is 17 years old and goes to high school with some of our members. Kaden grew up in the church, but when his family stopped going, he quit as well. Daniel Puckett is friends with Kaden and talked with him about the church and invited him to service. Kaden visited several times. Kaden began to ask questions about baptism. Daniel, set up a study. Knowing his background, Daniel and I went through Does it Matter with him. Sunday, Kaden was baptized for the remission of his sins.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “This year, we are renewing our dedication to fellowship activities. After services Sunday, we had a fellowship meal. We had six visitors present, which helped us generate new contacts! We were able to generate two new contacts from our Wednesday class. Hopefully, we will have a Bible study this week. Continue to pray for our work!”

LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jesse Teague (deacon) reports, “David preached the first lesson from the evangelism plan. He divided it to three lessons. Everyone was given the contact cards. Before the closing song and prayer, Curry asked everyone to fill in ten names, explaining how important this was to our goal to evangelize our community.”

Riverbend church of Christ, Dalton, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “This week is our annual North Georgia Winter Lectureship. We use House to House to advertise this event. Tonight, we had a visitor that was not a Christian who came with a friend. Yesterday, we had a member’s daughter who had not been to church in a while and has never obeyed the gospel. We will add these names to our contact list and let them know how much we enjoyed having them at services and to encourage them to come back. We are prayerful that we can prospect them soon and lead them to a Bible Study. I was talking with a member yesterday about House to House. She said her friend had not received it in a while and called Valorie to say she missed getting it. Valorie said she is close to a study with her. We are prayerful!”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “Our congregation meets on Sunday evenings to conduct the Actively Caring Teaching Serving (ACTS) workshop. The Compassion Group sent out ten cards. The Serving Group attempted two follow-up visits. They are looking at a new method that uses the next-door platform to locate community needs for more opportunities. For January, we have had a total of four baptisms, 88 compassion cards sent, 21 visits, 16 attendees to our Back to the Bible Application Class, and one Bible study in progress.”

White Oak church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee (digital): Austin Fowler (regional Instructor) reports, “On Sunday, we continued the Evangelism Seminar. We watched a video called, Let’s Talk about the Manner. It was well received. The congregation is excited to start our compassion card ministry to reach out to our neighborhood in the Red Bank area.”

Monroe church of Christ, Georgia: Charles Harris (regional instructor) reports, “We have started 2023 with congregational evangelism. In January, we sent 120 cards to 15 souls. This week visits to those 15 are being made with the purpose of setting up Bible studies. A new list of ten souls will begin receiving cards throughout February. Sunday we are starting an evangelism class, entitled, Sinners, Saints, and the Savior. We are going to spend the first few classes going over HTHSOE principles that will help us schedule studies. Then for the remaining weeks, we are going to work through BTTB. We will go over how to address various questions and comments that others may make during the study. For example, we will learn how to handle a question that we know will be answered in a later study. We will discuss how to keep the door open for future studies when the student is getting confrontational. Ephesus Hopkins recently discovered HTHSOE and wanted to enroll. Rob asked me to reach out to him and try to set up a Bible study. Mr. Hopkins and I will begin a virtual study this week. Pray that all goes well.”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “We added a layer to our effort this week. Dean Miller has been leading us through a Widowhood Workshop, which is excellent. Since we all know that every effort is linked to our One Mission, this effort is about contacts, and we will follow up after the workshop. We continue to send cards, make visits, and set up studies with the vision of finding more ways to get people to the building to gain more contacts. To God be the glory!”

Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (preacher) reports, “We moved our focus to those who are struggling with family issues. We had a particular family in mind, and two of the family members need to hear the gospel. The tables we use for writing cards is restocked. Our plans for VBS are underway, and we have decided to study Back to the Bible in the adult class. There should be more retention of the adults since we are providing food at the event. The focus has now shifted to evangelizing the parents instead of just having a fun VBS for the kids. We look forward to our monthly door knocking and subsequent Mission Monday where we are training members to evangelize. This will be a time to consolidate and prepare all the contact cards from the door knocking from two days earlier. Ultimately, our Mission Mondays will have our teams leave the building to make visits to people who have been prepared. Continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for you all.”

Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “In addition to the baptism we had last week, we had several visitors requesting to know more about the church and Chase Park. It really seems like things have shifted for the better as far as evangelistic opportunities are concerned. Two of the people who came to our OHM week before last want to know more, and we are going to set up a study with them this week, Lord willing. We have Friends and Family Day on February 12, and we plan to invite everyone we have contacted within the last year. Please pray for us to plant and water and allow God to provide His increase.”

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.