|Reaching the Lost- Success Stories
Featured Work: Warner Robins church of Christ, Georgia
Editor’s Note: There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” The Warner Robins church of Christ is a great example of developing an evangelistic culture that is continuing to promote life and longevity within the congregation. Evangelism must be persistently and consistently nurtured. Training should continue annually. Elders must keep leading the congregation. Preachers must never stop pushing evangelism from the pulpit. Members must work while it is day, for the night comes when they will never work again! Consider the following report from Daniel Stearsman.
Fish For Life
We had a great week in Warner Robins recently with three baptisms in one week. Praise the Lord! Sarah was baptized on Thursday night. She has been attending for a while and has heard many lessons in classes as well as many sermons. She is engaged to Deforest, one of our faithful college students. After supper on Thursday, we spent some time studying Back to the Bible. She decided it was the right time to be baptized.
The next baptism is very personal and very dear to Katrina and me. Cindy Hoffelder is Katrina’s mom. We have been hoping for her baptism for more than twenty years. Jackson and Drew went through Back to the Bible with her last year. It was wonderful to watch the providence of God at work as she made some significant life changes to draw closer to God. As Cindy moved closer to this decision, things fell into place. She was seeking Him. She was baptized Tuesday night by Jackson. Now she is not just my mother-in-law and a dear friend but also a SISTER in Christ. We rejoice!
The same night, Will Walker was baptized into Christ. Will is Damien’s brother, a preacher student at GST. Will has been knocking doors, and he has jumped right into various evangelistic efforts. Will was there and watched Cindy’s baptism; as we were all leaving and rejoicing, he decided that was the moment for him as well!
What a great week! Various elements of Back to the Bible played a role in all of these conversions. It is wonderful to watch the Lord cleansing sin in these lives. God is awesome!
Bargerton church of Christ in Lexington, Tennessee (digital): We welcome the Bargerton church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism.
Fordland church of Christ, Missouri: We welcome the Fordland church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. This seminar was one of the best attended in recent memory. We were impressed with the focus and passion for developing the evangelism model. Josh Romo (preacher) reports, “The elders and I will be meeting on Wednesday night to begin organizing.”
Samford church of Christ, Missouri: We welcome the Samford church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. The congregation is very hospitable; they invited us to their homes and showed great support by attending each session. They are committed to following the model and developing an evangelistic culture.
Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: The work continues because the elders are leading, and the members are working. This is exactly how it should be in every place. David Marker and Brooks Boyd (elders) report, “We are preparing to deliver gift bags to our newcomers to the community. As of right now, we have 42. We had three visitors on Sunday who were contacts that we can prospect.”
White Oak church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee (digital): Austin Fowler (regional instructor) reports, “Sunday was a very good day. We continued watching the evangelism seminar. We had three visitors from the community. We collected contact information on all three. I believe they are all really good contacts. We are going to prospect them over the next few weeks.”
Madison County church of Christ, Jackson, Tennessee: Steven Sprouse (preacher) reports, “It has been almost a month since the Congregational Evangelism Seminar. We have a lot of parts in place and enthusiasm is high. We are focused on souls. We began writing compassion cards today. Our participation exceeded expectations, and we wrote a lot of cards. Twenty-six members wrote 118 cards for five prospects. One person has gone through all of Back to the Bible and Does It Matter. She is conflicted but is seriously considering being baptized. The group study with Back to the Bible 2 was canceled because of a problem in the family. We have not been able to reschedule yet. We added them to our prospecting list and are sending cards. Thank you for teaching these tools. We watched the Why Use Compassion Cards? video today in Bible class. We are going through BTTB during the morning sermon. Tonight, I taught about the good Samaritan. I used Luke 10 and Jude 22 to focus on compassion. I told them we are commanded to show compassion. I said if someone knows a better way to show it than writing compassion cards, let me know. After the lesson, everyone wrote cards. People want to serve the Lord, but they do not know how.”
Karns church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Terry Clark (elder) reports, “We rejoice in the baptism of Cooper, one of our young men. We give thanks for his decision! In January, we made 38+ visits to our Compassion Card prospects. Two are very promising. Our Bringers plan to maintain contact with them. We sent out 60 cards in January to contacts, as well as additional cards to members of the church needing encouragement. Soon we will follow up with HTH contacts who have now received two mailings.”
Bethel church of Christ, Martin, Tennessee: Brad Brewer (preacher) reports, “Though the congregation has been beset with sickness and medical issues the last couple of weeks, attendance continues to be steady. We look forward this week to continuing our training with Back to the Bible Book 2 in our County Youth Series. This study continues to be productive for adults as well as the youth.”
McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “Sunday we preached part 5 of Jesus the Politically Incorrect Evangelist, and we passed out contact cards. Our cards have been organized, and the designated card room is almost ready for use. I will send pictures when it is finished.”
Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “We have had one member whose husband is attending more regularly, and we mailed cards to another member’s daughter and family as a way to encourage them to start attending.”
West End church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Adam Wilson (member) reports, “We have our first 2023 Bible study coming up Thursday. Jeremy (preacher) and Sally Weekley almost had the door shut on them until they said, “West End church of Christ.” The contact is the mother of a new Christian. She has been fighting loneliness and enjoyed receiving cards from us. They are going to share a dinner and study Thursday; they are calling it date night with the Weekleys! We had two first time visits this week and five repeats. Please pray for all these prospects!”
East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “Last week we had three new contact cards. We are thankful to have folks looking for a home congregation. We had one Bible study. Our compassion card team wrote 80 cards. Kennsy Neice, a new convert, decided to be identified with East Main. David Brown added two more members, Ryan Miller and Chad Massey, to our discipleship team. Mark Isenberg continues to teach the new convert class. Brett Nanney and Mike Raines have been teaching the Back to the Bible series to the fifth and sixth grade class on Sundays and Wednesdays. The students have been receptive and eager to put their new evangelism skills into action. Their enthusiasm and knowledge of the Bible is amazing. We are thankful to have young people willing to spread the gospel.”
New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We continue to review the Bookmarks at Sunday morning services. We ask members to submit contact cards for those who have had events occur that call for 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 submitting new cards each week. Team 1 met after service Sunday evening and completed 69 compassion cards. Last week, four members made eight follow-up visits. Three members and one newly restored member attended a young people’s seminar on Saturday.”
New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We reviewed our activities for 2022 and calculated that we delivered over 1,800 meals! This service has significantly grown our contact list and has boosted our visitation program. Several were delivered to people who used to be faithful, and these have proven very beneficial! We recently met few more people who might benefit from receiving cards, so we will follow up on them soon!”
Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “We were blessed with feedback from our compassion cards. There are two families who desire to worship with us. They are not New Testament Christians, but please pray for these families that we can progress to the next step to earn the Bible study. We were given an opportunity to build a relationship with a new family that is having health issues and hospital visits. While these opportunities present themselves, please pray for our efforts in creating classrooms that will help us teach our children more about evangelism. More families here are becoming more involved in the evangelism process, which is exciting and a relief to the works we are already pursuing. We pray our efforts will bear fruit in due time.”
Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “Although we were not able to have services Wednesday because of the icy roads, we were able to get out Saturday for our town’s Chocolate Tour, which is an event used to promote local businesses and activities. Each business/vendor who participates hands out a sample of chocolate. We made Oreo balls and put each into a small bag with stickers on them that had our church name and service times. Nearly 2000 people received a bag from us. We hope to get some visitors from that. On Sunday, I reminded the congregation about the contact bookmarks and explained how to transfer a name to a contact card so we can send cards and do follow-up. We appointed David Keith as our newest elder Sunday. We are thrilled to have David as part of the shepherding team. He will help lead the congregation in the right path in all areas of life. On Monday evening, we met to write compassion cards. We met a lady who came into our building Monday. Her son is one of the local youths who play basketball in our parking lot. She saw some of us inside and decided to come in just to talk to someone. We will be following up on this contact for sure. Please pray that God will bless these opportunities.”
Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: Clint Monroe (elder) reports, “We are working toward building our contacts list. With our gospel meeting in a month, we hope to establish some new contacts. We are still working on starting our new converts’ class and possibly setting up some mentors for them.”
Lackland Terrace church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Greg Campbell (preacher) report, “Lackland Terrace has had a great experience visiting with new movers and inviting them to worship. No new movers have come, but those who have recently been baptized have invited family members who are interested in Bible studies! The congregation is beginning to swell with interest in the gospel! To encourage the congregation, I asked everyone to pray specifically for a Bible study with someone on my bookmark—a person who is now on the contact list! Tonight, a compassion card recipient mentioned she was so encouraged by the cards that she does not want them to stop. One card she received meant so much to her that she has hung it up where she can see it every day.”
Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (preacher) reports, “We have four Bible studies within our congregation. We are working on two potential prospects for Bible studies. The most exciting news is that we had a baptism on January 25. Vicky had been taught the gospel, and she understood it. After much contemplation and talks with other Christians, she decided to be baptized for the remission of her sins and added to the Lord‘s church.”
Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We have a few Bible studies taking place. Several individuals are being prospected. A significant number of members record visitor information now. The feedback from visitors is that we are a loving and inviting congregation. Our Wednesday evangelism training class continues to go well. HTH mail outs continually go out to the community, and we have made visits to new movers. A family placed membership, and more are on the way. We hope to see more baptisms as well.”
Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder) reports, “Mission Monday is in progress. We are planning visits and discussing how to be the best personal workers we can be. Three Bible studies are ongoing; eight visitors were present Sunday. Please continue to pray for the effort ongoing at Fruitvale.”
Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “We had two baptisms this week, Joe and Linda Luna! Linda attended our Ladies’ Day last year, and she and Joe attended worship several times after that, but then they stopped coming after a while. One of our ladies encouraged Linda to attend Ladies’ Day again last Saturday. She and Joe came to worship the next day. Our preacher took them aside, studied with them, and then baptized them. We sang songs, held hands, prayed, and congratulated them on their decision. We are grateful to God for our new brother and sister in Christ! Ladies’ Day had 112 ladies attend from 25 congregations. Our guest speaker was Candice Starling, who is our preacher’s wife. She spoke on the topic of evangelism. She encouraged the ladies to make evangelism a priority. I am told that she did an excellent job of presenting substantial lessons, and the ladies were greatly edified.”
Eisenhower church of Christ, Odessa, Texas: Allen Weakland reports, “As we continue our efforts to reach the lost, God has once again provided a number of contacts. Xavier came our way and Don Easlon is studying with him. David Baldwin recently invited a young couple, and they have attended the past two weeks. They have not yet agreed to sit down for a study, but we have been informed that are feeling more comfortable. Please pray that this young couple, who have never graced the doors of any church building before, will agree to study. Maria has invited several family members. They have attended the past two weeks and have expressed interest in knowing more about God and the church. Pray for us as we plant and water so God can provide the increase.”
East Flushing church of Christ, Flushing, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (evangelist) reports,“We continue to pray for contacts on our bookmarks and send compassion cards after worship. We introduced the RTL update on YouTube Sunday. Several individual Bible studies are currently ongoing.”
Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “We have brethren who are doing a good job inviting visitors along with setting up and conducting Bible studies. We continue to encourage and emphasize the HTHSOE Model and work and pray for much success.”
Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Dougherty (regional instructor) reports, “We had a young local couple visit again yesterday. We invited them to stay for the fellowship meal and they did. They really enjoyed themselves. They sounded like they would be regulars, and they are interested in personal studies, so I will follow up to set up a study. Concerning the three contacts mentioned last week, I visited with the husband Saturday and started working a time to study. Great things happening; all glory to God. Progress is so exciting.”
Coldwater church of Christ, Murray, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “We focused on our new converts class and ensured it was ready to go for our three new converts. We talked with Bella, the daughter of Gary and Amanda Clarke whom we baptized two weeks ago. As we start the study with Bella, we pray she will obey the gospel. We continued to send out cards to our contacts and follow up on some visits and calls.”
Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “Sunday, we had 20 visitors in our morning service. This week we had one more Bible study with the parents of one of our members. The couple has gone through lesson one of Back to the Bible, and we hope they will come back for lesson two. Lately, we have been re-evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of HTHSOE in our congregation. The online curriculum is helping greatly! We are working. Please keep praying for us!”
LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jesse Teague (deacon) reports, “Here is a summary this week. 1) Tables are set up in the foyer with resources available. 2) Announcements have been made regarding available materials to use. 3) David preached the second lesson on finding our ‘Samaritan woman.’ 4) After the lesson, our elders spoke about the importance of filling out bookmarks with contacts who need of the gospel. 5) The elders met Monday to discuss/define groups and leaders as needed for the following weeks as we move the contacts onto the prospects list.”
Rabun County church of Christ, Tiger, Georgia (digital): McKinley Pate (preacher) reports, “We continue to look for opportunities to show compassion and set up studies. We continue to study with our new convert, and we are trying to reach others. We had two families move in close by, and we will take a new movers’ basket to each family later this week. We are moving forward and giving all the glory to God!”
Riverbend church of Christ, Dalton, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “Last week, we concluded our lectureship. We had non-Christians each night. One night, a new member brought her mother. I know they have discussions about the Bible. The young woman told her mother that if she would just sit down and study with Austin, she would understand why her daughter had been baptized. The fact that her mother came to the service was a huge first step. Cliff Goodwin did an outstanding job answering questions about the Lord’s supper, which was one of their discussions. I am prayerful that this will open a door in the near future. We are sending cards to the non-Christians that came to our lectureship.”
Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “We sent ten compassion cards. The Youth Prison Ministry has begun for 2023. Currently, eight girls meet for Bible study at Marietta RYDC every Monday. WCOC welcomes William, Hillary, Shelby, and Colson Hutto as new members. We have one ongoing Bible study.”
Oak Hill church of Christ, Covington, Georgia: Tate Sutton (preacher) reports, “We delivered new mover baskets to our community yesterday! We had some very good responses. We will follow up by sending cards.”
Monroe church of Christ, Georgia: Charles Harris (regional instructor) reports, “We started putting the Evangelism Model into practice in January. I’ve been emphasizing the Contacts and Prospects steps. January was our first month of “card bombing” and two Bible studies have been setup from that effort. I’ve made some other visits and I strongly believe that after some more reaching out to a couple of souls from January’s list, that more studies will be setup. Sunday, February 5, we started an evangelism class. I was late to it, because an elder and I lost track of time while making some visits. There was a good turnout for the class. I’m excited about the weeks to come and watching the church here glorify our God in this community.
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Keith Ritchie (preacher) reports, “We have 38 young people coming to Monday night devotionals. The area where the college students sit was full last night. About ten are not members, and they are attending some on Sunday morning and Sunday night. We have another study set up with Emmanuel this week, and Lois has a study with one of the ladies.”
Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “Studies and compassion cards continue to go well. One thing we noticed was the need for continued training. We have had a number of new members, and with this growth we have seen a need to explain what we are doing. So, we went through a five-minute information and recruitment process Sunday by reviewing the life cycle of the church and adding people to our groups. Lots of excitement continues.”
Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (preacher) reports, “We continue our focus on those struggling with family issues with certain people in mind that need the gospel. We are sending cards for the second week to them. This Saturday is our monthly door-knocking day. We hope the weather will be nice. Our mission Monday has been moved to coincide with door knocking. We have started a recovery group for former addicts. Two from this group have attended consistently for worship service. They are being prospected and Bible studies are in line. Our VBS is being planned with evangelism in mind. Back to the Bible is what we are teaching in the adult class while VBS is going on. Continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for you all.”
Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “We are thrilled to announce that one of our young people, John Morris II, was baptized Thursday. John’s grandparents are longtime members of the congregation, and they regularly bring John to our services.”
Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “Lord willing, our congregation will finish training on Back to the Bible on Wednesday night. On Sunday, our preacher completed Jesus, the Politically Incorrect Evangelist series, and we completed identifying at least ten contacts on our bookmarks. Members will be identifying contacts that fit the categories on the reverse side of the bookmark. Compassion card group one met, and 40 cards will be mailed this week to two prospects. Displays for compassion cards will be assembled and stocked to prepare for group two Sunday. Training for coordinators will continue to be provided this week.”
York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “We had our first meeting, as planned, to discuss which members would visit contacts. We have a small core group who are willing workers. We watched a video and discussed strategy and game plan. Please pray for us to be strong and courageous as we step out into something new for us. Also pray for our success, for two reasons. First and foremost, we want to win souls for God’s kingdom. Also we hope that if we have some success, it will help to encourage other members to step up to the work as well.”
North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Bryon Schulz (preacher) reports, “I baptized Doris’ son Larry Briggs and her daughter Beverly Shea this evening. The elders are teaching the first principles class on Wednesday morning. I am mentoring the new converts right now. Many in the congregation are travelling extensively. I have been conducting Bible studies every day for the last two months, and many times, I had several studies in one day with multiple people. I had four Bible studies today.”
Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “We have two Bible studies scheduled. We have several new contacts from the community we will be prospecting. This week we have a night for couples to encourage strong bonds in the marriage relationship. Our new converts class is still in progress with one of our shepherds leading and teaching the class. We appreciate all prayers.”
Linville Forest church of Christ, Kernersville, North Carolina: Steve Hare (elder) reports, “My son Matthew is working with several friends. We baptized one last night. She was a Quaker. Her parents came along with her boyfriend and his family. We will have an opportunity with several more souls from this family and the one study. I have a study tomorrow with two non-Christians. They were at our service Sunday, and I brought a lesson on 1 John 2:1-6. We had a fellowship meal. We are studying with three families who attended.”
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.