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: 18
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations, 2023: 82

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- Chesapeake 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!
Reaching the Lost Among the Saved
by Ernest Benjamin
It has been a good year so far in Chesapeake. We have been using our Sunday auditorium class to train the congregation on how to use Back to the Bible. We were going through book three. At the end of class, Andrew, a non-Christian visitor who had attended several prior sessions, asked to be baptized. He was baptized into Christ at the end of worship.

We have three studies in progress. I am studying with a young man who was introduced to me by an older sister in the congregation. I am taking advantage of technology and studying with a sincere woman who lives in Las Vegas. She and I finished book two of Back to the Bible last Thursday, and lesson three is scheduled for this week. We have a brother studying with the boyfriend of one of our college students. We are still working to implement the full congregational plan, but we are pressing forward and making good progress.

Congregational Reports
LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: We welcome the LaFayette church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. David Paden serves as their full-time preacher. He has baptized dozens of people. In addition, he has done a great job at this congregation, and we believe it is ready to soar like an eagle.

Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: “We have sent out hundreds of cards and are praying daily for these prospects. This Thursday is our first visitation attempt. We call it, ‘Transition Thursday.’ Rob Whitacre will be doing some congregational training that evening as we prepare to check the soils to see if we can plant the seed.

Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “In an effort to encourage our youth in evangelism, our elders have determined that our youth devotionals this year will be based on the subject of evangelism. Our devotionals are for all of our children, from elementary to high school. The lessons will be taught on a very basic level for our young ones. Lesson titles include the following: Do’s and Don’ts of EvangelismHow Do I Help My Congregation Evangelize?, How Do I Evangelize on My Own?, and The Gospel Is for All, among others. We plan to use our devotionals as an opportunity to evangelize by encouraging the youth to invite non-Christian friends and family.”

Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “We are now getting the card-writing effort running on a weekly basis. A group meets on Sunday evenings after services and focuses on two or three contacts each week. Several have expressed delight at receiving cards, and we are beginning to find study prospects in this way. We are attempting to identify and train greeters. We have worked on this difficult challenge for a long time, but we are making progress.”

Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “Allen Webster is holding a gospel meeting this week. We had a baptism last night. He is a relative of a couple who has been in a personal Bible study and has attended our congregational Back to the Bible training. He told one of our elders that he had been taught incorrectly about his salvation, and he wanted to be obedient to the gospel and be baptized into Christ’s church. Honesty, sincerity, and being inundated with God’s word from many loving avenues resulted in obedience. To God be the glory! Things are progressing well for us. Our evangelism table is being used. We will finish congregational training of Back to the Bible (the third booklet) this week. Our preacher will be preaching part one of Jesus the Politically Incorrect Evangelist Sunday, and I will introduce the contact bookmark following his sermon. We have selected coordinators, ordered compassion card displays, and assigned members to groups. We will notify members of group assignments this week and continue for a couple of weeks before implementation. Coordinator training will begin next week as well.”

York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “This Sunday, we had a repeat visit from a contact who has received cards from us. One of our families has been working closely with them to make sure they have stable jobs and housing. We received an appreciation card in response to compassion cards. We sent a second round of cards to two contacts, whom we would like to target for visitation in the near future. Debbie and I chose another contact for the next round of cards. Before Sunday worship, we encouraged the use of the Bookmarks to find contacts for our personal prayer lists. One lady submitted a name for a contact to receive cards. We also had a preliminary meeting after services with those members who expressed interest in helping with visitation. I was pleasantly surprised by how many expressed interest—almost 20 percent of the congregation. We decided that on the Sunday when we have a fellowship meal, we will meet between worship and the meal to decide who we will visit that week, which member teams will visit, and what we will bring to the visit. We plan to do role playing to become comfortable with fulfilling these goals. The elders and I had a meeting before evening service to talk through next steps. We want to advertise our events in the local community to get prospects, begin planning for new movers, and approach some long-time attendees who are not baptized believers.”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “Our church family is mourning due to the deaths of some members. Please pray for comfort for our church ohana, especially our Kahn and Acosta families. Our ladies’ Bible class has started meeting for this year. The ladies are not only encouraged in the study, but they will also write cards and encourage visitors by sharing the gospel with them. Our elders have rotated to teach our new converts’ class. We still have prospects among us, and we are trying to arrange Bible studies with them. We do not have any studies at the moment. Please pray for us.”

North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Rick Marendt (elder): “We have seven people on the visitation list. Our new sister Monica’s mother (new sister Doris’ daughter) has entered into a Bible study and has brought her brother along. How wonderful it is to see the effect of God’s Word on a family. Several members of the congregation are earnestly working with a variety of prospective new Christians. The ‘first principles’ class is open to anyone, not just new converts. We are keeping it as unstructured as possible to encourage open communication, so attendees know that we all share similar problems. We want them to know that we depend on God and on each other to overcome our problems. Feedback has been favorable.”

Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (elder) reports, “We are getting together the first Saturday in February to work our new movers list. We have a lot of new people moving into Coweta due to our proximity to Tulsa. We hope to take advantage of the opportunities God is putting before us and continue to grow, both spiritually and numerically. The energy is high, and the congregation is eager to work, so the elders are helping members identify areas where they could be most effective. Whether it be bringers, teachers, or keepers, they are all such important steps in evangelizing. I pray all churches everywhere see success in their evangelistic efforts this year. Glory to God!”

East Ridge church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Charles Cochran (preacher) reports, “We had a great Kickoff Breakfast Saturday. Our theme for the New Year is Make Me a Servant. Two of our deacons presented the theme and challenged those who came to look for opportunities to serve. One of our elders presented the budget. Many opportunities to share the gospel were presented. We have our first Victory Sunday this Lord’s Day. Allen Webster will be our guest speaker. We challenged each member of the congregation bring someone to services on this special day. Bible studies are being conducted each week. We encouraged the church to save 23 souls in 2023. Two of our men are going to Kenya, Africa, to visit some mission points we support there. We continue to send compassion cards.”

Crossville church of Christ, Tennessee: Alan Judd (preacher) reports, “We rejoice to report our first baptism of 2023. Jaton Martin was baptized Friday. (She is camera shy, so we do not have a picture to include.) Other studies, prospecting, and card writing all continue. We pray God’s continued help as we seek to preach and teach the saving gospel of Jesus.”

Madison County church of Christ, Jackson, Tennessee: Steven Sprouse (preacher) reports, “We had a BTTB lesson 2 study that went well last week, and a lesson 3 is happening this week. We have gone over the congregational plan, appointed coordinators, and are organizing our compassion card room. We prayed during worship for our contacts and preached a second lesson on John 4. Next week we will begin training on how to use the BTTB studies.”

Bethel church of Christ, Martin, Tennessee: Brad Brewer (preacher) reports, “This Sunday, the men of the congregation met to discuss the Evangelism Model—Coordinators and Areas list. We discussed changes that we need to make to current practices as well as additions to our work that we feel can help with our evangelistic contacts. Some ladies met at the Dollar Tree to purchase items in Visitors Bags and New Movers Baskets. They assembled the bags and the baskets while the men had their Evangelism Meeting. We have begun sending out Compassion Cards this week and continue to cultivate our Contact List. We will continue to work on this in the weeks to come.”

Forestview church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee: Tim Roland (preacher) reports, “The Forestview Church of Christ continues to work toward producing a more evangelistic culture within the congregation. Sunday our Encouragement Ministry Team (EMT) met after worship to enjoy a potluck together. We had 17 present. I encouraged the group to persevere in sending cards. Two members who have been recipients of cards following medical crisis vouched for the ministry, stating how they appreciated getting the cards from caring Christians. We are beginning the New Movers program, and I mentioned to our group that they could be involved by baking breads, cakes, cookies, or some other baked goods to deliver to those who have moved into our area. We have received the names and addresses of 16 new movers.

“Last week I met a 16-year-old boy named Christopher. He was sitting in his vehicle waiting for his mother who was walking around our building. I struck up a conversation with him. He attends a local Catholic church. I am hoping to develop a friendship that it will lead to a future Bible study. After our conversation, I went back into the building to look for Spanish materials. Having found none, I ordered some from HTH for future opportunities to minister to our Hispanic neighbors.

“Today I met a young lady working at a restaurant. She noticed a piece of mail from a local congregation I had been looking at and said that she used to attend there. I struck up a conversation with her and found out that she lives in the neighborhood close to our building. I invited her to come and visit, and she said she would. She has a six-year-old daughter, so I mentioned our Sunday School class for children. She said she would come and visit. Pray for Sarah and her daughter. Her mother recently died from Covid. I am optimistic that in 2023, we will really reach out and win souls for Christ! We had 85 at worship service last Sunday with 22 visitors, which was fantastic!”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “We have dedicated a room for contact cards. The room is being organized with new shelving and an area for sorting. Part 3 of John 4 was preached. We are going to categorize all the cards and group them so we can send many different cards rather than many of the same one.”

Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “We sent cards to two more families this week. We received a request for a correspondence course mentioned in the recent HTH issue; and we received a report from the first set of cards sent out. One family was so proud of all the cards that they showed them to their granddaughter, bragging about receiving so many cards. Cards do make a difference. There are things that go on behind the scenes that not everyone knows about. We have one person that is working hard to get her family and some friends to start attending services. It is part of that extra energy that spreads as members realize they can participate.”

West End church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Adam Wilson (member) reports, “For January 2023, we have mailed 360 compassion cards to 11 contacts. One contact has been visited, with three more who are due a visit now that they have received all the cards. There are no Bible studies currently, but we are circling back through our contact list to remind the souls from 2022 that the Lord’s church still loves them and cares about how they are doing. We held visitation team training to talk through best visitation practices. We want to make the most of the opportunity at the door following the investment of so many cards and prayers. Please pray that our contacts’ hearts have been softened and that our visitation teams will have the chance to share God’s word and plan through Bible study.”

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “Last week East Main generated seven new contacts. We had three Bible studies. We wrote 100 compassion cards. On Sunday mornings, Avery Bayes, our family and youth minister, continues to teach the BTTB series with our youth. Mark Isenberg had our third new convert class with six students. On Saturday, we had 27 folks present for our Mission Day. Two new members, Lucas Holman and Brandy Gibson, attended. Two teens, Eliza Batey and Logan Gipson, attended. We had eight follow-up visits and twelve new mover baskets. We watched a training video and had a lot of open discussion. It was a great day! We took pictures at Mission Day and posted them on Facebook and the announcement screens in the auditorium to generate interest in Mission Day. Two new converts, Jeff Nelson and Chelsea Lane, decided to be identified with East Main. We are thankful to have both of them as part of our Family. David Brown, an elder, held a disciple meeting Sunday to assign mentors for new converts. Tim and Rett Hayes did a service project at the church building. Our greeter team did a great job with visitors Trey and Erica Robinson who have visited on several occasions. Our pulpit minister Jon Mitchell took them out to eat.”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “We continue to review the Bookmarks Sundays. We asked members to submit contact cards for those who have had life events that that need compassion shown. We include others in similar situations. We have congregational prayer specifically for those whom we are prospecting. Our members have been consistent in completing and submitting new contact cards, and they gave us four new contacts this week. After services Sunday Evening, Card Team 4 completed 78 compassion cards. Last week, five members made a total of seven follow-up visits.

“One soul was restored. The young man I mentioned a few weeks ago who had asked for prayers was restored Wednesday. He had been baptized a few years ago at another congregation but walked away. Recently he had his leg amputated. He had never attended our congregation, but one of our members who had grown up with him submitted him on a contact card.  It only took five weeks of cards, phone calls, and visits. When his leg was amputated, he lost his hope, but the love and care he received from the congregation restored his desire to live. January 1 was the first time he had attended services in years, but he has been attending since. He was restored during a visit Wednesday as we offered a prayer on his behalf. The first thing he said after the prayer was, ‘I want to work for the Lord.’ Now we are hoping to reach other members of his family.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We still have two people in our new converts class continuing their Christian education! Our meal delivery program is bringing in new names every month and cultivating soil. We usually deliver over 100 of these meals. I have four individuals on our list right now for Bible studies. We are excited about these numbers!”

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “Last week we were feeling much better about the recent surge of sicknesses. It gave us four new contacts and families to prospect along with a family who came to the worship assembly. Some of our teachers began to work on redesigning classrooms to help teach our little ones about the Bible and evangelism, and we will begin to plan events for the next few months to have community events at the building or at the local park. Please pray for these efforts as we continue to labor in this part of the kingdom.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “Becky has been studying with Nikki for several weeks. They went through Believe the Bible and then Back to the Bible. Last Wednesday, Nikki made the decision to be baptized into Christ! We have told her about our new converts’ class. She should start that this Sunday.

“We had several visitors Sunday. We welcomed them and recorded their contact information so we could send them cards, which we did Monday. We wrote cards to others, including a lady who accepted a new mover basket a few weeks ago. When we delivered the basket, we found out she had recently lost her husband, so we have been sending her sympathy cards. We plan to visit her this weekend. We will make sure we ‘happen to have some booklets’ with us.

“I have also been conversing with Bennie who visited two weeks in a row. He is firm in his beliefs, but he visited because his church had a pipe burst during the extreme cold. He chose us because he had never visited a church of Christ before. I gave him the Does It Matter DVD and booklet. He watched it and said he found nothing offensive. Then he shared his testimony with me and said he was saved a week before he was baptized. At Rob’s suggestion, I am going to give him a copy of Muscle and a Shovel to read.

“We are preparing to have a booth on our town square for the ‘Chocolate Tour,’ sponsored by our Chamber of Commerce. Each business on the square as well as others will have booths, and all will pass out various forms of chocolate. We will have stickers on our bags with the church’s name on it. This is a great way to get our name out in the community more. The Lord is blessing us in many ways.”

Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: Clint Monroe (elder) reports, “We are happy to report that Phoenix Milam obeyed the gospel after the morning service Sunday. She is a high school student who has been visiting with a friend. She expressed her desire to be baptized after a brief conversation with Brent Arnold, our pulpit minister. We are praying for her continued growth in the faith. We are excited that our church family is growing, and we hope to start the class for new converts soon. We are also working to gain new contacts to prospect.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (preacher) reports, “Usually, I like to discuss the number of Bible studies we have, their progress, and the prayers that are needed. But in this report, I would like to write about our door-knocking efforts. The Southwest congregation has a Bible school with a two-year program broken down into four quarters a year. At the end of each quarter, we dedicate the final day to door knocking. In the past, this consisted of only hanging material on the doorknob to cover more houses, but recently, we decided to use this opportunity to implement the House to House method. This being the case, we actively knocked the doors of homes that receive HTH through our congregation. We worked on creating personal conversations and allowed ourselves to be seen at the doors of our community. No doubt there are some kinks to work out, but in the end, we all came away encouraged by the positive interactions. It is encouraging to realize that our students will be allowed eight opportunities to effectively learn how to evangelize their future communities, while using the great tool of House to House. To God be the glory in all works!”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We have a few in Bible studies. An evangelism training class continues weekly. We are writing cards and collecting information from visitors. We will adapt changes for gathering visitor information and writing cards to be more effective. We will continue to mail HTH. Our new movers’ program is coming along as our members visit those who just moved to San Antonio. We have a lot of events taking place this year, and we hope to attach evangelism to all of it. Our recent Young Ladies Day was a huge success.”

Eisenhower church of Christ, Odessa, Texas: Allen Weakland (preacher) reports, “Once again God has brought to our attention a number of contacts. Sunday, Mr. Rios and his daughter visited. We will begin our first study with him Wednesday. We will provide further updates as they come. On another note, the congregation gathered after evening services to write cards to two families who are dealing with health issues. We plan to follow up with more compassion cards and then a visit. One of the families we met during our fall festival last October has been attending and has asked to meet with the elders. Like so many other brethren, this family had allowed Covid to become an excuse to withdraw from the Lord. Though they are new to our congregation, they have expressed numerous times that they had made a terrible choice. Now they want to make things right. To God be the glory.”

Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder) reports, “Fruitvale continues to work the Evangelism Model. We currently have 15 people receiving Compassion Cards. There are three people in our New Converts class, and enthusiasm among them is high. Two are scheduled to study Back to the Bible lesson 2 this week. We request prayers as we continue to pray for the efforts of others.”

Lackland Terrace church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Greg Campbell (preacher) reports, “Here is a picture of our Monday Night for the Master. We had stations for putting together new movers’ kits, compassion card visiting kits, and compassion card writing.”

East Flushing church of Christ, Flushing, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (evangelist) reports, “Glory be to God! We are grateful that we have had a baptism already this year. Shamecca, after going through the BTTB series, was baptized into Christ January 13. We continue sending compassion cards and planning follow up visits. The brothers are training and reviewing our original virtual meeting with Rob Whitacre so that we may, by God’s grace, grow in mastering the fundamentals and effectiveness of evangelism. We appreciate all prayers.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “The Carthage Church of Christ is doing a great job of staying engaged with the plan. We have had several visitors, and we are still encouraging our congregation to invite more. We are getting good feedback from compassion cards and from the new movers’ efforts. Our members will follow up on those. We continue to have members setting up and teaching multiple classes during the week, using BTTB. We appreciate the encouraging lessons and words from the brethren, and we ask that you keep us in your prayers for the work being done in this area. May God be pleased and receive all the glory.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “We have started to re-emphasis Back to the Bible curriculum. This emphasis is being relayed to our congregation in our lessons, but we also encourage the church with our weekly evangelism efforts. Last week, when Johnnie LeMaster traveled to Peru, he took Spanish translations of BTTB books. He used them in studies, which resulted in the addition of six souls to the kingdom! Please continue to pray for the work at Paintsville!”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “Our congregation meets Sunday evenings to conduct the Actively Caring Teaching Serving (ACTS) workshop. The Compassion Group sent out 20 cards. The Visitation Group visited six new movers within our community and gave each household a coffee station. The Service Group is working on the door-to-door list to gather more prospects. The Practical Applications Class had 16 attendees. We have one Bible study in progress.”

Oak Hill church of Christ, Covington, Georgia: Tate Sutton (preacher) reports, “We baptized Katelin Flynn Wednesday. She was one of our visitors who wanted to know more about what we were preaching about salvation. We studied with her, using Does It Matter, and she was baptized. We hope to keep moving forward and doing more for the Lord.”

White Oak church of Christ, Georgia (digital): Austin Fowler (HTHSOE graduate) reports, “Sunday, we continued watching the seminar. The congregation is enjoying it a lot and is excited about getting started with evangelism. We are currently prospecting a few members who have not been attending and coming up with a plan on how to reach them. A lot of names on our target list are members who have family members who are not members.”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “To this point, we have sent 2263 cards to 60 people. Members are involved in studies, and so much is going on behind the scenes. We are delivering meals to people, building ramps for people who need help to get into their homes, and so much more. To God be the glory!”

Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (preacher) reports, “We are back in the preparation stage as a congregation. There are several events that we are preparing for with a new angle of evangelism. Our VBS is in the planning stage with a focus on how to evangelize the parents of children who attend VBS. We will train our support crew to gather information from parents that will lead to getting Bible studies. Our monthly door knocking was cancelled for adverse weather in January, but in February we are kicking it up a notch by planning our Mission Mondays directly after the Saturday door knocking. This Mission Monday will include several stages, including training, planning, and actually sending individuals to visit those who have been prepared/cultivated for personal visits. It seems there has been an increase in personal challenges. Our eldership has attributed the problems (and rightly so) to Satan’s efforts to hinder our work to expand the church. God has provided so far, and the challenges have not really hindered our efforts. We are simply waiting for God to bring the increase as we do our meager efforts. Continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for you all.”

Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “Two people were baptized into Christ on Saturday. Both had been baptized previously but were concerned about their understanding and repentance. One had been baptized 54 years ago, and she had recently received a terminal cancer diagnosis. We studied on Friday, and she decided she wanted to “make her calling and election sure,” so she was immersed on Saturday for the remission of her sins. The other was baptized more recently and had come out of denominationalism. He told me that he was angry when he found out that what he had been taught his whole life was not true. He had begun to think that his decision to be baptized was not because of repentance but instead a knee-jerk reaction to his emotions. He, too, wanted to make his “calling and election sure” and he did just that. We have four others who have been studying and are coming close to decisions about Christ. We restarted our Open Home Ministry meetings at our house Saturday. We ate a meal, had a devotion, and got to know each other better. We had 16 people there and seven of them were recent visitors to our services. This is a great tool for evangelism and edification. Please pray for these prospects.”

Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton, Virginia: Ben Phillips (preacher) reports, “We have remained busy with evangelism over the holidays and into the New Year. During December, we coordinated with a local elementary school to provide meals for families for Christmas. This provided an opportunity to do good while making new contacts. We are following up with these people now. Our first door knocking of the year is scheduled soon, and we have been busy reaching out to visitors and contacts from our members through the card ministry. We continue to review the evangelism program on Wednesdays. That will soon conclude as we practice what we have learned. Finally, I was able to travel to Costa Rica for a campaign in early January. The funds for the trip came almost entirely from the congregation here. We had five baptisms in that campaign, which has been an encouragement to the brethren here. We are striving to be lights in Hampton and to the world through the works we support and do for God’s 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.