Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms (2018-2022) reported from U.S. Congregations: 2,345
Total Seminars Conducted (2018-2022): 181
Congregational Enrollments in 2023: 24
Digital Enrollments for 2023: 25
Student Enrollment: 112
States Reporting: 19
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations 2023: 537

Upcoming Seminars
July 26-28 North Brevard church of Christ (Titusville, Florida)
August 4-5 College Avenue church of Christ (Enterprise, Alabama)
August 6-8 Farley church of Christ (Huntsville, Alabama)
August 16-24 Polishing the Pulpit (Sevierville, Tennessee)

HTHSOE Checklist

Featured Work: Southwest Church of Christ, Austin, Texas

Editor’s Note: I graduated from the Southwest School of Bible Studies in Austin, Texas, in 1997. I love the Southwest church of Christ, who oversee this work. Along with others, I have seen an incredible transformation over the past few years. Evangelism has now become the culture of this church. They are an example for all those in Texas and America. John Garza is an HTHSOE regional trainer in Texas and an evangelist for the Southwest congregation. He continues to develop the HTHSOE model, and the fruit of these efforts is reported almost weekly. With the success they have had, it would be easy to take the foot off the gas pedal. His report this week reminds everyone that you must continue to train and focus on the evangelism model.


Never Stop Training
By John Garza


As a congregation in Austin, Texas, we have many visitors who come through our doors from the local community. As a matter of fact, in the last two weeks, we had three souls visit. Two desire to know more about the church of Christ, and we are working on the other. As a bonus, we had a visitor who recently moved into the area (already a Christian) looking for a new congregation, but we would not have known these things if we did not get to know our visitors.

Therefore, to better our ability to teach the gospel, yesterday we began teaching more members how to approach visitors, invite them out to lunch, and get a Bible study (according to the House-to-House School of Evangelism curriculum). We look forward to the fruit we can produce just by visitors alone here at Southwest.

Additionally, last Wednesday, we rejoiced with Matthew Robertson as he decided to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ by being baptized for the forgiveness of his sins and added to the Lord’s body, which is His church. He had been studying for a few weeks; last night, Cody Westbrook did a final study with him, and this is what Matthew concluded: “Before, I would have said I was in a saved state, but based on my new understanding of the Bible, I have to say that I was just trying to live like I was saved.” May God be glorified for those who have a good and noble heart and are willing to hear, examine, understand, and accept the gospel of Christ and the gospel of His kingdom!

Congregational Reports

Glencoe church of Christ, Alabama: David Marker (elder) reports, “For the past several weeks, we have been really busy preparing for our backpack giveaway. Many members have been bringing supplies and working on organizing the event. It was encouraging to have everyone working together to make that a successful event. Many from the community came to the giveaway, and most expressed gratitude. We collected numerous contacts and started sending out compassion cards this week. Not only was this event a great way to reach those in the community, but it has also been a great encouragement for our congregation. Ted Brooks, our teacher for the New Converts Class, reports the number in attendance has been consistent, and we have had feedback from that class as well. We are in the process of delivering our gift bags to our new movers from July.”

Fayette church of Christ, Alabama: Josh Taylor (deacon) reports, “I completed BTTB Book 2 with one contact yesterday. It went well. The first two studies have been easy to go through as this man’s wife has been affiliated with the church for years. We have scheduled the next study in a couple of weeks. That study will prove pivotal in this man’s life. We pray that we present the truth in a manner that will prick his heart. We appreciate all prayers!”

Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “Theresa was restored! Several weeks ago, she had walked out of a service crying. One of our elders went to her in the parking lot and when he came back in, he had tears in his eyes, too. She wept because she had a surgery that left her unable to take the Lord’s Supper because she cannot swallow. She had obeyed the gospel in her earlier years and had started coming to worship. Theresa was restored, and the ladies had come up with a way so she could now take the Lord’s Supper through a port in her stomach. We rejoice! Pray for Mr. Roberson. He has received compassion cards, is coming, and has had a study, but has not yet made the step to become a Christian. We continue to be extremely hopeful.”

Chase Park church of Christ, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “I wanted to update readers about the prospect I mentioned a few weeks ago. One of our members, Angela, had maintained contact with her friend Kerry over the years. When Kerry had questions about her salvation, she thought first about Angela and how she was always talking about God and the church. When Kerry doubted her salvation, Angela asked her if she would like to study the Bible. Kerry agreed, and they studied Does It Matter? together. Near the end of the study, Angela asked me to help her find a congregation near Kerry because it seemed like she would likely obey the gospel. I found a contact, Trent, in Baytown, Texas.

After the study, Angela contacted Trent, and he and his wife met Kerry at the church building where she was immersed into Christ. You never know how your friendships, interactions with coworkers, or opportunities with others you meet will develop into a conversion. Angela and Kerry have never met in person, yet Angela led her to the Lord. Patience and consistency in faithfulness are powerful evangelistic tools that we all need to utilize. I am so thankful to have a sister like Angela, who has not let the serious difficulties of her own life discourage her evangelistic efforts. We appreciate prayers for Kerry and all of us at Chase Park as we try to let our lights shine and bring souls to Christ.”

Highway church of Christ, Benton, Arkansas: James Hutchings (member) reports, “We mailed out 19 cards last week. We enjoyed the video; it will be great for our training program. We appreciate all the tools that we can use to further the kingdom. I am the new coordinator here for Highway Church of Christ, and I am excited about the opportunity.”

Lake City church of Christ, Florida: Jim Flegert (elder) reports, “Most pictures taken of our visiting children during VBS have been delivered. We are optimistic that good results will occur as these families receive compassion cards, thanking them for taking the time to participate in our VBS. We learned a lot about the logistics of achieving the maximum benefit from VBS, and we are already critiquing our efforts for next year. We realize this evangelism program is a work in progress, and we are learning.”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon), “We received nine contact cards. The compassion card group sent 20 cards. The new mover’s group delivered four welcome baskets. Door hangers with church information were left at six homes with no answer. The new converts class had 12 attendees.”

LaFayette church of Christ, Georgia: Jesse Teague (deacon) reports, “Group 2 met to send out compassion cards. We had about 17 members present helping. We have received at least one more contact card and have one more that will be filled out soon for the next round. Next Sunday is our monthly fellowship meal; hope to have visitors from the cards and visits.”

Monroe church of Christ, Georgia (digital): Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “We will begin studying with a friend of one of our deacons this week. The deacon, Dwayne, heard his friend had been diagnosed with cancer, so he used that as an opportunity to reach out with the gospel. Dwayne has never had a Bible study with anyone, so he has asked me to lead the study. Hopefully, through these studies, his friend will be saved, and Dwayne will become more equipped in teaching the lost.”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Lima Esene (preacher) reports, “The mission group from the Covington church of Christ came to help us with our VBS and plan future mission work in the islands. They arrived and went to work immediately. Our VBS was a success in multiple ways: God was glorified, the truth was taught, visitors and members enjoyed it and were encouraged, and our members saw the effort needed for this type of event (we never had more than a one-day VBS), and this effort produced five prospects. Early in the week, just days before our VBS, three souls were baptized into Christ. One of our teens, Rayeben, was baptized by one of his peers, Eryx. Salele and Kalina were invited by our members Tony and Doanne last year (Salele was Tony’s supervisor at the time). After studying the Bible with them, they decided to put on Christ. All glory and praise to God! We appreciate all prayers.”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas (digital): Dustin Dougherty (regional trainer) reports, “Our fair booth made quite a few contacts over the last two nights, and we are praying for more tonight. We gave away many bottles of water and used the opportunity to invite people to VBS. We have given away quite a few pens, a couple of Bibles, and several DVDs from WVBS.”

Blanchard church of Christ, Louisiana: Pat Cell (elder) reports, “This week will be the third week of our study on the Back to the Bible booklets, and that is going well. Sean, our preacher, brought an excellent lesson Sunday morning from Nehemiah 4:6 on having a mind to work, which was motivational. Finally, our leadership team met last night, and we had a good meeting mainly focused on ensuring that all of our prospects are getting visits from someone in the congregation.”

Edgewood church of Christ, Maryland (digital): Michael Bennett (associate preacher) reports, “We had a baptism on July 16. Yerelie Mendoza Camacho is the daughter of the Spanish Minister at the Edgewood congregation.”

LaPlata church of Christ, Maryland (digital): Eric Sykes (regional trainer) wrote, “We just baptized Gail Malnati! She is the first person who received our first compassion cards. Everyone is so excited! Gail is the 89-year-old woman who lost her husband. Her granddaughter called me and asked me to reach out to her and set up a Bible study, but she hung up on me, so we used compassion cards. After she got out of the water, she thanked God. While her hair was still wet, she said that she had a bunch to bring to the Lord. Norma Neel is pictured with Gail. Since they are close in age, I took Gail and her son out to lunch and introduced them to Norma. Norma and the sisters went to work. Gail’s caregiver was out of town this Thursday; she will be back next week. I hope to have pictures of her baptism soon.  We baptized Gail at our house since we were concerned about having Gail climb the steps for the baptistery. We sent out 108 Compassion Cards and dropped off five gift baskets. We have eight people in the New Converts class and two active Bible studies.

Southside church of Christ, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Freddie Klein (preacher) reports, “We have had two families return to services from our card writing. The sermon series continues through Back to the Bible. The men will plan on making visits over the next two weeks to our prospects. Our fifth Sundays will be for making contacts through the new movers’ program.”

Iuka church of Christ, Mississippi: Robert Wimbish (elder) reports, “Lance preached an emotional, heartfelt sermon, finishing the third Back to the Biblebooklet. Last night he gave a lesson on the wiles of Satan and the things Satan would rather we focus on instead of evangelism. Wednesday afternoon, we will watch videos from the HTHSOE website and have short lessons relating to the material. One of our sisters, Carolyn, spent the day baking last week to prepare homemade bread and muffins for our greeter to give to visitors. She packaged them beautifully with a welcoming message from our congregation. We included these in our New Movers baskets and Mission Monday visits.  We will make three visits this week.

Our Tuesday lady’s class has been making wonderful welcoming baskets, and our ladies wrote 60 cards to send this week. Starting Friday evening, everyone participating as a Bible Study volunteer will meet to learn about listening, deferring, and closing. We plan to meet at least four times to prepare our Bible study teachers. Other groups will meet weekly to further their knowledge and skills. Our coordinators are taking their responsibilities seriously. Billy is providing good service with our New Movers team. When the day comes, and we have a New Mover show up at a service, he will probably swell up and burst with joy. Undoubtedly, when the first New Mover agrees to a Bible Study, Billy and several others will weep. One thing we are trying to get across to the entire congregation is this: when referring to our evangelism efforts, never use the word ‘if.’ Get used to saying, ‘when.'”

West Hwy 160 church of Christ, West Plains, Missouri (digital): Marvin Hatley (elder) reports, “Three active personal Bible studies are progressing this week. One of the studies is progressing to Book 3. The prospect had difficulty thinking of grown children being taught incorrectly. Many denominational traditions have been challenged during the study. The second study, a back-door Bible study, completed Book 3. The prospect still desires to study but is having trouble processing the evidence the Bible revealed that is contrary to her denominational background planted years ago. This study will continue using Does It Matter. The third study finished Book 2 and is progressing to Book 3.  Compassion Card Group 1 prepared 40 compassion cards for this week’s mailing.”
Samford church of Christ, Steele, Missouri: Kyle Imel (deacon) reports, “We have a Bible study scheduled for Wednesday. Susana will be going through the second book of BTTB. We ask for prayers for her. We are making plans for our VBS/backpack giveaway on August 2. We are praying for several contacts from this giveaway.”

Foristell church of Christ, Missouri: Aaron Baker (preacher) reports, “We are starting congregational training on Sunday. I will preach my first lesson from John 4 as we focus on collecting contacts. We are excited to get started. We appreciate all prayers as we seek and save the lost.”

East Flushing church of Christ, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “We are consistently having visitors to worship every Sunday; we took one of them to eat Sunday. We sent 15 compassion cards. After worship service, we watched the RTL update video Growing Church: Three Characteristics of Success. We will increase the number of compassion cards we are sending out so that we may grow in implementing the correct use of compassion cards. We appreciate all prayers as we also pray for all who are seeking the lost.”

Carthage church of Christ, North Carolina (digital): Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “This week the congregation conducted two Bible studies using Back to the Bible, Lesson 2. Both lessons went well. Cynthia, the prospect, stated that she was confused and upset with her pastor, but she was thankful for God’s word. We pray that this is good ground, that she hears the word and understands, and that the study will bear fruit so the evil one cannot snatch her away. One class was rescheduled, and compassion cards and visitors’ cards are scheduled to go this week. The HTHSOE training is going well.”

Cary church of Christ, North Carolina: Larry Fife (preacher) reports, “We have four Bible studies being conducted, and we are working on a better way to report studies to have a more accurate count. Next week I will present a lesson on Sunday night on how to use Believe the Bible, and then this will be added to our evangelism table for our members to use. This week we will mail 52 compassion cards to new contacts. We continue to work the plan, and God continues to give the increase.”

Coweta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (elder) reports, “We are having our Vacation Bible School this week. We have an adult class and have a great turnout last night. Afterward, I was approached by a lady from an area congregation who said that her brother, who fell out of the church years ago, had moved to Coweta. Tonight, she will bring me his contact information, and we will reach out to him and his wife in hopes of restoring him and bringing her to God.”

York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Mark Raschke (deacon) reports, “It was great to see attendance up (even with many families traveling out of town). We had several members and longtime visitors back. Two families who recently started worshipping with us decided to place membership with us. They have seen our compassion card ministry and asked how they can become involved. We had some first-time visitors, with whom we sat and talked. We gave them a visitor bag and collected information on a contact card. They are non-members who live in the area but are searching spiritually. They were referred to us by a Christian family member from out of state who has visited our congregation. We will be sending them cards, and they seem ripe for a Bible study shortly. We sent cards to another recent repeat visitor, who was back again this week. We will also ask about studying with her.”

East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We are happy to report another baptism this week. Holly Cassidy has been studying with Mark and Debbie Isenberg the past few weeks using Back to the Bible. Holly and her family have been attending East Main for a couple years. She was baptized by our pulpit minister, Jon Mitchell. We welcome two new families to East Main: Roger and Gayle McElroy and Edd and Peggy Edwards. Both families mentioned how much they appreciated the cards they received. Compassion Card Team 4 wrote 60 cards Sunday. We had two Bible studies this past week, with a new study starting next week. We received one new contact card. We had 20 members support our mission day on Tuesday. We are still working on getting our youth involved in delivering the new mover baskets. We are thankful for all who came Saturday and helped assemble backpacks for our Backpack Giveaway this Saturday. A special shout out to Jeremy Jones, Jen Borras, Leslie Cherry, and Kimberly Morris, who organized this event. We thank those that went around the community and handed out flyers to advertise this event.”

Old Jefferson church of Christ, Smyrna, Tennessee: Bob Horn (preacher) reports, “A family who received the first compassion cards we mailed has remained a contact. The grandmother fights with dementia, but she takes those cards out and reads them often. It takes her back to the days she could attend church and gives her peace. We are sending more this week. The cards help her, and they leave a good impression on the rest of the family.”

McKenzie church of Christ, Tennessee: Randy McAdams (elder) reports, “We at the McKenzie church of Christ are still engaged in the card evangelism program. We try to mail cards weekly to at least ten contacts, including some shut-in members. Their response to these cards has been very good, and our membership enjoys working with this program. Our minister, Chance Steen, just completed a Bible study with a lady using Back to the Bible. As of this writing, July 24, 2023, glory to God, she has been baptized into Christ. The study booklets are simply laid out and easy to use.”

Chance Steen (preacher) reports, “Our evangelism teams have been meeting weekly to pass out cards to the selected contacts. We have had two baptisms that somehow went unreported; they are Drake Herndon and Kingsten Gibbs. Last Friday, Mike Hampton was baptized for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38). This morning, I baptized Heather Rimmer into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) after our second from Back to the Bible.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “It has been a busy week for a group of us from Covington! We helped the church in Honolulu with their VBS. We have made connections that will continue to grow. The elders of the church in Honolulu have asked us to go back next year to help them with a door-knocking campaign in the style of AMC. We are excited about all God has in store for us!”

New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fulks (elder) reports, “Four contact cards were submitted this week. Three couples visited Sunday morning and one couple at the evening service. Card Team 4 wrote 93 compassion cards. Members made nine follow-up visits and contacts, not counting phone calls and texts. Several New Mover Baskets were made and delivered. Two Bible Studies are scheduled this week.

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “We spent time with a family interested in studying the Bible. They had asked if there were more ways to have Bible studies, and they loved using the Back to the Bible series. We will be starting a study with this family soon, along with waiting for a confirmation from another man we met a few weeks ago. We seek prayers that the study will lead to souls being saved! We will be meeting shortly to discuss some other opportunities we can set up to help evangelize the community before school begins again soon.”

Freewill church of Christ, Gainesboro, Tennessee (digital): Andrew Scott (preacher) reports, “Our members are so excited about the recent conversions we have had. We continue to make contacts each week, and our first issue of House to House has gone out into the community. One of our members is prospecting a co-worker that we pray will result in a Bible study. Several visitors are coming to services each week, which I pray will result in Bible studies soon. To God be the glory!”

North Jefferson church of Christ, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda (preacher) reports, “Keep a lady named Gina Wilkerson in your prayers. She is trying to come out of Mormonism. Martha Deming and Kelli Messer did part of Lesson 1 from Back to the Bible. Once they mentioned the Book of Mormon, she shut the study down. However, during this time, she has still been receiving compassion cards from her first visit. That, along with looking at a few other online resources of other people who have come out of Mormonism, helped her to decide to return to worship yesterday. I do not know when the next study is, but I know another study is coming. We ask for prayers for Tony Smith. Our Bible study with him was derailed about two months ago. Tony is a diabetic and has been recovering from a stroke a year or two ago. This adds an extra measure of difficulty to our Bible study. He was recently hospitalized for over a month with a Covid-like sickness. Others are visiting, relationships are forming, and evangelism continues. Other members are getting involved. Sundays or Tuesdays in August are opportunities for personal evangelism training. Members stayed in contact with Tony through it all. He was back in services last week. He is trying to reschedule the Bible study, but he is finding it difficult.”

Granbury Street church of Christ, Cleburne, Texas: Ryan Cowan (deacon) reports, “Wednesday night, 40 members wrote over 350 compassion cards to prospects. We have six Bible studies taking place and another six prospects who will potentially have Bible studies the next few weeks. Several members have followed up on community service opportunities from our AMC week, such as repairing a local man’s wheelchair ramp. The Lord is blessing our efforts as we pursue to grow His Kingdom.”

Eisenhower church of Christ, Odessa, Texas: Allen Weakland (elder) reports, “The Eisenhower congregation is neck deep in evangelism. This week we are engaged in our VBS effort. During last year’s Fall Festival, we signed up over 200 families that expressed interest in this year’s VBS. Though we do not have any numbers presently, we are praying for a good turnout. Speaking of last year’s Fall Festival, we were blessed in coming into contact with the Baldwin family. They had been out of service since 2019. Since then, they have been restored and have become a vital part of this congregation. Eisenhower engaged in a door-knocking effort for VBS. We handed out invitations and pray that God provides contacts from the endeavor. Top this off with numerous compassion cards being sent to several folks dealing with illness. In all that we do, we praise God for opportunities.”

Midtown church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “We had another baptism Sunday! Leonard Bates studied with our preacher and decided to obey the gospel. We are currently writing compassion cards to five different individuals.”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder) reports, “We have our Christian Foundations Class (New Converts Class) and Evangelism Training Class going on every week. Every Sunday morning, I have a Bible study with a couple, and we include marriage counseling with them. We have a few others in the congregation who have Bible studies taking place. Our VBS is coming up, and we are inviting people from the community. We hope to create some contacts. We had an increase of visitors lately, and we wrote down their information. We hope to prospect them so more Bible studies can take place.”

Bridgewater church of Christ, Katy, Texas: Doug Suggs (member) reports, “We are excited and growing at Bridgewater. We had a young man place membership with us Sunday. Wade Webster continues to teach a new convert who was recently baptized. We have made contacts and visited with a woman invited by her friend who has requested to learn more about the church of Christ. We continue to receive folks from the community, and we are following up with them. One card group will meet Sunday to sign cards. Progress is happening as the Lord continues to bless us.”

Graceton church of Christ, Diana, Texas: Johnny Willeford (elder) reports, “The Graceton family experienced a wonderful day on Sunday. Scott, our preacher, finished the congregational training of the Back to the Bible Lesson 3. One contact has been attending for a couple of months, receiving the training with the rest of us. She came forward and was baptized when the invitation was given. She said the training had convinced her that she had not heard the truth about her baptism from the denominational world. Elizbeth Fisher is now our new sister in Christ. A new couple to our community placed membership after visiting with us for a couple of months. Sunday night our Group B signed 148 compassion cards that will go out this week. Eleven contacts will receive them. Tonight, our Mission Monday group will meet. We will hold VBS Saturday. We appreciate prayers for a successful outreach into our community.”

Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (elder) reports, “We had 129 in attendance last evening, which, for us on a Sunday night, is amazing. We are continuing with basic Bible sermons on Sunday nights to encourage folks to bring visitors and make this an evangelistic opportunity. Our Wednesday evening private Bible study, our summer series, and our new converts’ class continue.”

Chesapeake church of Christ, Virginia: I asked my wife to summarize the study, “My cousin Gabrielle, who lives in Marietta, Georgia, contacted me three weeks ago to express fear about her soul. She shared her confusion about the flood of religious information overwhelming her from family and social media. She recalled that I had previously studied the Bible with her years ago and was curious to learn the truth. We started the Back to the Bible study together via Zoom, meeting once a week. Gabrielle was open to God’s word and quickly realized she was not following Christ. Upon completing the third study, she took the next step in her spiritual journey by obeying the gospel. On July 23, 2023, she was baptized at Piedmont Road Church of Christ in Marietta, Georgia. She and I will continue to meet weekly to strengthen her faith and learn more about God’s word. Gabrielle’s decisions and journey serve as a powerful testament to the power of seeking truth with an open heart and mind.”

NOTE: These reports are from Christians and congregations enrolled in the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. These emails are sent to teach and provoke one another to remain focused on the mission of Christ. Each week, we share several reports and highlight one with more details. We hope you enjoy reading them.

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