This week our featured congregation is the church of Christ in Guam. Last fall we met Joey and Tammy Treat, missionaries from Guam. During their visit in the States, they dedicated a couple weeks to attend several HTHSOE seminars and spend personal time with our family. We had hours of discussions about evangelism. Joey concluded the principles we were teaching at HTHSOE are universal, and he wanted to implement them in Guam. The following report is from Brother Treat.
“Things are going well in Guam. We have been working on visitors in the pews and are up to study #3 in Back to the Bible with one of them. Another is on study #2. We are having important visits that are working toward Bible studies and have taken visitors out for lunch the last several Sundays. It is becoming hard to schedule, but that is great! This Wednesday we have a study at 5:00p.m. before Bible class, then another during class because we could not find another time to do it. We are busier in evangelism than we have ever been.
“We are cultivating the soil with several contacts. One man is an artist; he was making a mural statue out of concrete on the side of a building. We met for coffee; I visited him at the construction site, and we talked about speaking in tongues. The denomination he attends does it, but he really does not agree with it. He has talked about visiting us on a Sunday morning. Another man has cancer and is declining treatment. We are on our second round of compassion cards with him. He knew exactly how many he received during the first round – thirty-nine. He is hard soil. He believes he is fine spiritually and does not want anyone telling him otherwise. (I have not pushed him, but because of his past he has barriers up to religious people.) So, we are showering him with love. The church helped with gas for him (it is $5.99 a gallon on Guam and he is on a fixed income), and we bought him some pants (he did not have any to wear to services, if he decides to come). We are praying our love will topple his hard heart.
“The congregation is getting more and more involved with evangelism. One member of the church set up a new study this week. She and another have been asking for more copies of Back to the Bible. I have placed three orders for more materials in the last three weeks.
“We are using HTHSOE principles. We love them; they are working, and they are keeping us busy. Thank God for HTHSOE. May the Lord bless your work!”
University church of Christ, Tyler, Texas: We welcome the University church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. One year ago, Willey Ballard called and asked how they could enroll. He opted to use HTHSOE digital enrollment. We had a virtual meeting with the elders and they began the training. They just finished the videos; I taught the application lesson virtually along with the private leadership session.
Willey Ballard (member) reports, “Wednesday the 9th of March we finished and set up our Evangelism Table. That evening Brother Whitacre taught a very inspiring lesson via Zoom at our mid-week service. After the service Brother Whitacre met with the leadership and laid out a detailed plan for implementing the evangelism program. We will be working very soon on getting the gift bags for the visitors and new movers. The leadership and the congregation are very excited about this program and are looking forward to its implementation in next few weeks.”
Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Matt Amos (preacher) reports, “We have finished three installments of John 4. This Sunday we will begin the Back to the Bible sermon series. The banners for the table have been ordered and projected to be in next week. We have had three families place membership since the seminar and more projected. Bible studies are ongoing.”
Natalia church of Christ, Texas: Jim Word (preacher) reports, “We found a table for our foyer and hopefully will be picking it up this week. Cards have been passed out, and we have been praying for the names on those cards. I preached a sermon on the oneness of the church and lesson two of Back to the Bible yesterday. One of our members went to see a friend this past week in hopes of setting up a Bible study. She reported that she did have the Bible study and it went VERY well, and she scheduled a second study. She sent me a text saying, “Can’t thank the elders enough for the evangelism tips and studies. I feel more confident. It is indescribable, not chasing rabbits, deferring, and the ease of the study material is just so amazingly helpful!” Another member has conducted the first two studies with a visitor that has been coming and is scheduled for the third study. The third study should take place this evening. We are expecting a baptism from this study.”
Lafollotte church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) reports, “My wife Kellie and I began the third Back to the Bible with Betty. The entire study has gone as good as one could hope, but the moment we got to the first verse about baptism the objections came. We tried to ask probing questions to find the real reason for her objecting, but she was not willing to share. We suspect that she knows and is refusing because husband died outside the body of Christ. I am preparing for that for our next study.
It has been encouraging as members of the congregation fill me in about ways that they are trying to set up Bible studies. Friends, coworkers, and strangers are constantly being invited and having seeds planted. One of the ones from our compassion card list has agreed to have a study with one of our faithful sisters. The date has not been confirmed yet, but we are encouraged by it. We are looking forward to the warmer weather and the ability to get back out and have outreach days in the community.”
Rock Valley church of Christ, Tompkinsville, Kentucky: Jason Thompson (preacher) reports, “This is Mrs. Carlee Strong. She is a third-grade teacher. She is the young lady I spoke to you about who responded to the invitation requesting to have a Bible study. That (picture) was last night after completing the third BTTB study.”
Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “This week, we are seeing a few extra visitors, so we have increased our focus on visitor bags. Some of our ladies will be going to get more supplies and assemble these bags. We are thankful that our outreach of compassions cards and other benevolence efforts have brought us a couple of visitors from the community. We are continuing to follow up on contacts and prospects. We sent several compassion cards and made calls and visits to continue to build relationships. We pray these will turn into studies soon.”
Mabelvale church of Christ, Arkansas: Wendell Thompson (elder) reports, “Last Sunday we (elders) met with our preachers to further organize our evangelism efforts. We are making great progress. We now have our Compassion Cards organized, and our first team will be meeting next week. Please continue to pray for us as we focus on seeking the lost.”
Ironaton church of Christ, Alabama: Dale Harris (deacon) reports, “Evangelism efforts are going well! We continue to have great enthusiasm for our compassion cards program. We just began the new movers baskets last month and have been able to involve a lot more members in the organizing, planning, and putting together, as well as delivery of the baskets. The cards and baskets have been so well received!”
Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton, Virginia: Ben Phillips (preacher) reports, “God has given the increase! George Ramsey was baptized into Christ after studying Back to the Bible with Kevin Barnes and Ben Phillips. Thanks to sister Julia for inviting him and providing him transportation to the studies. George is the second from the right in the picture. Thanks be to God that another soul has been snatched from the devil’s grasp!”
Wewoka church of Christ, Oklahoma: Gage Coldwater (preacher) reports, “The work is going great here in Wewoka USA. We had several opportunities to visit and study with members of our community this week. Yesterday was our church-eat-church, as we call it, and our turnout was great and fellowship and food were great. I have a Bible study set up for end of the week. God is good.”
University church of Christ, Montgomery, Alabama: Faires Austin reports,
- “The families in our Firm Foundations class are learning how to study their Bible in a more effective way.
- “Our Muslim friend Luke was present for our Sunday morning service today. We continue to build a relationship with Luke. Kyle Clayton has two studies set up with Luke this week. Prayers needed.
- “Our card ministry is really moving along. Hundreds of cards have been sent, and we are seeing some great results.
- “In just a few weeks we will be giving a report to the congregation on the progress of our Evangelism Program.”
New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We had a meeting this Sunday, and we have organized our efforts even more. We are currently having Bible studies with a woman who could soon obey the gospel. Also, we are working on a new movers family. We will have a bonfire with our youth and hopefully gain new contacts through that fun event! Keep us in your prayers.”
Riverbend church of Christ, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “What a week at Riverbend! On Tuesday night, Charlie Smith was baptized into Christ after completing study 3 of Back to the Bible. Last Wednesday, we began our new convert’s class. We had seven new converts in attendance. We also had some of their spouses in the class to encourage them. Friday, Charles Hackney and I went to visit Leroy Epperson. I began studying with Leroy back in October but never did study two because of his doctor’s appointments and my coaching schedule. Due to his health issues, I decided to use Does it Matter with him. During our visit, he agreed to do the study with him on Monday at 4:00p.m. After the visit with Leroy, I did a little prospecting. My dad and I went to mow George’s yard. I had a schedule to study with George, but he has had some back issues and is going to have a second surgery tomorrow. I plan to reschedule the study with George once he has recovered from this recent surgery.
“Sunday, I began teaching Fishing for Men during Bible study. It went well with a lot of excitement. Sunday night, I taught book one of Back to the Bible. A lot of people appreciated it and there is a lot of excitement at Riverbend right now. I cannot wait to keep building on this momentum we have! Tuesday, we went through the study with Leroy. When we got to instrumental music, he said, ‘I always wondered why the church of Christ did not use instruments and now I do not have any questions about that anymore.’ When we got to baptism, he knew what he had to do. He made the decision to put Christ on in baptism.”
Monroe church of Christ, Georgia: Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “I was able to get an Evangelism Table set up. The material I used was already at the building, but unfortunately it was out of sight from everyone. Now we have our evangelistic material as the first thing one sees when walking through the front doors. I hope to add more material as time continues. I finished preaching through BTTB last Sunday. Several members enjoyed the studies and are excited about teaching BTTB to others. I have been here at this work for just over two months. I plan to pick up the pace a bit in training the congregation to teach others. The reason is that several members here are wanting to be more equipped. My family and I are truly thankful to be working with the amazing brethren in Monroe. Several studies are taking place, and many other Christians are trying to set up studies.”
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Last week we had our first lectureship. The theme was based upon the study booklets, Back to the Bible. Cliff Goodwin dealt with salvation (book 3) on Thursday evening, and Noah Haywood from Ironaton was baptized. On Friday, Keith, RJ, Hannah, and Jared took new mover baskets to the community. They were able to find two good contacts and add them to the Compassion Card list. Mentoring new converts during the week is also very important. Keith Ritchey and his family took Toni Adams out to eat and spent time at her apartment getting to know her. We have several good prospects and three ongoing studies. Nylah is very close to baptism, so please continue to pray for her.”