|2021 Baptism Record Broken!
Reaching the Lost- Success Stories
Two HTHSOE Advanced Graduates!
The House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism has two levels of individual enrollment. First, there is the basic certificate level enrollment. This option involves learning the basic principles of evangelism and demonstrating proficiency by practicing them in real life. Second, there is the advanced certificate level that equips the individual to train soul winners how to teach the lost. The advanced level takes a lot more time, and only a few have mastered it. We are excited to announce the graduation of two advanced level servants in the kingdom of God. Their studies, commitment to soul winning, and results in their personal and congregational life stand out among some of the brightest lights in the church of Christ.
Eric Sykes has baptized over 50 people into Christ over the past two years. He first contacted HTHSOE in early 2020 during Covid. He suggested a change in tactics to reach the lost since personal Bible studies were difficult to obtain. This resulted in Virtual Bible Studies, using HTHSOE professionally designed power points. Eric baptized several people using this method. In addition, many HTHSOE students baptized family and friends after learning this new approach.
Eric is from Maryland. We met in person earlier this year at an HTHSOE seminar in Aberdeen, Maryland. When he saw me, he gave me a giant hug and picked me up in excitement. We ate with him and his wife that evening and grew to love them even more for their dedication to reaching the lost. Eric is now ready to train local congregations.
Charles Harris and his family first reached out to HTHSOE while working in South Georgia with the Beattie Road church of Christ. After HTHSOE finished the congregational training, Charles worked hard to set up the model; baptisms soon followed. He followed the process meticulously and worked hard to involve the congregation. About a year ago, Charles and his family moved to work with the Monroe church of Christ in Georgia. He took his knowledge of the HTHSOE model and has been training the congregation. His work has resulted in dozens of baptisms, and now he is ready to train others. We are so thankful for his family and their dedication to soul winning.
These two men are leading the way in the battle for souls. They have not only learned the techniques personally but are also training entire congregations to reach the lost. This is certainly the application of Paul’s words to Timothy, “The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Mid-Town church of Christ, Victoria, Texas: James Cammock (deacon) reports, “The Midtown church of Christ in Victoria, Texas, had our evangelism seminar last Sunday-Tuesday. We have been anticipating this event for over a year. In less than one week since the completion of the seminar, we have had three baptisms! We are excited to be enrolled in the school of evangelism and are working to implement the steps. The enthusiasm and engagement in the congregation are palpable. We are looking forward to working together as a congregation to bring souls to Christ!”
Fruitvale church of Christ, Texas: Carl McCann (elder/preacher) reports, “Excitement is at an all-time high! Our first batch of compassion cards are ready to be mailed. Evangelism is being discussed by the members in every conversation. I preached part 2 of John 4, and we prayed for our contacts.”
Highway 95 church of Christ, Taylor, Texas: Benjamin Dossey (preacher) reports, “We had our first full week with the bookmarks and prayed for all the contacts at the worship service. We have the posters of the evangelism model hanging in both our evangelism room and the main foyer so that they are visible to everyone anytime they enter or leave the building. Next Sunday we will go over the model as a congregation via a PowerPoint, so everyone understands the importance of the bookmarks and the overall process.”
Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, West Virginia: Robert Veil (preacher) reports, “We rejoice at the baptism of Linda Munson on Sunday, November 6. Linda has been attending regularly, and one of our members has been conducting a home Bible study with her for several weeks. Also, on Friday, November 4, Coby Watts made a special request. One of our members has been studying with him regularly, and Coby was ready to be baptized, but he asked if I would baptize him in a river. So, on Friday night, at a beautiful location under moonlit skies, Coby was baptized in the Potomac River! Attached is the video clip of Colby’s baptism.”
Edgewood church of Christ, Maryland (digital): John Wilkie (preacher) reports, “On Sunday November 6, Edgewood introduced the Evangelism Campaign, and we were given prayer cards to list contacts. I preached John 4 and will finish the sermon next Sunday. From that meeting after worship, we covered the HTHSOE Model (circle) that I call the wheel, and I pointed out that God is the middle of the wheel who commands us to go. I introduced our theme for 2023 from John 4, “I Have to Go through Samaria.” This will assist in making a paradigm shift, so contacts become a habit. We will begin teaching the BTTB booklets next Sunday in Bible class. This is significant for us because we have not done the 10:00 a.m. Bible class since pandemic, and now the church is encouraged to return. We also had volunteers to organize contacts to prospects to baptism, starting with the leadership. We will put our list together this week.”
East Flushing church of Christ, Flushing, New York (digital): Clarence Jenkins (preacher) reports, “We sent compassion cards this week. By God’s grace, we had another baptism, bringing our total baptisms for the year to nine. Glory be to God. The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation.”
Bona church of Christ, Missouri: Corry Orr (preacher) reports, “We began preaching Back to the Bible this week, and it was well received. We have had visitors each week from the community, and they have been continuing to come because we only use the Bible. This has been such a blessing—we are having a Bible study with them right from the pulpit. We continue to pray for opportunities to study the gospel with those on our contact list, and we continue to ask for prayers that we do not lose the energy we have to fulfill our purpose as the church.”
West End church of Christ, Knoxville church of Christ: Adam Wilson (member) reports, “Let there be rejoicing in heaven and on earth over our newest brother, Tyler Keathley! His obedience to God is an answer to many prayers; West End will be a better church with him. As the church, we are focusing prayer on twenty souls for a variety of needs, but the word that jumped out to me on several of the contact cards was “lonely.” Pray these people in particular feel the love of God through us and know that they have a place in our fellowship. Andrew Lopez (minister) added an electronic option for contact cards on the church’s QR code sign in. We will update in the weeks to come about its effectiveness as an option.”
East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We are still evaluating our trial database, Customer Relations Management (CRM). We had a training session Sunday with volunteers in visitor strategy. We had great attendance and even had some new volunteers. We felt the name of ‘In-Home Visit’ may cause some confusion with volunteers so changed to ‘Follow-up Contact.’ This follow-up visit may be done in a number of ways.
“We kicked off bookmarks following the Sunday service. Jon Mitchell, our pulpit minister, delivered an excellent lesson showing Jesus as the master teacher. Jon will continue the sermon next Sunday. David Brown, an elder, will pray for those on our bookmarks. We will utilize our Sunday Bible classes to emphasize bookmarks and ask for contact cards.
“On Saturday, we had our first Mission Day with 21 people in attendance. Cecil Morris and Mark Isenberg (elders) provided a video along with some essential training tips. We had some great discussion with general questions, suggestions, and positive feedback. Our next Mission Day is November 19. The reason for having two Mission Days a month is to give more opportunity for our members to serve.
“We start another new convert class at the first of the year, which will be taught by elders. We had six different Bible studies last week with seven students. One is new; Seth Ferguson (college and missions minister) is studying with one of our college students. We had three members involved in the studies to improve Bible study skills. To God give the glory!”
Hatton church of Christ, Alabama: Chris Miller (preacher) reports, “We rejoice with another baptism this week. Conner Posey went through the BTTB study and decided to become a Christian! We currently have 14 names on our contact list, with several studies ongoing, and we hope to visit a number of contacts soon and start studies with them. I am on the final lesson in Book 3 and will be preaching through it this next Sunday. Our membership is participating extremely well, and we are receiving a lot of positive feedback from the cards being sent.”
Aberdeen church of Christ, Maryland: Will Brown (preacher) reports, “We received two callbacks from people who stated they were looking for a church and wanted a Bible. More calls will be made this week to those on our list. We have a large list to deliver for new movers’ baskets this week. The best part is that members are beginning to find people who are interested in Bible studies. Next Monday, I will conduct Back to the Bible training with members who are interested over zoom. Several new members have expressed interest in joining our visitation team. Please continue to pray for our efforts.”
Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, Ohio: Jeryl Webb (elder) reports, “I ask those who view this for prayer for our congregation. Rob and his family were here about three months ago. Some members were enthusiastic about evangelizing Chillicothe, Ohio, and some were not. I guess that this is normal. Many of our members are set in their ways and need encouragement to evangelize. I have been working to keep the congregation motivated to do the work, but it is difficult. Our minister recently resigned, which is making the task harder. When a congregation transitions to a new minister, it can create trouble among brethren. This should not be the case, but often is. Please pray for our congregation in our search for a new minister and as we continue to move forward in evangelism. This is a congregation that is very near and dear to my heart, and I do not want to see it die; I want it to continue to grow.”
North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Bryon Shultz (preacher) reports, “This week we had several Bible studies. We started a first principles class and are taking food to a family whose mother was injured. We are sending cards. This report is brief, but we hope the fruit of our efforts will come this week. I am anticipating good things. We need a better understanding of how to follow up with contacts for Bible study. We have folks that like us and are visiting, but seem reluctant to get too close, like for fellowship or meals or for Bible study.”
New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fultz (elder) reports, “We continue to review bookmarks each Sunday. We pray for our prospects and those on the compassion card list. Members do a great job of submitting contact cards. We had four visitors from the community this week; that is the most I can remember except for holidays! Our congregational culture is growing more evangelistic and friendly. Our women are forming a team to purchase materials for new mover baskets. Card Team 1 met Sunday evening and wrote 78 cards.”
Karns church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Terry Clark (elder) reports, “We met Sunday night to discuss making follow-up visits to compassion card recipients. There are approximately 100 visits that need to be made. We discussed how to effectively set up Bible studies. We were excited to assign more than half of the visits, and others not present have committed to work on the balance. This month, HTH will be mailed to many in our community. The publication is tailored to include an article submitted by our minister, Steve Higginbotham, as well as other pertinent info about the Karns church. We have requested surplus copies to put on the evangelism table for members to use with friends/neighbors and to be included in newcomers baskets. We will follow up in a month or so with all HTH magazine recipients, starting conversations by asking how they liked the publication.”
Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “We never know when our efforts might come to fruition. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years. In one case here, it has taken almost five months. During the American Mission Campaign that we hosted in June, we met Dustin and his girlfriend when we knocked on their door. They attended the meal that we had at the end of the campaign. They visited a couple of times and expressed interest, but nothing ever came of it. We continued reaching out to them periodically. Last Sunday, Dustin visited. He asked questions during class and was interested in everything taught. He has recently broken up with his girlfriend because he felt she was keeping him from seeking God. He had read the book of Hebrews Saturday, and then Mike Rogers, our minister, preached on Hebrews. I took Dustin out to lunch, and we came back to the building and studied through book one of Back to the Bible. He soaked up everything like a sponge. We scheduled the second study for tonight. His mother plans to visit with him tonight. Please pray for this study and for us to have an opportunity to study with Dustin’s mom. We also met Monday night to write cards and to deliver new movers baskets. The congregation in Covington is continuing to work the plan. May God give the increase!”
Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: Clint Monroe (elder) reports, “Brent Arnold (preacher) is preparing some members to take new movers’ baskets. Our last round of cards to them is going out this week. Brent has a list of people new to the community, and we will include them in upcoming mailings. The elders are planning to include prospects from those who have stopped attending in upcoming mailings in hopes of them returning. One family has consistently visited on Sundays over the past three weeks. I have been prospecting them with hopes of starting a Bible study. This Tuesday, area congregations will have our third youth devotional focusing on the third book of the Believe the Bible series. We plan to resume after the first of the year with the Back to the Bible series.”
Parkway church of Christ, Fulton, Kentucky: Will Hester (preacher) reports, “In two weeks, we are having a weekend of worship and fellowship. We will have Singing for the Savior on November 18 and Friends and Family Day on November 20. We have sent out fliers and are encouraging our folks to invite people. We have a new sign in front of our building, and many in the community have noticed it. We are hoping for prospects to come from these efforts!”
Fayette church of Christ, Alabama: Kaleb Hall (preacher) reports, “Things are picking up as we are getting back to the basics. We have emphasized bookmarks the last two weeks. We have our first Mission Monday set up, and I have a Bible study scheduled for Thursday with a lady who visited our services.”
Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “Shalom from Jerusalem! I am currently on a tour of the Bible Lands with one of our elders and his wife and a member of our congregation. We are not touring with members of the church only, so we are among people that need the truth.
“What do you do as a preacher when you get to the Jordan River baptismal site and the tour guide asks, “Who is doing the baptisms?” I prayed for wisdom, and then I heard my name volunteered. Here is what you do. You use this opportunity to teach the truth and make contacts. After preaching about sin, the Savior, and the plan of salvation, 12 people were immersed. Did these souls understand the purpose of baptism? Were they just doing it for the experience? It is possible that some did not understand, but I learned that some were genuine in their decision. What do you do now? You collect all of the addresses (contacts) and send them a gift from the Honolulu church (Bible, study material, etc). I believe that many that day understood the purpose of baptism and were immersed for the forgiveness of their sins.
“The people we are tour with are hungry for truth. One man shared that he follows different creed books and did not want to be baptized by full immersion. I said to him, ‘If you are going to be baptized today, you need to do it the Bible way, and I am going to share that with you.’ We need to think about an evangelistic tour of the Bible lands. We can teach all the Bible facts on the land and also teach someone the gospel in that time. It is challenging, but with faith, it can be done.”
Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “WCOC collected one contact card, so we can prospect this week. Our congregation meets Sunday evenings to conduct the evangelism workshop. Last week, the compassion cards group sent 25 cards. The service group coordinated the October 8 National Door Knocking secondary visit list in preparation for visits during November. We have three Bible studies in progress.”
New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We had two families visiting recently after we gave them new mover baskets. We are praying to be able to study with them soon! We are also putting together compassion cards and a care basket to send to Reeves Northcutt who was in a serious car accident and is ongoing physical therapy in Atlanta.”
Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “Flu season gave us a setback, but it provided an opportunity for kindness. With many members sick, we made food for those we have been reaching out to and helped tend the congregation while people recover. We made a few more contacts this week that will hopefully lead to a meal together soon. We are working on a community chili dinner in a few weeks and preparing thank you bags with study materials. Please pray that these efforts will bloom into saved souls.”
Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “We were fortunate to have a study with Jason, who is seeking help with struggles in his life. We went through lesson 1 of Back to the Bible. I was joined in the study by Josh, a new convert. He desired to observe a Bible study so that he can grow in this aspect of his faith. Lord willing, Jason will return for Back to the Bible 2 this Tuesday. Please pray for this study!”
Shertz church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Jay Stewart (elder) reports, “This week we welcomed a new member. He is a Christian, but his wife is not. We have a study scheduled later this week. We are emphasizing evangelism to energize the contact process. We are refining plans to go door knocking soon.”
Riverbend church of Christ, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “We are praying for our ongoing studies. Fransico and Mabel have not come back to do the second lesson. We are trying to schedule a date and praying for them. My grandfather and Jason Duggin are studying with Liz. They were supposed to do lesson two last week, but she was sick. They hope to get together this week. During lesson one, we learned from the survey and opening discussion that she understands she is not saved. She said the first study answered many of her questions, including the role of the Holy Spirit. Last night, we had two visitors, a grandson and grandmother. After talking with them, they mentioned they had been to Riverbend several years ago for a VBS. The grandson said he would always remember attending VBS. I have their contact information, and we will add them to our compassion card list for the next four weeks.”
Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (preacher) reports, “We are currently in the second study of Back to the Bible with Destiny Jimenez. Unfortunately, we have not been able to study for a few weeks because she cancelled two studies, and I was out of town. She has expressed a desire to be baptized, but we need to study since she is not aware of why she would do it. We have scheduled a study for this week, so please pray for her and the study.
“Chris Wilcut and I studied Believe the Bible 2 with Luis Hernandez. He cannot confidently say that the Bible is the Word of God in complete fullness and without fault. So, we will be leaving Believe the Bible to study deeper with him the topic of The Bible, God’s Word. Please pray for Luis, as he is skeptical, but does want to know the truth, and please pray we will be able to effectively teach him.
“Brandon and Dawn Colvin have been visiting. They have been to our first Sunday meals and even Fall Festival. During all of this time, we have been trying to nail down a study with them. I am thankful to say that they have agreed to study with Phyllis and Keith Seibert beginning Tuesday. Please pray for this study.
“Weston Moses describes Joshua Hanter as ‘a young man that recently moved to the Austin area under certain circumstances. He is struggling and searching for answers. He has looked almost everywhere and NOW he has walked through our doors. Please keep Joshua in your prayers as he finds the light and the love of the Lord and comfort in his trying times.’ Weston will be reaching out more to help guide Joshua to the Lord.
“Kelly and Megan McKillip had been visiting for a while with David and Gina Crouchet, but they never started a study. At the Fall Festival, Raoul Ferris was able to schedule a study, but Megan did not feel well, so they were never able to study. Raoul is trying to reschedule. Please pray that he will be able to and pray for open hearts as the seed is planted. Additionally, beginning November 10, I will be training 30+ Christians to conduct in-person Bible studies. Please pray for this effort, as more Christians at Southwest desire to make teaching and saving lost souls a personal work!
“Remember those that have helped lead the recent converts to salvation in Christ. They are continuing studies, just as Christ commanded after baptism to ‘teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, we should continue to keep the new converts in our prayers as they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.”
Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “We sent out about 25 cards this week. We are also planning a Thanksgiving giveaway, and we are working to ensure that this plan is based on evangelism.”
Carthage church of Christ, South Carolina: Randy Chambers (preacher) reports, “We received a letter from a couple we met during the door knocking campaign. The wife was ill at that time, so we put them on the compassion card list. They responded last week by sending a card and a book the wife wrote entitled Joy Cometh in the Morning. They stated they will visit soon. We look forward to developing a relationship with them. We had the pleasure of taking two visiting families to lunch, and we began our prospecting procedure. We had several members this week set up Bible studies. Unfortunately, one cancelled while the members were on the way to the house, and they are still trying to reschedule. Another study was postponed, and one is scheduled for next week. We are still working the plan and encouraging the members to be workers together with the Lord!”
Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “We finished a study with two people last week. They came to a decision point about Christ and decided not to obey the gospel, at least at this time. This is part of the process when you study with as many people as possible. In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches that, people are truly asking, seeking, and knocking, they will receive what they are looking for. I will continue to pray for this good couple as they reflect on what they have learned and am still optimistic that they will obey the gospel.
“We have a group who hold services at a nursing home in Huntsville every Sunday afternoon. One sweet lady, Patty, has been attending recently. She was a long standing Catholic but has been searching for about 30 years. She saw something she liked and asked a week ago if someone could study with her. We had the first study Wednesday and are scheduled to have a second study Tuesday. Please pray for Miss Patty, she is over 80 years old and seems to be very interested in learning the truth.
“We had several visitors recently because of door knocking and prospecting, so we expect to start studies, Lord willing, soon. We had three prospects that chose to come to my New Converts class Sunday. Lots of good things are happening as we come out of Covid.”
Siwell Road church of Christ, Jackson, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reports, “Some of our recent new converts have started the new converts class and have had additional Bible studies grow stronger and stronger. We have a couple of other studies going with contacts made from recent door knockings. We are excited to announce that Jimmy Berry was baptized into Christ on Monday afternoon.”
Graeber Road church of Christ, Rosenburg, Texas: Jason McTopy (member) reports, “It has been quite a while since I have sent a report, but I wanted to give a quick update. Our evangelism table and compassion card ministry are alive and healthy. We baptized a man last Sunday; he was raised in the church but erred. Andy Baker allowed me to sit in on the study. Moments like that remind me how much I love evangelism. Your seminar from March of 2021 still resonates with me to this day. I have studied it and practically memorized much from the lessons.”
Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Doughtery (preacher) reports, “We have had at least one visitor or guest at services each Sunday for a little over a month. Members are inviting friends and family to come. We have at least three ongoing studies in various stages. We are waiting for the couple I studied with to marry so they can be baptized.”
Lackland Terrace church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Greg Campbell (preacher) reports, “Remarks have been made from several return visitors that the flood of cards made an impression! One visitor (non-Christian) and his girlfriend (Christian) want premarital counseling. Two Christians placed membership. We will have a congregational meeting next week to discuss the evangelism model so that every member knows what it is and what each person can do in relation to it. Yesterday’s sermon was actually a Bible study. Each member had a Bible survey and a Back to the Bible (Book 1) in hand! Everybody enjoyed the study. The young man who was baptized recently mentioned that BTTB is easy to share with others, and he was encouraged because he knew the answers as we were doing the study as a congregation. It is truly a win-win because members are learning the Bible and the simplicity of evangelism while the visitors are hearing the gospel.”
North Jefferson church of Christ, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda (preacher) reports, “We had a baptism. Here is a picture. The woman in the middle is Kay Nichols; she is the mother of the one we baptized. She and her husband are our next prospects. We are planning our annual giveaway day. We need some more ideas on how to make it more evangelistic.”
Editor’s reply: Make it an open house and place items in classrooms. Have members give them a tour of building, and make sure to introduce children to teachers where they attend. Get contact information to send compassion cards and have info to give them about church.
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.