Reaching the Lost- Success Stories

Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations in 2021: 649
Seminars in 2021: 52 in 11 states.
Total baptisms reported from U.S. Congregations so far in 2022: 522
Personal Seminars in 2022: 34 in 12 states
Digital Seminars in 2022: 8

Upcoming Seminars
September 6-8 Hatton church of Christ, Alabama
September 11 Westend church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee
September 18-20 East Main church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

HTHSOE Checklist
Featured Work: All Enrolled Congregations
Two New Tools!
Recently during Polishing the Pulpit, we set up seven private sessions with congregations who are already enrolled in the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. We focused on one basic question: “What is the biggest problem you are facing since the HTHSOE seminar?”

These responses were extremely helpful. As much as we love to hear about your successes, we learn more from your struggles. During these meetings, two things became apparent. First, many congregations get lost in the process and are missing key details. Second, congregations struggle to organize the plan at the congregational level. We are excited to introduce two new free tools.

HTHSOE CHECKLIST: Where do you begin?  What is next? How do I keep from skipping important steps? We suggest using the HTHSOE checklist with the Tips for Evangelism to help during the initial setup and successive months. The six steps to success (Contacts, Prospects, Bible studies, Baptisms, New Converts, and Growing Church) are simple to understand, but each step contains complexities to enact. In short, there is a process that must be followed to achieve the desired results. When a process is skipped, the end is diminished results. No matter when you started, we suggest going back to the beginning and checking off each box to ensure that everything is working as intended.

CONGREGATIONAL COORDINATORS SPREADSHEET: Who does what? How will we get the congregation involved? No one can do all this by himself. This is where elders are extremely important. They are qualified to select and organize the congregation to evangelize their local communities. Thanks to the Karns church of Christ who came up with the original spreadsheet, we now have a new tool to help select leaders and coordinators who will arrange the congregation according to abilities.

HTHSOE is growing in effectiveness due to the cooperation of congregations all over the nation. As we learn new and better methods, we pass them along with prayers for more souls to be saved.  Please continue to share your stories, ask questions, and give feedback. We are in a fight for the souls of family, friends, neighbors, and communities.

Congregational Reports
New Union church of Christ, Manchester, Tennessee: Paul Fultz (elder) reports, “Charles Williams, our local preacher, presented a lesson that covered half of Back to the Bible: Lesson One at the Sunday morning worship service. Following services, we had congregational prayer for the lost on our bookmarks. We added five more prospects to our Master Compassion Card List. We are presently sending compassion cards to four families/individuals each week. On Sunday evening, Card Team 1 held their first card writing session with over 20 attending, despite it being a holiday weekend. They wrote 80 compassion cards in approximately thirty minutes. The team also collectively signed one card to be mailed this week. Plans were made to make one personal visit to an individual we have been prospecting. The leader of Card Team 1 organized the list of prospects and pulled compassion cards for the team to complete. The interest and enthusiasm for evangelism is growing.  More people are looking for opportunities to reach the lost in the community and completing Contact Cards.”

Karns church of Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee: Terry Clark (elder) reports, “We rejoice that a young man, named Shaun, was baptized this past Wednesday. We are thankful for the members who were instrumental in teaching him the gospel. Karns started the fall quarter Bible classes Sunday. The teachers of middle and high school, college age, young adult, and adult teachers are teaching their groups to use BTTB booklets in one-on-one Bible studies. We are excited about this opportunity to equip our members with evangelism tools. Even more exciting, we had several non-Christians (hot contacts) that were in attendance!”

York church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Fred Nowell (elder/preacher) reports, “We are still in the process of setting up our evangelism room. Many have worked on cleaning, inventory, setting up, and organizing. Many members have been prospecting and are excited to see some are coming to services. We are still working with a couple and a single man. They continue to come and seem to be very interested. No doubt we will study with them soon. We had a visitor Sunday evening, and it looks promising that he will return. I am excited to see members are excited about evangelism. We have also been going through Brother Bate’s book Fishing for Men.” “

North Meadville church of Christ, Pennsylvania: Bryon Shultz (preacher) reports, “We are continuing to send out compassion cards. We have three regular visitors with whom we are working to prospect. We plan to begin the Back to the Bible study with one of them this Sunday. We are having a congregational fellowship this Saturday, and our visitors have shown interest in it. We will continue to go through the Back to the Bible teaching classes in the afternoon.”

Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, Ohio: Jeryl Webb reports, “We have had another good week despite several members who are out sick. We assigned two ladies to change our library into our new evangelism room. There spent several hours this week in re-organizing it. We now have a cabinet with all of our evangelism material. We also found some Bible correspondence courses that we are going to use to teach the lost. Next Sunday evening, we will meet after services for food, fellowship, and sending out compassion cards. We are training our members on how to do a Bible study.”

Covington church of Christ, Tennessee: Wayne Dalrymple (elder) reports, “Covington is continuing to grow as God gives the increase in His kingdom! Last Wednesday, Brandon Matlock completed the study of book 3 of Back to the Bible with Timothy. Timothy is the husband of Cheyanne, one of our new converts. After this study, Timothy decided to put the Lord on in baptism. Cheyanne and Timothy are contacts we made during AMC in June. After we met them, we began prospecting them in various ways. We sent many compassion cards. Some work was done to make improvements on their property. All of this opened the door for the gospel to be preached. If you work the plan, the plan works. Also, the prayers of many were answered Monday evening when Leonard Biggs was baptized into Christ. Leonard is the friend of my mother-in-law, Judy Dunaway. He is 87 and was just recently diagnosed with cancer. He had visited our services for several months until his health began declining. We looked at what the Bible says about salvation, and he agreed that he needed to be baptized. We are so happy and excited for him!

“We are continuing with our new converts’ class. One new convert, Judy Jones, was present for the first time after returning from an out-of-town trip. We are studying Growing in Christ by Bobby Bates. Another outreach opportunity that has arisen is in the form of a marriage class. We are starting the Dynamic Marriage class that is intended for couples at every possible level of marriage. While most of the couples in the class will be members of our congregation, we are encouraging them to invite a couple they know outside the church. Not only can this help them strengthen their marriage, it can also be a door of opportunity to reach them with the gospel. We also met Sunday night to write compassion cards to those who have visited our services recently. We had more visitors Sunday. Please continue to pray for our efforts.”

Parkway church of Christ, Fulton, Kentucky: Will Hester (preacher) reports, “We have had several visitors recently, and we are in the process of encouraging them to schedule a Bible study. Our Young Adult class spent Sunday morning preparing visitors bags, and they are ready to go. We also completed book 2 Sunday and plan to proceed into book 3 of BTTB on August 18.”

Greenfield church of Christ, Tennessee: Brent Pollard (preacher) reports, “Things continue to progress in our evangelism work. We have four Bible studies ongoing at the present time. We are finalizing the organization of our service groups. We will have four groups, and each will have two leaders.  The group leaders will facilitate the sending of cards, visiting new movers, meeting needs in community, and visiting those who visit services. We are continuing to study through the Back to the Bible series from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.”

Fayette church of Christ, Alabama: Kaleb Hall (preacher) reports, “We still have a lot of follow-ups to do. On Wednesday, we will meet with the deacons to ensure we have not overlooked anyone. We are excited about getting our first new movers list this month, and we have baskets ready to go!”

Honolulu church of Christ, Hawaii: Tagiilima Esene (preacher) reports, “Aloha and Talofa from the Honolulu congregation. Last Sunday was a day of rejoicing for us and for the angels in Heaven. Kevin, who was baptized for the remission of his sins, had visited with us for four Sundays when he made the decision to put on Christ. We have three ongoing Bible studies, and several souls are being prospected. We prepare this week to start our new movers’ baskets and begin engaging contacts produced by House to House and Heart to Heart New Movers program. Please continue to remember us in your prayers. Praise and Glory to our Father.”

Highway church of Christ, Benton, Arkansas:  Steven Ford (preacher) reports, “For at least the last year, the entire congregation has been praying on behalf of Dale. He is a nice man who has been attending nearly every week, and he has helped many members with various home projects. Dale’s father was sick, and we encouraged him by way of compassion cards. The process was not typical in that we never had the opportunity to go through the Back to the Bible booklets with Dale. However, he heard several sermons from Rob, sat through the follow-up series from John 4, and has heard a host of related sermons. In addition, he has been in various members’ homes for meals and fellowship. One brother even talked through one of the Back to the Biblebooklets with Dale as he was doing repairs in his home. I believe the combination of genuine love, compassion cards, compelling sermons, and a good and honest heart (Luke 8:15) all played a part in Dale stepping out into the aisle and coming forward at the invitation. With tears in his eyes, he requested to be baptized. Nearly the whole congregation was in tears as we rejoiced at the answered prayers and willing heart. To God be the glory.”

Woodstock church of Christ, Georgia: Greg Garner (deacon) reports, “WCOC collected four contacts cards, so we can prospect this week. Our congregation meets on the second, third, and fourth Sunday evenings to write cards, conduct visitations, and attend services, but we also continue these activities during the week as applicable. Last week we sent fifty-three compassion cards. One service project (new landing and stairs) was completed on September 3, 2022. WCOC is projecting to visit fifteen new movers this coming week. We have nine Bible studies in progress.”

Aberdeen church of Christ, Maryland: Will Brown (preacher) reports, “We had several visitors from the community on Sunday. Three of them are looking for a church. They stated they came to visit us because we answered the phone and were kind. We have two Back to the Bible studies that are ongoing. Next, Sunday members are taking those visitors out to eat. Our church is slowly becoming more evangelistic and beginning to show their good heart to our community. Please continue to pray for efforts.”

New Hope church of Christ, Middleton, Tennessee: Cole Wade (preacher) reports, “We had two more baptisms this week! We studied with them, and after understanding the gospel, they obeyed it! We are excited for these new souls, and we are dedicated to teaching them all things the Lord commanded. Their names are Annabelle and Hailey. We met Annabelle through some of our members who brought her to church and our events. We sent both of them cards for several weeks. Hailey has been coming for a while, and we spoke to her about becoming a Christian. Thursday night she made the decision! Then last Wednesday night, Annabelle made the decision! We have had nine baptisms this year!”

Rogersville church of Christ, Tennessee: Ethan Tate (preacher) reports, “This past week marked the end of our Gospel Meeting, and we have several prospects we are currently working with. A lady from Arkansas contacted us and requested home Bible study material after she watched the meeting. We have another family who is interested in learning more about the church. We also have many asking some excellent questions on various Bible subjects. We ask for your prayers that we handle each soul with care, wisdom, tact, and respect. We do not want to lose anyone by playing 20 questions. We want to earn the study the right way to guide them to Christ.”

Paintsville church of Christ, Kentucky: Zach Collins (preacher) reports, “This past Sunday, we had two visitors, a husband and wife, join us in our assembly for worship. They have visited before, and the topic of a Bible study has been presented. We have sent them 25 cards during the past month. When filling out a contact card, the husband check-marked the “in-home” Bible study. We are contacting him today to setup that study! Please pray that it will be fruitful and lead these two souls to obeying the gospel.”

Canal Heights church of Christ, Demopolis, Alabama: Bryan Cook (preacher) reports, “This Sunday morning’s lesson was on the contact card system. Additional Bible references were added to show that Paul used the same elements in his letter writing, and Jesus also showed compassion to sinners. There is a renewed push for setting up visits this week since we are getting the hang of tilling the soil with the card writing program. We are consistently getting cards back from thankful souls who needed encouragement. I saw new mover baskets leaving the building as people were taking baskets for those they live nearby. It seems we are getting back into the swing of things. Continue to pray for our efforts as we pray for all of you.”

Crossville church of Christ, Tennessee: Alan Judd (preacher) reports, “The Crossville congregation is excited to share that Debbie Ledbetter obeyed the Gospel last Tuesday. Jill Parham helped to lead Debbie through the Back to the Bible study. We also are excited that one of our recent converts, Shawn Austin, is already learning and growing. He was able to teach the first lesson of Back to the Bible in a study last week. Compassion cards by the dozens go out each week, and efforts to cultivate these into prospects are ongoing. We pray and trust God to continue to help us grow as we seek to spread His Word!”

Riverbend church of Christ, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “This was a wonderful week at Riverbend. On Wednesday night, I did lesson number one with Justin. He has been visiting with us for a while; his wife is a member. After lesson one, he had a lot of questions. I deferred his questions. His questions were good and will be covered by Back to the Bible. I could tell he really wanted to know and was worried about making sure he did what was right to be saved. I told him we would study Does It Matter next week to go over all of his questions.

“One of our elders, Jason Duggin, scheduled a study with Randy Watson for this coming Wednesday night. He comes with his wife, and his son was baptized a few weeks ago. One of our members, Damarius Byers, got her co-worker to agree to a study, and we will schedule it soon.  It will be a little more difficult because he will need a translator because he is not fluent in English. I ordered Back to the Bible in Spanish, and Damarius asked one of our Spanish speakers to translate the study. Grace gladly agreed.”

“Today, Jason also texted me about a study he did with his sister-in-law. He said the study went as well as it could have in some respects. She knew she was lost and what she needed to do, but she was not going to do it today. She was a little emotional. She lacks knowledge of the Bible and is hindered by outside religious confusion. We did all we could at the moment and pushed as hard as we needed to, but she was not ready to go through with the baptism today.”

“Please continue to pray for all these efforts as we plant and water!”

Lafollette church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) reports, “We had another baptism tonight. That puts us at seven for the year. The church has increased by over ten percent in LaFollette in 2022. To God be the glory!”

Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas: Mel Hutzler (elder/preacher) reports, “We just began the new movers program. Soon we will visit those who have just moved into our community. We hope to do door knocking later this year and to tie all events to evangelism. Bible studies continue to take place. and a few of our teenagers are studying with others as well. We had a few more individuals who placed membership and wanted to get involved in our evangelism program. Things continue to go well, but there are always a few tweaks we need to make here and there.”

Southwest church of Christ, Austin, Texas: John Garza (associate preacher) reports, “Last Thursday, Roberto Hernandez was baptized at Southwest. He first became interested when he watched Chris Wilcut study with Esme, one of our recent converts. In the beginning, he did not know if he believed in God, so they went through the Believe the Bible studies, and after receiving that well, they did Back to the Bible. In time, Bobby obeyed the gospel of Christ.”

Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “The family at Chase Park rejoices with the baptism of Alexia Sharp. Alexia and Taylor Hughes have been dating about two years, and Taylor has been a Christian almost three years. He has been studying with Alexia the whole time, and we knew she would soon decide about Christ. While at PTP, with the influence of Taylor and the Whitacres as well as the love shown to her from so many folks, she decided to put on Christ in baptism. Taylor baptized her at the Sevierville church of Christ Sunday afternoon before evening services. Please keep Alexia and Taylor in your prayers as they will face new challenges with family and friends with her decision to leave the religion of her family and simply become Christians. Taylor is such an uplifting, faithful example of how each of us should be on fire for God and sharing our faith with everyone we meet.”

Wewoka church of Christ, Oklahoma: Gage Coldwater (preacher) reports, “We have exciting news! Daniel started working at a new office last month for TXDOT and quickly became friends with a young man named Mason. They were talking one day in the work truck about why there are so many churches, and Daniel was able to set up a study with him and his girlfriend! This past Sunday night, they obeyed the gospel! To God be the glory! We thank the elders at Wewoka for arranging the opportunity to learn more about becoming evangelistic!”

Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Doughtery (preacher) reports, “I had a young couple approach me after the adult class this morning asking how they could become members. I met with them following services and discussed having a study, and they are beyond excited to get together and learn. They want to do it sooner than later, so very soon we will get together and study.”

North Jefferson church of Christ, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda (preacher) reports, “Outreach Team 4 leaders are preparing to make visits in our community.  We are working hard to ramp up our evangelism efforts and become more focused.”

Siwell Road church of Christ, Jackson, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reports, “We had a great week last week, and we are looking forward to some special opportunities this week. Morgan Alman was baptized into Christ last week, and she is already attending our new converts’ class. This week, we have a special opportunity because of a local water crisis. The entire city of Jackson has been under a boil water notice for over a month. We were recently blessed with some donations of water and money from members at Siwell and from other congregations of the Lord’s Church in the southeast. We have already started this distribution and will be continuing it over the next couple of weeks. We are approaching this in multiple ways: going house to house, doing a drive-up water giveaway, and encouraging members to reach out to people they know or meet to provide them with some clean water. In each of these efforts, we are including a door-knocking edition of House to House Heart to Heart and some other materials from Siwell. We will be collecting as much contact information as we can so we can make some additional contacts in our city. We are trying to meet a need for as many people as we can and also use this as an opportunity to spread the gospel. Please keep us in your prayers in these efforts.”

Eastmain church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brad Rowley (elder) reports, “We rejoice in the baptism of two precious souls this month. Keaton Dewitt, one of our college students, was baptized by Seth Ferguson (college minister). Seth has been studying with Keaton with the Back to the Bible series. The college ministry (214 House) is a great opportunity for evangelism. We had 32 young people present at our last college devotional. If you know of any young folks attending MTSU, please send them our way.

“Juana Ajpacaja was baptized by Dony Rodriguez. Juana has been studying with Josh and Savannah Terrell and Dony Rodriguez. Josh and Savannah speak Spanish and started studying with Juana. Dony is the Spanish minister at Smyrna Church of Christ and is in the process of studying with her. We met Juana through my daughter, Brooke Miller, who is a nurse at St. Thomas MidTown Hospital. Juana and the girls were in a tough situation. Juana had a newborn baby girl who was born premature. Juana lost her husband one year ago to COVID. Juana has three girls, and the oldest is blind. Through a combined benevolence effort of Crieve Hall, Smyrna, and East Main Church of Christ, we were able to help her get into a home in Smyrna, Tennessee. Juana and her girls will make Smyrna Church of Christ their home congregation due to the Spanish Ministry. We are so thankful to be a part of this amazing success story!

“During the month of August, East Main sent an average of 52 compassion cards each week. We generated 37 contacts during the month, and 24 of the 37 were a result from our backpack drive in July. We struggled during the month to get in-home visits completed. We are hoping and praying we can improve our in-home visit strategy with Rob Whitacre at our seminar, September 18-20. We delivered 22 new movers’ baskets. We had a success story with one of our baskets this month. Cordell Green has been attending East Main due to a basket being delivered to her home. Another basket delivery opened the door to an in-home visit that resulted in a service project. One of our deacons, Richard Stanaland, and his wife Pat, were able to help her get government assistance. We will continue to work with this contact and hopefully get an opportunity for another Bible study. The visitor strategy continues to develop the majority of our contacts. We added more volunteers to the visitor strategy this month. We had five service projects during the month.

“As a result of an in-home visit, we started a new Bible study in August with Peggy Jacobs. Peggy is studying with Jay Pugh and Brad Rowley. Tim Hayes completed his study with Cody Henson with the Open Bible Study. Tim and Audra will continue to study with Chelsea Lane. Jon Mitchell continues to study with Gavin and Alundra Torino. Billy Taylor and Brad Rowley continue to study with Tristan and Amy Zerner. Jon Mitchell and Brad Rowley continue to study with Chris and Jenny Saetveit. Ryan and Mark Isenberg continue to study with Cortney Morris.”

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.