Missouri Baptists take Gospel to Nashville
Crossover event prior to SBC meeting a huge success
By Allen Palmeri
June 28, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Missouri Baptist evangelists were blessed to see conversions June 18 as they swelled the ranks of the thousands of Southern Baptists who participated in the Crossover Nashville evangelistic initiative before the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Two of those Missourians – Larry Atkins, pastor, Buckhorn Baptist Church, Waynesville, and Scott Chase, member, First Baptist Church, Lebanon – talked about what only God can do, which is regenerate dead souls, on their visitations.
Atkins saw a 17-year-old boy convert in the Pleasant View suburb of Nashville. Chase’s testimony of regeneration involved a 16-year-old boy in White House, Tenn.
Atkins went out with his son, Micah, youth and music minister at First Baptist Church, Richland, as well as David Simmerman, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Joelton, Tenn., and First Joelton member Jodie Upchurch and saw Chad Scott saved. A reporter from The Tennessean, Natalia Mielczarek, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, chronicled the salvation story in the Sunday edition of Nashville’s daily newspaper.
“After she heard us share the Gospel, she came back to Micah, after he got through leading this young man to the Lord, and said, ‘Now I want to know precisely what you did,’” Atkins said. “’I want to know the Scriptures.’ She wrote them down. He used ‘The Roman Road,’ and he led her through ‘The Roman Road.’”
Chase visited homes with Angie Adkins, wife of Gib Adkins, national coordinator for missions at First Lebanon, and Scott Lamberth, a member of the Church at Grace Park in White House, reaping one soul for Christ.
“While we were talking to him, a carload of his friends went by the house and honked at us, because they could see what was going on,” Chase said. “I went ahead and shared with him that he’s going to meet some resistance from his friends, maybe even his family. We hooked him up with the youth pastor of that church, which is only a couple of miles away.”
Gib Adkins marveled at how the Church at Grace Park, which runs about 420 in worship, was able to produce about 200 Gospel laborers for Crossover Nashville in their city, which is about 40 miles north of Nashville. Lamberth, for example, had never been out on visitation before.
“This church was way out of their comfort zone doing this, but they were there and willing,” Adkins said.
David Spears, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, House Springs, witnessed in Mount View, Tenn., south of Nashville with two members of Mount View Baptist Church. They shared the Gospel a total of three times.
One lady answered the door and identified herself as a member of a cleaning service. She was talking on a cell phone and confided that while she had asked Jesus to be her Savior, her current lifestyle was marked by drugs and alcohol.
She further confessed that she had been talking with her five-year-old son, who had been pleading with her to quit smoking.
“She told her son, ‘I’m not going to make any more excuses. I want to do what’s right,’” Spears said. “She started welling up with tears and told us, ‘I believe God sent you here for me today. I would like for you guys to pray for me.’”
Spears summarized what it meant for Missouri Baptists to participate in Crossover Nashville.
“It was like a mission trip for me,” he said.
Within a 40-mile radius of downtown Nashville, Crossover events, including block parties, street evangelism, sports clinics, neighborhood prayer-walking, and door-to-door visitation, were conducted by nearly 10,000 volunteers from hundreds of Southern Baptist churches across the country.
Among the larger delegations of short-term missionaries/evangelists from Missouri was a 29-member group from First Baptist Church, Jackson. Anthony Werner, a student from Jackson High School, led his first person to Christ.
“He is absolutely doing cartwheels,” said Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Director David Clippard, who is from Jackson. “That’s the purpose of a Crossover. You equip people so that they are able to participate in evangelistic events like Crossover. What they learned there, they need to bring back here and put into practice.”