A mighty move of Holy Spirit at Poplar Bluff event
Real Encounter evangelistic effort proves very fruitful
POPLAR BLUFF—The Real Encounter evangelism team led by
Brad Bennett made a major impact on Poplar Bluff in October with a dynamic crusade that may have resulted in the conversion of hundreds.
Jeremy Payne, student ministries pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, went through a long process of first believing that it could happen, then applying for partnership funding through the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) to make it happen.
The first week of June, the planning team from Memorial Baptist met with Bennett and some other interested individuals. Bennett focused on several items of interest that would need to be covered over the summer.
“It was a very informative meeting and I was thankful it happened,” Payne said.
The next day Bennett and Payne went to some schools to see if they would be interested in hosting assemblies. All of the school administrators gave them positive feedback.
“It was now becoming more real that this was going to finally happen,” Payne said.
Soon it was September. The partnership money from the MBC was sent. The event was on.
On Oct. 7, the Real Encounter team arrived at Memorial Baptist and settled into their home for the next three days. The team began to think about its schedule the next day, with three assemblies.
On Oct. 8, upon arriving at the first school, Payne noted how excellent the team of young evangelists is.
“Their teamwork and knowledge was impressive,” Payne said. “I had goose bumps through the entire first assembly. It was unbelievable. They shared a great message with the students and a non-stop show to keep their attention.”
Harvest Night came on Oct. 10. Setup was such that the event ran smoothly. More than 3,000 people were in attendance.
“As the event began, a sense of peace came over me which I can only explain as God saying, ‘Here I am,’” Payne said. “As I looked out over the crowd, He was right. God was there and ready to change the lives of those ready to open their hearts.”
Bennett gave his testimony and people all around the arena came forward to make decisions for Christ.
“A few tears of joy began to fall down my face as I walked out to pray for those that had come forward,” Payne said. “God was there saving souls and I was able to witness it.”
A total of 496 decisions for Christ were recorded, and many more seeds were planted.
“Since then several people have told me they think this was the first event of its kind in Poplar Bluff to bring so many people to Christ,” Payne said.