Star Hope Baptist brims with mighty harvest of souls
ELSBERRY – The sower sows his seeds everywhere, hoping that some fall on good soil and take root. Star Hope Baptist Church is home to fertile soil.
The small church is located in Lincoln County, in a community about 40 miles away from Hannibal. The congregation averages 70 each Sunday in worship and recently saw 47 people accept Christ as their Savior, 15 rededications and seven other decisions.
“This big an outpouring that we saw something is very unusual for us,” said Star Hope Pastor Allen Calkins. “We just did the planting, then it was just a matter of waiting for God’s anointed harvester.”
In Star Hope’s case, the harvester was Evangelist Clyde Chiles who led the church in revival in early October.
“Clyde is a true evangelist,” Calkins said. “He preached for decisions, but was not manipulative about it.”
Although Chiles was the tool, Calkins said the conversions are all God’s doing.
“Lo and behold, God showed up. He did it,” he said. “It wasn’t even something the church was necessarily begging God for. It was something God chose to do when He chose to do it.”
Many of those who made decisions were children whose only connection was the recently begun Royal Ambassador (RA) and Girls in Action (GA) programs. The church also showed a screening of “Facing the Giants,” a major motion picture with evangelical Christian themes. Calkins is counseling with the children and adults who made decisions and said that while he doubts he will baptize all 47 people, the revival services were still a great outpouring of God’s blessing.
“If we baptized a third of those it would be as much as all of last year (17) and that was our largest baptism count in decades.”