Church in Roby starts to reap a harvest
ROBY—There is such a ruckus going on right now at Roby Baptist Church that even the church members are beginning to get saved.
“We’ve had three members saved in the last three months,” said Pastor Brock Davis. “One man, 49 years old, acknowledged to me he was lost and then I went to his house and he was saved. He walked the aisle the following Sunday. Then we had a lady in her 30s walk the aisle to accept the Lord as her Savior, and then a teenager was saved three weeks ago or so who thought that they were saved at a younger age.”
Kirsten Collison and a few other members of the Roby Baptist laity had an idea to start an after-school program on Wednesday nights at the church. The idea became reality when Davis gave them his blessing. Ever since then, the hard-working laity have been bringing in all kinds of prospects from the nearby Plato R-V School District, which in turn has created several one-on-one witnessing opportunities for the pastor. About 120 people are fed every Wednesday at the church, several have converted to true faith in Christ, and the church’s Bible study that night has doubled.
“We want to help folks become a part of the body, to assimilate into the body of Christ,” said Missouri Baptist Convention Discipleship Specialist Michael Cooper. “Brock has got a great chance to make a difference in the lives of some folks in his community.”
Roby is located in northwestern Texas County on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest about a dozen miles from Fort Leonard Wood. Plato is a nearby community inside the forest. The Evening Shade community also feeds into the local school system, which represents the target in the Roby Baptist evangelism strategy. Enrollment at present is 345.
“A quarter of the kids are coming to our church on Wednesday night,” Davis said.
The program has grown to the point where several youth who do not attend the church are being drawn into the light and life of the church so they can help out where they can. Church members were concerned about the motives of these young people, since they were unfamiliar faces, so Davis took it upon himself to examine their souls and lead six of them to Jesus.
“All of them were there basically because they knew something was going on in this church and they just wanted to be a part of it,” the pastor said.
Raymond Laramore, director of missions, Texas Baptist Association, marvels at what is taking place both in and around the hamlet of Roby, which is essentially nothing more than words on a road sign to go with a post office destination.
“He’s doing a good job over there, seeing a lot of people saved and baptized,” Laramore said. “There’s an excitement there with his leadership and his passion for evangelism, seeing people saved. I think that’s the key to seeing people saved in what they’re doing over there.”
During this time Davis, who in January hopes to complete his sixth year at the church, has seen God grow the Sunday worship flock from 100 to 120. The sanctuary comfortably seats 144; one Sunday in November they had to put out chairs as the number swelled to 150 for a dedication/anniversary service. They also set a record for the time covering the Davis pastorate with 111 in Sunday School.
People in and around the church have been praying for years that something like this would happen, but the catalyst for it all, Davis said, has been the lay-led program geared toward the Plato school community. About 50 kids on average tend to come, with the bus dropping them off around 3:30 p.m. for a format that includes tutoring, Bible memorization, recreation, snacks, and a meal. Eating commences at 5:30 p.m., and the church has moved its Wednesday service to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate the program.
An atmosphere of spiritual energy and potential has been created within a three-hour window of time that previously had not been maximized inside the four walls of the church.
“During that time, parents have been coming into the church and I have been doing a lot of one-on-one witnessing with them—just asking them who Jesus is to them and where would they go when they die,” Davis said.
As a result, the Holy Spirit alone through Jesus alone in God the Father alone has been reaping souls during this potent window of time.
“This one Catholic lady wanted to know if she could come back to our church, because she thought it was really neat what we were doing and she wanted to know more about our church and what Baptists believe,” Davis said. “I ended up leading her to the Lord that night. She raised her head up after saying the prayer and said, ‘Would you tell my children about this?’ And she went and got her kids. I witnessed to both of them, and I led one of those children to the Lord that night.”
One day Davis came home after a long and seemingly unfruitful day of witnessing. A man named Jason had left a message on the church’s answering machine asking for prayer. “I’m joining the military, and I feel that I’ll die after I join,” Jason said.
Davis promptly called and inquired about his relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I don’t have one, but I’d like to know where I’m going when I die,” Jason said.
Davis then led him to saving faith in Christ over the telephone.
“I asked him where he was, and he was about 45 miles to 50 miles from this church,” Davis said. “He said he just opened the Yellow Pages and our church just kept speaking to him, and so he called us. I ended up driving there that night, taking him a Bible and a Survival Kit, and I turned him over to another pastor in that area.”
Another man in an area hospital also was converted through the ministry of Pastor Davis. He was supposed to go visit one man in a hospital bed, only to learn that he had been discharged. The Holy Spirit instead led him to speak to the man who took his place in the same bed.
“I’d say this gentleman was in his mid-80s,” Davis said. “I said, ‘Would you like me to pray for you?’ He said, ‘I’d love it, I’m dying.’ And he started crying because he had been told he didn’t have long to live.
“I said, ‘Well what would happen if you were to die? Do you know where you would go?’ He said, ‘No, I’ve really been wondering about that, and I’d like to take care of that today.’ That gentleman made sure he was saved that day.”
Running hand-in-hand with Roby Baptist’s obedience in evangelism is obedience in missions. The church went on its first missions trip three years ago, and this year a missions team saw 16 people saved in La Junta, Colo. The church truly does see and feel the need for Jesus to reach all of the elect through His means, the preached Word and the sufficient work of the Holy Spirit alone, in evangelism. Keeping all of the converts right now through the biblical means of discipleship is an absolute necessity.
“We’ve got to try,” Davis said. “That’s been a problem in our church for years. It seems like we love them and leave them. You see them saved and move on to the next one. If we can get that new one that’s saved on fire for Jesus Christ, then we’re multiplying instead of addition. That’s something I’m trying to get into people’s mindset here. Let’s quit adding. Let’s start multiplying.”