CASA GRANDE, Ariz.—The temperatures were upwards of 100 degrees, but that didn’t stop Jerald Holcomb and others participating in Crossover prior to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting from pounding the pavement and sharing the Gospel.
“I still can’t drink enough water,” he joked.
Holcomb, a member of Green Valley Baptist Church in St. Joseph, is a member of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) ICE Team, which stands for Intentional Community Evangelism. ICE is a strategy to help churches be intentional about reaching communities for Christ through hands-on evangelistic opportunities, community ministry, prayer walking and follow-up.
As part of Crossover, an annual evangelism event coordinated by NAMB, local associations and local churches that precedes the SBC annual meeting each year, Holcomb and two partners from Southwestern Seminary were assigned to Casa Grande, a growing city of about 50,000 people an hour southeast of Phoenix.
“It was a good thing,” he said. “I love sharing Jesus, but I also love mentoring people to come alongside and do the witnessing. They were great guys. They learned a lot and it helped us to know that there is a younger generation coming up behind to take the Gospel of Jesus.”
Holcomb’s trio worked with going door to door with a church, and then did the same in the Casa Grande suburb of Arizona City. They worked in an area that had already been prayerwalked by local churches.
“Whether it was the hotel, the gas station, on the bus, in parking lots or wherever, we just talked with people about Jesus,” he said.
They were part of hundreds of Southern Baptists who showed up for Crossover to partner with the local churches.
“This past week, Arizona Baptists have truly shown their neighbors the love of Christ in action through Crossover,” Kevin Ezell, president of NAMB, told Baptist Press. “This has been a model for how we can show people we care and then tell them why we care. It’s exciting to celebrate those who have given their lives to Christ this week.
“I’m also excited that this has been an opportunity for existing churches and some of our new church plants to gain a higher profile in the community. I’m praying all of our churches in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will benefit from Crossover and keep this momentum going long into the future.”
To share the Gospel the week of June 7 and on Saturday, Arizona Baptists used dozens of block parties, a skateboard-a-thon, bottled water distribution, painting and landscaping projects at area schools, community arts and cultural festivals, women-only events and, of course, door-to-door evangelism.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer