FULTON – The pastor asked the crowd to get into small groups to pray, and they did. But when they did, no heads were bowed, no eyes were closed and not a sound was heard.
The pastor – Bob Barker of Plano, Texas’s StoryOne ministry – and the crowd were deaf. Instead of lifting up their prayer with voices, there were flurries of sign language as they prayed for more deaf to come to know Christ.
It was part of the 60th anniversary and annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Conference of the Deaf, which met Aug. 21-23 at South Side Baptist Church in Fulton.
Barker brought a message to the deaf crowd from across Missouri out of 1 Corinthians 11, calling them to stand out from the crowd, stand firm for the gospel and be recognizable as followers of Christ.
“If you decide to ride the fence, you have made a decision not to follow him. The church tried to ride the fence in Corinth, and people were looking at them asking if there was any difference between Christians and everybody else,” Barker signed.
Barker also challenged crowd to reach out to the deaf community and stop relying on hearing churches.
“There is a deaf school here in Fulton, but who is going to reach them? The hearing churches don’t know how. This is your mission field. Teach them, share with them, and show that you are different because of Jesus in your life.”