BADEN – Stretching from north county St. Louis almost halfway to Cape Girardeau and from Union to East St. Louis, Missourians turned out in force on the hottest day of the year for Crossover, the evangelistic push preceding the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
Nearly 4,000 volunteers – many from Missouri – took part in more than 8,000 gospel conversations at 85 events around the metro area. 556 people accepted Christ as a result of those conversations. Coordinated through the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, the events ranged from block parties to BBQs to sports camps to medical clinics to community garage sales to prayer walking to light construction.
Take the block party in Baden in north St. Louis, for example. Volunteers from churches in Lebanon, Carthage and the state of Georgia banded together with Faith Community Bible Church on the hottest day of the year to play games, give away hotdogs and snow cones, and share the gospel.
Michael Byrd, pastor of the two-year-old church plant here in Baden, preached a gospel of reconciliation and peace in a heavily segregated community that saw African-American residents and white volunteers fellowshipping as one.
More than just games and free food in Hickey Park, the day was more about intentional conversations and drumming up awareness for the congregation that desires to engage its community. Every person registered so Faith Community can follow up.
In Affton, where the Church at Affton is in the first days of its replant, a strength team helped boost interest from the community. In Eureka, Mobberly Baptist Church from Longview, Texas, partnered with Alive Church to host a family fun day. Lighthouse Hispanic Church hosted a soccer tournament while First Baptist, Crestwood offered a bike safety event along Grant’s Trail.