By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
MONROE, La. (LBM) – Ten harvest evangelists and one music evangelist filled the pulpits of 11 churches in the Monroe-West Monroe area during Harvest Sunday, Jan. 22, and 15 people come to faith in Christ. The evangelistic effort preceded the Louisiana Baptist state Evangelism Conference, Jan. 23-24, in the facilities of First Baptist Church, West Monroe.
Louisiana Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists President Gary Maroney told the Baptist Message that Steven Kelly, director of missions of Morehouse and Northeast Baptist associations, was instrumental in rallying support for churches to host the evangelists.
“God had heard and answered our prayers to provide a church for every one of our evangelists that had indicated a desire to participate in Harvest Sunday,” Maroney told the Baptist Message. “When LACOSBE met at our annual luncheon and business meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, there was such a spirit of rejoicing and thanksgiving for what God had done.”
Louisiana Baptist Evangelism and Church Growth Team Director Keith Manuel added: “I thank the Lord for the work of our evangelists and their willingness and faithfulness to help local area churches as part of the evangelism conference each year. God always uses them to bring a harvest where He leads them.”
During a service at Lakeshore Baptist Church, Monroe, five individuals responded to a call for salvation offered by Sam Moore, an evangelist from Bentonville, Arkansas.
Pastor William Smith said the Harvest Day provided a revival within his church after a “dry spell” when they had not seen any new converts come to Christ for several months beforehand. Smith baptized four of the new converts during a worship service, Jan. 29.
“We had been praying for Harvest Day since we knew we would host Sam Moore,” Smith said. “We prayed for a harvest of souls and saw just that. It was such a blessing for our entire congregation.”
Gary Bowlin, an evangelist from Summit, Miss., preached at the morning and evening services at Sweetwater Baptist Church, Quitman. Two individuals came forward to accept Christ, and 20 more made other types of decisions.
“We had people come to repent for restoration and numbers of people praying on the knees at the altar,” Bowlin said. “There was a great presence of the Holy Spirit in both services.”