By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
NEW ORLEANS (LBM) – Louisiana Baptists still have time to sign up to participate in a pair of evangelistic efforts preceding the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for June 13-14 in New Orleans.
The “Serve Tour,” an effort that seeks to involve participants in compassion ministry projects in Houma and New Orleans as the foundation for evangelism, will take place June 9-10.
A celebration rally will be held June 10 at First Baptist Church, New Orleans, with a red beans and rice meal prepared by Disaster Relief team members at 5 p.m. and rally at 6 p.m. After the rally, Café Du Monde will serve beignets and coffee.
Additionally, “Crossover,” a large-scale evangelistic effort, will take place in Bayou Baptist Association, New Orleans Baptist Association and North Shore Baptist Association, June 10.
The “Serve Tour” and “Crossover” weekend will wrap up with a Harvest Sunday, June 11. Churches in these areas will be encouraged to utilize evangelists to fill the pulpit that day.
According to North American Mission Board Send Relief National Project Director Sammy Simmons, 740 individuals from 58 churches (including 18 from Louisiana) have signed up to participate in 50 projects. Volunteers still are needed to participate in block parties, build shelves for a church library, perform drain maintenance in floodprone areas, give a facelift to area schools, update a neighborhood basketball court, feed law enforcement and more.
Meanwhile, NAMB National Director of Evangelism J.J. Washington said 72 churches from Northshore Baptist, Bayou Baptist and New Orleans Baptist associations are hosting an evangelistic outreach event and/ or harvest day during Crossover. In 2022, 35 churches participated in Crossover in Anaheim, California.
Additionally, from June 5-9, 75 students from the six SBC seminaries have signed up to go door to door and share Jesus at 15 locations as part of their evangelism classes.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Professor Preston Nix first suggested setting a combined goal of 2,023 people to accept Christ through the two evangelistic efforts. Then, in his report to the Executive Board in September and at the LBC Annual Meeting in November, Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn stated his support, and committed to pray that 2,023 people be saved during “Serve Tour” and “Crossover.”
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to serve evangelistically in the New Orleans region,” Louisiana Baptist Ministry Evangelism Strategist and Serve Tour Liaison Jeff Cook said. “This is an opportunity for our Louisiana churches to help our neighbors in another part of the state in evangelism and church growth. We have people coming to help the city of New Orleans from all over the country with evangelism and outreach, and it could spark a statewide revival through our churches in Louisiana.”
Learn more about other projects and how to participate: namb.net/ crossover, or text NOLA to 888123.