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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Guntersville church embraces outreach, not just ‘lip service’comment (0)

March 23, 2006


Since his arrival at Baker’s Chapel Baptist Church, Guntersville, in Marshall Baptist Association seven months ago, Pastor Jonathan Powell has learned one thing about its congregation.
   
They don’t just say they want to win people to the Lord — they actually go out and do it.
   
“They want to be evangelistic — it’s not just lip service,” Powell said. “But they don’t claim any of the credit for what’s happened — we know it’s all God.”
   
What’s happened at Baker’s Chapel lately is that the church — which averages 125 on Sundays — saw 15 people accept Christ in the first six weeks of 2006 alone.
   
“For a church that size to see 15 professions of faith in six weeks is pretty significant,” said Teman Knight, an associate in the office of evangelism at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
   
Before coming to Baker’s Chapel, Powell took a class under Knight at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary extension in Birmingham. 
   
In the class, he was charged to create an Intentional Evangelism push for a church program.
   
“I wrote mine for Sunday School in a way that would incorporate each and every person,” Powell said. He tried it at another church he was serving as associate pastor, and then he brought it to Baker’s Chapel, where the concept was a perfect fit for an already-evangelistic body of members.
   
“They go to Burger King, and if they see someone there, they talk to them. They are very intentionally evangelistic,” Powell said. “We are pushing our evangelistic thrust now through Sunday School and the church is growing. It’s amazing.” 
   
Many church members areteachers in the local schools, and as a result of relationships with the students, the children and youth ministries are booming, he said. 
   
On Wednesday nights, the church will average a little more than 100 people, 50 of whom are youth and 20 of whom are children.
   
“We continue to have opportunities to reach into our community, talk with people and disciple those who come,” Powell said. 
   
“It’s totally God and it’s nobody else. That’s what’s awesome.” (TAB)

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