Crossover leaves ‘long-term ripple effect’ for Christcomment (0)
June 19, 2014
Dante Carter wanted Crossover Baltimore to communicate compassion to the hurting people he often encounters in the city.
The youth pastor for Northeast Baptist Church, Armistead Gardens, Carter said, “We want to give people an opportunity to hear the gospel preached and to experience the love of Christ through the people of our church.”
His church was one of 32 Baltimore-area Baptist churches that joined arms with 2,330 volunteers from 18 states and Canada to serve the Baltimore community. The volunteers served 15,585 residents during Crossover, and a total of 214 people accepted Christ during the event. Crossover preceded the beginning of the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting that took place June 10–11.
Several events were planned as a part of Crossover including a block party with a presentation by a group of professional Christian athletes called the Strength Team.
One witness of the Strength Team and its evangelistic message had more than a passing interest. Cindy Irizarry, Crossover Baltimore mobilization and logistics director, was seated next to a mother and her young son.
“When he finished his testimony and gospel presentation, the Strength Team member asked anyone who wanted to receive Christ to raise a hand,” Irizarry said. “The mom raised her hand. I leaned over and said, ‘Are you asking Jesus to be your Savior?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ She looked down at her son and he raised his hand too.”
At many of the Crossover Baltimore sites seminary student volunteers put into practice what they had received training for earlier in the week — the “3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide” (see NAMB story, this page).
Danny Pilkington, an undergraduate Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student, said, “Everything you learned in the classroom makes you aware of what you can face, but coming here showed me you have to let the Holy Spirit guide you.
“You can come up with all kinds of good arguments [for your faith], but sometimes all a person wants is a hug or a person to talk to, someone to cry with.”
Bob Mackey, Embrace Baltimore executive director, said, “The long-term ripple effect of Crossover ... will last for a lifetime for all of those who met Christ ... and alter the missionary focus of so many of our churches to engage their neighbors.”