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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Baptist Churches Reach Out To Mencomment (0)

March 18, 2004

By Johnie Sentell


An increasing number of Baptist churches and associations are finding special ways to reach out to men.

First Baptist Church, Bay Minette, held its sixth annual sportsman’s banquet two weeks ago. Pastor Henry Cox said, “It is a great outreach tool to involve men that are not normally in church.”

Charles Strong, associate pastor for administration and education, said the food ranged from the likes of venison and crawfish etouffee to “road kill stew.” He noted, “One of our guys cooks up a Brunswick-type stew, and it is delicious.”

Tommy Ford, head of Tide Pride for the University Alabama, spoke on forgiveness and how good God is,

Some 700–750 men and boys attended. There were 15 decisions for Christ and 40 other decisions.

Carey and Clay Baptist associations recently held their second annual wild game supper. The event drew 250 to County Line Baptist Church, southeast of Ash-land. John Croyle of Big Oak Ranch was the guest speaker.

The associations’ new director of missions, Terry Smith, said there was a “tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” Nine decisions for Christ were made, and a generous love offering was given toward the ministry of Big Oak Ranch.

Several churches in Selma Asso-ciation were directly involved in the Selma-Dallas County Men’s Con-ference Feb. 20–21.

“This was a significant lifting up of Jesus,” said associational director of missions Tom Stacey. “Although it was a racially balanced effort, it was not about racial reconciliation,” he said. “It was about Jesus.” He added, “We had people coming forward getting material to help them with issues such as pornography, alcohol, family issues, drug abuse, other addictions and compulsions they needed specific help with.”

The largest session drew an estimated 2,050 men. Eight decisions for salvation and 20 other decisions were recorded.

Another outreach geared toward men is set next month at Indian Lake Baptist Church, Northport, in Tusca-loosa Association. The church’s second annual car show will be held April 10, 8:30–2:30, with trophies to be awarded in round track, modified class, motor-cycle, dragster, street rod, all original, truck and classic car. Last year’s event at the church located on the appealingly named Water-melon Road drew about 1,000, many of whom would not normally find themselves on church property. 

Pastor Albert Lyles said attendees will be invited to return and worship at the church the next day, Easter. For more information, contact John Moore at 205-330-3240.

Brother John Finklea, retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Brewton, has written a lively book highlighting his longtime interest in the outdoors. It is titled “From Murder Creek to Montana: An Ole Flatland Alabama Boy Hunts and Fishes.” Brother Finklea is not only a sportsman and writer but also an inspirational speaker available for conferences, seminars, banquets, wild game suppers and revivals. He may be reached by e-mail at -jfinklea@hotmail.com.

There has been much discussion about the amount of violence in Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ.” Yet today millions of Chris-tians around the world are suffering persecution because of their faith.

I recently visited with Bro. Wally Magdangal, founder of Chris-tians in Crisis. He knows about persecution firsthand. Imprisoned, tortured and condemned to die, he was released one day before his scheduled execution because of prayers and contacts of Christians around the world.

Now living in the United States, Bro. Wally speaks about his experiences to church groups and other gatherings. The goal of Christians in Crisis is to be an advocate and a voice for God’s people who are faced with crisis and persecution due to their faith in Jesus. The organization is profiled on its Web site, -christiansincrisis.net.
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