PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Church leaders from throughout eastern Kentucky are already praying and planning for an evangelistic crusade at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville on Nov. 11.
Georgia evangelist Jon Reed is touring the region this week, meeting with volunteers who will serve as counselors, ushers and greeters at the one-night crusade. Reed is coming to Ashland, Prestonsburg, Pikeville and Hazard. The Hope for the Mountains crusade will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Reed met with the group gathered in Ashland on Monday via technology because he had flight problems from Atlanta. It was fitting that he had to use technology since part of the approach to the crusade will also involve a phone app that he helped develop. The app will guide and encourage church members, Sunday School teachers and pastors as they reach out to those who are unchurched or don't have a personal relationship with Christ.
“I want to inspire you to get as many of your church members involved as possible in this process,” Reed said. “I believe we can win a lot more people be introduced to Christ if we’ll work together.”
The app will provide encouragement, prayer requests and tips for individuals as they pray for family, friends and co-workers in advance of the crusade. The process also includes getting the lost to the crusade.
“Not only will people come, they’ll have been prayed over, loved on by people and driven to the crusade by people,” he said. “Prayer still works and God still moves mountains.”
Those who are interested in being part of the outreach will have training sessions led by Reed available to them Sept. 23-26 at still to be determined sites.
“We want to come alongside local churches, who are already working, to encourage them,” said Dr. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the KBC. “It’s been a long time since we were east of I-75 and you have to go back decades and decades and decades since we’ve been in far eastern Kentucky.”
Todd Gray, a team leader for evangelism with the KBC, said many opportunities are available to serve. “We’re praying for 3,500 people (in attendance) and we’re excited about what’s happening and sharing the gospel in a way that it gets to the lost. We’re praying that a lot of people will be saved.”
Reed, the president of the Conference of Georgia Baptist Evangelists, started Jon Reed Ministries in the summer of 2004. He is a staff evangelist at Hebron Baptist Church and has preached hundreds of revivals and led thousands to Christ.
Reed will be joined at the crusade by Bubba Stewart, the worship and music strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, who will be leading a 300-voice choir and orchestra. The Jason Lovins Band from Ashland will be performing and Ashland’s Amy Compston, who turned her life over to Christ after 14 years of drug and alcohol abuse and now leads the Amy For Africa mission in Uganda, will share her testimony.
Anyone looking to volunteer can visit kybaptist.org and go to Hope for the Mountains. There are several opportunities available including singing in the joint choir, being a part of the outreach team or a decision counselor.