Hope for the Mountains, a one-night evangelistic crusade in Pikeville was, by all accounts, a huge success.
After 11 months of rigorous planning and constant prayer, the day came and the work of more than 1,000 Kentucky Baptists volunteers was off and running. More than 3,000 people came to the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center that night and there were at least 53 professions of faith.
The Jason Lovins Band led us into worship followed by a 600-voice choir - the largest ever assembled in East Kentucky and maybe in the state - led by the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Jason “Bubba” Stewart. Stirring testimonies were brought by Amy Compston of Amy for Africa and Lovins. Evangelist Jon Reed preached a solid gospel message and offered a “come to the front” invitation – and did they ever come. People poured out from all over the Expo Center and made their way to the front where they were prayed over and encouraged regarding their decision for Christ.
Numerous people said it was the greatest spiritual event they had ever attended. Pike County Associational Missions Strategist Jason Lowe reported on social media later that night: “My heart is full tonight after Hope for the Mountains.” One lady brought her granddaughter and witnessed the child receive Jesus. One of the Boy Scouts who helped with the crusade was saved. One choir member was saved. One woman came under conviction of sin while at the crusade and came back the following night for the KBC Pastors’ Conference and was saved. Nothing brings Baptists together more than seeing people come to faith in Christ.
Creekside Church, a Pike Association and First Baptist Pikeville and Kentucky Baptist Convention church plant, reported having five visitors in their Wednesday night service as a result of the weekend’s evangelistic activities and one young lady coming for baptism. The immediate response from the event was “this is great” and “are we going to do it again next year?”
Kentucky Baptists will be pleased to hear that plans are in place for a 2019 evangelistic crusade on Sunday evening, Nov. 10, in conjunction with the KBC Annual Meeting in Lexington. Save the date and watch social media for an upcoming registration effort. We will need 1,500 Kentucky Baptists to volunteer for this epic event.
As Kentucky Baptists have long known, we are better together, and we can do more together than any of us can do alone.
It was an honor to work with these great volunteers and Kentucky Baptist leaders in Hope for the Mountains. May the Lord continue to lead us into our best days of ministry together as we partner to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.
Todd Gray is the Evangelism & Church Planting Team Leader for the Kentucky Baptist Convention