PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky Baptists fanned out across Pikeville and surrounding cities on Saturday to tell as many people as they could about Jesus.
The one-day evangelistic blitz, called Crossover, included multiple outreach events led by area Southern Baptist churches, and were held in conjunction with the upcoming Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the East Kentucky Exposition Center.
More than 100 boys and girls took part in a Crossover basketball clinic at the University of Pikeville on Saturday morning where first through 5th graders learned fundamentals of the sport.
Organizer Shane Carr, youth minister at First Baptist Church of Pikeville, said a basketball clinic is a great example of “practical evangelism” because it builds on an activity or hobby people already love, and provides an opportunity to talk about spiritual needs.
“Pike County is 92 percent unchurched and unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Carr.
“We believe in doing anything we can do to pour into people’s lives and let them know we love them. We want them to be successful, not only on a basketball court but in life. And we can do that through showing them how to play basketball and at the same time giving them the true help which is Jesus,” Carr said.
While some Kentucky Baptists helped at the basketball clinic, others went to area homes hoping to have front porch gospel conversations.
“A lot of folks will say door-to-door evangelism is no longer effective,” said Todd Gray, Kentucky Baptist Convention Evangelism Team leader. “But it is effective. It is effective for meeting people you don’t know. It’s effective for having gospel conversations with folks who are far from God. It’s effective to invite people to church.”
About 50 Kentucky Baptists, including 14 students from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, met at Creekside Church in Pikeville before pairing off and going door-to-door. Their mission was threefold: tell folks about Jesus, invite them to attend Creekside, and remind them about Hope for the Mountains, an evangelistic crusade happening on Sunday night at the expo center.
Taylor Haley, student pastor at East Barbourville Baptist Church, said he brought a passenger van full of Clear Creek students just so they could participate in Crossover. The group was assigned to canvas a nearby apartment complex and two trailer parks.
“We wanted to be a part of this because this is what we are called to do,” said Haley. “I would really love to lead someone to the Lord, but if not, I want us to plant as many seeds as we possibly can.”
Gospel seeds were scattered in Hazard and Prestonsburg where Kentucky Baptists helped low-income residents winterized their homes. They were scatted on the campus of the University of Pikeville, and they will be scattered again around Thanksgiving when food boxes assembled at Grace Baptist Church in Pikeville will be given away to people in need.
Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders hope a multitude of gospel seeds will be planted Sunday night at Hope for the Mountains. The crusade begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be led by evangelist Jon Reed. Music entertainment includes the Jason Lovins Band and a 600-voice choir. The event is free to the public. For more information, go to www.kybaptist.org/hope.