Ahead of SBC Meeting In June, Ohio Southern Baptists Pray Publicly Outside All 88 County Headquarters Across the State

Ohio Baptists from Orrville Baptist Church in Orrville, Lighthouse Baptist Fellowship in Medina and other congregations pray outside government offices in Wayne County, Ohio, May 21, as part of a county-wide prayer emphasis. Submitted photo
Ohio Baptists from Orrville Baptist Church in Orrville, Lighthouse Baptist Fellowship in Medina and other congregations pray outside government offices in Wayne County, Ohio, May 21, as part of a county-wide prayer emphasis. Submitted photo

Ohio Southern Baptists are praying publicly outside all 88 county headquarters across the state through May 29, proclaiming Scripture, praising Jesus and pleading for county officials, businesses and community concerns, organizer Cathy Pound told Baptist Press.

“Most of the counties have specific concerns,” said Pound, Women’s Missions and Ministries Resource Group leader with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. “Maybe it’s single moms, maybe it’s drug addiction, maybe it’s sex trafficking; whatever their specific concerns are, we’ve been lifting those concerns up.”

At least 65 team leaders including pastors and lay leaders across the state are participating, with individual county teams varying in size. On average, seven people have prayed at each county seat, and 81 counties will have been reached through today (May 21), Pound said. The outreach is designed to unite and energize Baptists across the state in prayer.

“The short-term goal is that Ohio Baptists literally would be purified and unified as one, and cry out as one voice for Jesus to draw the lost to Him in every single county,” Pound said. “And of course we, along with (Southern Baptist Convention President) Ronnie Floyd, we are praying that awakening will happen in Christ followers here in Ohio.

“We’re seeing long-term goals that church plants would come from this. We’re believing that as our people really seek the Lord for their county, there’s going to be some significant changes in the lives of the officials in the county, and there’s going to be changes in the lostness. We’re believing that.”

Churches in various counties have made plans to schedule prayer outreaches at county seats weekly, monthly or quarterly, Pound said.

“One of the goals that we had for long-term was that this would not just be a one-time thing, but that these prayer leaders would really believe in the Lord that this is the beginning of something that they will pick up and carry on,” Pound said. “What we do want to do is encourage that there’s a prayer champion in every county and it’s coming from the Holy Spirit through them. These people live in these counties and it’s their heart, and it needs to be between them and the Holy Spirit how they move forward.”

The county seat outreach was divinely inspired, Jack Kwok, executive director/treasurer of the Ohio Baptist convention, told Baptist Press.

“A number of years ago, God just kept putting it on my heart to go to our county seats. We’re not protesting, we’re not marching, we’re not obtaining permits to have a public gathering,” Kwok said. “We just wanted to gather, whoever would come, in smaller groups, and pray at that county seat and pray for the lostness in that county, pray for the spiritual conditions — the difficulties families are facing … the elected officials, and the service people, the police force, the fire and emergency people, and most of all just pray for a movement of God all across our state in every county.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Diana Chandler

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