Highland Baptist Church in Ohio Keeps a Focus on Evangelism and Missions

Highland Baptist Church in Grove City, Ohio, engages in a new evangelistic emphasis every year, with pastor Peyton Hill noting, “The Gospel never changes but we do not want our evangelistic zeal to grow stale.” Photo by Taylor Franz/Used by permission

Highland Baptist Church does something new every year to re-engage its members in evangelism while also nurturing each week their commitment to missions.

And it includes giving 10 percent to missions through the Cooperative Program, the way Southern Baptist churches partner together to follow Jesus’ command in Matthew 18:19 to “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”

“The Gospel never changes, but we do not want our evangelistic zeal to grow stale,” said Peyton Hill, pastor of the Grove City, Ohio, church near Columbus.

Highland Baptist’s triple thrust of evangelism, missions and partnering with the SBC frames its local and global impact.


In 2018, Highland underscored the importance of having regular Gospel conversations through an initiative called “Mission 4X4.”

Each member was to identify one person from each of four groups — family, friends, coworkers and neighbors — and do four things during a four-month period: pray for them, serve them, invite them to church and share the Gospel with them.

The names of those who heard the Gospel during the evangelism emphasis were placed on a display board in the back of the worship center. By year’s end, the board contained more than 500 names.

“We launch a new evangelism emphasis each year, not because we want to reinvent the wheel, but rather to re-engage our people,” said Hill, who has led the church more than five years.

The 2019 initiative, to begin at Easter, is SBC President J.D. Greear and the North American Mission Board’s new “Who’s Your One?” evangelism thrust.


In its missions focus, Hill said the congregation recites the Great Commission at the close of every Sunday morning service.

“This allows Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations to be the last thing attendees hear before returning home,” he said.

As they exit the worship center, members also are reminded through church signage that they are now entering their mission field.

“We constantly are driving the need, necessity and responsibility to share the Gospel,” Hill said, noting, “The Gospel is the motivation for missions. We talk about the Gospel all the time at our church because both unbelievers and believers need to continually hear the good news of Jesus. We want to work toward the picture of Revelation 5:9 and 7:9, seeing people of every nation around the throne of the Lamb of God.”

In addition to international missions — in South Asia and a large Pacific island, both primarily involving Muslims, and Mexico for a lower-cost outreach — the church also has been involved with various nationalities within the city of Columbus, especially African Muslim peoples. Central Ohio is home to more than 100,000 Muslims, with the world’s third-largest settlement of Somalis, after their homeland and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Source: Baptist Press