Southern Baptists Plan to Reach 20,000 Homes With the Gospel in Birmingham, Alabama, Ahead of Annual Meeting

From Tuesday, June 6, 2017: SWBTS Crossover students contacted 623 homes, gave 156 gospel presentations, and had 2 professions of faith.
Several teams of Crossover volunteers gather for final preparations before venturing out across Phoenix to share the Gospel prior to the 2017 SBC annual meeting. This year’s Crossover outreach is slated for June 8 in Birmingham, Ala. BP file photo

As Southern Baptists from across the country make plans for the SBC annual meeting in June, they’re also preparing to engage more than 20,000 homes with the Gospel through Crossover activities.

The North American Mission Board and Alabama State Board of Missions will mobilize 400 teams of volunteers to knock on 20,000 doors in the metro Birmingham area on Saturday, June 8, the weekend before the SBC annual meeting.

“This year we have a really simplified approach that will help us make as big of a concentrated push as we can make in one day,” said Joel Southerland of NAMB’s evangelism team. “We already have student pastors bringing students, and pastors who are bringing van loads of volunteers, because it can all be done in one day.”

Teams interested in participating can arrive on Friday night, get trained on Saturday morning, and then go out on the streets to share the Gospel that day, Southerland said.

Johnny Hunt, NAMB vice president of evangelism and a former SBC president, and Bill Fay, author of “Share Jesus without Fear,” will train volunteers on Wednesday, June 5, in how to have Gospel conversations. The training rally, simulcast at other local Alabama Baptist churches, will be held at the Church at Brook Hills.

That same training will be available via video at seven “hub churches” throughout the metro Birmingham area on the morning of June 8.

A hub church in each of seven associations in and around Birmingham will serve as a base of operations on June 8, said Sammy Gilbreath, Alabama Baptists’ state director of evangelism.

Gilbreath noted that Birmingham has a metropolitan population of 1 million people, with 2 million living within 30 minutes of the city.

“I think it’s a great way to do a mission project, even for a one-day project,” Gilbreath said. “They can come in on a Saturday and impact a major metropolitan area that is changing demographically. It gives us the opportunity to present the Gospel to an area that is very unchurched.

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Source: Baptist Press