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Articles by Joe Westbury

Found 3 Articles by Joe Westbury

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Exploring Western Canada to Plant New Churches

Dwight Huffman climbs up a hill and looks down on the town below. The cool Canadian breeze ruffles his hair as he surveys the environment, a vast wooded area untouched by development — until now.

What had been pristine wilderness is now slowly being transformed into the town of Chestermere, a rapidly growing community fifteen kilometers from Calgary. With the trained eye of a seasoned pro, Huffman makes a mental note of the community of about 5,000 and asks himself the best way to bring Christ to its residents.

"Chestermere is representative of many towns springing up around the province of Alberta. Some of these towns have no evangelical witness, but that's why we are here as Canadian Baptists. We want to discover the needs of the community and meet those needs in the name of Christ,&qu...

Derek Spain stands in the driving snow, bracing against the harsh wind and the 15 degree temperature. Strangers ask directions, and he gives a greeting, turns, and points them in the right direction.

After four hours he feels fatigued and is glad when he gets a chance to go inside to rest for a while. It's draining work to be outside in such cold temperatures, but he understands the symbolism of what he's been doing all afternoon. On one level he's serving as a volunteer for the ESPN Great Outdoor games, giving directions from the backside of a parking lot. But his real calling is to point the truly lost in the right direction of a relationship with Christ.

Spain is not a native to cold weather, having been raised in Dacula, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. And he ...

People Sharing Jesus Key to Growth

Backed-up rain gutters overflowed into the building, allowing a steady stream of water to run through the decaying structure. Collapsed ceiling tiles dangled with pink insulation, filling the air with the scent of mildew. Residents of Whitesburg, Ky., saw a slowly decaying building in the shadow of the courthouse. Once a bowling alley, then a grocery store, now a chair factory, the structure had clearly seen better days.

But Keith Joseph saw more. He envisioned a church start that would reach out into the Appalachian towns and hollows of Letcher County and bring individuals to faith in Christ. That would come, in time — after the handful of members spent three months renovating the building so it could be used.

Now, after nearly four years, North Fork Baptist Church has grown from twelve to 100 members and has a new sanctuary that seats 300. Last year it ranked second in baptisms in the association and has baptized sixty people since its founding — twenty-sev...