Found 5 Articles by John Evans
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The fast-growing Texas city of Houston has more than 220 spoken languages and countless people groups, presenting a challenge in reaching the city with the Gospel.
“We’re the most ethnically, culturally diverse metropolitan area in the United States,” said Tom Billings, executive director of the Union Baptist Association (UBA), which helps mobilize Houston churches to impact the city for Christ.
One of the key ways UBA does this is by helping churches understand the area’s changing demographics. A burgeoning Hispanic population, combined with influxes of immigrants and refugees from far-flung countries like Pakistan and Sudan, means that churches must be prepared for people with vast cultural differences.
“We believe pretty strongly that in order to communicate the Gospel in a way that will be heard, [the] message has to be contextual,” said Josh Ellis, UBA’s senior church consultant.
One of Ellis’s chief roles with UBA is t...
In downtown Belfast a group of trees have no lower limbs. The limbs were not lost to fire or drought or city tree-pruners. They were cut off because so many people hanged themselves on them in this city smothered with despair.
As evangelist Jay Lowder passed them, he thought about the day twenty-five years earlier when he sat with a pistol to his own head—and about God’s redeeming grace that saved him.
During a recent evangelistic campaign in Northern Ireland he shared about his brush with suicide and preached the Gospel, helping hundreds of Irish men and women find new life through Jesus Christ in the process.
“I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be lost,” he said.
Lowder, a “harvest evangelist” from Wichita Falls, Texas, preaches mostly to large rallies and assemblies, calling people to make public commitments of salvation through altar calls. It’s a Billy Graham style of evangelism he acknowledges has fallen out of favor in recent years.
When a Vermont pastor's father became deathly ill, the pastor called the Green Mountain Baptist Association. Like many pastors in the state, he works another job to make ends meet. Unable to pay for the long trip home to be near his father, he needed compassionate counsel from a trusted colleague in ministry.
"Within minutes of his phone call, I was able to send out a plea to all our pastors," Terry Dorsett, director of missions and church planting catalyst with the association, told SBC LIFE in an email. "In less than two hours I was able to call him back and tell him that we had collected all that he needed to make the trip home."
That is just one example of the numerous ministries carried out by Baptist associations—groups of local churches that join together for a common purpose. The association is the oldest cooperative unit in Baptist life, tracing its existence back more than three hundred years. For many pastors, the association serves as the primary support system for thei...
In an era of youth evangelism conferences, Vacation Bible Schools for children, and evangelistic camps for teens, some believers may be inclined to ignore the need for evangelism among senior adults. But when Pastor Dennis McFadden turned his attention to this neglected group, his efforts resulted in an eternal harvest.
McFadden, pastor of Eaton Memorial Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky, was out for a round of visits with Evangelist Don Mathis, when the two found themselves near a motel in a low-income part of town that had been converted into an apartment complex.
"I wonder if Jake's* home," McFadden said to Mathis, who was preaching a multi-evening revival at Eaton Memorial. "He usually is."
When they knocked on one of the doors, an 81-year-old man—poorly dressed and just recently awoken—came to meet them.
"Jake, I was just concerned about you," McFadden began. The pastor met the man weeks before and began a friendship, although they had only spoken a few times.
"We talked a bit about the Lord before,&q...