HOUSTON (SWBTS) – Revival broke out at the Farrington Mission in Houston’s fifth ward as students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary shared the Gospel as a part of Crossover 2013, an evangelistic effort held prior to the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, June 2-8. Students and professors saw God work as they joined members from Northeast Houston Baptist Church (NEHBC) in sharing the Gospel door-to-door throughout the city.
According to David Mills, assistant professor of evangelism at Southwestern Seminary, 190 people professed faith in Christ through this effort.
Master of Divinity student Harry Irwin went with other seminary students and NEHBC members to the Farrington Mission, where they shared the Gospel among those who gathered at the mission’s gym to play basketball.
“Partnering with Southwestern to reach our neighborhoods was like a blood transfusion for our church. The passion, joy, and determination of the students when it came to personal soul winning were contagious and renewed the spirit of personal evangelism in our congregation.” Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church
“We saw the movement of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way,” Irwin said. “We saw a small revival in that gym that night. It seemed like everyone we talked to, if they weren’t saved, they came to know Christ. We couldn’t talk to someone without them opening their hearts and accepting what Christ did for them.”
Irwin added that many people, who had already professed faith in Christ, also asked for prayer and wanted to learn more about how they could grow in their faith. For Irwin, this effort to share the message of Christ revived his own passion for evangelism.
“It brings an overwhelming passion for the lost and for evangelism,” Irwin said. “It rekindles the fire that should always be burning.”
Nathan Lino, pastor of NEHBC, said Crossover 2013 had a similar impact on his church.
“Partnering with Southwestern to reach our neighborhoods was like a blood transfusion for our church,” Lino said. “The passion, joy, and determination of the students when it came to personal soul winning were contagious and renewed the spirit of personal evangelism in our congregation.”
Lino added that the Southwestern team “arrived fully prepared to train our members in personal soul winning, led the way in canvasing our neighborhoods, and instilled a very real sense of Gospel optimism in our people.”
NEHBC church member Blake Theiss and his wife Catherine joined Southwestern professor David Mills in sharing the Gospel throughout their neighborhood. After watching Mills do evangelism and getting advice from him, Theiss learned better how to help people move from having a mere intellectual knowledge about Christ to placing their trust completely in Him. Like his pastor, Theiss said Crossover 2013 fanned the evangelistic fervor at NEHBC.
“I love it when another church or a university or another group of people comes to our church, because it almost shoots an adrenaline rush into the church and encourages people to see that here are people that are living like this, and that is what we are called to do,” Theiss said. “It was encouraging to see the passion of the students and how they energize the church to go out and work alongside them. And the students have a lot of experience and wisdom to share with us as a body of believers.”
Theiss said he was especially excited about this experience because he and his family are moving this summer to Fort Worth, where he will begin classes at Southwestern Seminary in the fall. He and his wife were encouraged by the evangelistic fervor that they saw among Southwestern students, and they cannot wait to join Southwestern in reaching the world for Christ.