For master’s student Wayne Heaton, two fruitful evangelism experiences made the first week of April “incredible.” First through door-to-door evangelism and then through a prison ministry, Heaton saw the Holy Spirit mightily at work. 

On Wednesday, April 4, Heaton led a team from his church in door-to-door evangelism. The intention was for team members to observe as Heaton modeled cold-call evangelism so that, in the future, they can do likewise. “I can’t think of two better things to do—present the Gospel, and teach people how to present the Gospel,” Heaton says. “Now that is a win-win!”

Heaton’s three team members were nervous when they first set out, so Heaton was sure to take the lead. He knocked on the door of a previous visitor to the church, and then proceeded to speak with her and her mother. 

“Both of the ladies said they were saved when asked the diagnostic question, but added they went to church and prayed a lot. So given their answer, I wasn’t 100 percent sure,” Heaton says, noting their apparent works-based mentality. “So I told them that we were out sharing the Gospel and teaching this team how to share, so would it be OK if we ‘practiced’ sharing the Gospel so the team could hear it presented.” 

The two women agreed to listen, so Heaton shared as his team observed. When he completed his Gospel presentation, Heaton asked the women if they had heard anything new or had any questions. One of them said she loved the way Heaton had presented the message and proceeded to ask some questions. 

“Some of the questions she asked made me unsure of what she thought salvation was, so we talked more,” Heaton says. “After talking, still being unsure, we got [the visitor] and her mom coming to church Sunday, and even have [the visitor] hooked up with a home group with a friend I know who will talk with her more.” 

When the team left and got back in their vehicle, the three team members said, “Man, that isn’t near as scary as we thought! We can do that.” At that moment, Heaton says, “All I could think was ‘Yes! Praise God!’”

Two days later, Heaton and a fellow church member visited the Henderson County Jail in order to share the Gospel with some of the men there. Heaton recalls, “We got there at 6:30, and we did not walk out of that jail until after 10!”

Heaton and his partner were assigned to a cell block that comprised three different pods. “So about six at a time would come up,” Heaton explains, “and [we] would talk to them.” 

Heaton specifically shared with them the story of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5. “We talked about what ‘demons’ each of us have; that we are all sinners; how that man laid them all down at the feet of ‘Jesus, the Son of the Most High God’; and how we can do the same. That led right into presenting the Gospel to each of these gentlemen.” 

So, for more than three hours, Heaton and his fellow evangelist shared the Gospel with prisoners, six at a time, who were in need of the hope of salvation. Heaton says that many seeds were planted and they saw much active listening and participation from the prisoners. Heaton plans to return later this month in order to “keep pouring into them and help them find the way out of the darkness of the world and into the arms of Jesus.”

“So it was an incredible week,” Heaton reflects. “The Holy Spirit has been working and pouring out overtime. At the end of the day, I am physically exhausted but spiritually ready to take on the world!”

In his correspondence with evangelism professor Matt Queen, Heaton admitted, “At the first of the semester, looking at all of the Scripture that we had to memorize, I was a little taken aback. However, all of those that I have memorized were coming out this week like a raging river!”