Woman comes to faith through witness of entire family
When Southwestern professor Matt Queen distributed an email “praise report” detailing the salvation of a 15-year-old girl, it inspired more reasons to celebrate than just one. Not only did the email share how Ph.D. student Jonathan Baldwin and his wife Laura led a young teenager named Alexis to the Lord, but it also revealed a key detail of the experience: the Baldwins’ three children had accompanied them on the evangelistic outing.
“Praise the Lord that (1) Alexis received Christ, and (2) that the three Baldwin children witnessed their father and mother evangelizing as a model for them when they (we pray) become believers,” Queen wrote. “I’m convinced that more Southern Baptists would think ‘everyday evangelism’ was normal if our men would lead their families to evangelize. God, may it be so!”
On Saturday, Aug. 19, the Baldwins set out to share the Gospel in their neighborhood. For only the second time, they brought along with them their three children, ages 4 years, 2 years, and 7 months.
“The concept of bringing my whole family with me to evangelize is something new for us,” Jonathan says. “I have seen other men bring their families alongside them to evangelize. As soon as my youngest was old enough, I wanted to bring my family with me, too.”
With the youngest children watching from a stroller, the Baldwin family knocked on the door of Marcella. She answered with her daughter, Alexis. Marcella shared that she is a believer and recently left her previous church in order to attend one that preached the Bible. Alexis attended with her but had not yet professed faith in Christ.
The Baldwins walked Alexis through the Gospel, sharing of Jesus’ sacrificial death on her behalf so that she may have eternal life through faith in Him. The Baldwins invited her to receive this gift of eternal life; she accepted and surrendered her life to the Lord.
Laura plans to follow up with both Marcella and Alexis in the coming weeks in order to disciple them, ensure their attendance of a local church, and encourage them to get baptized as a public profession of their faith. In his own praise report to Queen, Jonathan celebrated not only Alexis’ new birth, but also his children’s opportunity to witness what had transpired. “Thank you for showing me how to lead my family in evangelism!” he wrote.
“The reason I bring [my family] with me is two-fold,” Jonathan explains. “First, if I want to lead God’s church in evangelism, I need to be leading my family in evangelism.
“Second, my children must understand that the Gospel is not just a story we share at home with each other. The Gospel is a story we share outside of the home with others. This opportunity lets my children hear the Gospel, see my wife and I share it with others, and witness lost souls being found.”
Upon hearing this story, Southwestern President Paige Patterson affirmed, “This is how you build evangelistic children. I know—it is what my dad did for me.”
Queen added, “Amen, Dr. Patterson! My father did the same for me—the single most influential act that has informed my personal evangelism.”