Record 225 professions of faith reported during ‘Crossover Houston’

HOUSTON?”Our people are so pumped that we want to do this again in the spring.”

That thought was expressed repeatedly by pastors reporting their results from “Crossover Houston,” the annual evangelism outreach of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Ten churches as diverse as the population of the greater Houston area welcomed visitors arriving early for the annual convention in order to survey neighborhoods and work at block parties.

Jack Harris, SBTC senior evangelism associate, said he was as excited by the desire of churches to continue outreach as for the record number of responses to the gospel.

With 183 people participating in the effort, 2,545 contacts were made in the neighborhoods spread across Houston and the outlying cities of Galena Park, Katy, Conroe and Tomball. They discovered 1,017 new prospects for future ministry and shared the gospel 507 times. During one day of coordinated outreach, 225 people professed faith in Jesus Christ.

“Attendance by non-church people at our block parties amounted to 3,287,” added Harris, expressing appreciation to the large number of out-of-town participants who joined with local church members to host the events.

While churches like Needham Road Baptist on the north side of Conroe attracted families to a harvest festival promoted as Gobblefest, kids of all ages flocked to the lawn of Asian American Church of Houston for the games, food and concerts during the afternoon block party.

Other participating congregations included Antioch Community Church, Clay Road Baptist Church, Rose of Sharon, Farrington Mission Center, FBC Galena Park, FBC Katy, FBC Rose Hill in Tomball and Northridge Baptist in Conroe.

The mostly young crowd that gathered on Houston’s southwest side for the Asian American Church event provided a multi-ethnic mix with Fountain of Faith Church and College Park Baptist, which share the same building with Asian American Church, also participating.

Oswald Vinueza has been a part of the Asian-American congregation for eight years and manned a table where evangelistic materials were distributed during the block party.

“It’s been a blessing to grow up here and have fellowship with other ethnicities and get to know their culture,” Vinueza said. “There are no limits to worship with people and this place is a testament to that.”

A newly discovered people group to whom the Asian-American congregation is extending its ministry involves Nepalese refugees, many of whom attended the Nov. 8 block party. Five homes have opened their doors for Bible studies under the direction of a 24-year-old college student who has come to Asian American Church from Nepal.

Like all of the other Crossover host churches, Pastor Brad Smith said he looks forward to following up on the contacts developed through the block party. While neighborhood surveys continue to serve as an effective outreach tool for many churches, Smith said he knew the outdoor party would attract more folks in his neighborhood.

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