South Texas church spreads its FAITH south of the border

ROBSTOWN?When River Hills Baptist Church in Robstown, near Corpus Christi, offered to host a FAITH Sunday School evangelism training clinic in Monterrey, Mexico, they were wishing to help equip a church to share the gospel in its neighborhood. What resulted was the beginning of “something bigger.”

It doesn’t take long to recognize the passion Bill Simmons, pastor of River Hills Baptist Church, has for reaching the lost. Using FAITH as their primary evangelism strategy has helped make sharing the gospel a part of the culture of the church.

“The church has been doing FAITH for several years now and has 100-150 participants each semester,” Simmons said. “We try to be intentional about reaching the lost and very intentional about being evangelistic.”

Their intentionality has shown positive results?with FAITH the number of baptisms has significantly increased.

“Last year 70 were baptized, the year before that 100. I baptized three people last Sunday as a result of FAITH,” Simmons said.

The FAITH strategy, he said, is part of the follow-up in Sunday School classes as well as hospital or other ministry visits.

Church member Kenny Myers got involved in FAITH four years ago?shortly after recovering from a stroke. That experience helped him realize that sharing his faith is an crucial step to help people come to know Christ.

“I see it like this: one day I will stand before the Lord and I want him to say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You shared me with people,” Myers said.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER

For Elizabeth Younkers, FAITH training “has given me the ability to tell and spread what the Bible says.”

Younkers’ involvement in the FAITH program at River Hills served as the start of the now thriving ministry taking place in Monterrey, Mexico. Having grown up in Mexico, she asked Simmons if the church could take FAITH to Mexico and help train a church in Monterrey.

Pastors from River Hills and New Life Baptist Church set up a meeting with a Monterrey pastor, and traveled to Mexico to discuss how they could partner together and help train the church in FAITH.

“It’s a long story, but a story in which only God could work out the details. God led, the American pastors were introduced to Bro. Rolando Guzman, a leading pastor in Monterrey, and things began to happen,” Simmons said.

Plans to have several churches in Monterrey trained in FAITH started to come together. Guzman invited the Texas pastors to a Christmas party to discuss details of the upcoming FAITH clinic. While fellowshipping together a phone call was made to Bobby Welch, the co-founder of the FAITH curriculum and the SBC’s strategist for global evangelical relations.

“Welch immediately wanted to be a part of it,” Simmons said. Welch suggested including Doug Williams, co-founder of FAITH and Mike Smith of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Funding for the clinic stretched beyond the means of the church, and fac

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