Mickey Noah, Joe Conway & Tobin Perry

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Crossover brings ‘Living Water’ to Arizona desert

PHOENIX (BP)--Even as scorching temperatures bumped 102 degrees in Arizona's Urban Corridor, Southern Baptists mobilized in Crossover 2011 to bring the Living Water to people throughout the region's parched deserts. Some 5.2 million people live and work in the corridor, which stretches from the Phoenix metro area down to Case Grande and Tucson. Several hundred of those people are new believers in Christ following a week of community evangelism and Crossover's Saturday events. Phoenix was the 23rd year for Crossover, an evangelism event coordinated by the North American Mission Board, local associations and churches that precedes the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting. This marks the second time the annual meeting has converged in Phoenix, the first time in 2003. "This past week, Arizona Baptists have truly shown their neighbors the love of Christ in action through Crossover," said Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board. "This has been a model for how we can show people we care and then tell them why we care. It's exciting to celebrate those who have given their lives to Christ this week. "I'm also excited that this has been an opportunity for existing churches and some of our new church plants to gain a higher profile in the community," Ezell added. "I'm praying all of our churches in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will benefit from Crossover and keep this momentum going long into the future." To share the Gospel the week of June 7 and on Saturday, Arizona Baptists used dozens of block parties, a skateboard-a-thon, bottled water distribution, painting and landscaping projects at area schools, community arts and cultural festivals, women-only events and, of course, door-to-door evangelism. SKATEBOARDING The most creative event had to be six-hour Skateboard-A-Thon, sponsored by Mountain Ridge Baptist Church in Glendale, Ariz., attended by hundreds of kids and parents on Saturday. A 19-year-old college student and member of Mountain Ridge, Presleigh Boulos -- herself an avid skateboarder -- knows skateboard enthusiasts are one of the most unreached groups in any community. So she envisioned a dynamic event that could reach skateboarders with the Gospel.