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7/2/97 Crossover planning under way for witness to Salt Lake City

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Plans are already under way for staging Southern Baptists’ evangelism thrust in Salt Lake City June 5-7, 1998, prior to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting there, June 9-11.
The SBC “Crossover” evangelism campaign will face its greatest challenge since it was first held 10 years ago prior to the SBC annual meeting in Las Vegas. Salt Lake City is headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormons.
Seventy percent of Utah’s population are Mormons, a 167-year-old religion that uses purports to be Christian and uses Christian terminology yet has beliefs distinctly different from orthodox Christianity.
Crossover is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the state convention hosting the SBC annual meeting, in this case the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.
“People need to come to Salt Lake prepared to share the gospel with all kinds of lost people, including Mormons,” explained local pastor Michael Gray. “We’re not targeting Mormons, and we’re not trying to make Baptists out of them. We just want to share the real Jesus with anyone who doesn’t know him.”
“We are believing God for 1,500-2,000 new believers and 10 new church starts,” said Herb Stoneman, the state convention’s evangelism consultant. “It will take an army of God’s people willing to witness and minister to the lost of our state. We are praying they will come.”
In addition to normal Crossover block parties, street evangelism and door- to-door witnessing, Stoneman wants to match SBC messengers with churches and projects across the region. “Those driving in could plan a mission related-venture with one of our churches on their way to or from the SBC. Entire churches and associations can also partner with churches and associations in our convention to plan a major mission project during this time,” Stoneman said.
A special effort is being made this year to enlist 500 college students to participate in Crossover. Room and board will be provided for students joining in the project.
Stoneman encouraged those interested in Crossover activities to contact him at the convention office in West Valley City, Utah, at (801) 966-9955.