RALEIGH, N.C. (BP)–Having scheduled 68 “Everyone Can Win One” rallies and pastors’ luncheons across North Carolina, Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch completed his 18th such meeting at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Carthage during his March 5 through April 30 schedule.
Continuing the “‘Everyone Can’ Kingdom Challenge!” he launched when he was elected SBC president in 2004, Welch said the rallies and pastors’ meetings will encourage thousands of North Carolina Southern Baptists to sign up for and attend the Crossover evangelistic opportunities preceding this year’s SBC annual meeting in Greensboro. This year’s “Crossover Triad” evangelistic thrust is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, with the SBC’s annual meeting to follow on June 13-14 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Welch said his Everyone Can Win One meetings “represent my heart’s desire and soul-deep conviction that Southern Baptists everywhere, not only in North Carolina, must awaken to the Kingdom priorities of sharing the Gospel and baptizing believers as members of local Southern Baptist churches.”
On Sunday morning, March 12, Welch preached at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, N.C.
“It was a God thing,” said Englewood’s pastor, Michael Cloer, who reported that 29 people committed to follow Jesus Christ and 13 others joined the church.
It was “FRANTIC” Sunday at Englewood, Cloer said, describing FRANTIC as an acronym for Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors Together in Church.
“From the moment we entered the service, you could tell God was working,” the pastor said. “We’d been praying for this day. Our folks had invited their unsaved friends to church, and God honored that.”
Welch is scheduled to speak again at Englewood’s March 17 East Coast Men’s Conference.
Welch’s 68 meetings across North Carolina in the 57-day span are part of the SBC-wide “‘Everyone Can’ Kingdom Challenge!” Welch is leading to call Southern Baptist churches to “Witness, Win, and Baptize … One Million” during the current church year.
On Sunday evening March 12, Welch spoke at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Raleigh. Preaching from Luke 16, Welch drew from the account of the deaths of a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus in a sermon titled “Dead Men Do Talk.”
After reading the passage, Welch revisited the rich man’s plea from hell that Abraham would send Lazarus with some water. Welch described the rich man’s request as sounding more like this: “FATHER ABRAHAM!” he screamed wildly with a gruesome face. “S-s-s-s-send Lazarus,” he said in a desperate voice, with his fingers grasping heavenward.
Welch speculated that the rich man hadn’t been in hell for more than 20 seconds before he became a soul-winner.
Welch then asked the crowd, “Do you think there are more soul-winners in hell than there are in this auditorium tonight?” He asked the same question in his sermon Monday night, March 13, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Carthage.
The rich man didn’t ask Abraham to send someone to his banker or his buddies down at the club; rather: “The rich man asked Abraham, ‘Send someone to my daddy’s house,’” said Welch, who explained the rich man knew that his five brothers would face the same torment.
“What about that blonde-haired, blue-eyed beautiful granddaughter of yours?” Welch asked. “If she dies tonight without Jesus, she won’t go to heaven. And there’s only one other option.
“Hell is no joke. Hell is real. Hell is horrible,” Welch said, urging his listeners to take seriously their responsibility to witness to their own families and others.
“God’s not going to ask you about the lost people of Daytona Beach,” said Welch, who has served as pastor of First Baptist Church there for 32 years. “But neither is He going to ask me about the lost people who live near you. He’s going to ask you about them.”
Earlier on Monday, Welch spoke at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina staff chapel service followed by a pastors’ lunch meeting at First Baptist Church in Cary.
Delivering similar messages at both events, Welch cited the words of Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it’s the power of God unto salvation.”
Welch recapped his personal testimony of coming to faith in Jesus Christ and of how God miraculously spared his life in Vietnam, where Welch was left for dead after being severely wounded in battle.
“Pow!” Welch clapped his hands. “That’s the dynamic power of the Gospel.”
God’s people need to “reclaim our confidence in the dynamic power of the Gospel to save lost sinners,” he said.
Welch explained he has been “bustin’ a gut” the last 18 months to get Southern Baptists to realize the importance of winning lost people to Christ.
Noting that ministry for Christ is costly to anyone who follows God, Welch said he’s given up many things to be on mission for God.
“When I kiss my wife before I leave on these trips, it’s the same kind of kiss we shared when I left for Vietnam,” Welch said. “We both know I’m on a very important mission.”
Recounting a recent return trip back to his home, he and his wife Maudellen greeted each other with a kiss at the airport. However, on the way home, Welch saw that Maudellen wasn’t smiling nearly as much as usual. Concerned, Welch asked her if everything is all right. “Aren’t you happy to see me?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“So, what’s wrong? Why are you so quiet?”
“‘It’s because I know you’re leaving again,’” Welch recounted Maudellen’s words, his chin quivering. “‘But, I know you’re on the mission.’”
More information on the “‘Everyone Can’ Kingdom Challenge!” can be accessed at http://www.everyonecan.net.