News Articles

Church scrubs dirt off cars; Jesus scrubs sin off 3 drivers

TULSA, Okla. (BP)–Free. Everyone’s looking for something free. Then again … .
Members of Sheridan Road Baptist Church in Tulsa found many people who came for a free car wash at the church couldn’t believe they were getting one absolutely free.
As an outreach to the community, church members set up a free car wash on the church parking lot (no donations accepted) just “to plant some seeds and let people know we care for them,” said pastor Tom Woodson.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a Saturday, Sheridan Road’s parking lot became a car wash as about 25 members scrubbed, detailed, vacuumed and shined 40 to 50 cars.
“We did everything from junkers to luxury cars, from pickups to vans,” Woodson reported. “We even did one limited-edition Maserati and a $67,000 Bluebird church bus — ours.”
The event, suggested by a layman, was promoted only by a sign on the church’s marquee and by some college students who took fliers to nearby stores.
Woodson said people were dumfounded the church wouldn’t take any money for washing the cars.
“One person said, ‘Don’t you care about money at this church?'” Woodson related.
“We told him we were not here for money, but to serve and let people know this car wash is free, like salvation. It’s a gift, receive it if you want.”
In addition to getting their cars washed, patrons were treated to free candy bars and soft drinks while they waited, courtesy of church women who served as hostesses.
Woodson said members brought five-gallon buckets, sponges and towels, as well as two shop vacs for the day’s work.
The church printed fliers about two upcoming events, a Labor Day fish fry open to the community and a couples’ communication (marriage) seminar, and distributed some evangelistic tracts.
Woodson said the church didn’t necessarily plan for the event to be a soul-winning opportunity, but it worked out that way.
“When I go to a volunteer car wash, I never get out of the car,” Woodson said. “But the vacuums were extremely loud, so most people got out of their cars, and we had a chance to talk to them.
“We had church members there who are not bashful about sharing their faith.”
One young man said he wanted to talk some more, and a layman in the church explained to him how to receive Christ.
“He led him all the way up to receiving the Lord,” Woodson said, “and although he was qualified to do it, he called me in, and I got to lead him to the Lord.”
The young man was among three who made professions of faith during the four-hour period, and there were several who wanted assurance they were saved, Woodson said.
“It was almost too easy to lead these people to Christ at the car wash,” he added. “It was as if they were literally dropped in our laps. God was definitely at work.”
Woodson said more car washes are in the church’s future. The keys to a successful evangelistic car wash, he reflected, are prayer, enthusiasm, hard work, a soul-winner’s heart and very loud vacuums.

    About the Author

  • Dana Williamson