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Churches report high number of salvations, baptisms

A team prepares to depart La Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Manhattan in New York City last month for evangelism. By the end of the week the church reported 74 salvations. Photo courtesy of the Baptist Convention of New York

NASHVILLE (BP) — A baptismal outpouring at Long Hollow Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., on Aug. 13 reflected similar recent reports from around the country.

Pastor Robby Gallaty called the Sunday morning events “miraculous” in a Facebook post.

“We have been sensing a second wave of revival coming to our church for weeks with the amount of people being baptized recently, but yesterday exceeded our anticipation,” he said.

“The Lord laid on my heart to offer spontaneous baptism this week after I preached on John the Baptist’s baptism in Matthew 3. We haven’t offered it in a while so I didn’t know how people would respond.”

In December 2020, a call for those wanting to be baptized resulted in a total of 99 doing so by the end of service. More requests came in the following days, weeks and months with more than 1,000 baptisms by spring 2021. Long Hollow was also part of a jail outreach that witnessed 58 baptisms in early May.

Some of those baptized on Sunday arrived by unconventional means.

“[Eight] people drove in after watching online, 6 people left the service, went home, and came back because the Holy Spirit convicted them to be obedient in baptism,” Gallaty wrote. “One guy said, ‘I have been worshipping online in … Michigan for a year. God told me on Saturday to drive down to Hendersonville for worship. Today is my first time attending in person. I’ve put off baptism for years, and here I am in the tank to make it right.’ Only God can do something like that.

“Additionally, 40 people signed up for baptism next week. As the Lord would have it, I’m preaching on Jesus’s baptism.”

Evangelism and baptisms in Kentucky, Manhattan

Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., observed 24 baptisms on Aug. 6, Kentucky Today reported.

Pastor Andy Botts said 11 baptisms were scheduled for the day.

A ministry fair emphasis on enlisting volunteers to serve in the church had led to scheduling one worship service instead of the customary two. During that service, a time of corporate prayer with people at the altar and those anointed with oil for healing moved into worship that included an open mic for Scripture reading.

“Twelve people felt led [to read],” Botts said. “We wanted to hear the Scriptures that God has been using to teach you. Not the story, we wanted to just hear the Scripture.”

Tears and “shouting for joy how the Scripture set them free” followed, Botts said. Then came a spontaneous call to baptism. As time was extended for more who came forward, the number exceeded the amount of available baptism clothes.

“To hear applause and shouting after every baptism was like a shot in the arm,” said Botts. “We didn’t know what to expect but knew God was calling us to do something different.”

La Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Manhattan (First Hispanic Baptist Church of Manhattan) reported 74 salvations after a week of street evangelism from July 24-31.

An evangelism team from Comos Oirán (How would they hear) ministry in Florida joined church members in presenting the Gospel on the streets, in homes and in parks. The week ended with an evangelism workshop attended by 56 people from eight churches who split into 17 teams afterwards to share the Gospel in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

On that day alone, 87 people heard the Gospel with 32 accepting Christ as Savior.

No baptisms have been scheduled yet, but those individuals are being connected to small groups and discipleship classes, Associate Pastor Francisco Nunez told Baptist Press.

Seeing the Gospel accepted amid violence and a crime wave in the heart of New York City is “a true blessing,” said Senior Pastor Freddy Noble.

In a statement to Baptist Press, church leaders called it “a great reminder that as much opposition as the church faces, nothing and no one can interrupt the Gospel being preached and expanded on the face of this earth. It is a continual wake-up call.

“It is a motivating factor to continue preaching the Gospel no matter what we are facing because the work is of the Lord and salvation belongs to Him,” they said.