GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)–More than 800 people accepted Christ during Crossover Triad 2006 in June, but the actual details of these life-changing conversions are only beginning to filter in — true stories made possible only because hundreds of witnesses in the Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, N.C., areas shared their faith.
While a large portion of the salvations resulted from Crossover events, the majority were produced by the North American Mission Board’s Intentional Community Evangelism (ICE) team, made up of 55 “witnessing warriors” from churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. Crossover preceded the SBC annual meeting in Greensboro.
Among the Crossover stories:
— Greensboro’s Crossover/ICE initiative was the first ever for Lynn Webb, a member of El Bethel Baptist Church in Morganton, N.C.
“I saw more people come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord than I could have ever imagined. My eyes were opened to how much North America needs God and wants Him. I met drug dealers, prostitutes, strippers, homosexuals and many others on the streets of Greensboro,” Webb said.
Webb encountered a 20-something African-American woman walking down the sidewalk, crying and carrying two shopping bags.
“I handed her a tract and told her I didn’t know what was wrong, but that I knew someone named Jesus who could help her,” said Webb. “We sat down on the curb, and I gave her my testimony about how Jesus changed my life and could change hers.” The young woman accepted Christ.
“She told me she was a stripper — homeless living on the street. The two bags contained all her worldly belongings. She had not eaten in days.” Webb took her to a local church which fed her, and then he led her to a homeless shelter.
— Ishmael was a cab driver from West Africa. With a thick accent and dark skin, Ishmael had parked his cab at a gas station where Shawn McCloskey a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan., was already witnessing.
“After talking to Ishmael for a few minutes, I asked him where he would spend eternity if he died that night. He said he had no idea,” McCloskey said. “Ishmael gave his heart to Christ and said he was going home to share the Good News with his wife and family.”
— Chris Murdock, pastor of Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Ft. Payne, Ala., found himself in one of the more affluent subdivisions in Greensboro, where he spotted a woman working in her front yard.
“Raised a Catholic, she had recently moved to town and after we talked awhile, I shared with her. With tears streaming, she accepted Christ right there in her own front yard,” Murdock said. “Participating in ICE and Crossover was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
— Tim Atkins, a member of Woodbine Baptist Church in Madison, N.C. — along with a retired pastor and a young college student –- found himself in a Greensboro neighborhood considered to be one of the worst drug- and crime-infested areas of the city.
“The first place I stopped was the home of a young single woman who, as soon as I opened a Bible, started crying,” Atkins said. “She allowed me to share with her but through her tears, she said she wasn’t ready. We didn’t force her, but just encouraged her and prayed for her.” Atkins said he felt the seed had been planted.
— While a youth group from Broadview Missionary Baptist Church in Broadview, Ill., was sharing the Gospel with an obviously malnourished 80-year-old woman and her almost 100-year-old mother, Jesus’ words suddenly became real: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
After visiting the ladies’ home and seeing no visible signs of food, the youth prayed for the two women and left. They later returned with $100 worth of groceries.
“Both women embraced our youth in tears, and said they were touched by the kids’ love of Christ –- that they couldn’t believe that anyone cared enough to meet their basic needs,” said Bruce Douglas, the group’s youth director.
“These young people have not been the same since they returned from Crossover,” Douglas added. “The Lord used the Crossover event to help develop their hearts for the lost.”
— Victor Benavides, a member of NAMB’s evangelism group in Alpharetta, Ga., won a young man to Christ while “working” a corner in front of a local Greensboro gas station and convenience store, despite the stares of onlookers and jeers from passing motorists.
Benavides –- dressed in a T-shirt with a picture of a crucified Jesus and hauling a back-pack full of literature -– told the man that “Jesus died on the cross for your sins.” After a few minutes, the two prayed and Benavides gave him a New Testament. As they went their separate ways, Benavides told the man they’ll meet in heaven one day.
Benavides’ witnessing encounter made the front page of the Greensboro News & Record, the local daily newspaper.
“Crossover just shows what God can do with and through a group of believers who are committed to doing the work of evangelism,” said Darrel Davis, ministry assistant for Crossover Triad 2006 for the Baptist Convention of North Carolina in Cary, N.C.
Davis said some 2,000 Crossover Triad volunteers played a part in the more than 800 salvation decisions made during the combined Crossover and ICE initiatives, and that 26 new churches will be planted because of the effort.
Crossover’s more than 30 evangelistic events were sponsored jointly by NAMB, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the 200 SBC churches of the Piedmont, Pilot Mountain and Central Triad Baptist Associations.
Work has already begun on Crossover 2007, June 9-10, 2007, the weekend before next year’s SBC annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, visit the website at www.crossoversa.org.