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Evangelists encourage return to old-time revival methods


PHOENIX (BP)–Revivals still work, but few Southern Baptists are holding them, members of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists said at their June 16 business meeting in conjunction with the June 17-18 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.

Bill Britt, director of Compel Ministries, told the COSBE attendees he still believes in “old-fashioned, Holy Ghost, devil-chasing, pew-jumping, finger-pointing revivals” to bring the Gospel message to the masses, even though the method has its detractors.

“People say, ‘We are in the 21st century and no one wants to hear a sweating, stomping, spitting, hollering preacher.’ But they do. Teenagers do,” Brite said.

Kay Cox, whose husband founded Tom Cox World Ministries, agreed. She said God is still using evangelists in spite of the fact that churches have all but ceased holding revivals.

“Churches are not wanting to do ‘revivals.’ Call them what you want to call them, but they still work,” Cox said. “Don’t stop doing it. Work it, prepare for it and do it. There still are professions of faith at revivals.”

Tom Cox said Southern Baptists grew fastest when they focused on evangelism. The Coxes have led revivals in 10 foreign countries this year and are planning a trip to Russia. Their ministry began with an annual trip to the Holy Land 30 years ago.


In other business, the evangelists:

— presented awards to three members of COSBE; Rob Randall, Terry Veazey and Jim Wilson received awards for 25 years of service. Randall, a member of First Baptist Church in Dallas, recently published a book on spiritual warfare titled, “The Invisible War: Living in Victory Over the Enemy.” Veazey, from Montgomery, Ala., began preaching at age 16. He has preached in 40 countries and trains evangelists in Third World countries. Jim Wilson, an evangelist who is a member of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., and former COSBE vice president, said the Southern Baptist Convention needed more evangelists. “We have dropped off significantly,” he said.

— elected new officers: Benny Jackson, staff evangelist, Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., president; Keith Fordham of Georgia, vice president; Margaret Allen of Oklahoma, secretary and treasurer; Sid Peterson of California, parliamentarian; and Jerry Chaddick of Mississippi, adviser to pastors.

— agreed to address proposed changes to the organization’s bylaws at next year’s meeting. Several members of the organization asked that a president be allowed to serve more than one term. Others indicated they would be in support of a change in the bylaws that would allow non-COSBE members to speak at the organization’s annual conferences.