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Salvation gave her Christ’s peace; in witnessing, she found excitemen

COLUMBUS, Ga. (BP)–Before she participated in a recent “Cross Over” effort as part of the Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting, Theresa Bagley wasn’t too sure she was cut out for witnessing.
Now, she wonders why she waited so long to become involved.
Bagley, a member of Northside Baptist Church in Columbus, was one of 2,350 Georgians who turned out in the drizzling rain Nov. 14 to canvas the city’s neighborhoods for Christ. She freely described her decision to participate as an ongoing spiritual struggle.
“I’ve only been teaching Sunday school for three months now, but that was a fight I had with the Lord for more than a year. I always had a wonderful excuse not to teach, just like I had wonderful excuses for not wanting to show up this morning,” she said while walking down 54th Street.
Bagley was teamed up for her adventure with Johnny Williams, minister of worship and praise at Wynnbrook Baptist Church in Columbus. House after house, she and Williams knocked on doors and left literature on doorknobs when no one answered.
As she approached each door she wondered if someone would answer and what she would say. After about three hours, she and Williams had contacted 16 of their 21 assigned houses and discovered only one couple at home — or only one who responded to the knocks on the door.
But that one visit changed the way she now views her faith and her responsibility in sharing it with others.
The retired couple she and Williams visited described themselves as “a Baptist and an atheist.” The visit was cordial and when it was time for Bagley and Williams to leave, the couple asked them to pray with them for unity in their family.
“It was a very exciting experience for me,” Bagley said as she reflects on the event. “It has given me a strength and courage to go ahead and witness to others who I’ve been afraid to talk with about spiritual matters for fear of offending them. But now I realize that I haven’t offended them, but offended the Lord by not being obedient.
“Going out on Saturday gave me a spiritual backbone I didn’t know I had. In fact, I was so excited that I had trouble getting to sleep that first night. It’s the same excitement I remember as a little girl, anticipating going to the fair the next morning.
“I’ve known Christ’s peace since he became my Savior when I was 9 years old, but I never knew his excitement until I started witnessing,” she said.
“This makes me want to read my Bible more so I can always be prepared to answer someone’s questions about Christ. I don’t want to be caught unprepared.”

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  • Joe Westbury