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Welch, at donut shop, lauds grassroots witness in Maine

BRUNSWICK, Maine (BP)–The first sitting president of the Southern Baptist Convention to ever visit Maine walked into Frosty’s Donut Shop in Brunswick to drink coffee and eat doughnuts with Bob and June Frost, members of Maine Street Baptist Church whose business has a bounty of Gospel tracts.

Bobby Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., and his six-member support crew had arrived at the church shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2. When the bus pulled up, Pastor Dale Morell, a 20-year veteran of pioneering missions work in Maine, was there to greet Welch.

“He is living this out like so many other pastors in this land,” Welch said of Morell. “These people are doing what they can, with what they have, where they are, and they’re not putting it off. They’re doing it now.”

The Maine stop was No. 11 in Welch’s national tour to heighten the urgency for evangelism among Southern Baptists. The tour is a kickoff for “The Everyone Can Kingdom Challenge for Evangelism” campaign which has the goal of “Witness, Win and Baptize … ONE MILLION!” by Southern Baptist churches in one year.

Other stops Thursday were in Londonderry, N.H., at Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, and in Plainfield, Vt., at Macedonia Baptist Church, before the rented bus headed to New Jersey.

In Brunswick, Pastor Morell told Welch about the Frosts, who have been married 40 years and have three employees — and 10 racks of Gospel tracts – at their donut shop.

Welch, in an early morning visit with the Frosts, commended them for seeking to share their faith via Gospel tracts.

Bob Frost described their tract racks as “a silent witness.”

“We don’t have to push ourselves off onto anybody,” Frost said. “If they see something they like to read, they can pick it up.”

Welch commented that if small-business owners throughout the SBC followed the Frosts’ model, they may face opposition.

“They [the Frosts] knew that they might not be popular,” Welch said, “but they didn’t worry about the business impact. They just did it.”

The Frosts, who are not paid professional staffers with the local church, are missionaries — “laypeople in action,” as Welch described them in trying to communicate from the heart who Jesus is as they operate their business.

“In the beginning, it wasn’t as well received by some as maybe others, but now, after 20 years, it is a powerful testimony and a landmark, not only to the community, but to the cause of Christ,” Welch said.

The SBC president said the successful small business run by the Frosts and their soul-winning enterprise reflects the lifeblood of the Southern
Baptist Convention along with hard-working pastors like Morell who refuse to quit.

“This is who we are,” he said from the sanctuary of the Maine Street Baptist Church. “That’s why we call it grassroots.”

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  • Allen Palmeri