SBC Life Articles

Crossover San Antonio

An estimated two thousand Southern Baptist volunteers will flock to San Antonio during the first week of June, when Crossover San Antonio comes to town in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, June 12-13.

Crossover — now in its nineteenth year — is officially June 9-10 and will be a comprehensive campaign to reach a significant segment of San Antonio's unchurched population, says Don Smith, national Crossover coordinator for the North American Mission Board (NAMB).

NAMB is jointly sponsoring Crossover San Antonio with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and the San Antonio Baptist Association.

During the week and weekend leading up to the SBC's annual meeting, volunteers — representing dozens of SBC churches in San Antonio and around the nation — will take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the streets, parks, and plazas of San Antonio, a city of some 1.8 million people and the second largest city in Texas. About 60 percent of San Antonio is Hispanic.

Despite a rich religious history, 82 percent of San Antonio's residents do not attend church regularly, and two-thirds of the population has no church affiliation, according to Charles Price, director of missions for the San Antonio Baptist Association, which consists of 259 churches and missions.

"This is big for us, and we're getting a good response from our area churches," Price said. "We pray that God will give us an infusion of new believers into our churches, and that we would be able to start three or four new churches as a result of Crossover.

"We also pray that Crossover gives us a new vision and energy for evangelism in the public square, not just through our worship services. We need a cross-cultural witness. San Antonio is a mission field with forty-five to fifty people groups, and we have to approach it like that," said Price.

The Southern Baptists' outreach efforts will include door-to-door evangelism, block parties, and an international festival, featuring dozens of ethnic groups showcasing their cultures, food, dress, music, dance, and art.

"Some ten thousand people are expected to come to Festival de Alabanza (Festival of Praise), a massive block party and concert planned for the plaza on Guadalupe Street," Smith said. The festival will include sharing the Gospel in English and Spanish, the internationally known "Campanas de America" mariachi group, Gospel music, food, and other entertainment.

Several hundred of the Crossover volunteers — from local San Antonio churches and Baptist churches throughout the United States — will be involved with "Kindness Explosion," a random-acts-of-kindness ministry that will take place in the River Walk and The Market areas of San Antonio. Their activities will include the distribution of cold water in bottles imprinted with the Gospel message.

A week earlier (June 3), San Antonio residents can also look for ICE (Intentional Community Evangelism), when one hundred-plus Southern Baptists will blanket the city, sharing Christ with those they meet as part of Crossover.

ICE is being jointly sponsored and staffed by nine San Antonio Baptist Association churches: Brookhill Baptist (host church), Greater Good News Missionary, Harlandale, Highland Hills, Houston Terrace, Mayfield Park, Palm Heights, Pearsall Road, and South San Filadelfia.

Since Crossover originated during the SBC annual meeting in Las Vegas in 1989, almost thirty-eight thousand persons have prayed to receive Christ as a result of this annual evangelistic effort. Thousands have participated as Crossover volunteers, and dozens of new Southern Baptist churches have been planted under the program, Smith said.

For additional information about Crossover San Antonio, to register as a volunteer, or to participate in ICE, go to www.crossoversa.org.

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  • Mickey Noah