Cottage Hill Baptist Church on Sunday celebrated baptizing its 201st new believer since September 2021, highlighting the church’s renewed evangelism efforts through its FOUND initiative.
The initiative began with a sermon series on the parables in Luke 15 and a church-wide emphasis to focus on evangelism. Members were asked to write down the names of five people they knew that needed a relationship with Christ. They were given a guide on how to pray for their “five.” The children’s ministry was also involved, encouraging each child to write down their “five” to pray for. Church leaders prayed for their names as well.
Four-foot-high letters that spell FOUND with 200 light bulbs were constructed. The letters were hung in the church atrium to be seen each week by the members. For every person saved and baptized, a bulb was lit. The main campus at Cottage Hill set a goal of 200. The Downtown Church and Church of the Island campuses each set a goal of 25.
‘Systematically’ seeking the lost
“Through the vivid stories found in the Bible, we see how God systematically seeks after all that can be lost, and continues to offer hope that even today, we can still be found,” said Pastor Alan Floyd.
“It doesn’t matter how nice our buildings are, how wonderful our music is, or how many community service projects we engage in,” he noted, “if we’re not intent on doing everything so that lost men, women and children will experience the transforming work of God.”
During the emphasis, Floyd taught the 3 Circles Gospel Presentation on a Sunday morning. Evangelism Pastor Lonnie Lundy taught in more detail the presentation on Wednesday nights to give the church family a simple and visual way of sharing the gospel. Many of the 200 baptisms were a result of a gospel conversation using the 3 Circles.
Floyd added, “Having spiritual conversations and inviting people to our campuses is part of the culture of Cottage Hill. We are seeing more and more children, students, young adults and senior adults come to faith in Christ.”
‘Can I be baptized right now?’
On the morning of June 26, 2022 there were 198 bulbs lit. The FOUND letters were taken down in the atrium and placed on the stage in celebration as the next two people were baptized at the beginning of the service.
“Everyone stood, clapped, and shouted words of praise as the final bulbs were lit,” Floyd said. “At the end of the service, a 19-year-old man came forward, knelt at the altar and trusted Christ. As he stood he asked, ‘can I be baptized right now? Can I be 201?’ He was baptized surrounded by his family as the service ended.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Cottage Hill Baptist Church.