Kelly McCowan (left) and Dale Fleener have been working the Gospel to Every Home through Big Spring Baptist Church in Brandenburg, Kentucky, since September 2020. They estimate having engaged more than 300 people.
kentuckytoday.com

Determined duo: ‘We’re trying to get the gospel out any way we can’

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

If you live anywhere near the little Big Spring Baptist Church, chances are you’ve at least seen Dale Fleenor and Kelly McCowan.

They are members of Big Spring Baptist and champions of the Gospel to Every Home initiative, logging hundreds of miles and hundreds of visits since September 2020. They’ve been out so much the knuckles on their hands are probably bruised from all the knocking.

“We’re trying to get this gospel out any way we can,” said Fleenor, a 65-year-old retired military man. “It’s not for our church, it’s for the Lord.”

Big Spring Baptist Church is a little church in Brandenburg, Kentucky, with six members and a 93-year-old pastor. But one-third of those members — Fleenor and McCowan — are making a mighty impact by adopting about a 10-mile radius near the church. Fleenor said it was never about gaining new members for the church but gaining new members for the Kingdom.

“When we first learned of it, we started praying about what God wanted us to do,” Fleenor said. “Then we did training for four weeks.”

Fleenor said they practiced role-playing where he would be the person on the other side of the door. Sometimes he’d be receptive and sometimes he’d be rude. And true to the training, they’ve faced both those situations and more.

“Before we start, we pray in the neighborhoods where we’re knocking on doors,” McCowan said. “Every other weekend, we pray before each visit. Once we get in the vehicle, we will slow down and go to every house and pray. We always ask the Lord to go first.”

McCowan is a fairly new believer and Fleenor has taken him under his wing. They have both been blessed by the partnership. Since September, they estimate having visited more than 300 people and dozens of neighborhoods. Fleenor’s pickup truck has become a rolling house of prayer as they have taken the gospel to those homes.

Fleenor shared a story during a meeting of the Salem Baptist Association last week where Kentucky Baptist Convention evangelism strategist Kenny Rager led a session on front door evangelism. They talked about rejection, and Fleenor revealed how even that can turn into a blessing.

They were on the front porch of a house when the homeowner pulled into the driveway. He quickly got out of his truck and none-too-politely invited them to leave his porch because he wasn’t interested in what they were selling.

“I don’t want you all around here!” he yelled. “I’m Catholic. I don’t want that stuff. Go ahead and leave.”

“He was very clear, saying I don’t want nothing to do with it,” Fleenor said. “I told Kelly, ‘Let’s pray for this guy.’ We prayed and we pulled out.”

That was in September when they first began visiting. Throughout the entire time, Fleenor has kept a log of whom they have visited, how they were received, if any prayer requests were shared or if there were any unusual circumstances that needed to be noted.

Fast forward to January and the pandemic not letting up.  With only six members, the church felt like they needed some multimedia to better serve and began praying that the Lord would send them some money for a computer system that was going to cost about $2,500.

Soon the church received a check.

“It was from the guy who ran us off,” Fleenor said. “It was for $1,000. I took that check, came to church and gave a testimony that day. You don’t know how much that built Kelly’s faith.”

McCowan said it opened his eyes wide to see that God is in control and the power of prayer should not be underestimated. He said the gentleman who ran them off was the last person he thought would be so generous to the church.

“It surprised me he sent us that check,” McCowan said. “When he chased us off, we said we’d let the Lord deal with all that.”

McCowan said they visited another home in a neighborhood where a woman said she was in need of food. They immediately went to buy some groceries and returned with food. “She was surprised that we’d do that,” he said. “We are representing the Lord, so we’re going to do whatever we can to help people.”

When visiting, Fleenor and McCowan follow the proper pandemic protocol, including masks and gloves when handling the Gospel to Every Home packages.

The initiative of the Kentucky Baptist Convention aims to place the gospel in the hands of the more than 1.7 million homes in the commonwealth. Many of the more than 2,300 Kentucky Baptist churches have adopted neighborhoods to make sure every home is covered.

“We’re only two guys from a small church, but we want to do our part,” Fleenor said. “It’s our honor to do it for the Lord.”


EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was originally published by Kentucky Today. To read more articles like this on Kentucky Baptists, visit kentuckytoday.com. This article also appears in TAB News, a digital regional Baptist publication. For more information or to subscribe to the TAB News app, visit tabonline.org/TAB-News-app.