Jesus proclaimed across Birmingham area by Baptists during Crossover visitation

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

Terry Long says it was two flat tires that led to one big miracle June 8 during Crossover Birmingham.

Long, who serves as associational missions director for Choctaw Baptist Association, and Roy and Becky Adkins, members of First Baptist Church, Oak Grove, in Adger, had just knocked on their second door and gotten no answer when they noticed a car on the shoulder of the road at the end of the driveway.

Bob and his wife, Jean, both in their mid 70s, were just finishing up changing two tires on their daughter’s car. As the team began to talk with them both were ready to receive Christ and they prayed together.

“It’s no accident that you were here,” Long told them and asked them what they thought about what had just happened in their lives.

Bob exclaimed, “I think I’m going to heaven now.”

Long told him he could know for sure he was. His wife, Jean, said she was sure she was too.

‘God appointment’

“It was a real God appointment,” said Long, who also serves as South Alabama strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM). “We had such a sweet conversation with them.”

His team had four of those conversations that day. 

Across the city teams saw similar stories happen as they participated in door-to-door visits as part of Crossover, an outreach event held annually in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting host city. Volunteers gathered from across the state and nation to be involved, some who couldn’t stay for the SBC meeting but wanted to be a part of reaching Birmingham with the gospel.

Rodney Parker, minister to students at The Baptist Church at McAdory, said it was “great to see youth involved in sharing the gospel with others” during Crossover.

Scooter Kellum, who serves in student ministry with the SBOM and at Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Montgomery, agreed. One of his students, Joseph Higbee, had asked to participate in Crossover for his 14th birthday so June 8 his whole family drove up for the day.

“His heart is just on fire for the Lord,” Kellum said, noting since Higbee gave his life to Christ last summer, he has spent hours reading the Bible, organized his school’s See You at the Pole and a Bible study group and is constantly looking for other ways to share his faith.

“It’s been amazing to watch,” Kellum said. 

During the North American Mission Board (NAMB) report to the Southern Baptist Convention on June 11, Johnny Hunt, NAMB’s senior vice president of evangelism and leadership, said volunteers knocked on more than 10,409 doors. 

The gospel was shared 1,817 times during Crossover, resulting in a reported 364 salvations, he noted.

‘Rejoice and celebrate’

Teams fanned out in neighborhoods around eight Birmingham-area hub churches — First, Oak Grove; First Baptist Church, Mount Olive; The Baptist Church at McAdory, McCalla; The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham; First Baptist Church, Pelham; First Baptist Church, Moody; and First Baptist Church, Trussville.

“All day long Crossover was an unbelievable, enthusiastic, passionate event,” said Sammy Gilbreath, SBOM director of evangelism. 

“Thunderstorms didn’t hurt the effort. There were contacts made, Bibles left, people who accepted Christ and we’re celebrating every single one.”

David Hobson, associational mission strategist for Mud Creek Baptist Association, believes Crossover will be part of a time of “spiritual transformation” for the association.

“We rejoice and celebrate the decisions made during this event and look forward to seeing even more disciples made as a result because even just one decision and changed life has made the entire time of preparation and execution worth it,” Hobson said.

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Crossover includes medical/dental clinic

Sixth Avenue Baptist, Birmingham, served as the host site for a free medical and dental clinic for the community.

“We maxed out the dental and medical clinics,” said Sammy Gilbreath, SBOM director of evangelism, noting the site was supposed to close at 4 p.m. but dentists worked into the evening with people already registered.

People met Jesus at the clinic too — one while sitting in the dental chair, led to faith by the dentist. (TAB)

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