By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
DEVILLE – Christmas of 2018 is now just a memory for most, but 21 new believers in Christ are growing in their faith as a result of the gift they each received during the Christmas program held at the Philadelphia Baptist Church, Deville.
Moreover, according to Philip Robertson, pastor of the multi-site congregation which has another campus on Horseshoe Drive
in Alexandria, F.A.I.T.H. visits in 2019 through early March, including to see guests who attended the Christmas program, have added another eight new Christmas musical offered gift that keeps giving believers to Heaven’s rolls.
Robertson said the spiritual growth PBC is experiencing is a result of purposeful evangelistic planning and training.
“Our worship teams worked super hard preparing for Christmas because they know we will have an opportunity to touch people we wouldn’t normally reach,” he told the Baptist Message. “Our job is simply to share the message and let the Holy Spirit do the work.”
Robertson said the same of the work put into the F.A.I.T.H. weekly outreach program, which began on both campuses in February.
“There is no greater miracle than the miracle of salvation,” he said of the combined evangelistic eff ort by the congregation.
“When you experience the miracle of all miracles, there is a cause for celebration.
We are grateful the Lord continues to work, and the fact that He would see fi t to use us is very humbling.”
The church, which averages 630 for its Sunday morning worship service at Deville and 180 at the Horseshoe Drive campus, conducts a number of other outreach ministries
which include: partnering with the Food Bank of Central Louisiana to feed the hungry; cooperating with other churches to provide clothes to the homeless once a month in the parking lot of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Alexandria; operating a clothes closet three days a week at the Horseshoe Drive campus: and, leading an annual fi eld day of games and other activities at Brame Middle School in Alexandria.
They also show they care about the community through an annual Love Out Loud emphasis by washing cars for free, handing out bottled water, giving out donuts and hosting block parties.
Additionally, a number of members take part in mission trips annually to Brazil and other countries, subsidized in part by the congregation.
Robertson said PBC members know that meeting the physical needs of others through the various compassion ministry efforts is important, but that the main need of most of those they serve is spiritual.
“Sometimes to speak into someone’s life you have to speak the love of Christ by meeting their physical needs first. But it’s very important to provide for their spiritual need which is the Gospel,” Robertson said. “If you build someone a house and put a roof over their head, and they die and spend eternity separated from God, what good is that in the scope of eternity? “As a church we can do a lot of meeting physical needs, but that makes us no different than any secular organization,” he continued. “Certainly, secular organizations do so many good things for their community. “What sets the church apart is not only should we help meet their physical needs, but we have what they ultimately need and that is salvation in Christ,” Robertson explained. “It’s important that we be as intentional as we can to share the Gospel with them in order to meet their spiritual needs as well.”