Trinity Baptist reported 250 professions of faith and 119 other decisions during four days of revival last week.
LAKE CHARLES – Trinity Baptist reported 250 professions of faith and 119 other decisions during four days of revival last week.
Ronnie Hill of Fort Worth, Texas, was the preaching evangelist. Ray Jones of San Antonio, Texas, was the music evangelist.
“Folks were saved; folks were revived. It was quite a deal, a God deal,” said Pastor Steve James. “We prayed and asked for God to do something supernatural, and He did.
“It wasn’t like anything this church has ever experienced in its 75-year history,” James continued. “I’ve been pastoring for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Prayer was the key, the pastor said. The church family – about 1,500 attend Sunday morning worship – individually through the week and corporately on Sunday for 40 days went through a revival preparation prayer guide developed by the Arkansas Baptist Convention and adapted by Trinity that included scripture, devotional thought, directive prayer and prayer specifics.
“Ronnie just preached real simple messages and connected with the people,” James said. “We had 50 encouragers, counselors, who each received two weeks of training prior to the revival, so they would know how to talk with people.”
Hill spoke in three public schools on Tuesday; his subjects: choose your friends wisely, stay away from drugs and drinking, and get an education. That night 1975 teens made a decision at Trinity. Those who were members of other churches were told to tell their pastors what they had done; those who were unchurched were counseled and parents talked with before the youth were baptized.
“We underestimated every night what God was going to do,” James said. “My biggest concern after Sunday morning was, would our people continue to participate during the week? But every night, more and more kept coming.
“It’s not the size of church that brings revival,” the pastor continued. “It’s the size of God that brings revival.”
Wayne Jenkins, director of evangelism and church growth for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said he was unaware of a local church revival in Louisiana in recent years in which 369 decisions were made.
“For some churches to have 10 saved in a revival would be excellent,” Jenkins said. “We ought to rejoice with those who rejoice. It also encourages us that revivals – special times of evangelistic services – as a method of evangelism are still valid in churches of any size.
“God moved in this church that made proper preparation and used a vocational evangelist to assist in reaching its community,” Jenkins continued. “I think if churches would use the giftedness of vocational evangelists, and make some changes in the way that they do mass evangelism, many would see far more results than they are seeing now.”
He did not know Ronnie Hill or even know of him, James said, until a trusted friend gave his name and said he would be a good fit for Trinity. Hill’s website – www.ronniehill.com – indicates he preached earlier this year at New Hope DeQuincy, Cedar Crest West Monroe, First Eunice and the Dry Creek GA Camp.
“This was just what we were asking for, a real outpouring of God’s Spirit,” James said. “These are not folks who are members of our church. These are all new people.”