JONESVILLE – Some people pay a high cost for low living and that lifestyle eventually will destroy their lives if they don’t turn to Jesus, Evangelist Bailey Smith said recently.
By Brian Blackwell
JONESVILLE – Some people pay a high cost for low
living and that lifestyle eventually will destroy their lives if they
don’t turn to Jesus, Evangelist Bailey Smith said recently.
“The problem isn’t your attitude but your altitude,”
Smith told approximately 800 people at Jonesville’s Block High School
Stadium. “Some of you are flying so low that you’ll destroy your
marriage and kids.”
Preaching from Luke 15:11-32, the former Southern
Baptist Convention president exhorted people to remember that God longs
to reconcile with those who have strayed from Him.
“God runs to see people saved,” the head of Bailey
Smith Ministries explained. “God runs to get the prodigals home.”
Smith’s message was one of six sermons he delivered
over the course of the six-day revival in the Central Louisiana town.
Sponsored by the East Central Baptist Association, the crusade brought
together various races and denominations. In all, 35 churches from
seven denominations came together for the revival.
“We held this revival to win the lost and revive our
community,” East Central Baptist Association Director of Missions Ralph
Webber said. “We want a spiritual awakening.
“Here in the Delta we have had a problem with race
relations,” he continued. “We wanted all God’s children to come
together and win the lost. And that’s what happened.”
Mack Walker echoes the thought.
“I’m grateful many denomiations and churches in our
area have cooperated to bring this about,” the East Central Baptist
Associaton’s evangelism director said. “Even though we may not agree on
some doctrine, we agree that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. I
hope that we have a great spiritual awakening in this area.”
Crusade organizers scheduled the event for six days
because they felt it would be more effective than holding a two or
“We needed more preaching of the gospel for a longer
period of time,” Walker explained. “I’ve preached many revivals and the
fact is that we aren’t as effective when we cut revivals down to just a
Webber said that each night the revival services were uplifting.
Officials estimated attendance for the event was about 4,500. By the
end of the revival, 27 people publicly accepted Christ as their
personal savior and Lord.
Also featured was high-energy music by a combined
choir from the area, country-style music by soloists and congregational
singing of such hymns as “Great Is They Faithfulness” and “There Is
Power In The Blood.”
Crusade organizers felt it was only fitting for Smith to preach.
As pastor of First Baptist Church of Del City, Okla., Smith led more
people to Christ than any other pastor in an equal period of time in
the history of the SBC.
Smith later became the youngest man to serve as SBC
president. He also was the only pastor in convention history to baptize
more than 2,000 people in a local church in one year.
Webber hopes the revival sparks the area’s zeal for increased baptisms.
Last year, the association’s churches baptized 173, an increase from 84
baptisms in 2004 within the association.
“Revivals like this one will hopefully make us more
alert that our purpose is to win the lost for Christ and baptize them,”