By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
VIDALIA – Former American Ninja Warrior contestant Jared Greer used an obstacle course to share the Gospel with more than 1,100 attending Harvest Fest on the Vidalia Riverfront September 30.
By the end of the evening, five people came forward to accept Christ and another three indicated their desire to restore fellowship with the Lord during the Delta Baptist Association-sponsored festival.
The event featured inspiring messages by Greer and Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, as well as music by the First Baptist Church in Vidalia band.
Harvest Fest was among the events held or scheduled this year as part of the statewide Harvest campaign to “pray for every home and share with every person” in Louisiana.
“You never know the Kingdom results that might come from the seeds that were planted,” said Beau Colle, director of missions for Delta Baptist Association. “From the time this committee began working for a year and a half to put this together, everybody just jumped in to do something to reach lost people and plant seeds of the faith.
“Our churches are diligent, week by week, preaching the Gospel,” he continued. “But sometimes you have to go outside the lines and do things that are out of the ordinary to try to plant seeds to reach people for the Kingdom.”
Leading up to the crusade, the 14 churches in the association participated in individual prayer times, a day of prayer and “Bless Every Home,” a computer-based program for targeting neighborhoods with prayer.
Wes Faulk, pastor of the First Baptist Vidalia, said many in his church found Bless Every Home an effective tool to intentionally pray for their neighbors. For 20 days, Bless Every Home participants received a daily email containing names (heads of household) and addresses for five neighboring houses as a reminder to pray for the salvation of members of that home – for a total of 100 of their neighboring families.
“Many people in our churches said it was so neat to meet their neighbors because they got to pray for them,” he said. “The push for our church has been to go beyond our walls and build relationships.
“We don’t need to be just the First Baptist Church in Vidalia but to serve as the First Baptist Church for Vidalia. This event was one of many things working towards that mission of our church. We are a church in the city that exists for the city.”