Another 20 people come to Christ at Brewton-Parker as Georgia revival grows


MOUNT VERNON, Ga. – Another 20 people made salvation decisions on Tuesday as part of a growing revival movement in Georgia that has seen hundreds of people come to Christ in recent weeks.

The latest occurrence was in a chapel service at Brewton-Parker College in the southern part of the state.

“We’re seeing a spiritual hunger, and, as a result, we’re seeing an awesome move of God,” said Brewton-Parker President Steven Echols.

The 20 professions of faith on the Mount Vernon campus came just three days after 102 people claimed Christ in an evangelistic outreach in one of Georgia’s toughest neighborhoods, one that had become known as Little Chicago because of its high crime rate.

“It’s thrilling to see God moving in such a way,” said W. Thomas Hammond Jr., executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “God is answering the prayers of His people who are asking to see revival in the land. We could be on the cusp of something incredible. Wouldn’t it be something to see revival fires ignited in Georgia and beyond?”

In the Columbus Baptist Association, Associational Missionary Jimmy Blanton said he had been heartbroken by surveys that showed fewer than 10 percent of the people living in the 31907 zip code area attend church, an indicator that perhaps 90 percent of residents there are spiritually lost.

That led Blanton and other church leaders to develop a plan they dubbed CrossOver907, which sent about 260 volunteers into the community  on Saturday to visit homes to tell residents about Jesus. They also threw block parties in local parks with food and activities to share the gospel.

Two days earlier in nearby Carrollton, Ga., more than 1,100 people turned out for a Roopville Road Baptist Church initiative that included a low-country boil, a get-together that centers around a delicious meal of boiled shrimp and other seafoods with sausage, corn, potatoes and other ingredients all combined in the same pot. Pastor Stephen Peeples said seven people made professions of faith at that event.

And in Sylvester, Ga., more than 100 people made professions of faith during an evangelistic outreach sponsored by a group of churches in southern Georgia the week before.

Hammond said the COVID-19 pandemic could actually be the trigger for what’s happening in Georgia.

“Since the pandemic, it seems as though there’s a greater receptivity to spiritual truth and eternal hope,” he said.

Churches began to see salvation decisions rise when they returned to pre-pandemic activities, including revival services, community outreaches, block parties and more.

In northeast Georgia, 17 salvation decisions were reported earlier this month at two Christian learning centers where public school students go for Bible studies. Mike Blount, mission strategist in the Tugalo Baptist Association, said those professions of faith were among 30 made since August in the learning centers.

“It’s amazing to see what God is doing,” Blount said.

Other ministry leaders also have used the word “amazing” to talk about recent instances of revival, including at Shorter University where 24 students made decisions for Christ during a chapel service in late February.

Shorter President Donald Dowless called what happened “a mighty movement of God.”

Georgia Baptist Convention President Kevin Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, preached in the chapel services at both Shorter and Brewton-Parker. He said he feels blessed to have been able to be a part of what the Lord is doing in the state.

Brewton-Parker also reported more than 20 salvation decisions at a campus tent revival last fall.

In Moultrie, Kingwood Baptist Church Pastor Matt Greene reported 30 salvation decisions during a four-day revival in early February. That’s in a church with average Sunday attendance of about 80 people.

In Woodstock, First Baptist Church baptized 99 people on a single Sunday in September, and in Bethlehem, Bethlehem Church baptized 114 on a single Sunday in August.

More than 1,500 Georgia Baptists turned out for regional evangelism training events sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in February and early March, an indicator that the state’s largest religious group is ready to get back to the kind of soul-winning it has historically been known for.

“This is the largest turnout we’ve seen in years,” said JJ Washington, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s evangelism catalyst who organized the multi-site and multi-day conference. “We’re seeing renewed excitement in both the pulpits and the pews to win our state for Christ.”