BETHLEHEM, Ga. – Georgia churches continued to see growing numbers of people turning to Christ over the past week, fueling hopes of spiritual revival in the Bible Belt state.
One congregation, Cascade Hills Baptist Church in Columbus, recorded 187 salvation decisions over the Easter weekend. Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring reported 111 new believers; First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, 60, Britt David Baptist Church in Columbus, 32, and Midway Church of Villa Rica, 20.
That’s by no means a full accounting of salvation decisions with congregations all over the state reporting huge increases in both attendance and professions of faith during Easter and in the weeks leading up to the Chirstian holy day.
Jason Britt, lead pastor at Bethlehem Church northeast of Atlanta where at least 65 people made professions of faith on Easter Sunday, said people are coming to understand the benefits of walking with Christ in a chaotic world.
“There’s a brokenness to people, an emptiness in our culture that’s at an all-time high,” Britt said. “Jesus fills a void nothing else can, and broken people searching for any other answer in an empty culture are going to be left wanting. They’re realizing they need Jesus.”
Georgia Baptist Mission Board Evangelism Catalyst JJ Washington said attendance and professions of faith have been rising as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic subside.
“We’re seeing our churches getting back to the main thing,” Washington said. “During the pandemic, a lot of guys were in survival mode, but, now that that’s behind us, I think people are moving from in-reach to outreach.”
More than 40 people made professions of faith in the small Georgia town of Millen last week in a joint revival held in the town’s Pal Theater.
“I’ve never seen a move of the Lord like this,” said Millen Baptist Church Pastor Brad Asbury.
A growing number of Georgians from across the state have made professions of faith in recent weeks in what denominational leaders hope is the beginning of a widespread awakening.
The Millen revival came the same week as one at Pineland Baptist Church in Thomasville where 19 people made salvation decisions.
Before that Mount Vernon, it was college students, 20 of them, who made salvation decisions in a chapel service at Brewton-Parker College.
Three days before that, 102 Columbus residents 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.
Three weeks ago, more than 1,100 people turned out for a Roopville Road Baptist Church initiative in Carrollton 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 area churches.
Georgia 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 in March 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.
At Shorter University, 24 students made decisions for Christ during a chapel service in late February.
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.
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