SILVER CREEK, Ga. – Localized revivals that have been popping up across Georgia over the past year reached Silver Creek where 21 people made salvation decisions at a Thursday evening sportsmen’s banquet at Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church.
“You could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit,” said Pastor Philip May. “It was all ages of people who got saved.”
Professional fisherman Clay Dyer, a longtime evangelist, shared the gospel with the more than 600 guests and 100 volunteers. Dyer has made a name for himself over the years as both a bass fisherman and as a fisher of men speaking at outdoors events across the country.
Churches have been reporting mass numbers of professions of faith in every part of Georgia over the past year. That includes 42 people who made salvation decisions two weeks ago at Dudley Baptist Church in central Georgia and 30 more at Hopeful Baptist Church in Camilla.
Congregations across the state have reported single-day salvation decisions ranging from a few dozens to nearly 200 since last year.
As a result, Georgia Baptist churches reported 14,333 baptisms in the past year, up from 12,865 the previous year. The latest numbers account for only slightly more than half of the state’s 3,400 churches, so the total number of baptisms could be far higher.
The localized revivals continued into the new year.
In February, 41 people surrendered to Christ at a wild game dinner in the fellowship hall at Bethel Baptist Church in Omega where some 400 men had gathered for a meal that included a variety of wild game, including deer, hog and quail.
Pastor Troy Dykes said members of his congregation had been praying for a harvest of souls and the Lord answered those prayers among a group of camo-clad guys, many of whom are more accustomed to sitting in tree stands than church pews.
“God moved like we had never seen Him move before,” Dykes said. “It’s a fantastic feeling to know God used our event to change men’s lives.”
In January, First Baptist Church in Blackshear reported 19 professions of faith at a venison supper. Another 28 people recommitted their lives to Christ at that event.
And in north Georgia, Cassville Baptist Church began the new year with nine baptisms, the first sign that the spontaneous revivals were continuing into the new year.
At Silver Creek, May said corporate sponsors financed the sportsmen’s banquet and provided some $25,000 in door prizes for those who attended. Those door prizes included hunting and fishing equipment, barbecue grills, guided fishing trips, camping equipment, a kayak, and more. One sponsor also provided a vehicle that was given away as grand prize.
Dyer, who was born without legs and with only one partial arm, delivered a motivational challenge to the Silver Creek crowd, telling them, “If I can, you can.”
Dyer claims Philippians 4:13, which declares “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” as his life verse.
“When he shares his testimony, all attention is on Jesus,” May said. “The Lord is really using this man. He really touches the hearts of lost people.”
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