The gospel comes to New Orleans: 336 people make salvation decisions leading up to SBC annual meeting


NEW ORLEANS — A young mother saw a group of Southern Baptists who were sharing the gospel in New Orleans, so she yelled to them.

“I need to be saved.”

Tim Dowdy, former pastor of Eagle’s Landing Baptist Church in Georgia now serving with the North American Mission Board, said they went over to her and explained the plan of salvation.

“That young mom came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior,” he said, sparking boisterous applause from more than 12,000 messengers gathered inside the convention center in downtown New Orleans for the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

The young mother, holding her baby in her arms, was one of 336 New Orleans residents made professions of faith during an evangelistic outreach that involved Southern Baptists fanning out across the city in the days leading up to the annual meeting, said Steve Horn, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

Dowdy told messengers “the widespread lostness of North America is heartbreaking.”

“Wherever we go, whatever we do, we need to be diligent and  focused on sharing the Lord Jesus Christ.” Dowdy said.

Horn said Southern Baptists had gospel conversations with 3,487 New Orleans residents through the evangelistic outreach. The North American Mission Board’s staff and volunteers assisted the city’s churches with the initiative.

“We desire to inspire and prepare our family of churches to share the gospel everywhere with everyone until the whole world hears,” Dowdy said. “The Great Commission is the heartbeat of everything we do.”

Across the SBC, Dowdy pointed out baptism numbers have been up over the past year,

“But there is still much work to do,” he said. “Lostness is still great.”