Tennessee Church Baptizes 120 People... In One Night!

I have never seen or heard of anything like this... EVER! New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN had four services over a period of just one weekend. The church drew in about 2,400 people throughout that whole weekend. But the amazing part of the whole weekend was the fact that they 120 people accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior by being baptized!

The church also promoted an "As You Go" campaign which challenged church members to choose a non-Christian, then pray for that person and develop a relationship, and present the Gospel. Members held a call to prayer and fasting as part of the As You Go emphasis. Participants were challenged to fast one day and show up that evening in the church sanctuary to pray for the people they had committed to reach. At the end of the prayer time, church members were encouraged to conclude their fasting by taking communion. People of all age groups, including youth, came and went during the evening, not following any particular schedule.

“Often people would pray for 15 to 20 minutes for the person they had chosen before placing a card with the person's name on it on the altar and taking communion,” the church's pastor, Brady Cooper, said.

Cooper pointed out the importance of people being willing to sacrifice by fasting and coming to church to pray specifically for friends and acquaintances who didn't know Christ. In the days that followed, the church offered a crash course in evangelism in order to help people become more comfortable with sharing the Gospel with the people they had committed to reach. The church also offered what they called summer school classes during worship times, starting with the topic "assurance of salvation" and moving on to "faith" and "fundamentals of baptism."

After waiting for the rain to stop outside, the crowd moved out to a nearby field with three huge crosses. God provided a rainbow in the sky. Changing rooms and clothes were provided for people who had made professions of faith in Jesus and wanted to be baptized that night. An above-ground swimming pool was ready to serve as the baptistery in the field, and the church's ministers worked with several groups of about five baptism candidates at a time. A family, including an older couple, their son and his son, was baptized together, among others.

The pastor said the staff members, some of whom were young and hadn't baptized many people in their short ministries, experienced as much joy as those who were being baptized.

"There was an overwhelming sense of God's presence," said Cooper, who has been pastor of New Vision Baptist for five years. In addition to the As You Go campaign, the church's Vacation Bible School and youth camp recently had concluded before the baptism event, and participants who had made professions of faith at those events also were baptized that night.

When it was over, 120 people had been baptized, exceeding the goal of 100 people the church had set three months prior as well as the total number of baptisms the church had recorded the previous year, 86.

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