Crossover reaches out to Orlando
James Dotson and Mickey Noah, Baptist Press
June 14, 2010

Crossover reaches out to Orlando

Crossover reaches out to Orlando
James Dotson and Mickey Noah, Baptist Press
June 14, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. — A friendly

conversation, a story, a realization and a prayer: that’s the gist of what

happens when one person shares and another accepts the simple gospel of Jesus

Christ. And while the methods and venues may have varied, the scene played out

more than 1,400 times June 7-12 as Southern Baptists expressed their core

message of hope through Crossover Orlando.

BP photo by Cat McDonald

Chris Hobbs, 25, a youth pastor from Texas, shares the gospel with Mike Frazier of Apopka, Fla., during a block party June 12 at First Baptist Church of Apopka as part of Crossover Orlando. The event is one of a series of evangelistic outreaches held prior to the Southern Baptist Convention.

The effort, held just prior

to the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 15-16 annual meeting at the Orange

County Convention Center, involved more than 70 local churches and 1,200

outside volunteers. Venues included weeklong Hispanic Crossover and Intentional

Community Evangelism (ICE) efforts, as well as a one-day blitz June 12 that

included 15 neighborhood block parties, visits to homes, food distribution at

five churches, free water bottles for tourists on International Drive and a

huge family festival for the Hispanic community at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

“The best thing summing up

the week for me was for people to see Southern Baptists at their best —

cooperating with one another at association, state and national levels,” said

Mike Armstrong, executive pastor of First Baptist Church of Winter Park and

coordinator of Crossover Orlando. “They saw the best of what Southern Baptists

truly are, and that is a cooperative people.”

Crossover is coordinated

nationally through the North American Mission Board. Bill Faulkner, director of

missions for the 168 churches in the Greater Orlando Baptist Association, said

he believes the benefits will extend far beyond the spiritual decisions that

were made.

“Encouraging churches in an

event like this will help them see that they can do this all the time,”

Faulkner said. “It doesn’t have to be a special event. It doesn’t have to be

necessarily with volunteers from outside. They see it and they say, ‘Wow, we

can do this.’”

Additionally, decisions

recorded throughout Crossover are distributed to local churches for immediate

follow-up with individuals.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Dotson and

Noah are writers with the North American Mission Board.)