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Students participate in evangelism at Reaching Out 2005
May 02, 2005
By David Roach

Southern students share Christ in the Louisville community as part of Reaching Out 2005 April 16. Approximately 50 students participated in the evangelistic event. Photo by Jiri Prochazka

A group of students and faculty from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary translated their theological knowledge into practical ministry during Reaching Out 2005 April 16.

Participating in a variety of evangelistic projects including servant evangelism and survey work, approximately 50 students shared the Gospel with Louisville residents in conjunction with the seminary's annual Great Commission Week.

David Sills, director of Southern's Great Commission Center and associate professor of missions and cultural anthropology, said Reaching Out represents an opportunity for members of the seminary community to fulfill the biblical charge to spread the message of Christ to the world.

"The Great Commission Center coordinates missions activities involving our faculty and students in ministry all over the world," he said. "Reaching Out Louisville is just one of several events that the Great Commission Center uses to involve students and faculty in ministry and evangelism in the greater Louisville area."

Sills cited this year's event as particularly successful because of the way in which seminary students were able to assist local churches.

"This year we had approximately fifty people working with five churches," he said. "Several students worked with Lakeside Baptist Church in a servant evangelism task. Other students worked with Cedar Creek Baptist Church, Meadow Hills Baptist Church, Cross Road Church and Harrison Hills Baptist Church. These students performed door-to-door surveys to assist the churches better minister to their communities. Several prospects were found for each church and the churches are actively following up on these prospects."

Regina Maynard, a master of divinity student from Belfry, Ky., who conducted evangelistic surveys in conjunction with a Louisville church, noted that God prepared people's hearts to hear the Gospel during Reaching Out.

"One of the biggest blessings was just seeing the way the God had already gone before us and prepared some of the people that we talked to," she said. "A couple of them were open and receptive, and you could just see how God was working in their lives already. It was just a reminder of God's faithfulness that when we go, He's already preparing the way for us."

Lisa Pumpelly, a master of arts student from Columbus, Ohio, worked on a team that canvassed a neighborhood surrounding a Louisville-area church. Evangelistic events like Reaching Out are valuable for seminary students because they present opportunities to supplement classroom training with hands-on ministry projects, Pumpelly said.

"It's important that we're actually out doing on a consistent level," she said. "That's something that benefits the churches that we're connected to as a seminary and also gives us some experiences doing different things."

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