A revival can be defined as many things from an evangelistic meeting to a reawakening of spiritual fervor. Pastor Brian Bailey has seen both at his church during the past year and he is in awe of what God is doing in his church and community.
At the beginning of 2023, New Hope Baptist Church of Newtonville was in a difficult situation. The congregation was without a pastor and their numbers were dwindling. Each Sunday they might have 8 to 10 people in attendance. But God was working, and they were praying. Pastor Brian Bailey came and began providing pulpit supply for the first half of the year and after six months, the church invited him to become their pastor permanently. Pastor Brian says, “In those first months, the church came alive!” He began introducing the people to how to study their Bibles and watched as the congregation started sharing what they were learning with family and friends. Soon many came to faith in Christ. Pastor Brian asked the deacons to prepare the baptistry for baptisms, and the deacons shared that they didn’t even know if the baptistry still worked! To God’s glory, 2023 saw the first baptisms at New Hope Baptist Church in over seven years! Pastor Brian has had the privilege to baptize 19 in just this past year alone! The congregation had a new excitement and desire to share the gospel and Pastor Brian wanted to find a way to fuel that passion.
Our vision at the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana is “Connecting for Kingdom Advancement” and Brian reached out to Kenny Kidd, Director of Missions for the Southwest Baptist Association, seeking a partner to help him organize a revival meeting for his church. Kenny connected with Dr. Strother at the state office and together they recommended Pastor Mike Cramer as the speaker for this event. Pastor Mike is a seasoned pastor of 38 years who has a passion for evangelism and a heart for church health. He readily agreed and began preparations with Pastor Brian.
On November 11-13th, Pastor Mike led a three day Evangelism Seminar and worship services. Brian shared that Mike was the perfect man for what they needed. He brought a powerful message and vision, and the church is still soaking it in. Mike shared, “I am reaping what I did not sow. I have hope that this excitement won’t end and that this congregation won’t grow complacent”. Both men came away from this weekend encouraged as they watched God move through the congregation. There were over 100 in attendance during this impactful weekend and 12 people came to the altar to make first-time decisions to follow Christ or to rededicate themselves to following Christ. Monday night as the conference ended, the church gathered around their pastor in a spirit of unity to pray and seek the Lord.
God is at work in Newtonville through a small church that has found new hope and new passion. He is using the ministry of Pastor Brian Bailey to lead the change and through the partnership of the SCBI, Brian found a ministry partner and friend in Pastor Mike Cramer. We as churches are better together and this is just one example of how God is at work as He connects our churches for kingdom advancement.