Baptisms on the Rise in Ohio
Baptism at H2O Church Athens. Church Planter Joe Kaloger serves as pastor.
By Dr. Jeremy Westbrook
Throughout the decades evangelism has been defined as simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. This has been and always will be one of my favorites, if not, my favorite expression of our ultimate mission as followers of Christ. Have you ever thought about why the Lord leaves us here on Earth after we are saved? The Scriptures teach us in 2 Corinthians 5 that it is to represent Him as an ambassador and bring as many people with us to Heaven as possible!
I am so thankful for my Ohio Baptist family and how you are fulfilling the Great Commission across the street and around the world. I just received our Annual Church Profile statistics for the 2022 reporting year. I am beyond thrilled to share with you that our SCBO family has been busy telling others where to find the Bread of Life, resulting in 2,296 baptisms last year.
SCBO churches have reported a 39% increase in baptisms over the past two years. [* Source: Annual Church Profile, May 4, 2023]
Not only is this an incredible number, but it also represents a thirty-two percent increase over the 2021 reporting year, with a recorded 1,735 baptisms. It also indicates a thirty-nine percent increase over the past two years, going back to the 2020 reporting `year, which saw 1,651 baptisms.
Although we are not quite back to pre-Covid numbers, we are moving forward and experiencing an amazing movement of the Lord among our churches across the state. I want to encourage all our churches to continue to engage your community with the gospel and to stay focused on the mission, not the mess. The Southern Baptist Convention needs healthy state conventions, which in turn need healthy churches. Ultimately, we are a convention of churches. Therefore, my prayer is for our SCBO churches to be healthy, through obeying the Great Commandment and fulfilling the Great Commission.
Please remember that if you are a cooperating SCBO church and contributing to the Cooperative Program, there are evangelism grants that your local church can apply for to help those around you find the Bread of Life. Please reach out to me at email@example.com for more information on these grants. Remember, we are all just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.
Dr. Jeremy Westbrook