I have just returned from a glorious week of outreach at Fellowship Baptist Church in Steinhatchee, FL. My heart has been both encouraged and exhilarated, because of their new pastor’s desire and determination to evangelize this needy community. Steinhatchee is well known for fishing, scalloping and crabbing. However, it is also a tragic fact that well over 30% of their population lives below the poverty level. That is obviously far above the average of the rest of the state of Florida. Oh, but Pastor Jeremy Tatum sees this physical poverty as a tremendous evangelistic opportunity to reach out to the spiritually poor! The following words are the personal testimony of Pastor Jeremy:
“Bro. Ed Lacy has been coming to minister to Fellowship Baptist Church of Steinhatchee for 10 years. But this past week was the first time that I personally sat under his teaching. It was a tremendous blessing to my life! Bro. Ed kicked off the week by preaching about the terrible tragedy of being “Christianized; but not converted”! This was a wonderfully challenging message, which caused the people to examine themselves. Each message that followed seemed to build upon the previous one. In each sermon, the gospel message was clear and relevant. Sinners were called to repentance and Christ-followers were admonished to examine themselves.
Our church has been reaching out to the multitudes of ‘the lost and poor within our community’, through our food pantry ministry. It serves as a means for us to proclaim the gospel ‘one on one’, to those who come to receive food. On Wednesday evening, we offered a free spaghetti dinner to all of those who we are ministering to at the food pantry. God blessed us with a tremendous attendance from the community on that final evening. It was especially encouraging that many people, who attended the service, were powerfully impacted. They heard a clear and powerful presentation of the Gospel. We saw the Holy Spirit bring sinners under conviction. I believe that God will use this evening of evangelistic outreach to accomplish His purpose in the salvation of many souls. As a matter of fact, I am very excited to hit the streets and go door to door, in follow-up of this wonderful week of outreach!
During our time with Bro. Ed, many seeds were planted and watered. Sinners were confronted with their desperate condition and their urgent need for the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, the body of Christ at Fellowship Baptist Church was edified, admonished and encouraged. Even my wife, (who was baptized as a young child, but not truly converted until a few years ago), has expressed her desire to be obedient and follow her Savior in believer’s baptism. Additionally, a 83 year-old man from our congregation also wishes to be obedient to the Lord in believer’s baptism. For he has come to realize that he was not converted until 3 years ago, when Bro. Ed taught his ‘Christcentered Discipleship’ study. I can gladly say that it was an honor to have him fill the pulpit at Fellowship. We are assured that the people of God were greatly benefited. As a matter of fact, the people are still talking about what a blessing it was! We cannot wait until next year’s meeting!”