We are often told by the media that the Christian Church is losing members and dying on its feet. This is not true either in the UK or internationally. Some churches may be declining, but in others God is working powerfully. We bring you the story of one, a once-small Baptist church in the USA where several hundreds have come to a living experience of Jesus Christ during the past three or four years. The story is told by their pastor, Robert L. Dickie.
I have been the pastor of Berean Baptist Church for nearly 23 years. They have been wonderful years of teaching the Word of God among a small, struggling but faithful flock of believers in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
I have always maintained a strong emphasis on the gospel of Jesus Christ – and on the free grace and sovereign power of God in saving men and women from their sins. We have had blessings and a few conversions along the way, but nothing on the scale that we have seen recently.
Perseverance in preaching
As we struggled to be faithful to the Bible’s message, there were many voices urging us to try novel ideas and innovations. So-called church growth experts told us that if we just did this thing or that thing, we would draw a crowd. But we simply persevered in preaching ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’.
I would often be the last person to leave church on Sunday evening. I would slip into an empty pew and cry out to the Lord to come down upon our little flock with revival and spiritual blessing.
I poured out my heart to the Lord and vowed that I would be ever faithful to his Word and the message of grace, and that I would never compromise my convictions and methods to draw a crowd.
Windows of heaven
Recently, we have seen the windows of heaven opened for us here and have witnessed several hundred conversions, many of them unusual. All that has happened has been by God’s grace – it is his blessing alone and I desire to give all the glory to the Lord for what he has done.
I am aware that some of these many converts may prove to be tares among the wheat. Time will reveal who really belong to Christ and are ‘called according to his purpose’. But for now I am pleased to share a few of the many testimonies of those whose hearts the Lord has opened to the truth of the gospel.
I trust that this will be an encouragement to all of God’s servants to be faithful, prayerful, and to go on proclaiming the glorious gospel of our sovereign and risen Saviour.