Most of us know something about Atlanta, that big city in Georgia, and probably some of us here today have been there. We probably have not thought about Atlanta as a mission field. But it is.
Even though there are some large and effective churches in and around Atlanta, there are not enough to reach all the lost people there. Some of the older, traditional churches are shrinking because they have lost a vision of missions.
Now we move just a little east of Atlanta to the city of Conyers and look at one of those churches that had declined.
Emmanuel Baptist Mission Church was down to eight members when Eric Suddith went there as pastor. He, his wife and their three children immediately added five more members.
Suddith was a bivocational pastor. He had served 25 years in corporate business, including 15 years as an executive at AT&T, even as he served as a minister.
Less than 10 years later, Emmanuel has some 1,300 people attending, has a new building and many community ministries.
This is the kind of church turnaround that our North American Mission Board is promoting; ministers are being trained in how to replace declining stagnation with growth.
Our church’s Cooperative Program giving is helping fund that ministry.
Now, let us ask God to bless Eric Suddith’s ministry and pray that this kind of miracle can become more and more common!