VALDOSTA, GA – Joseph York, the 20-year-old son of the Tommy and Greta York, walked down the aisle during the recent Bible conference at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta. He made a commitment to Christ and became a candidate for baptism. Tommy, who serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Northside had the privilege of baptizing his son on the following Sunday and noticed that the baptismal candidates were lined up so far that it created a traffic jam at the baptistry.
Pastor Robby Foster said the church has witnessed 67 baptisms since Christmas and 43 of them in just the past three Sundays. He has also scheduled baptisms each Sunday leading up to Easter. Much of the response at the Valdosta church was fruit gleaned from the recent Bible conference that greatly impacted the church and surrounding community.
“I believe that one of the things that most impacted the Bible Conference was prayer,” Pastor Foster said. “Our people prayed, and God really moved. The atmosphere in our church right now is electric. People are excited to be there and really engage in worship.”
“The preachers brought God honoring messages that were very timely for our Conference,” Pastor Foster said. “Each message was unique, and God ordained. People were saved and lives were impacted in almost every service. I am praying that new believers will be nurtured in the faith and that our congregation will develop an urgency about spreading the Gospel. Our prayer is to reach Lowndes County with the message of the cross and that our church will be a witness for Christ all over the world.”
Josh Foster, the church’s pastor of discipleship and evangelism, said the focus of the Bible Conference was Christ-exalting worship and the passionate preaching of God’s Word.
“Guests came because our people faithfully invited them to come,” he said. “Others just showed up, but the attendance was very encouraging. We had high intensity games with an evangelistic Bible emphasis for the children; and there were almost a dozen children who trusted Christ during the Conference. That added feature for children proved to be meaningful, fruitful, and very well received.”
Josh Foster said a Saturday morning session of the Bible conference was the turning point when Brad Waters, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hazlehurst, preached a powerful sermon on Deuteronomy 6 entitled ‘’A Home Built on Truth.”
During that sermon, he said, it was obvious that men in particular became broken before God, and from that point on people began to get their priorities in order.
“I have preached at Northside on numerous occasions and through the years gospel seeds have been planted, but now the church is beginning to see a remarkable harvest,” said evangelist Rick Coram, also one of the preachers for the conference.
Davy Register, a current deacon and former deacon chairman at Northside, had the privilege of baptizing his 27-year-old son, Dalton, who went to the altar after North Jacksonville Baptist Church Pastor Herb Reavis’ sermon emphasizing the need for those who believe to be baptized. Coincidentally, Davy baptized Dalton on March 5, the same date of his baptism four years earlier.
Register, echoed the pastor’s assessment of life at Northside, saying; “It is never just another Sunday at Northside. We just count the days and hours until we can go back. It is like a revival in every service; unlike anything I have ever been a part of. You can just feel the Spirit of God. Today is Monday, but I can’t wait to get back to church on Wednesday night to hear our pastor teach the Word, because his sermons are passionate, sincere, heartfelt, and bathed in prayer.”
Pastor Robby Foster expressed confidence that music plays a big part in creating an atmosphere that is conducive to genuine worship. He exclaimed, “Our worship team is dynamic. The music is very upbeat. The choir, band and orchestra consisting of about 110 people lead us into courts of praise with passion and enthusiasm for Jesus. When they begin to sing the people really begin to worship Jesus.”
Tommy York is a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta. Almost five years ago Tommy and his family moved back to the Valdosta area after being away for a number of years including a five-year stint in Nebraska where they attended a mega church with thousands of members and a superlative music ministry. He explained, “Northside’s music is different. Our choir, orchestra and soloists provide music that is genuine. There is a spiritual authenticity about it.
“When we came back to Valdosta, Northside Baptist was the first church we visited and within ten minutes we knew this was going to be our church home. The church is our family and there is a sincerity about the church body. The worship services are second to none and it is evident that the Spirit of God is upon our pastor when he preaches.”
Christians have every reason to believe God may be up to something in these perilous days. Could it be that a genuine spiritual awakening is on the horizon. Bible Conferences at 1025 Church in Monroe, First Baptist Church in Villa Rica, First Baptist Church in Hazlehurst have also reported a spirit of revival and souls being saved.
Arthur Wallis, in his book “In the Day of Thy Power”, writes, “Revival is divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual things. It is God revealing Himself to man in awful holiness and irresistible power. It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed, and human programs abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the Lord making bare His holy arm and working in the extraordinary power on saint and sinner.”
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