Richard and Richie Halverson share more than the title of evangelist; they also share the title of father and son. From March 17 to April 8, the Halversons have held an evangelistic crusade in Mississippi in two locations. Son Richie preached at the College Drive Church in Pearl, Mississippi, and father Richard preached at The Ridge Church plant in Clinton, Mississippi. God blessed the event tremendously, with 18 people joining the Church.
With no signs of stopping, the duo plan to start another set of meetings in Tupelo and Corinth, Mississippi, in the summer months. Richie credits his father’s ministry as one of his earliest influences. “It was a part of our family upbringing. We had to go to the meetings whether we wanted to or not .… I remember as a young person going with my dad visiting people. It was just a part of my life.” For his part, Richard couldn’t be more proud of his son. “I’m glad for the fervor that he has …. When you step out in these meetings you are nervous, and you’re not sure what’s gonna happen …. I think the most beautiful thing I’ve seen is that he has a desire to reach souls for Jesus. And, there’s no better way than evangelism.”
This crusade is a first in many respects; both preachers are speaking simultaneously at different church locations. “We’ve done this intentionally,” explained Richie. “This is the first time we’ve done one meeting for The Ridge Church plant and another meeting for the College Drive Church (the mother church) at the same time …. It’s kind of forced the two churches to take ownership, which can be a good thing.” Richard expounded on the special nature of these meetings, “I’ve done citywide meetings before, but I’ve never done a meeting where I was working with just my son. I’ve always wanted to do it. It’s been awesome.”
The method both father and son have used in this crusade is to mix the old with the new. In the era of social media and the internet, technology plays a big role in evangelism efforts — but for both pastors nothing beats the personal touch. “That’s probably the strongest avenue, the Holy Spirit working together with you when you interact with people,” explained Richard. “When they know that you really care, they’re more moved to make decisions.” Richie went further in depth, “It’s great using social media …. We’re advertising on Facebook and on Instagram, getting people talking about the subjects. The drawback is that there is no substitute for personal interaction. We don’t Facebook live or live stream. We want people to come out and get the one-on-one interaction. What my father has imprinted on me, whether I’m a pastor or whatever I am, is the need to do public, personal evangelism.” The secret to both father and son’s success is that, as Richard put it, “Christ is at the center of every message we have, rather than just doctrine. People need to see that you’re concerned about them, and that God has great things in store for them.”
The duo will begin meetings in the Tupelo, Mississippi, district, July 14, 2017.
Gulf States | June 2017