While many churches experience a decline in attendance during an evangelistic series, attendance consistently increased at a recent series held at Greeneville Adventist Academy (GAA). By the final night, additional chairs had to be set up in the school gymnasium, where the series took place.
While this series was presented by academy students, the idea was born during the 2022 Georgia-Cumberland Teacher/Pastor Conference, where a presenter challenged schools to work together with their local churches in an evangelism project. Two of the high school teachers from GAA, Philip Mitchell, grade 9-10 homeroom teacher, and Angela Emde, grade 11-12 homeroom teacher, looked at each other and said, “Let’s do this!”
With the support of the school’s two constituent churches, Greeneville Church and Riverview Community Church, GAA prepared for and conducted a nine-part sermon series entitled “My Rescue Story: Jesus Saves!” This student-led series was a study of the plan of salvation as seen through the parables of Jesus.
All the high school students participated: the juniors and seniors were in charge of sermons, greeting, and registration while freshmen and sophomores were in charge of children’s stories and music. Attendance averaged 130 each night, with 166 on the closing night. At the final night’s appeal, 15 students came forward for baptism and/or rebaptism, including five from families that weren’t Adventist! There were few dry eyes in the room as these students committed their lives to Jesus. The high school students are currently conducting follow-up Bible studies with those who came forward.
This most definitely is something that GAA wants to do again. Several sophomores have already exclaimed, “I can’t wait until I get to preach!” It was an amazing blessing for the school and church communities, and people heard about Jesus’ plan of salvation, many for the first time.
Georgia-Cumberland | February 2023