A wild game dinner where 55 men committed their lives to Christ is one of the early indications that Georgia’s post-pandemic spiritual movement is continuing into 2024.
Billy Brinson, missions strategist in the Emanuel Missionary Baptist Association, said 1,100 men gathered in Swainsboro for the wild game dinner, some 200 of them standing along walls because all the seats were filled.
“God was there,” Brinson said. “I’d never seen that many people in a gathering in Emanuel county before. It was awesome.”
22% increase in baptisms
Georgia Baptist churches reported a 22% increase in baptisms last year and an 80% jump since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was gripping the state, forcing many churches to cancel worship services and halt evangelistic outreaches to slow the spread.
Since then, Georgia Baptists have ramped up outreaches, triggering large numbers of commitments to Christ throughout the state.
At the Jan. 18 event in Swainsboro, Randy Howell, a 21-year veteran of the Bassmaster Tour and a former Bassmaster Classic champion, talked about his life before and after becoming a Christian, shedding tears at times as he described the blessings that have come from walking with Christ. He then invited the outdoorsmen gathered there to commit their lives to Christ as well.
“After seeing what I saw at that wild game supper and all that’s going on in Emanuel County, I would say, yes, there is revival going on Georgia,” Brinson said.
Bass boat, fishing gear, shotgun and more
To encourage people to attend the wild game dinner, churches, businesses and individuals in Emanuel County donated outdoor items to be given away in drawings. That included a fiberglass bass boat, fishing gear, shotguns, and rifles.
“I think there’s a special movement going on right here in Emanuel County,” Brinson said. “The worst fear I have is someone dying and going to hell, so we’re all excited that the churches are filling up with people eager to hear the Word of God.”