Twenty-seven people recently surrendered their lives to Christ in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. It happened at First Baptist Church, where nearly 200 men gathered for what was billed as “Hunt Harvest,” a dinner provided by churches in Black River Baptist Association.
The event was designed to reach those who hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors, organizers said. Charles Morgan, associational missionary, planned the opportunity for fellow enthusiasts, with the purpose of reaching those who may not have a church home.
Reaching the lost
“The main focus was to reach out to lost people,” Morgan said of the Feb. 11 event. “People who wouldn’t necessarily come to a church, but they would come to an event like this. It was for fellowship, but it wasn’t really aimed at fellowship — we were aiming for souls. We were wanting to get the lost people.”
Featured speaker Sam Moore, a full-time evangelist from Bentonville, presented a message about deer hunting, using it as an illustration while presenting the gospel.
Nearly 190 men attended the Hunt Harvest and 27 made professions of faith in Christ.
“If you’re willing to work together and reach out, we can see souls saved in today’s world,” Morgan said.
He noted events like this allow men to get comfortable with church.
“A lot of men don’t feel comfortable, or don’t think they’re going to feel comfortable, coming into the church,” Morgan noted. “This allows them to get comfortable and know, ‘Hey, I could sit next to this person. I have something in common with them.’”
Food, music, football
First Baptist Church DeWitt also held the second Outdoorsman Supper and Cooking Contest. Pastor Jimmy Albrecht said about 250 men attended. Fifteen submitted food in the cooking contest and five trophies were awarded.
Guest speaker Rubin Weaver, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Farmerville, wrote in a Facebook post that the building was packed, “with folks standing and some having to make seats out of ice chests.”
Pastor Albrecht noted, “When you get men together to hear the gospel, man, that’s always, always encouraging.”
According to Albrecht, at least one man made a profession of faith in Christ, and he is sure other decisions were made.
“Our desire is to see men come to know Jesus,” Albrecht noted. “When men say we’re going to follow Jesus in our family, the family does. That’s why we think it’s important to try to reach out to the men in our community.”
Beast Feast, an annual sportsman banquet at Second Baptist Church Conway, is held every winter and is open to men and boys of all ages.
It features live music, games, outdoor exhibits, food and, this year, guest speaker Jon Kitna, a retired NFL quarterback. He delivered a message about the importance of following God and making Jesus the center of life.
The Feast was held at the Conway Expo and Event Center, with some 2,500 in attendance, noted Daniel Hollinger, chairman of the event. More than a dozen made commitments to Christ.
“Our key verse is Proverbs 27:17, ‘As iron sharpens iron one man sharpens another.’ We have a great time putting on the event, but it’s about sharing that gospel message,” Hollinger said. “That’s why we do it.”
At Second Baptist Church Jacksonville more than 260 men from across central Arkansas gathered to hear from Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber during a “What’s at Steak” men’s event. Held in conjunction with North Pulaski Baptist Association, it included worship, fellowship and steak.
“It was a phenomenal night,” said David O’Dell, pastor of Second Baptist. “The worship, the fellowship and men singing their hearts out … . There’s nothing like it.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Mary Alford and originally published by Arkansas Baptist News.