Don Hannel says he prayed for years to reach the communities near the church he pastors, First Baptist Church Pleasant Hill, Illinois, but doors did not open until this spring.
Located in the narrow wedge between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, about 30 miles south of Pleasant Hill, the town of Hardin, Illinois, has no Southern Baptist church. First, came the opportunity to host a Bible study. Next, a door opened for a block party. Hannel decided to spread the love, hosted three block parties in one weekend.
The church partnered with Hangar Church from Brandon, Mississippi. They started in Kampsville with bounce houses, food service provided by Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief and worship led by Hangar Church. Hannel tallied up 162 local guests.
The next day, they set up camp in Hardin and reached 138 guests. Then on Sunday, FBC Pleasant Hill held their regular services and closed the weekend with a block party in their town with 133 guests.
Hannel plans to continue this momentum with Bible studies called Journey Groups in Hardin.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was originally published by the Illinois Baptist State Association.