In what some would describe as “an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit,” Crossgates Baptist Church Brandon, Mississippi, recently baptized 104 believers during a worship service that lasted five hours.
David Jett, senior pastor, began a sermon series in February from the Gospel of Luke about people needing Jesus.
“In our worship center we made a cross with little slits to hold cards. We gave people a card … and on one side it said, ‘Far from God people,’” noted Jett, who has served as pastor of the church for of Crossgate for the past 15 years.
“I challenged them to pray and ask God to put into their minds the names of people who were far from God — people who don’t yet know Christ, or maybe people who once went to church and drifted away.”
During Feb. 5 services, people were encouraged to lay their cards on the altar. Jett told the congregation the staff would be praying for those people every week through Easter.
Co-pastor Kyle Reno noted, “I was sitting next to my wife and his [Jett’s] wife during the first service. About that time the baptistry water started stirring. You could audibly hear it. Immediately in my spirit I believed that God wanted us to see the waters churned.”
Reno said he walked over to Jett and told him, “I believe the Lord wants us to believe that we’ll see people move from being ‘far from God’ to people walking through the water and being baptized.”
When Reno shared that in both worship services, everyone stood, stretched their hands out and prayed.
‘A call to be baptized — now’
Prior to Reno preaching on Feb. 19, he shared with Jett what he was learning.
“It was about Peter being called by Jesus,” Jett noted. “Peter left everything and followed Jesus. That was immediate obedience. Several in our church have a call to ministry on their lives, so it’s a call to surrender everything. To others, it’s a call to be baptized — now.”
Brad Randall, Crossgates’ discipleship pastor, was sent to Walmart to purchase every pair of black shorts for those who would be baptized that day. The church also purchased as many towels as they could and special T-shirts were handed out.
Reno gave an open invitation at the end of the first worship service, and Jett stepped forward to encourage people not to miss the opportunity.
A woman named Holly gave her testimony, and a steady stream of people followed.
‘God’s on the move’
“The big thing was that people kept talking about total surrender,” Jett related. “The other thing that was interesting was probably 80% of the people coming forward were weeping, deeply moved by what God was doing in their hearts.
“I tell our church, ‘God’s on the move.’ I just don’t want to miss it,” he said.