08 February, 2007

Rural Texas Church Boasts “25,000,000 Souls Won” in a Town of 15,000

NORTH RIVER, TEXAS

This past Sunday was a time of celebration for North River Baptist Temple.

“Today marks a major milestone in the life of our congregation!” Said Dr. Bob Green, the church’s pastor. “As of this weekend we have surpassed what we ever thought possible here at our church. Twenty-five million souls have been won to the Lord through our efforts!”

Green has led the congregation of 300 in North River, a rural town of just over 15,000 people, for over 25 years. Under his leadership the church has expanded their bus ministry as well as founded the Baptist Fundamental Bible Institute of the Southwest (BFBIS).

“Our preacher boys are out every weekend making those rounds, winning those souls, rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying.” Said Green.

Each weekend workers on the church’s bus ministry, which is comprised mainly of ministerial students at BFBIS, make rounds through the city of North River and surrounding towns within the county. They predominantly target kids in poorer neighborhoods, gathering them onto the buses for services or taking them to special services at the church. The goal of the ministry is to “win souls” through seeing the kids saved and baptized.

“We had so many souls won 5 years ago that we had to build a special swimming pool to hold baptismal services each week.” Said Green. “We really saw the number of souls won jump up that year. Our preacher boys would haul them in, we'd give them the gospel story, lead them in a sinner’s prayer and then they’d all get in the pool and we’d have a big mass baptism.”

“It’s so much fun!” Said Amanda Jackson, one of the students who would often ride the bus. “We don’t have a pool at our house or in our neighborhood. Last summer I got saved every week and got to go swimming for free. All I had to do was listen to them talk for about 10 minutes, repeat what they said, give them my name and they would let me get in the pool. Then they would give us hotdogs and candy afterwards. I’m planning on getting saved all next year too.”

But despite the excitement, North River’s claim of 25,000,000 souls won does not come without controversy. Many fail to see how the church with only about 300 active members in a town of just over 15,000 and a county of not over 45,000 can make such a claim.

“It just doesn’t add up.” Said a former church member who wished to remain nameless. “When I went there I would notice that they’d count a kid 10 to 15 times as being saved. They’d get counted each time they came and got baptized. When I tried to tell people about this Pastor Green started calling me out from the pulpit as an ‘enemy of soul-winning.’ I left the church about 2 years ago. Last I heard they were praying that I’d be ‘smitten hip-and-thigh.’"

But despite accusations Green is unwavering in his resolve to continue the work of ‘soul winning.’

“Our hope is to keep pressing forward and keep winning them souls.” He said. “I believe that we can see 25,000,000 turn into 100,000,000 in just 10 years more!”

5 comments:

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

That's hillarious, sad, and often true...Can someone show me the sinner's prayer in the Bible? I haven't found it yet. Romans 10:9 EBV (Easy-Believism version, " If you say the sinners prayer to the Lord Jesus, and walk the center isle of the church, and fill out a committment card, you will be saved!"

Sam Hughey said...

I think this says it all.

“It’s so much fun!” Said Amanda Jackson, one of the students who would often ride the bus. “We don’t have a pool at our house or in our neighborhood. Last summer I got saved every week and got to go swimming for free. All I had to do was listen to them talk for about 10 minutes, repeat what they said, give them my name and they would let me get in the pool. Then they would give us hotdogs and candy afterwards. I’m planning on getting saved all next year too.”


Perhaps they are learning from the SBC?

Fundamentally Reformed said...

Sad thing is there is such a church in such a place with the very claim of 25 million souls.

I wish the satire would help some people to see the utter absurdity of it all.

enofoeciov said...

Although I am aware this is satire, you do an injustice by inflating the numbers-- basically what the church is being accused of doing. The town (which in another blog was admitted to be Longview)has a population of nearly 80,000, not 15,000. The county (Gregg) boasts a population of nearly 120,000, not 45,000. Also the busses run as far west as Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; as far east as Minden, Louisiana; north to Texarkana, Arkanasas; and South to Palestine, Texas. They also go to such cities as New Orleans, HOuston, Little Rock, and Memphis for special campaigns twice a year. This would be impossible with only 300 members, but it is quite possible considering the church actually has about twice that just in active soul-winners, and attending members of several thousand. Admittedly, other aspects are sadly true. If an individual claims to get saved again, they are re-baptized and counted anew. The most I know of for one person is eight times, but 2 or 3 is fairly common. The reasoning is that only God knows the truth of whether someone was "really saved" or not, so we must take their word for it. Contrary to popular belief of the critics, "saying the sinner's prayer" does not save anyone. An oft stated point is "No conviction, no conversion". They do use the KJV... "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confesson is made unto salvation." The faith saves, the prayer is just a confession to that belief. There is much that deserves critique, but let us be honest in doing so.

Team Tominthebox News Network said...

enofoeciov,

Like you said, this is satire. If I wanted to present a detailed critique then our site would be entitled something completely different.

The fact that you figured out exactly who we were talking about only proves that what I wrote made complete sense.

So, satire exaggerates, intentionally, with the point being that everyone who reads it knows it's exaggerated. So to put it bluntly, if I continue to write satire here (and I intend to) I have no intentions of being "accurate."

-Tom