New York team sees fruitful harvest in N.C.
    June 23 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    When Barry Lawrence pulled into the apartment complex in Rocky Mount he saw something that would be a rare sight back in New York. He saw members of his mission team from New York. City knocking on doors and meeting people. Lawrence had to pull the car over to take it all in. “It was that moving,” he said.

    Going door-to-door doesn’t work as easily in New York as it can in North Carolina. Many apartment buildings do not have easy access for guests, and Lawrence said people just aren’t as open to people they do not know.

    That didn’t matter to the 11 men who came to North Carolina to serve for about a week. They were willing to try whatever strategy might work in the context in which they were serving. They’re willingness paid off, as that day five people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

    BSC photo

    Boto Joseph, pastor of House of Worship Church in Queens brought a group to North Carolina for a mission trip.

    This was the first time for members of Union Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount to reach out to people living in this apartment complex. Pastor Gene Brooks said the mission team’s excitement and eagerness for evangelism motivated the church in their outreach.

    The church and mission team served alongside one another in the Saturday outreach event as they hosted a lunch and played games with children, led in music and shared the gospel. The night before the mission team led the congregation in a special time of worship.

    Brooks said he realized that night how long it had been since he truly worshipped God, and he is grateful for the team’s ministry in leading worship. “It was cold water washing over my soul,” he said.

    Union Missionary members have been to New York twice this year to serve. On their second trip they met Boto Joseph, pastor of House of Worship Church in Queens. Joseph helped Lawrence coordinate the mission trip to North Carolina.

    For the past year Lawrence and his wife have managed the David Dean House in Brooklyn. Later this year they will move back home to North Carolina in order to plant a new church.

    The team Lawrence brought from New York represented three different churches: House of Worship; New Testament in Yonkers (which planted House of Worship about six years ago); and Amazing Grace in Queens. The team helped lead worship services and shared their testimonies in different churches. They also led worship and volunteered at Cameron Boy’s Camp.

    Joseph said the team spent many hours in prayer before the trip, and then they saw God answer those prayers. “I saw God doing everything. In every service, something was happening. It wasn’t us. I saw God work,” he said. “I saw Him do what He intends to do. I could see everything unfold in front of my eyes.”

    What unfolded that week were lives changed by the gospel. The team saw nine people come to faith in Jesus Christ.

    One Sunday morning during service a young boy, a middle-aged adult and a woman in her 70s all came to faith in Christ. “It was a great picture of what God can do,” Joseph said.

    All Joseph could say at first about the baptism later that day was, “oh my goodness,” at a loss for how to describe what he experienced in his heart. The team participated in a baptism service for a woman who prayed to receive Christ as her Savior when she went to New York on a mission trip. She met Joseph and other team members while in New York working with ministers’ wives. During the baptism service, her son prayed to receive Christ.

    It took a visit to New York for a North Carolina woman to open her heart to the gospel — and it took a trip to North Carolina for a man from New York to open his.

    A 22-year-old team member prayed to receive Christ during the Sunday evening service.

    “When (Metro New York Baptist Association) and North Carolina Baptists began this partnership, we both wanted to see what took place on this mission trip — the mutual sharing of gifts and ministries that would be mutually beneficial,” said George Russ, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA).

    The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina began a partnership with MNYBA last year through the Office of Great Commission Partnerships (GCP).

    “Partnerships are what happens when relationships, a mutual concern and a shared commitment come together. This is what is happening through the partnership between North Carolina Baptists and MNYBA,” Russ said.

    As part of the mission trip the team also went to Southside Baptist Church in Greensboro. Pastor Patrick Fuller went to New York City earlier this year on a vision trip with GCP, and a team from Southside will go this summer to serve. Southside has developed a five-year commitment to adopt House of Worship, New Testament Church and Amazing Grace Church. They are also committed to working with them to help plant between 5-10 new churches.

    After the mission team led a Thursday night worship service at Southside, Fuller said the altar was full. “We had people saved and people made rededications. God really moved in that service,” he said.

    Fuller said hearing testimonies from team members about how God saved them and how much they want others to know Him as Savior was powerful.

    “Sometimes we can become complacent and take for granted the church. They (the team) are very much filled with the Holy Spirit and engaged in a relationship with Jesus.”

    To learn how your church can get involved in New York City, visit or contact Michael Sowers at (800) 395-5012, ext. 5654, or
    6/23/2011 10:02:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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