AVON PARK, Fla.—For three years, Bethany Baptist Church has participated in its city’s annual Springtime on the Mall, an arts, crafts, and folk music festival. Members greet visitors, pass out CDs and gospel tracts, and share the gospel through various crafts.
Earl Bosley, who has worked at the event all three years, says, “It just gets better each year, with more people coming to know Christ and more seeds being planted. It has truly been a blessing to everyone involved.” Earl and his wife, Lynn, have served in many capacities, including helping visitors make sand-art crafts this year. Earl says the children enjoyed painting with sand as they listened to Bible verses being read to them.
About 50 people from Bethany were involved with the event, with some praying behind the scenes. Pastor Chuck Pausley says, “A lot of prayer went up from our church family—a lot of prayer before and during the time of the festival.” God blessed, and 17 people accepted Jesus Christ this year. Three of those new believers are high school students. “Their friends brought them,” says Pastor Pausley. “People were bringing their friends, knowing that as they came to our tent, they would hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He says that everything was free—face-painting, sand art, balloon art, and bracelet/band-making (using the good news bracelet), which was a huge draw for both families and teens. “We probably have more people who come to our booth than anyone else does,” says Pastor Pausley. “It’s a great avenue to touch lives. Even during the face-painting and the sand art, we’re able to talk about Jesus. And moms and dads are there—they’re watching everything; they’re hearing everything. It’s a great way to communicate Jesus.”
Although the Bethany family passes out information about their church, sharing the gospel is more important to them. Pastor Pausley says that Springtime on the Mall is a great avenue to touch many, many people. “It’s an igniter for our people for evangelism,” he says. “It has reminded them that this isn’t just a once-a-year activity, but it should be a constant lifestyle of sharing the gospel with people.”