WELLINGTON, Ohio—Two GARBC churches have partnered for a  gospel outreach ministry at the Lorain County Fair. More than 150 volunteers from First Baptist Church of Wellington, Ohio, and First Baptist Church of Elyria, Ohio worked together during the week-long ministry. leading to hundreds of contacts and 13 professions of faith.

The sister churches shared gospel tracts, gospel bracelets, and Child Evangelism Fellowship “Flipper-Flappers” with literally thousands of fair-goers during the seven days of the fair, which attracts a daily average of 18,000 guests.  The churches purchase space as formal “concessionaires” at the fair, renting a 15-foot by 15-foot tent which is strategically located on a corner near the primary fair parking area.

bb-inline-thirsty.jpgMembers of First Baptist, Wellington, constructed a lovely fountain that provided a peaceful atmosphere and attracted people’s attention, and guests were invited to stop for free water.  Two large banners were hung over the faces of the tent, asking “Are You Thirsty?”  This gave the church volunteers an opportunity to share the Water of Life. Church members sign up in groups of at least three people to staff each two-hour shift from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The Wellington church ministered on Monday through Thursday, while the Elyria church shared the gospel Friday through Sunday.

“The fair ministry allows the two churches to plant seeds of the gospel,” Pastor Tom Alexander said. “But it also raises community awareness of both churches, allowing them to promote various programs.

Pastor Alexander also explained that a less-obvious, but still important, benefit was the impact this outreach ministry has on the church volunteers who sign up to work at the tent

“People are stretched to speak up and share their faith, some for the very first time,” Pastor Alexander said.  “It is thrilling to hear a teen say, ‘I got to share the gospel—I’ve never done that before!’  Or to see an adult beaming as he reports, ‘A thirteen-year-old boy trusted Christ this morning!’ The time, effort, and financial investment are worth it when viewed from the perspective of eternity!”