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Lincoln County revival organizers: ‘We just want everyone to come’

The former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention will speak at a county-wide celebration Sunday evening that is expected to be like a Billy Graham crusade and a hometown church revival, rolled into one.

It’s an event that is open to all ages, all races and all faiths.

“Our purpose is not to make people Baptist, but to point them to Christ,” said Rev. Steve Jackson, missions director for the Lincoln County Baptist Association, which is hosting the revival with Brookhaven High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The revival will begin at 5 p.m. at Brookhaven High School’s King Field. There is no charge to attend.

Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, is the featured speaker. Luter has been preaching the gospel for 34 years, and is the first African-American to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

Lincoln County FCA’s area representative Chris Huffman will share testimony and Bradley White, music miniser for First Baptist Church of Summit will provide the music.

The idea for the county-wide revival service began a year ago. Area pastors met and prayed together and decided a large-scale evangelistic outreach was what the county needed.

“This is not a Baptist event,” Jackson said. “It is truly for everyone. It is a church service, a worship service similar to a Billy Graham event.”

The association reached out to Luter because he is well-known across the country. Luter has broad appeal, Jackson felt, and “can really preach.”

“The state of Mississippi has always been a dear, dear friend to me,” Luter said. “Any time, if I can work it out in my schedule I’m happy to preach there.”

Luter said a great need exists across the nation for believers to come together in community and unity, and he believes this revival service can be a vehicle for that purpose in Lincoln County.

“My prayer is that we’ll have a great time and reach as many people as possible for Jesus — in a neutral place — and encourage people,” said Luter. “I’m looking forward to it.”

White said he was excited to be a part of the service, as well.

“Our music ministry of about 150 voices and 25 players will be leading,” he said. “I’ve worked with Dr. Luter before, and am excited about this opportunity. We pray that God is glorified, Christians are revived and lost souls saved through this event.”

Jackson expressed gratitude to BHS for opening up their facility for the event, and said he’s praying for nice weather. In case of “terrible weather,” he said — “Not just rain, but terrible weather” — the gathering will take place down the street at First Baptist Church.

Though the location is a high school football field and FCA is a sponsor, Jackson doesn’t want people to think the event is aimed just at teenagers. The goal is to reach people of all ages, all skin colors and all backgrounds.

“We just want everyone to come,” he said. “We want to present to the county an opportunity to hear the gospel in a unique setting.”

Bradley White, music minister of First Baptist Church, Summit, MS

Chris Huffman, area representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Dr. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA