The cross-country bus tour to promote evangelism in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) closed its first round of trips on Sept 16, 2004, at the North America Mission Board (NAMB) center in Alpharetta, Ga.
Bobby Welch, president of the SBC, received a standing ovation as he preached the power of evangelism to the NAMB members, and was largely seen as the man who will make the dream to “Witness, Win and Baptize…ONE MILLION!” in one year possible.
“Bobby Welch is God’s man to take Southern Baptists to the next level of evangelism and missions,” NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord said in introducing Welch during the chapel service.
“Thank you for bringing the focus of Southern Baptists on evangelism and on reaching North America and the world for Christ. Already you have brought this to a visible level nobody has done before,” Reccord said.
The NAMB is the domestic mission and relief wing of the SBC.
During his sermon to the NAMB, Welch gave a preview of his address to the SBC annual meeting in Nashville next summer.
“I’m going to say, ladies and gentlemen, months ago I boarded a bus and went to every state in the nation and to Canada. And, every time I got off the bus, I claimed that land for Christ,” he said.
He also will say, “There are giants in the land, but none that we cannot overcome with God’s help. And, there is fruit in the land -- the unharvested fruit of millions and millions of people who are ready to come into the Kingdom. And, there are tens of thousands of people ready to go into the land.”
Additionally, Welch said he will display the thousands of commitment cards collected during the trip to show that there are people who are ready to reach out to the nation and the world with the Gospel.
According to Welch, the 2005 convention will be different, an event that “you do not want to miss.”
“Already busloads are coming from California, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Vermont and many more states,” he said. “It’s entirely likely that we will have 10,000 people there for Saturday’s CrossOver evangelism events alone. Years from now, you’ll want to be able to say, ‘I was there when Southern Baptists set out to reach 1 million people,’” said Welch.
Welch left NAMB center and boarded a plane for his home in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Welch and a team of reporters and staff had been on the bus tour for three weeks. They will board the bus on Thursday to begin the Western part of the trip.