Four Journeys, One Destination
LAKE CHARLES, LA. – Evangelism is defined as the spreading of the Gospel by public preaching or personal witness. Equipped with social media, friendship evangelism, Bible studies and pastors, we share the good news of Jesus’s love for His children. Through these methods, many souls are making life-changing decisions at the Lake Charles Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Karen Smith was born and raised in Lake Charles, La. One day, her son was scrolling through YouTube and listening to different sermons when he landed on a sermon about the law of God. Smith’s son told his mom that she should tune in to the message and she was captivated by what she heard. She had never thought about Sunday being the first day of the week and Saturday being the seventh day. As she continued to listen and searched for more sermons, she became convinced that she should keep the Sabbath. She searched online for Sabbath-keeping churches and discovered the Seventh-day Adventist Church. When she looked for a local congregation, Smith found the Lake Charles church. After three weeks of attending services, she decided she wanted to be baptized.
Friendship evangelism brought Matthew Martin Harris to finding a new church home at the Lake Charles church. Harris was a client of Lake Charles member Wade Smith. When Harris fell on hard times, he reached out to Smith who financially blessed him and shared the Gospel with him. Several weeks later, Harris was blessed by a financial donation from the church during another difficult time. Smith continued to share the love of Jesus with Harris and, one Sabbath morning, Harris asked for a ride to church. After the service, he stayed for potluck and fellowshipped with many of the church members. Before leaving, Harris asked for Bible studies and Smith happily obliged. Harris soon answered the call of his Savior to be baptized.
Janice Borden recently moved to the Lake Charles area. Borden was no stranger to the Seventh-day Adventist Church as she grew up in a very strict Adventist home and church. Her grandmother had not wanted Borden to get baptized at an early age. Borden attended church into her adult life. Shortly after arriving in the area, she started attending the Lake Charles church and immediately became actively involved. Malcolm Gibson, elder of Lake Charles church, and his wife Darla took a special interest in Borden and would invite her to open the Sabbath with them at their home. It was during these worship meetings that they learned Borden wasn’t baptized and they began doing Bible studies with her. In time, Borden made the decision to get baptized.
Impressed by the sermons of Hillis Jeffries, Lake Charles pastor, James Garret (pictured bottom right) decided to add his name to the church roster. Three years ago, Garret left his church because he wanted to keep all the commandments of God. He gave up eating unclean meats, which is a staple of Louisiana cuisine. He kept hearing the words of Jesus, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Since he was already baptized through immersion and was a faithful member of his former church, Garret joined the Lake Charles church through affirmation of faith. Garret was so excited for the day when he would become a member that he invited his entire family to witness him affirming his new vows.
By Rosemarie Jeffries