Study: Americans becoming less Christian, more secular


By Riley Manning

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Time to Revive ministries will conclude its Revive Tupelo campaign today with one final push of evangelism.

A mixture of local and out-of-town Christians have been roving Tupelo since Monday, extending to people on the street the simple offer to pray with them.

Lela Payne, a Tupelo volunteer, said she and her groups have ministered in jails, parks, various neighborhoods – even parking lots.

“It’s been awesome,” she said, “to see the church actually going out to the hurting people.”

Volunteers in groups of five or six are given special New Testament Bibles tabbed with five universally agreed-upon scriptures that lead someone to Christ. They have met each morning for prayer and breakfast at 7 a.m. before heading out, inviting people they meet to lunch and prayer at noon, or to the dinner meal and service in the evening.

“I think the local churches have been surprised to see how heavy the need is right there in town,” Payne said. “The out-of-town folks aren’t surprised because they’ve done this before.”

The Rev. Jeffrey Daniel agreed. Daniel pastors White Hill M.B. Church, which hosted Revive’s evening meal and service.

“Participation has been steady throughout the week, although we would have liked to see more local support,” he said. “But we’re satisfied with how God has shown himself. The night services have been inspiring and informative. I’ve seen growth not only in the community, but in myself as well.”

Time to Revive focuses on one community at a time, and spends a year there developing local interest in leadership. While this week’s work marks the end of Time to Revive’s campaign, it marks the beginning of Revive Tupelo’s continuation, as local church leaders met yesterday to strategize about the future.

“We definitely hope to see this ministry continue,” Daniel said Friday before the meeting. “It’s so doable. You don’t have to have a theology degree or be a Sunday school teacher. Any everyday person can be trained within an hour to lead people to Christ. The approach is non-confrontational, a simple way to engage someone on how they can come to Christ right here and right now.”

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