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Condition of Cleveland:
recently visited Cleveland as part of a vision trip from Sevier Heights Baptist
Church in Knoxville, TN. During
our time in the city, we were accompanied by Pastor Alex Ennes of Gateway
Church Cleveland and Jeff Calloway NAMB Church Planting Catalyst and of the PlantOhio church planting school. Our team met with Alex and Jeff to gain
a better sense of Cleveland and the people who called the city home. Pastor Alex and Jeff took us on a tour which
allowed us to see everything from Cleveland Browns Stadium to some of the
oldest neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County.
an effort to support the NAMB initiative “Send North America”, Sevier Heights
has been led to partner with Cleveland area churches and Ohio Baptists to
fulfill the Great Commission. It’s
no mystery that Cleveland is vastly different from Knoxville, yet it is located
within an easy day’s travel. One statistic has Knoxville atop
Cleveland with almost 40 times the number of Southern Baptist churches per
capita. Going from what is
considered the “Bible Belt” to an area that is statistically considered and
“unreached city” was very overwhelming for our team. It’s tough to realize that there are cities in our own
country that have not been reached with the gospel of Christ.
we toured the city and met with locals, we saw Cleveland as a city with great
potential. Clevelanders love their
city despite the economic downturn and the disappointing sports seasons. Though Cleveland may be seen as a city
on hard times, the gospel is able to turn the city around and bring life to a
lost people. Jesus says in John
10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” This is the promise we carry into the
city. Cleveland needs to be
loved. Cleveland needs everlasting
Need of Cleveland:
we thought about the desperate needs of Cleveland, the church was an obvious
answer. Throughout the history of
Christendom, God has used the church to spread the gospel and bring people into
a relationship with Him. If
Cleveland needed only one thing, that would be the presence of the church. The church has been the primary vehicle
for reaching cities across the world with the gospel of Christ. Clevelanders need Christ.
it’s easy to forget the overwhelming presence of the church in the southern
United States. When traveling to
Cleveland, we saw a city were the church was difficult to find. Though there
have been successful church plants such as Gateway Church, God is calling
Southern Baptists to lead a gospel resurgence in the city through a church
planting initiative. The gospel is
clear and the commission is great.
Would you consider helping Cleveland as God leads? Pray for Cleveland. Go to Cleveland. Love Cleveland, all for the sake of the
Future of Cleveland:
on our two-day vision trip with Alex and Jeff, we had the opportunity to meet
with local government and business personnel. We visited sites which have been slotted as potential church
plants. Surprising to us,
Cleveland is very open to the idea of planting churches.
team took some time one afternoon to think about the future of Cleveland. One key component that seemed so
obvious to us was the need for Christian leadership within the city. Many churches are hurting and need to
be encouraged. Through local and
national efforts, we pray that Cleveland churches can flourish and will be
equipped to do God’s work in their city.
door is wide open in Cleveland.
The locals are praying for their city and they need help. Much groundwork has been done to usher
in mission teams to help local church plants. Several churches across the south have committed to adopt
Cleveland as a city of mission through financial support and by sending teams
periodically. College students and
young adults can make a large impact on Cleveland. The city’s downtown is filled with college graduates and
young professionals. Please begin
to pray for Cleveland as God may have you in mind to serve Him there.
is considered part of our “Judea” under the Sevier Heights Acts 1:8 strategy. Located within a day’s travel, mission
teams can serve in Cleveland with ease while making a great impact on the
city. Please join other Southern
Baptists as we fulfill the Great Commission in Cleveland, Ohio.
Date Created: 1/23/2012 10:41:42 AM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2015 North American Mission Board, SBC