Benton, Ark. – On April 26, Trinity Baptist Church in Benton joined a host of other churches across the state in switching from in-person services to online after COVID-19 struck. A typical Sunday service for Trinity would run close to 200 people. However, what Mike Titsworth, Senior Pastor, saw on their online gatherings gave him hope and sparked a new conversation on how to use this pandemic to reach people for Christ.
Trinity’s online presence on Sundays were gaining 700-800 viewers, while their Wednesday night Bible study was gaining 300-500 viewers. On Easter Sunday, they saw over 1,200 people tune in from different states as well as different countries. They saw this as a unique opportunity to maximize their reach.
During this time, many have had questions that needed spiritual answers surrounding COVID-19 so using the perspectives being gained online, Mike and his staff decided to host a virtual revival that would focus on answering those questions.
On May 17-24, Mike along with six area ministers tackled a different question that had been posed about the pandemic and how it related to the church or Christ. Brothers Kyle and Zac Reno from The Summit Church as well as Tarvoris Uzoigue, BCM minister at UAPB, were just some of the local ministers who spoke.
“God certainly blessed it,” Mike said. “We didn’t have anyone call and say they’d accepted Christ as a result of the messages – but a seed was planted somewhere. It’s a matter of asking the Lord, ‘how can we respond to this situation?’ and God has given us that opportunity.”
They’ve seen plenty of positive responses from people asking for prayers to finding out needs in the community that the church can help meet.
Trinity has also held several parking lot services that have gained the attention of locals in the community.
Mike said that two older ladies heard music coming from the church one Sunday and drove up to listen. Another lady let him know that her son had not been in church in years, but one Sunday heard a noise coming from the church and sat on the porch and listened.
Mike’s neighbor even listened during those parking lot services and told him from a distance one day that people had been trying to get him to go to church for years, but that he attended via the parking lot. He also mentioned that Mike “wasn’t that bad of a preacher himself.”
May 31 will be the first time that Trinity Baptist reopens its doors to its congregation and community with two services available. They’re still going to continue to stream their services for those unable to attend right now.
Mike said that while the livestream revival had great success he saw it only as unique to the current situation and probably won’t attempt it again. Their hope is that things will be back to a kind of normal so they can host a tent revival in October.