SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Like so many others around the state, Nick Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church Northwest Arkansas, and his church staff have been praying for a long time for revival and spiritual awakening to take place. On Sunday, May 2, God began to answer these prayers in a way that even Floyd himself could not have imagined. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” Floyd said.
Floyd had invited Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN and founder of Replicate Ministries, to speak at a men’s event on Sunday night, May 2. Originally Gallaty had declined the invitation only to call back a couple of weeks later to ask if the church had found someone to speak yet. If not, he said he believed God was telling him to come and preach. Floyd said that the invitation was still open and asked Gallaty to preach on Sunday morning as well.
In preparation for that Sunday, Floyd and the rest of the Cross Church staff began praying that God would move in a mighty way. They lined up decision counselors and prepared to receive anyone who made a decision. They encouraged church members to pray and come expecting God to do something big. Floyd shared, “I mean, we really believed that God was going to move and really prayed towards that end. I tried to set that expectation of, we’re going to see God move. God’s doing a great work through Robby at his church. I really believe we’re going to meet with God. So be there, bring somebody with you.”
Gallaty preached live during one service at each of the campuses and his message was simulcast to the other campuses. He gave a clear and simple Gospel presentation and then challenged people from all campuses to respond to God’s call for salvation.
What happened next was something Floyd says can only be described as an incredible movement of God. He said people just started coming. Many of these were people who came for the first time to give their lives to Christ. Others came to put their baptism on the right side of their salvation. “I think there were some who just got convicted that they had not had their baptism in the right order. So, they just got right with God on that,” Floyd said.
Everyone who came forward that morning received spiritual counseling. Some of those who received counseling were not ready to make a decision yet. Those who did make the decision to become Christ-followers were offered the opportunity to be baptized immediately.
Services lasted longer than usual that morning as people made their way to the front of the church. Floyd said they would sing a little, baptize those who were ready then repeat the process several times as people were being counseled and getting changed. A total of 150 people were baptized that morning.
But God wasn’t done yet.
Gallaty returned that night to preach for the men’s event. Once again, he shared a direct Gospel message and asked for men to respond. Just like in the morning, those making decisions were given counseling and offered the opportunity to be baptized immediately. By the end of the night, they had baptized another 61 men and teenage boys for a total of 211 baptisms for the day.
Cross Church has a plan in place to disciple each of these new believers. The Growth Track is provided to help people on their journey towards membership, small group involvement, service and more. Floyd says the funny thing is that some of those that were baptized on Sunday had already been through Growth Track. “They’ve been in church forever, but they’re just now realizing for the first time that they may have said a prayer at some point, but they were never really born again.”
Floyd said he is still trying to process all that they have experienced. “I went to dinner with one of the other pastors after church Sunday night and we were just kind of like shaking our heads, like what just happened?” Floyd talked to the staff on Monday and told them that what they originally had planned for church in May wasn’t going to cut it now. He said, “Our people saw a genuine move of God. So, we need to lean into what the Holy Spirit is doing.”
Floyd had already prepared sermons for the next several weeks but felt compelled to make changes after what he experienced. He now plans to spend the next three weeks talking about the Holy Spirit.” “We’re just trying to raise the sail and follow the wind of the Spirit.”
The church baptized two people on Monday and another 21 since then. There are already 20 people scheduled to be baptized this coming Sunday (May 9). Floyd says it is hard to put into words all that happened on Sunday and in the days following but he is quick to give God all of the credit.
“If you weren’t there, it’s hard to get a perspective of what happened. If you were in the room, you just know that the power of God fell. I want everyone to know that this is not a story about Cross Church. This is a unique story of the Holy Spirit doing something and we’re just trying to follow Him. God gets all the glory.”