EL DORADO, Ark. – More than 300 men, women and youth made professions of faith last week, Aug. 27-30, during an evangelical event hosted in El Dorado called South Arkansas Together.
“The Lord just blessed it,” Liberty Baptist Association Associational Missionary Wade Totty said. “It was just remarkable what the Lord did during that time. There were 320 professions of faith that we’re aware of and numerous other decisions that were made as well. It was really good. We’re in the process of doing the follow-up now.”
The revival took place over four nights, with each night focusing on a different group. The lead evangelist all four days was Jay Lowder. Called to full-time evangelism in 1989, Lowder is the founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries, an organization dedicated to reaching diverse groups of people with the message of Jesus Christ.
Ladies Night was Sunday and featured Sara McDaniel of Simply Southern Cottage. There were more than 900 ladies in attendance and more than 90 professions of faith.
Comedian Mike Godwin was the featured guest during the Men’s Night on Monday. More than 700 attended the event and 81 made professions of faith.
Tuesday was Youth Night and featured Christian Rapper YB. That night, Totty said they saw 134 teenagers come to faith. Each student who responded to the Gospel invitation visited one-on-one with a trained decision counselor from the local churches.
On Wednesday, the final night of revival, they held a community-wide event for everybody. Totty said around 800 were in attendance and several made professions of faith that night as well.
The vision of South Arkansas Together originated with West Side Baptist Church Pastor Cody Lain. He said the purpose of the event “was to share the Gospel with the lost in El Dorado.”
“Cody just had the vision. He came and talked with me late fall and asked what I thought about it. He and I prayed about it, and he sent me a text one day and said, I’m going to move forward with it. That’s sort of how it got birthed,” Totty said. “We had a burden for El Dorado and South Arkansas.”
Lain then began taking steps of faith and meeting with pastors around El Dorado.
He reached out to Lowder to see about the possibility of him coming to town to do an evangelistic event. After prayer and conversation, Lowder agreed with a shared desire to impact the community with the Gospel.
Lain talked with area pastors, prayed, branched out to different denominations, and gathered people together to brainstorm for this evangelical opportunity. More than 20 churches became involved with the revival.
“The focus to begin with was the Gospel and sharing the Gospel with people,” Lain said, noting they did not delve into the weeds of denominational beliefs. “The Gospel was the purpose of everything that we were doing. Believing the Gospel is what brings us together.”
Lain touted the team of people he said God brought together to make this harvest event happen. The chairman of the team, mostly made up of laypeople of different denominations and cultures, was John Moore.
Looking to the future, Totty said if or when they do this event again, there may be a few changes. He said they are still in the process of evaluating.
“We’re just rejoicing in what the Lord has done,” he said. “You’ve got 320 people that came to faith. Some of those may be in the same household, but most of them are not. It could have a huge impact on the city of El Dorado and Union County.”
Lain said this evangelical event has planted seeds for another event like it to happen more easily for more kingdom-minded work as they move forward.
“It opens the door for more events like this to happen,” Lain said.
Lain described South Arkansas Together as a faith walk from beginning to end. He said prayer was the foundation of the revival.
“It started in prayer. It’s ending in prayer. They’re still praying. That has been the foundation of everything we’ve done,” he said.