Sharing the Gospel one sports camp at a time

TRUMANN, Ark. – At the end of July, we shared an article about ways that Arkansas Baptists were adapting to creating ministry opportunities for children amidst the pandemic. One of those was a church in Trumann that partnered with Fellowship Baptist in Huntington to conduct a sports camp. 

Main St. Maple Grove Baptist Church has hosted sports camps as a ministry outreach for several years. At this summer’s camp, they saw 34 professions of faith. However, during the recent follow-ups to those professions, the number grew to a total of 47.

Shane Fore, the lead pastor of the Main St. campus, said to do the follow-ups he called on a good friend with an evangelistic heart from Central Baptist in Jonesboro to bring his life group and help them. They met at the church, prayed, and distributed the connection cards collected from the camp. Starting with the connection cards that indicated a decision for salvation, they went door to door to check in with the kids and their families and to talk more about their decision. Fore said through those visits and retelling the Gospel, many of the families involved ended up giving their life to Christ too. 

“We’re just a little church plant in a little farming community…a lot of our people are former drug addicts. Some are homeless or near homeless and look at what God’s done with that,” Fore said. “It was wonderful to be a part of it. It’s so much fun watching our people grow and take steps of faith and see a whole bunch of people come to Christ.” 

Maple Grove hadn’t been able to launch a children’s ministry before this. However, thanks to Fellowship Baptist’s help in doing the sports camp and lots of prayers, Maple Grove launched it’s very first children’s service on Sunday morning just a few weeks after Fellowship left in July. They’ve been doing a children’s service ever since. 

“We really have come a long way in a short amount of time,” Fore said.

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