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News for Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Praying Across Tennessee
By Lonnie Wilkey
12/17/2013
editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — Since his election as executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 2010, Randy C. Davis has crisscrossed the state hundreds of times.

2014 will be no different.

In the coming year, Davis will pray across Tennessee, traveling to each of the 95 counties in the Volunteer State to lead prayer rallies in the courthouses in each county seat town.

The idea to pray across the state was bathed in prayer, Davis said.

He also learned of a similar effort in the Mississippi Baptist Convention. “God has used that as a model for what we desire to do in Tennessee,” he observed.

“When I left First Baptist Church (Sevierville where he served as pastor prior to accepting the call to the TBC), a few weeks into the transition I sensed God wanted me to ring the bell of salvation as loudly and clearly as I possibly could,” he recalled.

Davis noted that throughout history, a bell has been used to communicate an urgent message, among other things.

As Davis travels to each county he will ring a “salvation bell” that is on loan for the year from First Baptist Church, Sevierville.

The bell will be used to help raise awareness that Tennessee is no longer a church field but is now a mission field.

“The alarming decline in number of Tennesseans being won to the Lord has been a tremendous burden shared by many people across our state,” Davis observed.

“The majority of my time has been spent with rank and file Tennessee Baptists and their pastors and I sense that we all want to see a monumental change in the direction we’ve been going,” he said.

The TBC leader noted that the intention is “not to have 95 large crowds to gather. Our intention is to find a few people in each county that are willing to cry out to God for revival as well as to become thoroughly burdened for lost people in our state.”

The plan is to have the prayer rallies at the courthouse of each county seat town. When that is logistically not possible, the rallies will be moved to the nearest Baptist church, Davis said.

He noted that the rallies will be no more than 20-30 minutes. In addition to praying for spiritual awakening the rallies will be used as a platform to pray for and express appreciation to “our public servants and to our pastors” in each county, Davis said.

Davis and his wife, Jeanne, knows that traveling to every county in the state is a major investment of time, but both are committed and excited about doing it.

“My greatest hope is that we really become broken and that growing out of the rallies will be regular prayer meetings in every county in which people seek the Lord,” Davis said.

“Every great awakening started out of a few people being really desperate for the Lord,” he added.— See pages 6-7 for more information on the rallies.

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