A Campaign of Hope

A Campaign of Hope

A Campaign of Hope

Three conferences erase territory lines and prove that teamwork really does produce the best results: hundreds of new members dedicated to Christ

Story by Beth Michaels

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Baptismal candidates before their baptisms at Washington Brazilian church

It started as a modest dream. Allegheny East and Chesapeake, two conferences in the Columbia Union, agreed to break tradition and collaborate on an evangelistic campaign—to erase territory lines in the Baltimore area and, together, win individuals for the kingdom. When these conference leaders approached the union for support, the union executive committee realized it was the perfect opportunity to support the General Conference’s Mission to the Cities project, “a five-year emphasis on sharing Jesus’ love and the hope of His soon return with people in some of world’s largest cities.”

As plans developed, this simple partnership became a collaboration of grand proportions. The “Prophecies of Hope” initiative ended up involving the teamwork of union staff; Allegheny East, Chesapeake and Potomac conference leaders; as well as pastors and members from more than 100 congregations across the greater Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia region. With financial support from the General Conference, this was the first known collective evangelistic crusade to take place in the Columbia Union’s mid-Atlantic territory.

Planning Together

Frank Bondurant, the union’s vice president for ministries development and director of the “Prophecies of Hope” steering committee, explains that, by uniting their efforts, all participating churches could benefit from cohesive branding and a single launch date, April 11, which they advertised through radio spots, newspaper and movie theater ads, mall banners and social media. The ads promoted a single website where visitors could register for the meeting location closest to them.

Bondurant says they also developed two distinct handbills, which pastors could choose to send to their neighbors. Lastly, the steering committee promoted and provided an incentive gift that churches could give away on their opening night: a DVD on the prophecies of Daniel.

“Not only could every local church design their own program, but by being a part of this bigger package, they could get exposure they could not afford on their own,” says Bondurant. “Who knows better than the local church about what would work best for their community.”

Some churches chose unique themes, and their meetings varied in length—from a weekend, to one week, to a full month. But, one thing is sure, says Bondurant, by planning and praying together for the success of the meetings, including two prayer rallies, all of the leaders agree that more teamwork needs to happen.

“We really, really need to pull our resources and work together more in these places, especially when it comes to urban evangelism,” shares Bondurant. “We need each other.”

The success of “Prophecies of Hope” proves his point. Although numbers
continue to come in, hundreds were baptized, re-baptized or joined the church through profession of faith, and many more are taking Bible studies. Here are some highlights from the ambitious venture*: