Philadelphia Baptist Church in Blount County was struggling.
The congregation felt discouraged. As attendance dwindled, their hope began to as well. But, as is always the case, when they began to purposefully and powerfully pray together as a church, God responded as only He can.
According to Pastor Scott Gross, who serves as the church’s bi-vocational pastor, Sunday morning services had crept down to about a dozen in attendance. There had been some conflict in the church, and they were in need of a true vision from the Lord for a way forward.
State Missionary Daniel Wilson with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions leads the Church Revitalization efforts for our state. He and Church Health Strategist George Yates began to work with Pastor Scott. They helped him and key leaders through an assessment period and encouraged him and the members of the congregation to boldly pray and seek God like never before. Eventually, they paired him with a coach, Mike Williams, who continued to invest in the church’s health.
After months of deep prayer, they decided to build on the children’s ministry that still thrived. Faithful servants at the church ministered to young people from the community through a bus ministry that grew and grew. God has blessed their faithfulness, and recently they baptized both a child and her stepdad together one Sunday morning. Their attendance continues to ebb and flow, but more importantly, their hope, faith, and effectiveness are on the rise.
Pray for Pastor Scott Gross and Philadelphia Baptist Church. Pray that more children will lead the way to spiritual awakening in this congregation and community.
Pray for churches who face similar discouragement from plateaued or declining attendance. Pray for boldness and courage to start with fervent prayer among their members.
Pray for fresh vision for any pastors in our state who may feel discouraged. Ask God to reveal His hope and His plans for their church and for a renewed passion.