The Bible Belt

A Formula for Church Planting

“Although you may never run more than 200 in your church, if you will adopt this simple method for planting churches from Baptist history, by planting churches you will reach thousands!”

In the mid-1700s, a pastor by the name of Shubal Stearns led the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in North Carolina. During the Separate Baptist Revival led by Bro. Stearns, 17 men were ordained and planted churches. Through those early church planting efforts, it is possible to trace in one generation 500 Baptist church plants back to Sandy Creek Baptist Church and in two generations over 1,000 Baptist church plants were traced back to this church!

The Bible BeltBro. Stearns was saved as a young boy under the preaching of George Whitefield. He was ordained as a Baptist preacher and went to North Carolina in 1755. His idea for church planting was simple. He started Sandy Creek Baptist Church and then started planting churches out of Sandy Creek. The church plants would have their own pastors and when these new churches were established, they would begin carrying out the planting of new churches. This simple plan of starting churches way back then resulted in what we know as the “Bible belt” today. Bro. Stearns saw an opportunity to reach people for Jesus in a vast region of the country, which at that time sat in spiritual darkness. This would be done by planting churches. Today the role has been reversed. Bro. Stearns came from the Northeast to plant churches in the Southeast. Today the Northeast is the land in spiritual darkness, along with the Southwest and Northwest. Today in our churches we have many ministries, but we do not have many church planting ministries.

The fruit of a Christian is another Christian. The fruit of a church is another church.

According to the Scriptures, the church is a living organism. If living organisms are healthy, they will do several things. One is that they will grow and if healthy enough they will reproduce. We must get motivated and mobilized and move out into our nation with a great determination to see other areas reached with the Gospel. May God raise up men with a pioneering spirit and churches with a vision to see America reached with the Gospel through church planting!


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