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‘I need Jesus’ – Online preaching leads to salvation, Easter day baptism

HILLSBORO – Like many other congregations across the state, Raintree Church here held a virtual Palm Sunday service on Facebook Live, April 5. But when Pastor Kenny Sims finished preaching in his empty church building that day, he felt he had failed.

Afterwards he called the church’s associate pastor, Tyler Thomas, to vent his frustration about his own sermon.

“I really felt like this was one of the worst sermons I’ve ever done,” Sims said. But only a few minutes after he hung up the phone, he received a text message that reminded him that God continues to work through His Word, despite social distancing and online services – and even when the preacher feels inadequate.

That morning, a young man named Deric watched the Raintree Church’s Facebook Live service and heard Sims’ sermon. And as he listened, God brought conviction to his heart. So he picked up his phone and texted Sims once the service was over.

“He said, ‘I need Jesus, and I want to be baptized,’” Sims told The Pathway.

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So, on Easter Sunday, as Raintree Church members gathered for another online worship service, they celebrated the baptism of a new Christian and a new member of their congregation.

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“It humbles me,” Sims said. “It was another way of God saying, ‘Don’t worry. I have this. As long as your heart is in the right place, I’ve got this.’”



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