PITTSBURGH (BRN) – I begin my report expressing Pittsburgh Baptist Church’s fullest gratitude for the evangelism grant that we received from the Baptist Resource Network (BRN). Pittsburgh Baptist was able to host a more excellent and far reaching program as a result.

The premise was to create a bridge between what is secular about Christmas and what is sacred by hosting a night of music and festivities, we called our event “The Hope of Christmas: From Main Street to the Manger.” We believe this bridge was accomplished by using traditional sacred music and hymns as well as video clips from the movie Polar Express and a clear gospel presentation. 

More than 200 people heard the gospel through Pittsburgh Baptist Church’s “The Hope of Christmas” event.

A week before the event, our members prayer-walked the neighborhood and passed out door hangers that promoted the event. In addition to these, flyers were placed in local businesses and members also shared them with their friends and neighbors.

Around 200 people attended in person and nearly 100 more viewed it through our online streaming service, with another 55 watching on our YouTube channel.

Prior to this event, our church suffered a tragic loss. Nearly five weeks before the big night, our music director’s 19-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. Truly, the fact that we were able to move forward with the event was a miracle in itself.

But God.

In attendance at the event was the young man who was driving the car when our music director’s daughter died. The young man’s parents also attended our event with him. I learned that this family usually attends a Unitarian Universalist Church, however, since the event the young man has continued to attend Pittsburgh Baptist.

Additionally, the family of the man driving a pick-up truck that hit their car as it laid in the wrong lane after flipping out of control also came to the event. One of that man’s sons was an unbeliever, but he became sensitive to the gospel after the accident. 

After giving the message and invitation to receive Christ, I instructed attendees to fill out an information insert provided in each program guide. It was designed to allow us to track any gospel decisions. None of them were left afterward. Our staff has discussed how to improve the follow-up strategy. 

The tragedy that happened so close to the event affected our plans, but we are grateful to the Lord and the BRN for the opportunity to reach so many people with the hope of Christmas! 

Editor’s note: Please be in prayer for Pittsburgh Baptist’s music director and family as well as the church family as a whole as they grieve the loss of this young woman. May Jesus be their hope and comfort during this time and we, their BRN family, be their support.