‘Salvation Bell’ to ring at courthouse

Published 7:29 am Friday, April 25, 2014

The “Salvation Bell” will ring out at the Carter County Courthouse on May 5, when the executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention brings his series of prayer rallies to Elizabethton.
Elected in 2010, Randy C. Davis has crisscrossed the state hundreds of times, but this time he is on a mission to visit all 95 counties and lead prayer rallies at every county courthouse.
Davis’ plan is to have the prayer rallies at the courthouse of each county seat town. When that is logistically not possible, the rallies will be moved to the nearest Baptist church, he said.
The Carter County Courthouse rally will be held at 2 p.m. May 5.
Representatives from county Baptist churches and county and city public officials are invited, as well as all Christians.
“When I left First Baptist Church (in Sevierville, where he served as pastor before accepting the call to serve Tennessee Baptists statewide), a few weeks into the transition I sensed God wanted me to ring the bell of salvation as loudly and clearly as I possibly could,” he recalled.
During Davis’ travels he will ring a bell designated as the “Salvation Bell.”
The bell is on loan for the year from First Baptist Church, Sevierville. Davis said that, “throughout history, church bells have been used to communicate urgent messages. As we ring the ‘Salvation Bell’ — which we will be ringing in every county — we hope and pray it will communicate to churches the urgent message to share Christ more now than ever before.”
The “Salvation Bell” is mounted in the bed of a specially painted pickup with the words “Praying Across Tennessee.”
The rally will include prayer for spiritual awakening and to pray for and express appreciation for “public servants and our Baptist pastors” in each county, Davis said.
“The bell will be used,” explained Davis, “to help raise awareness that Tennessee is no longer a church field but is now a mission field.”
“The alarming decline in the number of Tennesseans being won to the Lord has been a tremendous burden shared by many people across our state,” Davis observed. “I sense Tennessee Baptists want to see a monumental change in the direction we’ve been going,” he said.
The Tennessee Baptist executive said the intention is “not to have 95 large crowds to gather. Our intention is church representatives will join us there and return to their churches committed to lead their members to pray for spiritual awakening.” He noted each of the rallies would last no more than 15-20 minutes.
“My greatest hope is that growing out of the rallies will be ongoing prayer meetings in every county in which people earnestly seek the Lord,” Davis said. “Every great spiritual awakening started out with a few people being really desperate for the Lord,” he said.

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