by Rev. Mark Sumpter, Regional Home Missionary, Presbytery of the Southwest (April 2017)
From The Fisherman Quarterly, the newsletter of Keys Evangelistic Ministries (Volume 27, Issue 1, 2017)
As the minutes ticked by and the time was getting closer for me to stand up and open-air preach, my throat grew parched and my palms sweaty. Bill had prepared me for this, and yet, I still had knees knocking, with an anxiety about being ready. We prayed and Bill gave me the green light. I stood up and belted out, “Hello, Folks, Welcome to Mallory Square, welcome to the sunset celebration!”
I proclaimed that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Some people lingered. Some moved along. Keeping focused on the message and the use of the easel―remembering how to spell words with the dots and dashes in the ladder letter, while keeping on task with the flow of the preaching―challenged me! One gal actually walked up to me while preaching and held my arm, leaned up to my ear, and said, “Keep going, praise God for you doing this!” After I was finished, another two or three folks walked up and asked questions about the message.
All in all, the experience of the training was overwhelmingly positive. Bill is Mr. Encouragement. He taught me and mentored me along, step by step. His example and pace-setting ministry is wonderful! Since I’ve been home in Houston, I’ve given the easel message twice and both times were excellent. The Word of God is going forth in Houston, and I’m encouraged and grateful for the training from Keys Evangelistic Ministries.
Learn more about Evangelism Training with Bill Welzien in Key West: