Dallas Lewis vividly recalls those Sunday mornings not so long ago when Poplar Grove Baptist Church in southeastern Kentucky sat empty and eerily quiet.
But that was then. Lewis, a local businessman who serves as associate pastor, credits the Lord for impressing upon a handful of local residents and idea to get Poplar Grove up and running again by applying a well-tested business tactic -- a grand reopening.
Since last October, 12 new believers have been baptized into the church at Flat Lick. Forty-five others have moved their membership there since Poplar Grove reopened. And the church, which can seat about 75 people, is filled beyond capacity some Sundays.
Now, Poplar Grove, already a member of the Knox Association of Baptists, is applying for affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which allows local believers to have an impact throughout the state, across the nation and around the world. Read More
If Southern Baptists can successfully replant churches, why not Anglicans? One of the reasons that Anglican churches fail is that a particular congregation is the wrong congregation for a particular community. It was too wed to the past, too inward-looking, and too disconnected from the community to succeed. A new, more evangelical, and more outward-looking congregation, one willing to try new approaches and strategies, might succeed where it failed. Being Anglican, after all, is at its heart not about propagating a particular ecclesiastical culture but about spreading the gospel, making new disciples of Jesus Christ, baptizing them, and teaching them what the Bible teaches.Photo credit: Popular Grove Baptist Church
Among the reasons that the handful of Episcopal churches here in westernmost Kentucky are struggling is not just due to the liberal theology of the present day but but also the Catholic Revivalism of the past. They are not evangelical enough for their communities. The churches that are flourishing in the region are all evangelical. While their non-evangelical character is what attracts their present members, it keeps them from attracting more people. The non-evangelical character of the region's three small Anglican congregations, while attractive to their present members, also prevents them from attracting more people.