Tennessee Valley Baptist Association
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

 

Tennessee Valley Baptist Association Distributes 16,062 Videos

 

By Connie Davis

Baptist & Reflector

December 15, 2004

 

DAYTON – Tennessee Valley Baptist Association, based here, gave each resident of Rhea County and some residents of North Hamilton County – 41,761 people – a Christmas gift. They sent a “Jesus” video to 16,062 homes.

 

To do this, the association of just 25 churches raised $57,000 over a period of 16 months.

 

Raising the money wasn’t easy, admitted Mike Young, Director of Missions. The project is probably the biggest associational effort in terms of financial involvement since the association built its office building, said Young.

 

This fall the association still needed $20,000 to send out the videos of the famous movie, “Jesus,” and it looked like the goal wouldn’t be reached.

 

Another set of letters was sent out by Jim Sutton, coordinator of the “Jesus” Video Project for the association, and Young. They discussed setting another target date, Easter.

 

Then Sutton, who is retired from the Air Force, received a call from Terry Whitson of Kingsport. Whitson is with “Jesus” Video Project International of Campus Crusade for Christ.

 

Whitson asked Sutton how the project was going and then asked him if he could be available in a few days to talk by phone on a conference call with Joe Torres of the “Jesus” Video Project in San Bernadino, Calif.

 

In that phone call, Sutton learned something amazing. A woman who lived in California wished to give $20,000 to a group distributing the videos. A group she had planned to help had pulled out of the effort.

 

“Not only had someone’s heart been touched to contribute to our drive, but in the exact amount that we needed,” said Sutton. He initiated the project after reading about it and contacting the association. He explained he “felt it was something the Lord wanted him to do,” said Young.

 

The video tapes will be received by many residents the week of December 13-17, said Young.

 

They will include a response card for those who make professions of faith which will be mailed to the association office and a color brochure explaining the video is a gift from the churches of their association. Each church, their address, and phone number is listed in the brochure.

 

The cost was $3.55 a home, which is very economical for an evangelistic effort, said Young.

 

To give to the effort, some individuals skipped a meal once a week and gave what they saved. Churches held fundraisers.

 

To follow up on the distribution, Baptists of the association are being encouraged as they go about their work and business in the community to ask folks if they received a “Jesus” video, explained Young.

 

“They can spark a conversation that way,” he explained.

 

The association also will lead a follow-up effort which will begin in February, said Young. Sutton will ask churches to accept a section of the community’s phone book so church members can call each resident and ask about their response to the video.

 

“We’re very proud that we did it,” said Young. “We didn’t. The Lord did.”

 

“Never underestimate those Baptists.”

 

Sutton said, “The Lord is alive and still performing miracles!”

 

The residents will hear the good news about the real reason for the season in time for Christmas.

 

“The seed has been planted. Please start praying now and preparing for the harvest,” said Sutton.

 

 

                                                              Pictured from left to right at the Dayton, TN, Post Office: Linda Roddy, TVBA;

                                                              Reba Sutton, New Union; Linda Purser, New Union; Paul Forgey, Wolf Creek;

                                                                                Jim Sutton, New Union; Milton Knox, Dayton First; Danny Ruehling, New Union