More than 1,000 total commitments were recorded at the
Coal Country GO TELL Crusade in Middlesboro on Sept. 14-17
and the Greater Lake Cumberland GO TELL Crusade in Somerset on Sept. 21-24
GO TELL Evangelist Rick Gage and his team spoke to 3,500 students in schools throughout the border region in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia and preached a Gospel message to 6,000 during nightly services in Middlesboro.
Of the 370 spiritual decisions, there were 250 first-time salvation decisions in Middlesboro. Gage and his team then spoke to 5,500 students in Somerset-area school assemblies, encouraging them to be winners in life by making such right decisions as avoiding drugs and alcohol, rejecting suicide and standing up against bullying.
Over 10,000 heard the Gospel message during nightly services in Somerset. Of the 745 spiritual decisions in Somerset, there were 400 first-time salvation decisions.
In both Crusade towns, GO TELL has heard numerous reports of lives that have been radically changed by the Gospel and whole households who have made commitments to Christ.
A member of the First Baptist Church of Somerset, Crusade counselor Anna Williams said five of the nine girls she counseled during the week received Jesus for salvation. “The rest were rededications or needed to pray. Two girls, one 13 and one 14, were praying together out loud. Another girl was suicidal, but I think the Lord has His hand on her.
“On the last night, there was a river of people when I had five to counsel instead of one or two. Three of those five were saved, including one who thought she was saved, but she was not. That was the way I used to be,” Williams said.
An amazing salvation story occurred when one of those saved young ladies was a Muslim. She was the daughter of a Middle Eastern man, whom Williams had met at a store a couple of weeks before and told her then that he was attending a mosque. He came with his daughter to the Crusade but was unsure of what was happening. “You’re in trouble,” Williams said he told her but not in anger. She replied, “Well, you can’t stop what the Lord is doing. This is the invisible hand of God at work.” Just at that moment, Williams’ youth pastor, who had been to that man’s country, began talking to the man to help him understand the decision made by his daughter. “The timing was incredible,” Williams added.
Of the crusade, Williams said, “I hope they come back. I’m praying hard the Lord will continue His work. The timing was so right for it. Many people are riding on their heritage or family’s coattails in our city” instead of entering into a personal relationship with Jesus.
Cumberland Lake Shell owner Wade Correll, 85, said, “It was a great crusade. It was like nothing I or anyone had ever seen in our county.”On the very first night, Somerset Crusade Publicity Chairman Bob Boon, associate pastor at Eagle Heights Church in Somerset, said he was most amazed to see his own 80-plus-year-old mother-in-law walk down front after everyone else had dispersed. “Nana pointed at Rick (Gage) and said, ‘I’m just like he was. I’ve been saved since I was 11, but I’ve never lived for Jesus.
“I’ve never doubted my salvation. I never did anything except get saved. I’m supposed to serve Him,” she told him of her relationship with Jesus.
Boon said of her, “She’s the sweetest lady. She is such a good woman, who comes from a strong family.”
Also, Boon said his 4-year-old grandson attended every night of the crusade and listened to everything, especially the music. “He tells me, ‘Papa, Jesus lives inside of me.’ I do know he truly believes Jesus is living in his heart. He told us, ‘Jesus told me Paps and Paw-Paw are in Heaven and doing okay. He said Jesus told him Paps is playing golf and Paw-Paw is fishing. Paps, my father, passed away last summer but had not played golf in many years. Paw-Paw, my father-in-law, died several years ago. My grandson had not known Paps loved to play golf and that Paw-Paw loved to fish.”
As for a salvation story, Boon said the teen son of one of their deacons decided to trust in Jesus. “He used to be quiet. Now he gives high 5’s, and you can see the joy in his heart.”
Of Gage, Boon said, “He was captivating. People were not on their cell phones or texting. Everyone was so intently focused. In today’s world, you don’t often see that.”
About the on going effects of the Crusade, Boon added, “It’s not over. It’s just started.”
Ron Howard, one of the Middlesboro Crusade’s co-chairmen, said, “One of the things we talked about and prayed for were the coal miners who had lost their jobs. I have a member who has been out of work for around four years. He was very discouraged and disheartened when God began dealing with him to use his talent in our church services.
“He attended all of the Crusade meetings and said, in particular, that God really spoke to him through the message Tuesday night. We talked today, and he shared that he was going to use his talents as God allowed and that God just reassured him that He was in control of the situation.
“About an hour later, he received a call and was hired. They are giving him a 30-day trial but told him, by that time, they would, more than likely, have a local job and he would not have to leave. He gave God the glory and said he knew that Brother Rick and the GO TELL Team had been praying for those who have lost their jobs, and the message of hope was reaffirmed in his heart this week. He was more than in awe that the job offer came at so unlikely a time (on a Saturday) and just after the conclusion of the crusade. He was just really uplifted during the crusade. “
Dr. Kathy Lefevers, who served as the Finance Chairman for the Middlesboro Crusade, said she heard of several salvation stories. “One man was out on the roadway walking and felt compelled to come to the stadium and was saved,” she said.
A former Mormon, Mark Elkins, senior pastor of New Heights Church in Pineville, received Jesus Christ as his Savior while listening to Rick Gage at a GO TELL Crusade 23 years ago. “I did not fully understand what all of this meant, but I did understand that I was a mess and that Jesus came to save me from that mess, that I could have purpose. Now I’m a church planter.”
Mark Harrell, one of the Somerset Crusade co-chairmen, said, “One teen from our church, who was away from the Lord, rededicated her life on Monday night. I was able to visit with her and her dad that evening in the cold – just to encourage her to press forward now.
“On Wednesday night, she had her dad drive around before service and help gather as many friends of hers as possible to come for that final night. Six of her friends made a profession of faith that night. Most Christians never lead one person to Christ, much less six people, just two days after recommitting their own life back to God. Reminds me of Cornelius in the Bible. You reach Cornelius; you have access to his whole household of relatives and friends.”
On opening night of the Somerset Crusade, a lady who was in the bar business came forward and made a commitment to Christ, according to Gage. “Her life was touched by the Spirit of God in a powerful way. She called her bar business partner in Muncie, Indiana that night and told him what God had just done in her life. The next day, he drove nearly five hours to Somerset to attend our Monday night Crusade service and was gloriously saved. They are now getting out of the bar business! To God be the glory!”
Somerset Crusade Finance Chairman George Corder said, “I was not a counselor, but I did receive a blessing from my participation and attendance each night. As the Finance Committee chair, I was able to see God’s timetable and ability to bring the budget funding together to meet our goal. Just two weeks out from the crusade starting, we were only at 50 percent of our budget needs. Yet our committee team leaders would meet each Tuesday and continue to display their faith that God would provide and that we knew we had community members who were behind this type of an event for our city.
“We not only met but exceeded our budget goal with God’s help and blessing to everyone involved. Many were leery of the situation, but I believe that it was a tremendous teaching moment in steadfast faith.
“I can’t explain the dread and sense of being overwhelmed in taking the position of Finance Chair. I honestly had regrets about having taken on this position. Now though, I see it has strengthened my faith, allowing me to meet many new friends who I worked with almost daily. I really am going to miss the blessing of fellowship we all shared during our weekly meetings. My continued prayers and blessings go to the GO TELL Crusade nationwide.”
Founded in 1990 as a continuation of the ministry of his late father Dr. Freddie Gage, an internationally known evangelist, GO TELL Ministries involves global evangelist Rick Gage in international missions, school assembly programs, crusades and youth camps. For more information about holding a GO TELL Crusade in your area, contact 1-866-I GO TELL or Info@gotellministries.com.