God Turns Church
There is another side to the story of the massacre at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, one which the media has overlooked and would not be all that interested in. That is the fact that from a single Baptist church in an obscure section of a big city, the gospel has gone out, almost overnight, to over 200 million people around the world.
Shortly before a lone gunman entered a Wednesday night prayer meeting September 15th and sprayed over 100 bullets into a congregation of 400, the pastor had prayed that God would do "whatever it takes" to expand the ministry of Wedgewood Baptist Church. Since then, one church member reports that, "Al Meredith, our pastor, has had the microphone in his face continually and has over and over given an outstanding answer to the reason for our hope. He presented the gospel beautifully on Larry King Live when prompted by a question asked by Vice President Al Gore."
When 15,000 attended a memorial service at a local football stadium, the pastor spoke the same challenge of the gospel. In addition, the message was carried by CNN world wide. As a result, the church has received over 10,000 emails, 5000 cards and $60,000 in donations from all over the world.
One report from Japan stated that 35 people were saved after listening to the CNN broadcast. Because one of the victim's families lives and works in Saudi Arabia, that country allowed the service to be broadcast there as well. This is unheard of because it is illegal to say the name of Jesus there on the street.
Local radio and TV stations have given the shooting so much coverage that school students all over the area are asking their teachers questions about their faith. Many Christian teachers have told Wedgewood staff about hundreds of kids that have been led to the Lord as a result.
Because many of the victims had been involved in the "See You At The Pole" prayer meetings earlier that day, Christian students at other schools across the country went back to the flag pole the next day to pray for the Wedgewood kids. This gave them further opportunity to witness and many were led to Christ.
Texas governor Bush and the Fort Worth mayor joined the church staff in a prayer meeting. President Clinton called and Pastor Meredith ended the conversation by praying for Clinton and his family.
The church's web site has had over 65,000 visits since the tragedy. It has links to salvation messages in many languages. Many more miracles of God's provision are detailed on the web at www.wedgwoodbc.org. When the gunman threw the pipe bomb into the front of the church, the end fell off and it did not explode. What the gunman intended for death, God has turned an explosion of the gospel. The Pastor prayed, "whatever it takes." God took him at his word.
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