Approximately 12 years ago I was sitting in the barn of Ken Hall, a cotton farmer from Tifton, GA. At the end of the early morning Bible Study, a most ordinary fellow who happen to be a first-time visitor stood up and made this announcement: “The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International will be hosting a tent at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA. Last year they gave out 7,000 walking sticks with gospel beads attached and they could use a little help, so if your available, come on Tuesday between 9am and 5 pm, and when you get to the gate call my cell at 229-891-6470 and I will come meet you and get you
to the right place!”
Pastor John Hughes and his wife Nancy
Okay, I will confess! I know confession is good for the soul, but it is bad for the reputation! I was just a
little bit skeptical of these reported numbers! But he asked for help, and I was our church’s staff rep for
evangelism and missions and a laundry list of other things, you guessed it, I was the associate pastor! So,
I journeyed 30 miles to Moultrie and met Walter Powell at the gate. Walter quickly got me registered, name-tagged, and a hot cup of coffee. He introduced me to an outlaw, oops, I mean dairy farmer and his wife from Marcy, NY, perhaps you have heard of them, Bill and KathyBrown. I also met Ron, Deb, Mike, and a host of others who were there! These wonderful folks were so excited to have the opportunity to share Jesus Christ with the folks who would be coming through the tent! I observed 6 different presenters in 6 different groups sharing the gospel bead story. After watching for approximately an hour, Walter asked me if I would lead a group and give someone a break!
That day, that Tuesday, became a life-changing day for me! God not only let me see his amazing love,
power, and salvation displayed through humble servants like Bill, Kathy, Walter, Becky, Ron, Deb, Mike
and others like Donnie Duncan, He also let me have a part! People were so open and responsive, I could
not believe that people would stand in line 20 people deep to get these walking sticks, but they did!
I had to come Wednesday! Although my throat was raw from sharing the gospel over and over, if these
farmers had come all the way from New York, Indiana, Sylvester and Enigma how could I spend the next
two days in the church office?
During the last 12 years God has used this “Gospel Greenhouse” to train and equip members of our
church to share their faith. We used the sticks to share at two of our back-to-school events!
We just finished 2023 Ag Expo Last week, and I was so glad that 2 of our deacons brought 1 man with
them that they have been discipling! Let me encourage all pastors to leverage this partnership to equip
your folks and reach as many for Christ as we can for as long as we can!
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Walter!
Yours for multiplying disciples,
Pastor John Hughes
If you would like to learn more about volunteering with FCFI click here