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25 churches team up for crusade that starts Sunday

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Martin Guthrie of Down East Tent Rentals sets up a tent for the citywide evangelistic crusade that begins on Corsair Circle in Elizabeth City, Sunday night.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Saturday, October 20, 2018

An evangelistic crusade bringing together churches of different races and different denominations to proclaim the Christian Gospel within what some church leaders have identified as a “pocket of lostness” in Elizabeth City begins Sunday evening under a tent on Corsair Circle.

The meetings begin each night at 7 p.m. from Sunday through Wednesday. The preacher for the crusade is William “Duce” Branch, a professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Christian hip-hop artist.

Music will be provided by a choir made up of churches from throughout the city.

The Rev. Joseph Turner, pastor of Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, said he and several other people he has spoken with do not recall a previous Christian outreach in Elizabeth City that has involved this many churches of different races and different denominations working together.

“It’s not just black churches and not just white churches, and it’s not just one denomination,” Turner said. “This is different churches working together and that is what I love about it.”

The Rev. Farren Roper, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, said he had met with some leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention who mentioned a “pocket of lostness” they had identified in which they said 70 percent of people within a three-mile radius of the intersection of Halstead and Hughes boulevards did not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Roper said he first talked to the staff at Corinth about holding a tent revival and the idea later developed, through prayer and discussion among Christians in the community, into hosting an inter-denominational, citywide evangelistic crusade.

About 35 pastors met for lunch in May to discuss the idea and plans have grown from there, according to Roper.

The city of Elizabeth City and Mayor Bettie Parker have been very supportive of the event, he said.

“The mayor was on-board from the get-go,” Roper said.

About 25 churches have come together to make the crusade a reality, he said.

“A whole lot of people are praying,” Roper said.

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