BIMI

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During the Separate Baptist Revival led by Stearns, 17 men were ordained and planted churches. Through those early church planting efforts, it is possible to trace in one generation 500 Baptist church plants back to the Sandy Creek Church and in two generations over 1,000 Baptist church plants back to Sandy Creek! Sterns was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1706. After hearing the preaching of George Whitfield, he was converted, but six years later he was immersed and then ordained as a Baptist preacher. He would come to North Carolina in 1755. His idea for church planting was simple. He started the Sandy Creek Church and then started planting churches out of Sandy Creek. The church plants would have their own pastors and when these new churches were established, they would begin to carry out the planting of other new churches. It is a simple illustration of multiplication of churches. This simple plan of starting churches way back then resulted in what we know as the “Bible Belt” today. Sterns migrated from the Northeast during the Great Awakening to the Southeast to preach the Gospel and plant churches. He saw an opportunity to reach people for Jesus in a vast region of the country, which at that time sat in spiritual darkness. This would be done by planting churches. As we see the tremendous need for the Gospel to be preached today in the Northwest, the Northeast, and the Southwest United States, perhaps we need to take a look back at how God used Shubal Stearns. God took him from the Great Awakening in the Northeast and brought him to an area where there were few proclaiming the Gospel and planting churches. Reseeding America – Spring 2015 3