'Mighty work' lies ahead for crusade volunteers

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Though the task is large and the crowd small, the 40 volunteers who gathered Monday night at Red Star Baptist Church for a "Hope for America" rally believe that God is moving in the community.

The crusade, with the Rev. Jerry Falwell as the opening speaker, begins Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Show Me Center. Other scheduled speakers likely will talk about the end times and second coming of Jesus Christ.

At Monday's meeting, the crowd was a mix of ministers, musicians and churchgoers. Most were middle-aged adults.

"If you looked around tonight and thought we were in trouble, well God doesn't work that way," said the Rev. Johnny Seabaugh. "He can take a small group of people and do a mighty work. That's what's going to happen."

The group came for prayer, inspiration and instruction as counselors. Many had attended the event here in April.

The crusade is making its return after six months and stops in DuQuoin, Ill., and Paducah, Ky. Falwell is the only speaker who has been at every crusade.

He has made national and international headlines lately for his comments about the founder of Islam. In a televised "60 Minutes" interview, Falwell said that Mohammed was a terrorist.

The comment incensed Muslims around the world. A strike to protest his comments in Bombay, India, turned into a riot and five people were killed. A Muslim cleric in Iran last week called for Falwell's death.

Falwell apologized over the weekend, saying he "intended no disrespect to any sincere, law-abiding Muslim.

"I sincerely apologize that certain statements of mine made during an interview for the September 30 edition of CBS's '60 Minutes' were hurtful to the feelings of many Muslims," Falwell said.

But Seabaugh said he doesn't believe Falwell is fearful of any threats. "Anybody who stands up and is bold for God, the devil is trying to kill him," he said.

During the two-hour meeting, people offered prayers for the speakers and musicians who will lead the services, pastors and churches in the area, people who might be attending and Jerry Lipps, whose Horizon Foundation is organizing and financing the crusades.

People have questioned the need to have a crusade in Cape Girardeau twice in one year, said the Rev. Donny Ford, an event organizer. "But we don't think it's too often to have two revivals in our church in a year," he said.

The crusade isn't meant to take the place of any church but to work alongside with churches in the community, he said. "We are encouraging churches to send choir members or people to come and be counselors or invite friends."

For information about volunteering or about the crusade, call the Horizon Foundation at 339-4646.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ljohnston@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

CRUSADE SCHEDULE

Sons of the Father will provide praise and music at the beginning of each session. Doors open at 6 p.m. Services begin at 7 p.m. each night at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. There is no charge for parking or admission.

Sunday

The Rev. Jerry Falwell

Music by combined church choirs.

Monday

Gary Frazier

Music by combined church choirs.

Tuesday

Veterans recognition

Tim Lee, Vietnam veteran will speak.

Music by Sons of the Father.Wednesday

David Ring

Music by combined church choirs.Thursday

John Ed Mathison, Methodist minister

Music by Heartland Worship Center choir of Paducah, Ky.Friday

Youth emphasis

Ken Freeman

Music by Samson

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