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Baptists believe in gospel, Thunder

Oklahoma Southern Baptist groups have created an outreach aimed at sharing the gospel and providing hospitality to fans and visitors as the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team gears up for another round of playoffs.
by Carla Hinton Published: May 12, 2012

Other outreach efforts include:

The distribution of a Thunder playoff series related mini magazine from Sports Spectrum. The magazine features the Plan of Salvation, faith quotes and stories about well known Christian athletes like Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Thunder guard Derek Fisher and coaches like Sherri Coale, head women's basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma.

The printing and distribution of brochures which feature several Thunder players discussing their faith journey.

A booth offering water and a resting spot for fans, visitors and volunteers.

Playoff watch parties at local churches, businesses and church members' homes.

Chaplains and other volunteers in Bricktown offering friendly greetings, prayer and other aid.

A social media outlet at www.ibelieveOKC.com in conjunction with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's My316 initiative.

Building bridges

Black said church members will be distributing the brochures and other materials in Bricktown and to friends, family and co-workers when the Thunder comes up in conversations.

“They can put one of those in someone's hands and let the Holy Spirit take it from there,” he said.

The Rev. Dave Evans, senior pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Moore, said several men at his church are already planning to invite people to playoff watch parties. He said the church members will have the Sports Spectrum magazine and other material to present to guests as they enjoy the game.

“This will be an opportunity to build a bridge out in the community,” Evans said.

Kinnaird agreed.

He said the outreach is another way to help others along in their faith journey, allowing Baptist volunteers to be part of a team that shares the gospel in a different venue.

“'I believe we're (Thunder) going to make it all the way and I believe in Christ,” Kinnaird said.

“We need hope and that's really what this is — a message of hope.”

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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