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when the roll is called


by David Crowe

WE SOMETIMES SING the old gospel song, When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder. It’s great to sing that phrase, “…when the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there,” and know that you will be a part of that great celebration in Heaven.

For the last 22 years, Home Missions has sponsored Roll Call Sunday each year. During that time, more than 30,000 first time salvation decisions have been recorded and I’m sure there have been many more we don’t know about. Thousands of people will answer the roll call in Heaven as a result of this program. Thousands of first time visitors attended Free Will Baptist churches and hundreds of churches have reported record attendances on this special day. Only eternity will fully reveal the impact of this program. I participated in Roll Call Sunday as a pastor for 12 years and found it to be an effective tool for reaching people. For the last ten years I have overseen and promoted Roll Call Sunday for the Home Missions Department. We praise the Lord for all that has been accomplished through this program.

Home Missions has been honored to promote Roll Call Sunday as a means of evangelism, outreach, and church growth. We also feel, however, that the program has run its course. For the next two years (2006, 2007), we will not promote Roll Call Sunday. Instead, we are going to use this time to promote year round evangelism and church growth.

Thousands of dollars and hours have been invested in Roll Call over the years. It has been a daunting task to promote, gather, and compile the results each year. With this in mind, we want to evaluate the effectiveness of Roll Call to determine if we want to continue, revamp the program, or invest our efforts in other methods of promoting church expansion.

Home Missions would like to thank every church and pastor who participated over the years, and especially those who gathered information for their district or state association. Your help and participation have been invaluable. We commend the office staff at Home Missions who has carried the responsibility of compiling and reporting the results of Roll Call Sunday each year. Without the support and cooperation extended to Home Missions, this program would never have been effective.

If you have comments regarding Roll Call, suggestions to improve it in the future, or to make additional suggestions about evangelism, outreach, and church growth, please contact me at Your comments and suggestions are both wanted and welcome. We want to be the best stewards of God’s money and time. Please pray for us as we focus on the future while building on the past!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Crowe, director of church growth for Home Missions, travels the nation preaching revivals and speaking at retreats and camps. David loves FWB history and has done extensive research into the early development of Free Will Baptists.






©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists