Tragedy occurred when a gunman entered the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and opened fire on the worshippers.
By the time shooting stopped, eight people were dead (including the gunman) and seven were wounded. Far from being a tragic defeat for the church, the deaths of these Christian believers led to tremendous opportunities for the Gospel.
The pastor, Rev. Al Meredith, was invited to Larry King Live and was able to make a beautiful presentation of the Gospel. CNN also broadcast the memorial service live. One of the victim’s families lives and works in Saudi Arabia. On this person’s behalf, Saudi Arabia, which outlaws Christian public worship services, allowed the live memorial service to be broadcast. This constituted the first televised broadcast of the Gospel in that country.
CNN also broadcast the service in Japan, a country that is hardened toward the Gospel, and thirty-five emailed Wedgwood Baptist indicating that they had accepted Jesus Christ. In the wake of the seven deaths, more than 150 students at local schools made public confessions of Christ and hundreds of others heard the Gospel from teachers who found a new freedom to share their faith. Wedgwood Baptist’s own webpage received more than 70,000 visits and which displayed a powerful presentation of the Gospel.
From the televised and radio broadcasts, an estimated 200 million persons heard the Gospel and Christian testimonies as a result of this “tragedy” turned inside out by God. Truly, God works all things together for good for those who love him and for the spreading of the Gospel (Rom. 8:28). “Be still and know that I am God,” the Scripture says, “I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps. 46:10).
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Information from: J. John and Mark Stibbe, A Box of Delights