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The Evangelist: A Biblical Study

On the third Monday of January, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Established by an act of Congress in 1983 and first observed in 1986, it is the only U.S. federal holiday that honors a seminary-trained, ordained minister. Although Dr. King is recognized for promoting civil rights and racial equality, much of his platform came from his ministry training and experience.

While a student at Crozier Theological Seminary, King wrote about his religious development. He describes his decision to become a Christian with the following story.

“Our church was in the midst of the spring revival, and a guest evangelist had come down from Virginia. On Sunday morning the guest evangelist came into our Sunday School to talk to us about salvation, and after a short talk on this point he extended an invitation to any of us who wanted to join the church. My sister was the first one to join the church that morning, and after seeing her join I decided that I would not let her get ahead of me, so I was the next.”

(“An Autobiography of Religious Development,” 1950)

Apparently, King didn’t remember the name of his evangelist. Though his own father was a minister, another evangelist helped lead him to Christ and to be baptized. Maybe no one on earth knows the name of the evangelist who led Martin Luther King, Jr. to Christ. But God knows him by name. He also knows the names of people who will hear the good news about Christ’s salvation from every biblical evangelist.

Last semester, in a class for students finishing ministry degrees, Billy wrote this about his decision to attend Bible college:

“I gave my life over to Christ when I was a young teen. After being baptized and having a moment at the altar with an evangelist, I was advised by him that I was called to preach when he was praying for me.”

Years later, after avoiding this call and going his own way, Billy found himself back in a central Missouri church, where his daughter was attending with friends. He and his wife attended on an Easter Sunday and made a new commitment to the Lord. Upon further conversations with the ministers and elders there, Central was mentioned and he listened. Billy’s story took a much different turn than he expected.

“My pastor and his son had attended and graduated from Central, so I made connections to see if I could attend. I was advised of the Full-Tuition scholarship. With my wife working on our finances and some prayer, she said we would have hard times if I walked away from our only source of income at that time. But we would be okay, because God would provide.

Since attending Central, Billy has studied preaching and now fills the pulpit of a mall church in eastern Missouri. He preaches every Sunday, sharing God’s word with an audience that is slowly growing. And this year, one of his daughters also became a Central student.

It pleases us to see a supporting church bring people into a new commitment to Christ, then send them to be trained here. Later this month, dozens of new students will start their journey of training at Central Christian College of the Bible. And we will teach them how to be dedicated disciples who know God’s Word and serve His kingdom.

Central’s original purpose, which still directs our efforts, was “to recruit and train leadership for the church at large according to the New Testament teaching.” Notice the first word: RECRUIT. Before we can train future leaders for the church, we must first recruit them. That costs money.

  • We visit churches, camps, and conferences around the country to find potential students.
  • We pay for printing and postage to promote the college to prospective students.
  • And don’t forget, we provide a generous scholarship program so students can learn Biblical truth, receive personalized attention, and go out into the world to serve, knowing their investment in their education will gain a return.

And this work is fueled by people like you. When you share generously with CCCB, we can train students to serve churches like yours.

Can you help us train the next wave of evangelists so desperately needed?

Thank you for your gift of any size to help us prepare more evangelists, who will lead others to Christ.

Get your copy of The Evangelist: A Biblical Study by Professor Gareth Reese


Would you like to know more about what the Bible says about evangelists? Professor Gareth Reese has spent a lifetime studying the New Testament and training his students for ministry.

His special study The Evangelist: A Biblical Study describes different men of the New Testament who held that office. It also describes the work of ministry in light of the passages about evangelists. We would love to send this booklet to you when you make a donation of any size.  It would make a great gift for your minister or for someone in your church who might be interested in training for the ministry at Central Christian College of the Bible.

(If you are unable to give at this time, we would still like to send you the booklet.  Simply click here to download your free copy.)