In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, there was a group called Gabriel who was widely known in Texas among Baptist churches.  We brought that group to Kingsville and offered free pizza to all youth who came.  Over 700 young people came and heard Christian contemporary music and an evangelistic message.  Over 200 made professions of faith.  You must understand that in a predominantly Catholic culture, these decisions will not result in people joining your church in great numbers.  You have to rejoice that they heard and understood the gospel and made a response.  God will determine in his own time and own way how many truly trusted him.  As I spoke with group after group of those making decisions, I said to one group.  We want you to know that we have provided this program tonight because we love you and more importantly because God loves you.  One young lady shouted from the back row and said, “We love you too, mister.”  God placed our church in a position to be known and loved by Kingsville.  We sat up a basketball goal under a guardian light on our property and large groups of young people would play ball at night under the light.  I often walked up on them and told them that we just wanted them to know that we loved them.  All we asked of them is not to litter and to remember that they were on the grounds of a church.  They were very appreciative and respectful.  We brought in other high profile guests.  Reba Mcintire’s sister Suzie, who looks much like her, came and sang gospel songs on two occasions filling the house.  Kendra Cook, a powerful soloist, came.  Point of Grace came.  In those days they were known as Say So.  Their theme song contained the words, “We are children of the King and we’re going to say so.”  Tony Hill, Dallas Cowboy great, gave his testimony.  A former Miss America gave her testimony.  There were others.  These events made the whole city aware of our location and of the way that we had brought so much attention to the good news of Jesus.  Attendance grew and a building once nearly empty filled up Sunday after Sunday.  It was a great time.

Dan Wooldridge


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