In the latest sign of an ongoing spiritual awakening in America, an Oklahoma Baptist church had over 700 soldiers attend its exclusive Christmas play last weekend, with about 116 of them professing faith in Jesus Christ.
First Baptist Church of Lawton displays a sensational 39-foot-tall Christmas tree, which takes 40 people and seven hours of work to set up for the church’s annual Living Christmas Tree musical that draws thousands each year.
“Last year, we reached 4,000 people in one weekend,” Worship Pastor Xavier Abraham said. “This year, we decided to do two weekends. We hope to reach 5,000.”
The church normally holds the event one weekend during December, but Senior Pastor Mike Keahbone told the Baptist Press he felt godly inspiration to add a second weekend for the Living Christmas Tree performance.
“To ask for a church to do it two weekends back-to-back was a difficult, difficult ask,” Keahbone told Baptist Press, citing the long hours and labor required in the production. “But it just felt like the Lord was in it.”
Keahbone had invited soldiers from the nearby Fort Sill Army base.
“They were not going to be able to (attend), except for the fact that they found out we were doing an alternate date,” Keahbone said. “Had we stuck to just doing it (Dec. 8-10) when we normally do it, they wouldn’t have been able to come,” CBN News reports.
More than 700 soldiers attended the event, with 116 of them giving their lives to Jesus Christ as a result.
“We obviously shared the Gospel that night,” he said, “and it turns out we had 116 professions of faith, several others that want to know more, and then a whole bunch that already knew the Lord…(others) indicated that the living Christmas tree sort of brought them back home and kind of got them back on the right track.”
Soldiers recorded their professions of faith and other spiritual decisions on contact cards, and chaplains at Fort Sill plan to follow up with the soldiers.
The church has held this event for the last 43 years, only breaking the tradition during the COVID-19 pandemic.