Sammy Tippit bringing his crusade to Westminster

June 01, 1993|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Contributing Writer

When the plans to bring Sammy Tippit's "God's Love in Action" crusade to Central Maryland were being developed in January, timing was crucial, according to the Rev. Earl Gray of the Manchester Baptist Church, who has been active in the planning of the crusade.

"Pastor Donald N. Holman of the Reisterstown Bible Church has spearheaded the effort to bring Pastor Tippit here," said Mr. Gray, "and the only week Mr. Tippit had open was the week of June 1 through June 4, which coincided with the availability of the Westminster High stadium. It was then that we all thought, 'God's going to make it happen.' "

According to Mr. Gray, this is the first major evangelistic crusade in

Central Maryland since the 1920s, when the famous evangelist Billy Sunday visited here.

"This really is very special for Carroll County," he said. "The Sammy Tippit crusade is the first ever to take place in a football stadium here, and it will continue for four consecutive nights."

Another aspect of the crusade, organized by 30 participating churches throughout the region, is that the funding comes from those churches and individual contributions and offerings will not be taken.

"Churches from Baltimore County, Baltimore, Howard County and even Pennsylvania are involved in this effort," he said, "with 100 percent of the cost underwritten by those churches."

Carroll County churches participating include Elders Baptist, Westminster Baptist, Faith Community Bible, Winfield Bible, Hampstead Baptist, Westminster Bible and Manchester Baptist.

"This crusade is nondenominational and people of all faiths are invited to attend," said Mr. Gray.

Mr. Tippit, a native of Louisiana, began his preaching career in 1965. In the early 1970s he was one of the leaders of the Jesus Movement in Chicago and focused his ministry on young people.

In 1973 he began preaching in Western and Eastern Europe. He was eventually arrested and deported after preaching on the steps of the University of Leningrad. As pastor of the Hahn Baptist Church in Hahn, Germany, he helped it become one of the fastest-growing evangelical churches in Western Europe.

Exiled from Romania during the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, he re-entered that country in 1990 follow

ing the revolution and execution of the former Socialist leader and preached throughout the country.

So far this year, his crusades have taken him to Mexico, Brazil, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. Following his appearance in Westminster, he will go to Mongolia, Siberia, the Philippines, Ghana, Brazil and Nepal.

Mr. Tippit, founder and president of God's Love in Action/Sammy Tippit Ministries, based in San Antonio, Texas, is also the author of several books.

The crusade will be held rain or shine, said Mr. Gray. "Those planning better bring an umbrella just in case," he said with a laugh.

The outdoor crusade will begin at 7:30 p.m. today and will continue through Friday at the Westminster High School stadium, 1225 Washington Road. Information: 239-1993.

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