An inquiry into the determinative evangelistic growth factors at the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas under the leadership of W. A. Criswell, 1944--1991.

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The title of this dissertation is "An Inquiry Into the Determinative Evangelistic Growth Factors at the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas Under the Leadership of W. A. Criswell, 1944-1991." While W. A. Criswell (1909-2002) led the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, from 1944 through 1991, the church grew to become the largest Southern Baptist Church and one of the largest Protestant churches in America. At its height, First Baptist Dallas maintained a membership of over twenty-eight thousand people with a Sunday School enrollment of over twelve thousand. Also, First Baptist Dallas became one of the first Southern Baptist churches to baptize over one thousand people annually. From 1980-89, the church averaged 911 baptisms per year including five years with total baptisms well above one thousand. First Baptist Dallas saw at least one public profession of faith each Sunday for twenty-five years. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to conduct an inquiry to identify the determinative growth factors that contributed to the church growth at First Baptist Dallas under the leadership of W. A. Criswell. This dissertation looks at the evangelistic practices and methods employed at First Baptist Dallas to identify the methods and practices that contributed to the church growth at First Baptist Dallas. This dissertation asks the question, Why did First Baptist Dallas grow? This dissertation attempts to uncover the determinative growth factors that contributed to that growth. Chapter 1, "Introduction," lays the foundation for this study. This introduction presents the research idea or thesis of the dissertation. The introduction then details the methodology that the research follows. A brief biographical sketch of W. A. Criswell is provided. Chapter 2, "The use of preaching and teaching evangelism under Criswell," provides a thorough discussion of Criswell's preaching. Criswell believed and taught that expository preaching was the best type of preaching to grow the Christian and to grow the church. In fact, Criswell held that expository preaching represented the best type of evangelistic preaching. This chapter looks at the ways that Criswell utilized the pulpit to practice evangelism and to teach his congregation about evangelism. Criswell's beliefs and practices related to the public invitation are also demonstrated in this chapter. Since Criswell recognized the preaching event as an evangelistic method, he always invited his listeners to make a public response to the message they heard. Criswell's use of itinerant preaching to promote and conduct evangelistic events is reviewed. This chapter looks at the ways Criswell may have used public locations or arenas in his preaching ministry. The teaching evangelism of Criswell and First Baptist Dallas is also considered. Chapter 3, "The use of personal, visitation, household, and literary evangelism under Criswell," includes research into the personal evangelism practices of Criswell. It investigates the commitment that Criswell made to personal evangelism. This chapter analyzes the various personal evangelism strategies and training methods utilized by First Baptist Dallas. A close look at the role of laymen in the evangelistic program at First Baptist Dallas is presented. The outreach and visitation ministries of First Baptist Dallas are reviewed. This chapter analyzes the way that First Baptist Dallas utilized home meetings such as Bible studies, prayer meetings, or evangelistic meetings. Criswell's teachings on the role of husbands and wives to share their faith with their family are also reviewed. Likewise, this chapter looks into Criswell's teaching and practice regarding the...
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011662188
  • Publisher: ProQuest LLC
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eTextbook
  • Pages: 280

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