FALMOUTH, Ky. (KT) – When Abram Crozier accepted the call to pastor in January 2019, only about 20 were attending Trinity Southern Baptist Church.
By the end of the year, he had baptized 19 new believers.
“We almost matched the attendance we started out with,” said the 31-year-old pastor.
Now the church is running about 140 on Sunday mornings, or about seven times the number that it stood when Crozier started. That’s the kind of evangelistic math that adds up to a church on the rise.
Crozier, the son of a Kentucky Baptist pastor, said he cast a vision for the church where people wouldn’t just be sitting in the pews. “One of the first things I did when I went there was tell them we were going to be a church on the move,” he said.
He also looked around his hometown and home county of Pendleton and saw potential to reach into the community with the gospel. He said of the 13,350 population in the county, about 90 percent are unchurched. “There’s plenty of people that need to hear the message,” he said.
His father, Harry Crozier, still preaches two streets over at First Baptist Church Fallmouth and there’s another Baptist church a couple of blocks in the other direction. But even as Trinity Southern has grown, the other churches have not declined, he said.
“Everybody seems excited about what’s happening in the community,” Abram Crozier said.
Rob Patterson, evangelism team leader of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said he was impressed with Crozier from the first time they met.
“I met with Abram at the local diner, Howard’s Place, in Falmouth as he had just been called to Trinity Southern Baptist, you could immediately sense that the Lord’s hand is upon him in a special way,” he said.
Patterson said he checks all the boxes as to what is needed throughout Kentucky.
“He is young, innovative and understands you must evangelize to revitalize,” Patterson said. “He was willing to serve bivocationally to answer the call, commuting a good distance to be available to the church and community on weekends.”
Crozier, who is from Falmouth, has been able to use that to his advantage. “We need more called men willing to serve in the places they are when God calls them,” Patterson said. “He has a deep appreciation for the legacy of the church, having been raised in the home of a KBC minister.”
He is reaching out into the community, putting on the first “Night to Shine” program that was started by Tim Tebow for disabled children earlier this month. It was a booming success with 130 volunteers and 70 guests, he said.
“It brought a lot of people and churches together,” he said.
Trinity Southern has a baptism goal of 40 for 2020, which would double last year’s total. “We’ve had two (saved) already and four more who came forward on Sunday. That’s six already,” Crozier said.
The pastor said the encouragement he’s received from KBC leaders through conferences and on-on-one meetings has been uplifting. The convention theme this November that was announced earlier this month of reaching every home with the gospel has energized him to be part of that mission.
Crozier didn’t come in and change everything in the church, although there was a willingness of cooperation with the few who remained. He found a church on decline but one that hadn't given up. Life has returned at Trinity Southern with a young, energetic spirit, and the members have followed his lead, and the flock has multiplied.
“We are seeing a lot of people who had not been in church for years who are starting to come back,” he said. “I’m a young preacher but we still have a traditional service. We still sing hymns and I wear a suit every Sunday. We didn’t have a youth group when I started, but we had 32 last week so our youth is booming too.”
As for music, he said most of the members listen to country music and not pop music so he stays away from the praise music because it’s more like pop.
The older members in the congregation have been happy with the change to be more evangelistic, Crozier said. “They were open to just about anything when I came because they were so much in decline. I don’t think I could do anything though without their support on changes.”
It’s all been a change for the better and Southern Trinity Baptist Church has truly become a “church on the move.”