In Philly, a ‘Soul Patrol’ Church is Out to Win the City

by | Oct 24, 2011 | Charisma Archive

Thumping music filling the air. Smoke rising from barbecue grills. And the ice-cold beer flowing freely. That’s the typical scene at block parties in northInform-SoulPatrol Philadelphia when the Deliverance Evangelistic Church van turns the corner—right before these street missionaries change the spiritual climate.

Indeed, the secular street party doesn’t daunt outreach leader David Young or his team of devil-busting soul-winners. As the group arrives, prayer, preaching and a call for souls goes forth in the City of Brotherly Love. Within 30 minutes, the block party bows to the gospel message.

It’s called “Operation Take the City,” a soul-winning program Deliverance Evangelistic Church runs in the hard streets of Philadelphia. Through its various outreach strategies the church sees about 3,000 people saved every year—in a city chilled by the realities of HIV infections that are dramatically outpacing the national average and one of the highest crime rates in the nation.

“It’s fulfilling the Great Commission. We’re not out to try to fulfill the vision of an individual. Lives are being changed,” says Therlow Paulin, an outreach pastor at Deliverance. “Some of the people we’ve ministered to out in the streets are now pastors. There’s the fruit—when you can see lives transformed.”

Deliverance Evangelistic Church is celebrating its 50th year—and the chase for souls is stronger than ever. Seven hundred members of the megachurch are actively involved in outreaches.

Beyond its own city borders, Deliverance has equipped more than 300 churches in street evangelism across Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia. The church is also reaching out globally. But the love begins at home.

Take the City is not for the faint of heart. Tailored suits, church titles, fancy hats and expensive bling have no place or power in the strategy that propels outreach teams to Philadelphia’s most crime-torn sections. Deliverance lives up to its name by setting up soul-winning activities where many refuse to go. But it takes tactical planning to attack demonic strongholds in the city, along with a Holy Ghost boldness.

Beyond its regular outreaches, Deliverance gears up during the Christmas and Easter seasons for “The Outreach Thrust.” As many as 200 workers descend upon Philadelphia’s Broad Street Subway system and preach to riders—some appearing captivated, others repulsed and many surrendering to Christ. And a “Soul Patrol” of men gathers on Friday nights from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. to tackle prostitution hotspots, notorious drug-dealing street corners and popular dance-club locations.

Teen males are among those accepting Christ. Fearing the elevated murder rate and the teen lives often claimed by it, Donald, 16, gave his heart to Jesus on the corner of Hope Plaza. Bernadette, a homeless drug-addicted mother desiring the return of her two children, found comfort in accepting Jesus on Broad Street. And Marie, her countenance revealing a weight of problems, welcomed relief by receiving salvation while she waited for the bus. The situations and Christ-affirming outcomes are endless.

“People are hurting because of the economic times we’re in. Our emphasis must be in reaching and feeding the hungry and the suffering and the dying. We feed the homeless here,” said Glenn Spaulding, who has pastored the church since 2002. “Thank God that with His help I believe better days are yet ahead.” 

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]