There is another side to the story of the massacre at Wedgwood
Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, one which the media has overlooked
and would not be all that interested in. That is the fact that from a
single Baptist church in an obscure section of a big city, the gospel
has gone out, almost overnight, to over 200 million people around the world.
Shortly before a lone gunman entered a Wednesday night prayer meeting
September 15th and sprayed over 100 bullets into a congregation
of 400, the pastor had prayed that God would do "whatever it
takes" to expand the ministry of Wedgwood Baptist Church.
Since then, one church member reports that, "Al Meredith, our
pastor, has had the microphone in his face continually and has
over and over given an outstanding answer to the reason for our
hope. He presented the gospel beautifully on Larry King Live
when prompted by a question asked by Vice President Al Gore."
When 15,000 attended a memorial service at a local football
stadium, the pastor spoke the same challenge of the gospel. In
addition, the message was carried by CNN world wide. As a result,
the church has received over 10,000 emails, 5000 cards and $60,000 in
donations from all over the world.
One report from Japan stated that 35 people were saved after
listening to the CNN broadcast. Because one of the victim's families
lives and works in Saudi Arabia, that country allowed the service to be
broadcast there as well. This is unheard of because it is illegal to
say the name of Jesus there on the street.
Local radio and TV stations have given the shooting so much coverage
that school students all over the area are asking their teachers
questions about their faith. Many Christian teachers have told
Wedgewood staff about hundreds of kids that have been led to the Lord
as a result.
Because many of the victims had been involved in the "See You At The
Pole" prayer meetings earlier that day, Christian students at other
schools across the country went back to the flag pole the next day to
pray for the Wedgwood kids. This gave them further opportunity to
witness and many were led to Christ.
Texas governor Bush and the Fort Worth mayor joined the church staff
in a prayer meeting. President Clinton called and Pastor Meredith
ended the conversation by praying for Clinton and his family.
The church's web site has had over 65,000 visits since the tragedy.
It has links to salvation messages in many languages. Many more
miracles of God's provision are detailed on the web
When the gunman threw the pipe bomb into the front of the church,
the end fell off and it did not explode. What the gunman intended
for death, God has turned an explosion of the gospel. The Pastor
prayed, "whatever it takes." God took him at his word.