God has begun moving people towards the Sandhills Go Tell Crusade, said Crusader Rick Gage.
The event — a culmination of more than a year’s worth of work and leadership — will begin Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the Raider Stadium at Richmond Senior High School on U.S. Highway 1 in Rockingham. The crusade will continue each night at 7 p.m. with Wednesday being the last day.
“God wants everybody to be saved,” said Gage, who has been following in his father’s footsteps since he received and surrendered to a message from God. Gage’s father, Freddie Gage, held a similar crusade 26 years ago in the same location.
As a college football coach, Gage began feeling unfulfilled in life in 1986. He heard an evangelist preach the gospel at an event and felt urged to respond to the calling he felt was from God.
“God was calling me to the ministry and I surrendered,” said Gage. “He used the service to turn my life around. The spirit of God brought strong conviction to my heart that I was lost, that I was a sinner and that I was far from Him. I had two choices; reject the calling or surrender to it. I had rejected the call of God many times, but I felt like this was my last chance.”
Gage responded to the call.
“I said, ‘take me and use me. I’m at the altar, broken over my sin and weeping,’” said Gage. “I killed Jesus. All of our sins put him on the cross. I walked out of there a new creation.”
Gage hopes this transformation will come to many who enter the crusade.
“I pray that God will bless this crusade the way he blessed my father’s crusade 26 years ago,” said Gage.
According to Thad Ussery, task-force co-chair, the crusade’s funding budget has been met with $78,000.
“We’ve had all of our teams working hard and we’ve reached a lot of people,” said Ussery, who said one team consists of over 350 people. “Our outreach team has been successful. The newspaper has been helpful and we are getting responses from those ads. People are excited. The churches have responded. We have more churches coming on board. I feel like our work will be blessed.”
Ussery said the task force will visit schools in Richmond and Montgomery schools each day, handing out free pizza tickets and putting on performances by BMX Outcast Bikers.
“Richmond County will be different after this,” said Ussery.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.