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EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Readers Respond to the “I Found It” Campaign

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Editor’s Note:  Most Saturdays we will feature this “Editor’s Notebook” column. MinistryWatch President Warren Smith will comment on one or more stories in the week’s news, adding an additional perspective or, sometimes, a behind-the-scenes look at how the story came to be. 

My mention of the “I Found It” campaign a couple of weeks ago in this column motivated a number of responses.

For example, Jeri writes: “I would just like to share that the ‘I Found It’ campaign was instrumental in my salvation. It was during the Jesus movement of the 70s.  Many of us got saved at that time and the billboards were a huge part of my memory. Don’t discard something because it appears not to have done something in and of itself. I am 62 years old and I still share with my kids those billboards history and my salvation.”

Jeffrey reminded me of a song inspired by the “I Found It” campaign, recorded by Christine Wyrtzen for the Milk & Honey record label in 1978.  You can here that song here.  By the way, Christine Wyrtzen, whose music fits into the “inspirational” category of CCM, is still going strong.  You can find her website here.

Bob wrote: “The pastor of the small church I was attending in 1976-1977 became a regional coordinator in the NYC ‘I Found It Campaign.’  The ‘region’ was lower Manhattan, from 23rd or 34th Street down to Battery Park.  It was my job to locate churches in this region, meet with a pastor and promote the ‘I Found It Campaign.’ I still have fond memories of meeting with pastors of different denominations and races. I also met many wonderful Christians as a result of my involvement in the Campaign, but I don’t think the Campaign changed NYC. I also learned how to use the Four Spiritual Laws booklet and led many people through it, but I don’t know if anyone was saved.”

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Lou had a slightly different perspective: “Once I was young and excited. I signed up to be the county promoter of the ‘I Found It’ campaign  in Lincoln County, Oregon. Years later, I took the training to be a counselor in Portland for the last visit of Billy Graham . Sorry to say that neither event produced an exciting outpouring of ‘seekers’ looking for forgiveness of sins.

Also over the years I have been active in many churches in varied roles. Deacon, search committee, AWANA, etc.  I have come to the sad conclusion that most church going Christians just are not that excited about this ‘Jesus” stuff. Church is a duty to keep the Lord happy and not sending bad fortune. Things are not supposed to be this way.

Jay’s perspective is more upbeat:  “My home church, Moulton Baptist Church in Moulton, Alabama, participated in the ‘I Found It’ Campaign and as a 7th grader, I decided I’d help be a part of it. During the training, I discovered that I needed a personal relationship with Christ and became a Christ-follower during the training.

You said you wanted to hear from someone who “found it” during the campaign. I am one and that’s my story.”

Dick also sent an account of someone whose salvation is directly linked to the “I Found It” campaign:  “I was able to lead my Father to the Lord due to the Campaign and using the tracts they had sent out.  I’ve never forgotten that campaign…almost 50 years ago. I was a relatively new Christian at the time but it gave me the confidence and the tool, to have a conversation with my father….who is now in Heaven!”

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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.