Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:52PM - 409 Views

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PDT Staff Writer

First Church of the Nazarene of Portsmouth experienced 25 percent increase in attendance on Sunday, Sept. 16, a day that now recognized as National Back to Church Sunday by many churches around the country.

National Back to Church Sunday is an initiative that is inviting America Back to Church. It seeks to reach people who once attended church and invite them to return for a special Sunday.

The national event is organized in part by Outreach, Inc., an organization that formed in 1996 which specializes in disseminating outreach materials and products.

Pastor Brian Daniels of Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene said that he and members of his congregations made an concerted effort to compel people to come and attend their morning worship service for National Back to Church Sunday.

Right before the morning worship service, guests were welcomed with doughnuts and coffee and fellowship in the church’s fellowship hall.

Since its initial launching, National Back to Church Sunday participants have invited more than five million family members, friends, and neighbors to their churches.

“We did a big push with our regular attenders to invite their friends and family, used social networking to get the word out, and passed out fliers door-to-door,” Pastor Daniels said. “There was about a 25 percent increase in our attendance that morning. We are following up the event with a huge event called Family FunDay Sunday on Sept. 30. The theme is football Sunday. We will have free tailgating food, prizes, games, inflatables and tons of great opportunities for our community to get to know one another and our church a little better.”

Daniels said there was more than 300 at the last Family Funday Sunday and he is hoping for the same number or more 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30.

Daniels said that he and his congregation at Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene will continue to participate in the National Back to Church Sunday events and is already looking forward to the next one, which will convene Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.

“The best thing about yesterday though was 9-10 people made a commitment to accept Jesus as their Savior. We aren’t about just getting people to come to church…we want them to know Jesus,” Daniels said.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234 or portiawilliams@heartlandpublications.com

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