by Marcia J. DavisIt’s tract and treat again this year for Halloween at Nedra Jackson’s church in Social Circle, Georgia, just east of Atlanta. First Baptist Church’s fifth annual parking lot Pumpkin Patch Party on Halloween night marks the main social event of the town. “It’s one of our busiest evangelism outreaches all year,” according to Jackson, the church’s minister of missions. “We expect 1,000 folks this year,” she said. But no one does anything at the Pumpkin Patch Party without registering. At registration, attendees are given a bracelet as their ticket to all the fun and food, and a packet that includes the Halloween evangelism tract. The church will do follow-up calls and visits from the registration information, and everyone who comes will walk away with a gospel presentation in their hand. Halloween evangelism is snowballing across the country, according to Joey Hancock, director of the Church Ministry Division of the American Tract Society (ATS), who says churches are becoming more aggressive and creative every year with the seasonal outreach. Hancock, a veteran church pastor of 28 years, helps churches incorporate the use of printed evangelism tracts into their outreach programs, and fall is one of his busiest times. “Halloween is the only time of the year that the people are coming to our doors expecting treats, and Christians are learning, when opportunity like this knocks, not to waste it,” according to Hancock. “Churches are using the tracts like 24-hour evangelists,” he said, “giving folks something to think back on after Halloween.” Frisco Bible Church Pastor Wayne Braudrick urges his congregation to “stay home on Halloween and wait by the door.” The Texas pastor said his church sponsors a fall festival, but no event on Halloween night, “because we believe we shouldn’t miss any opportunity that rich to share the good news. We want our people staying home and giving out Christian tracts.” “I believe we are recapturing the holiday for the Lord,” said Braudrick, senior pastor of the rapidly growing church north of Dallas, deep in the Texas Bible Belt and in the heart of one of the fastest growing communities in the nation. “I believe many more children than we hear about or can imagine receive Christ through the tract tools,” he said. “And I have heard from my congregation stories of adults coming to Christ after reading their children’s or grandchilden’s Halloween tracts.” He said the tracts are targeted for children, but all ages can be drawn to God through them and all ages can distribute them. “When children give them to their peers, that’s powerful!” he said Christians in this country and Canada order more than 3.1 million Halloween outreach items from ATS each year during the annual six-week countdown to October 31, according to Mark Brown, marketing director. According to Barna Research, Brown said, 85 percent of all Christians make their commitment between the ages of 4-14. That is why these kits and tracts are so effective as evangelism tools, and why so many churches are using them, he said. Brown said the rescue kit includes a tract on “Separating Halloween Fact From Folklore” and one on “Reaching Kids on Halloween,” designed with pictures of kids dressed up as American real-life everyday heroes: a nurse, a firefighter, a doctor, a businesswoman, even a ballerina, he said. “We see the heroes and rescue aspects of the kit especially appropriate this year because America and America’s children have realized heroism on a new level after 9-11.” For more ideas for rescuing Halloween, church pastors may call Joey Hancock, 770-554-2938, email: #mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org#, or pull up the ATS Website: #http://www.atstracts.org#.