Evangelist gives away cars, wins one

Baptist Press
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Posted: Nov 29, 2010 5:30 PM
Evangelist gives away cars, wins one
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Ronnie Hill is an evangelist who is intent on "trying to reach the masses any way we can."

"I want to dream bigger for God. I don't want to put Him in a box."

Such convictions helped inspire Hill to develop a website -- www.threeminutestory.com -- where people visiting the site can watch a three-minute Gospel presentation and then enter a contest for a chance to win a new vehicle.

Imagine Hill's surprise, then, when he won a car himself, a 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe worth $50,000. All he had to do to enter the contest was to take a test drive at a car show he attended.

"I got in the car and prayed, 'Lord, Your Word says we have not because we ask not. So, Lord, if You want me to win this car, great. But if You don't, I am cool with that. Whatever brings You the most glory, Lord,'" said Hill, a member of HighRidge Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

When Hill got the call that he'd won, he couldn't believe it. He told the person notifying him, "I give away a car every year, and I'm the one on the other end of the line trying to convince the person that they won a car. On top of that, I'm a preacher. I cannot afford a brand-new $50,000 Infiniti ... but I can win one."

Hill said he'll give the car to his wife Jennifer because she deserves it.

"She's never owned a new car, and we just started having issues with the car she drives now," he said.

The Hills expect delivery of the car when Infiniti releases the new model by year's end.

"But how about my God? He blesses the guy who gives away cars by giving him one," said Hill, a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

To date, Hill's evangelistic ministry has given away two vehicles through the threeminutestory.com website. With their names drawn at random, a Christian woman in Georgia won the first, a car, and a woman in Missouri won the next, a truck, but apparently didn't want it. When Hill called her, she seemed incensed about the matter and hung up.

That's when Hill called the alternate winner, Danny Stevens of Mabank, Texas, who attended a block party hosted by First Baptist Church in Malakoff. The church used Hill's website as an evangelistic tool. Stevens watched Hill's testimony and subsequently committed his life to Christ.

"Danny couldn't believe he'd won," said Hill, who added that Stevens said he hadn't owned a vehicle in several years and was living with his parents because of financial difficulties. Stevens said he couldn't even afford to drive to Fort Worth to get the new truck.

Hill said he would be preaching at First Baptist Malakoff in a couple of months and could deliver it then. He also explained that Stevens would have to pay the taxes, title and licensing fees on the truck he'd won, but Stevens could hardly afford that, either.

Hill called Nathan Lorick, pastor of First Baptist Malakoff, and related the quandary. Lorick responded by raising the money so that Stevens could receive the truck free.

"On the Sunday we gave Danny the truck, he brought his mom and two sons to church," Hill said. "One of his sons and his mother got saved that day."

Hill told Baptist Press he got the idea for the vehicle giveaway from HGTV's annual "Dream Home" contest that draws millions of entries.

"I couldn't get enough support for a dream home contest, but I knew the idea would work," Hill said.

The dream home idea also prompted Hill's wife to enter a contest for a new HGTV program, "My First Sale," featuring first-time home sellers. The Hills' entry garnered an audition, and ultimately, selection for an episode to be aired in the spring of 2011.

Hill said that during the filming of the episode he and Jennifer used every opportunity to give praise to Jesus Christ and give glory to God.

With a seeming knack for winning things, Hill attributes every success to God's love and provision. While he doesn't believe that God is "a genie in a bottle" or subscribe to the "health and wealth gospel," he believes that God keeps His promises and rewards obedience. Especially in sharing the Gospel in churches, settings such as the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota and the Calgary Stampede as well as the www.threeminutestory.com website, which is available for churches to use for evangelistic efforts.

"It was God's sovereignty that chose me, and I know that it is God who draws men to Him, not me," Hill said on www.ronniehill.com.

"In all that's happened to me, I want to make sure that everybody knows that God does it all," Hill added. "I don't do anything. I'm not clever enough. God has opened these doors."

Hill recently was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Though not as serious as melanoma, two spots on Hill's face had to be removed.

"When I got the news, God set one of those cooking timers on my desk, and it has started ticking," Hill said. "So now I want everything I do every day to count for the Lord. I want to see more people saved.

"It finally hit me that we don't have forever. I don't have that much time," he said. "I'm not worried about dying yet either. It's just that I want to get after it and make an impact for the Kingdom while I can."

Norm Miller is a writer in Richmond, Va. For more info about Ronnie Hill, or to schedule a meeting, go to www.ronniehill.com. For more info on Hill's Web-based evangelism ministry and the next vehicle giveaway, go to www.threeminutestory.com.

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