Pastor's Report: February Baptisms
Our people of Good News Church have been working with Jaylen Prayer for a few weeks about baptism. Due to his work schedule he said he needed to have this baptism on Monday or Tuesday night. I scheduled the use of the outdoor baptistry from First Baptist Church on Green Street. When I went to pick Jaylen up on 884 Dorsey street Sam was there to make the trip also. Sam is 53 and Jaylen is 19. They are roommates. Jaylen had been sharing with Sam and I then found out Sam had requested baptism. They share a living space at the shelter. As we drove to FBC I talked to Sam about this. He has been faithful and consistent in his church attendance and participation. This baptism was scheduled for a non-normal time. I was surprised today as 6 of our church people met us.
This was a very memorable baptismal service. Thomas Ramirez prayed over the service, Andy Collins read The Great Commission. I tied this in as a continuing step in and after baptism.
Matthew 28:16-20 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I find it hard to believe in that outdoor baptistry that the water could be any colder and not be frozen. Many laughed and suggested those two men really wanted to be baptized if they would endure that cold February water. We anointed their foreheads with oil as symbolic of being sealed with The Holy Spirit. We celebrated the two from turning from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We went in the church hallway then into a dressing room. When I went to that room to change I saw the 19 years old young black man and the 53 year old white man hugging it out and crying. They were saying things like "This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me." "I have a family now." "Nobody has ever treated or done anything like this for me before." Later we took the two men to Longstreet Café since our dining hall would be closed before we could get them back to Dorsey Street. This was some night. A musician was playing a tenor saxophone for tips in the restaurant. I had never seen that before. One of our group announced that are two friends had been baptized. The musician broke into "How Great Thou Art." The Lord blessed us all and I felt Him again reaffirming our ministry.
Lift Jesus Up!
Fletcher Law, D.Min.Pastor