Kris and Jill Hopkins so appreciated the gospel call at Christ Community Church in Huntersville, N.C., Sunday (Sept. 8), they hugged pastor Ronnie Parrott and cried after their baptisms moments later.
“They were in tears and grateful that we cared enough about them to give them that opportunity to know Christ, to know the true Gospel and then to identify with Him through baptism,” Parrott told Baptist Press Monday.
The Hopkinses were among hundreds or more new believers who made professions of faith at Southern Baptist churches on Baptism Day and were baptized the same day, 15 of them at Christ Community Church. Baptisms ranged from 1 to more than 100 among several Southern Baptist congregations, according to reports to BP and on social media. Baptism Day is Sept. 8 on the Southern Baptist Convention Calendar.
“And in the New Testament, we see this happen every time someone gives their life to Christ,” Parrott said. “To follow the Lord in baptism is an important first step in following Christ, and we believe it’s important to do this regularly and often.”
Marshal Ausberry Sr. rearranged his church’s schedule Sunday to hold baptisms, an ordinance he normally observes on first Sundays, he told BP. At Antioch Baptist Church, the congregation Ausberry leads in Fairfax Station, Va., 10 new believers were baptized and four others were scheduled for baptism when family members can attend.
“I sense a tremendous momentum coming out of Baptism Sunday that will energize our congregation to reach the lost,” Ausberry told BP. “Baptism Sunday was a strong reminder to the congregation that we all need to be engaged in sharing our faith with the lost.
“As I reflect on Baptism Sunday,” he said, “I walked away thinking that it would be an awesome move of God if Baptism Sunday morphs beyond the SBC” into a nationwide event.
Ausberry is first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and president of the National African American Fellowship of the SBC.
“A National Baptism Sunday movement would highlight the need for God’s people to be engaged in sharing our faith to a lost and dying world,” he said. “The purpose is not for another Hallmark card day, but to help God’s Church to stay focused on the main thing, winning souls to Christ.”
SBC President J.D. Greear, senior pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area, encouraged pastors to conduct baptisms during the SBC-wide event.
“Is there anything that should get us more excited?” Greear told BP after Baptism Day. “Jesus said there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 that are already His.
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Source: Baptist Press