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Baptism Stories: Sunday, April 28, 2019

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Read personal testimonies from those baptized on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

 

Toby Baker
This is the testimony of Toby Baker:
Before Christ, I made very bad decisions and I was not a very good friend. I came to know Christ when I was in bed saying night time prayers with my Mom and Dad and decided to ask Jesus to come into my heart because I want Him to be the leader of my life and
so I can go to Heaven.

My life since knowing Christ means that the Holy Spirit lives in me and helps me to know how to be a better friend and make better decisions. I am being baptized today because I want to obey Jesus. And the Bible says baptism is how I can show others that Jesus is my Savior.


Aiden Bell 
This is the testimony of Aiden Bell:
In my life before Christ, I thought being sinful meant being disobedient to my parents or teachers. Now I know that sin is being disobedient to what God wants me to do. I came to know Christ when my 3rd grade Sunday school teacher told me about how Jesus died for me and my sins.

My life since knowing Christ has been a time of learning to walk with Him. I am being baptized today to show my obedience to Christ.


Jonathan Cordray
This is the testimony of Jonathan Cordray:
My life before Christ was filled with alcohol and drugs.
I came to know Christ when I was in the Smoky Mountains and came to the end of myself.

My life since knowing Christ makes me feel humble and blessed. I am being baptized today because I can't see my life without God in it every day.


Kaelyn Hatcher
This is the testimony of Kaelyn Hatcher:
My life before Christ was filled with being raised in a Christian home. I’ve always been to church, but never really understood it all.
I came to know Christ at church camp two years ago in our Bible study. I remember feeling excited about inviting God into my heart.

My life since knowing Christ has made me trust that God will help me understand the plans He has for me in the future. I am being baptized today to follow through with my commitment to God, my salvation, and my trust in Jesus.


Frank Hayes
This is the testimony of Frank Hayes:
I grew up going to Cedar Hill Baptist Church. My best friend Michael was always adamant that we sit right up front and I obediently followed. I have always tried to be obedient to God’s word and calling. I have a sensitive spirit and heard God’s whispers from a young age. However, I have always felt if only I were more mature more like those I admired. Salvation is not based on a feeling.


The church camps I attended were instrumental in building my faith. God has been so faithful and good to me. At bike camp we rode over 200 miles in a week staying in church basements and campgrounds along the way. Another camp was at Cape Hatteras, after campfire there I was listening to the waves crash and I prayed to accept Christ into my heart. The camp director was sitting next to me. Watching the sunset I poured my heart out to him and waited for a response. The waves crashed the silence around me, I could feel God, I still feel God. Yet no response from the camp leader the man I respected, I felt small unworthy, then I saw his earbuds. He hadn’t heard a word from me he was in his own setting sun moment; his own communion with God. At the time that is not how I saw it. I felt unworthy and lost. Yet I came home and soon after made a decision to get baptized because Uncle June was getting baptized, at the last minute I felt unqualified and I backed out. That was decades ago-I have spent years trying to be the man I felt I should be.


Have you ever woke up in the darkness and watched the sunrise? Then spent the day with family and friends accomplishing so much enjoying each other intently and only to realize the sun was setting on the day? Did you take time to notice the changes the light the birds the world around you? What do you see, hear, smell, what blessings do you see in the twilight in the moments in the shadows that you hadn’t noticed as life was going on? God is like that He is constant He is there when the stars are out when the sun rises and sets. He isn’t loud or demanding, just constant, waiting for us to notice to look into the shadows into the light and even into the darkness and see the twinkling distant stars and know how He loves us. There is nothing I/we can do to earn this grace. There is no church record good enough, no amount of money, respect, wisdom or any other feeling that will ever help us to feel saved and worthy. Grace is a gift given by the sacrifice of a pure and holy lamb a gift of a Father who sacrificed His Son a piece of Himself and it is only in humbleness and a pure heart that I have realized that God the Creator of all loves me and values me as I am as He knew I would be as the way He knew me in the womb as the way He knows I am…He has given me grace I have to give it to myself and accept that He loves me even more than I love myself and no matter if I feel I deserve it or like I have to earn it … It isn’t my record of accomplishments only His grace and sacrifice.


I am getting married May 12 to a wonderful compassionate woman, Alisa. She has shown me grace, compassion, and love. I have past hurts past “history” yet through it all she has loved me. She goes to her bible, to her faith, to her God for strength and support, and keeps coming back loving me more. I don’t deserve her love and I can’t earn it, yet she loves me. My Dad was her patient. She is a critical care nurse at OSU. She recently told Dad that he was as close a living example of Easter as she has ever known. Through the gift of another he received a heart. Not metaphorically, but the actual gift of life received by the loss of another. My Dad is a heart transplant recipient and has been given a new lease on life. I am looking to show my faith by accepting God’s grace in baptism I have been listening to God for years, but never feeling worthy. I want to thank God for putting special family friends and fiancé in my life to let me truly see examples of how His grace cannot be earned, but He accepts me as I am. This is my outward expression of an inward change of a heart transplant of my own.


Matty Jones
This is the testimony of Matty Jones:
Cause I Love You! Matty, the son of Jake and Trudi Jones, might be the perfect example of love.

He doesn't talk much or know a lot of what is going on in the world, but he knows and we know for as long as he started learning about Jesus, he has loved him.  If we could say God made a perfect example of love on this earth, it would be Matty. He loves
everyone, especially babies, but he has two special buddies here with him, Bruce Schultz and Gary Grandstaff and Matty keeps them in a special place in his heart with Jesus.

If Jesus were here today, Matty would be continually hugging him because that is what Matty loves to do.
Cause I love you! That is why he is here today to be baptized.


Cathy Klingerman
This is the testimony of Cathy Klingerman:
What was I missing in my life? I grew up in the church. I attended Sunday school and read the bible. However, as I grew up, my faith got lost. I married a loving man and had three amazing children. As time past, there was always something missing.

Then, everything began to change when two new humans came into my life. I was now a grandmother. I began to see the Lord blessing me. I began to see a different kind of joy. In their eyes, I could see my heart open up to what was once hardened from the world. I began to attend church once again. I started listening to the Word of God and found what I had been missing.

I am being baptized today to show my commitment to the Lord and to follow my next step of obedience.


Aaron McVay
This is the testimony of Aaron McVay:
My life before Christ felt like there was a huge void in my life.
I came to know Christ through discussions with Scott Fothergill. We started meeting on a regular basis around a year and a half ago. We were at Bob Evans when I asked Jesus into my heart.

My life since knowing Christ has had its share of ups and downs, but the void is no longer felt in my life. I have new priorities of what is important and it is living for God. I am being baptized today to dedicate my life to God.


Chelsea McVay 
This is the testimony of Chelsea McVay:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah‬

Within the past couple of years I have learned that while I won’t ever be able to predict or completely understand why things happen, what I do know is that God has a plan for me. A plan
for all of us. The plans, goals, and ideas I have in my head have most certainly not perfectly aligned with what God’s plan consisted of. I’ve learned that is ok because God’s plan isn’t to hurt me but to teach me and to help me grow in my faith and in my relationship with him.

Growing up my family didn’t attend church very often but when we did I always felt safe and welcome. As a teen I drifted away from God and the church. I consistently felt lonely and anxious, searching for what I felt like was missing in my life.

Since accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I’ve had an unexplainable sense of peace and acceptance. When presented with the opportunity to be baptized my first thought was, “Why
wouldn’t I want to be baptized.” I come to church service learning, growing and praising as a follower of Christ. While attending our grow group I’m praising the Lord and unafraid to say I’m a believer.

I am getting baptized because I want to share my love for Jesus Christ and I am grateful to get the opportunity to share that with everyone here today.


Kim Montgomery-Carver
This is the testimony of Kimberly Montgomery-Carver:
From a young age, I knew of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You see, I attended a Christian school starting at the age of four. This is where I learned about God. But what I was taught was to fear God, because He was wrathful. I was taught Jesus died for me, but I did not understand the importance of what He did for me. In regards to the Holy Spirit, one knew that He dwelled in you only if you spoke in tongues. This is what I knew about our Lord.

Fast forward to adulthood. My life before Christ was nothing but darkness. I always felt lost, hopeless and unloved by Him. There came a point in my life where all I wanted was death, so I attempted to end my life. And even though He saved me, I did not recognize it; in fact, I became angry with God for allowing me to live. My anger kept me from God and I continued living in the world, in the darkness. I realized the error of my ways when I heard someone say, “You cannot serve two masters.” My early childhood teaching came flooding back to me. From that moment on, I wanted to live a life for Christ. I threw away everything that was of the enemy and began to surround myself with others who loved God. But I never truly repented of my ways. I tried to “marry” the way of God
and still live in the world. Because I had not repented of my ways, I was always questioning my salvation. Until March 30, 2019. On that day I met with Pastor John and his mother to discuss my salvation and I formally prayed the prayer of salvation! I can now happily say I have been saved.

The last few weeks have been as if I am living in a dream. Knowing now beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am saved by Jesus’ blood, I no longer question my salvation. I have felt a peace
that is beyond explanation; an assurance that I know He loves me and nothing I do will ever change that. I am full of confidence and a love for our Lord. My days are sunny all the time, even when the day is actually cloudy. I rejoice in the Lord every day since I prayed my prayer of salvation. 

I am being baptized today because it is the command of our Lord. I want to publicly announce I am a child of God, and I am giving my life over to Him completely.


Helen Mount
This is the testimony of Helen Mount:
Having been christened as an infant, I grew up surrounded by the love of God and Jesus Christ.

As an adult, I slowly spiraled away from my Lord, my God and my church. I was in despair, lonely, grieving - I was filled with doubt and very much in need of guidance. Then, the Holy Spirit guided me to Jersey Church. The Lord has called to my heart, forgiven my sins, loved me for who I am and blessed me.

Here I stand, a humble child of God, reaffirming and professing my faith before God, Jesus Christ and the congregation of Jersey Church through baptism today.
THANK YOU LORD!


Tabitha Myhal
This is the testimony of Tabitha Myhal:
I came to know Christ though living in a Christian home and learning about Jesus at school and church and at home.

On May 18, 2018, I was at school in kindergarten and learning about the Last Supper. As we watched a video about the Last Supper, I prayed in my heart to God that I was sorry for my sins
and asked for Him to forgive me. I was sad and happy at the same time.

Since then I feel closer to God. I know Jesus is always in my heart.
I am being baptized today because I want to show other people that I am a follower of Jesus.


Owen Richcreek
This is the testimony of Owen Richcreek:
My life before Christ was sinful and dark.
I came to know Christ on June 18, 2014. Me and Nora [my sister] were sitting at the counter and I asked if Jesus was in my heart. Mommy asked me if I knew why we ask Jesus in our hearts. I
told her because we’re sinners. Mommy asked me if I wanted Him to be in mine and I did so she helped me pray and I asked Him to live in my heart.


My life since knowing Christ is still sinful but not dark.
I am being baptized today because I have accepted Jesus into my heart and to show that I am a Christian now.


Zach Sagone
This is the testimony of Zach Sagone:
I don't remember much about my life prior to Christ. I was very young when I accepted Christ at age 7, but I expect that my life was missing something.


I'm 14 now, but I remember the day I accepted Christ. I watched a story about Christ's life and we talked about Him and what He did for us. I just remember how I felt a tugging on my heart. I just knew that Christ was saying that He died for me. I teared up and I got on my knees and began to pray. I thanked him for dying on the cross and saving me. I threw the door to my heart open and asked Him in on December 30, 2012.


I know that my life won't be perfect, yet I know that Jesus will be by my side and he'll help me through those hard times as Philippians 4:13 states, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I want to declare to everyone that I have a relationship with Christ and I don't need to be saved again and again. The Lord has saved me once and for all! Our Lord is amazing.


Kim Virden
This is the testimony of Kimberly Virden:
Growing up, I always considered myself to be a Christian. My family were not church-goers, but I frequently attended church with friends, and summers I always attended VBS. I realize now
that I was just going through the motions and did not fully understand the impact that complete faith in Jesus could have on my life.


I started attending Jersey a few years ago after a friend of our daughter invited her to join their family at church. Now, our whole household attends regularly and we consider that family, friends. At one point a couple years ago, I found myself having a personal crisis. Instead of falling apart and panicking, I closed my eyes and prayed. God answered. He let me know that He was there for me and would never leave my side. At that moment, I knew I was saved. A calm came over me at that moment that I had never felt before and is still in me today. I have an underlying peace within that I'm so grateful for every day.

I am being baptized today as a symbol of God's grace and declare my commitment to Christ.


Scott Virden
This is the testimony of Scott Virden:
I grew up in a home that was always labeled a Christian home, although we rarely attended church as a family. My brother and I attended vacation Bible school at a neighbor’s house one year and subsequently started attending church on a semi-regular basis with our neighbor’s family. As time went on, our neighbor decided she was no longer happy attending the church, so she started searching for a new church home. That would be the end of my regular church attendance for many years.

Fast forward to about 5 years ago. I was now married with children. My youngest daughter was invited to attend Awana at Jersey with one of her friends from school. I would attend occasionally whenever the children were participating in one of the Sunday morning services or on holidays.

One of these random weeks, I felt like the message of the sermon was aimed directly at me and I found myself moved to trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I found myself feeling more at peace in my daily life and less on edge when dealing with adverse situations. I still have an infinite number of miles to travel on my walk with the Lord, but I feel that now is the time for me to take the step of following the example of Jesus to be baptized.

Posted by Mikala Grubaugh with

Stories from the Field: Drive Thru Gospel Conversation

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(Here’s another Making Disciples story from a member at Jersey. If you or someone you know has a similar story, please share for the benefit of others.)

Mike and I were returning from our Off-Campus Grow Group. We stopped at Wendy’s in Gahanna for a late night snack. The young man at the drive-thru window asked “How are you doing?” to which I replied “We’re great. We just left our bible study group.” He answered by asking, “Can you pray for me?”

What an opportunity to witness. I said of course, then asked his name, and told him I would but we had to move through the line to pick up our food. As I started praying for him, I could not get him out of my thoughts. I drove through the drive-thru twice in one week with hopes of seeing him again, but he was not there. The third time I asked if he was there and the person at the window said yes, but he was on break.

I immediately thanked God for the opportunity to talk to him. I parked the car and went inside and he was sitting with his food. I asked if he remembered me, and he said he did. I told him how I had been praying for him and wanted to talk to him about Jesus. So, I told him about how God loved him and how Jesus died on the cross for him. I told him Jesus died for our sins so that we might have life everlasting. I gave him a tract from Billy Graham with the sinner’s prayer.

I told him about Jersey and he said he had stopped going to church, but had a church in downtown Columbus. I touched his arm and told him I wanted to pray for him. I think he was really in a state of total shock because he said no one had ever approached him before. He showed me a picture of his two-month old son and we talked about him getting a better job. We discussed businesses that were hiring. I have not been able to see him since, but plan on going to Wendy's again and hopefully, they will tell me he has a new job. I was so elated the Lord provided this opportunity and pray He gives me an opportunity every day to witness to others.

Posted by Todd Smeltzer with

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