Category : The Gospel In Me

The Gospel In Me: July 5, 2015

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Barb Swann

I was baptized as an infant and grew up in the church.  The churches I attended as a child taught the “popular” Bible stories and about prayer.  I gave my offering each week in class and thought I was a Christian just like my parents.  In middle school, I attended confirmation classes and gave my life to Christ at the conclusion.

When I entered the military, I strayed from the church because the churches on base were very nondenominational and they didn’t feel like the churches that I had been to as a child.  They taught about God, but they lacked the family feel I associated with church.

In 2012, I was attending Dr. Wills’ class on what it meant to be a Baptist.  Dr. Wills had shared a similar denominational background with me and he was able to explain the baptism by immersion in a way in which I understood.  I had been struggling with this because I thought if I did get baptized in this church, I would be betraying not only my upbringing in the church, but also my parents. In March of 2012, my life was totally rocked by the suicide of our 20 yr old daughter Brittany.  I hadn’t gotten to finish the classes and the baptism issue was put on hold.

In these last 3 yrs., I have seen how God’s plan had been mapped out for me.  There have been so many positive things that have come from Brittany’s death. That’s not to say I don’t still miss her dearly, but God has revealed to me so many things about her life that only now makes sense to me and I know I will see her again.

Now we are preparing to move to Green Bay, Wisconsin to be with our other daughter, her husband and our 6 month old grandson.  It is important to me that Tony baptize me before I leave here. It wasn’t until I came to this church that I was taught about having a relationship with God.  I knew about prayer, communion, and Sunday school classes, but I had never been taught about having a relationship with God.

The love I have felt from my LIFE Class, the Bible studies with the women of this church, and the fellowship with the church have all been things I have not experienced in my life and will always cherish.

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The Gospel In Me: June 28, 2015

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Mary Maberry (12th Grade) 

Growing up, I always went to church with my family, did vacation Bible school, and always heard “the word of God”. Despite all of this, it wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I began to understand who God was- up until this point, I never grasped the depth of sin or why I needed forgivness for my sins. I started going to a youth group called YoungLife where every Monday night I learned more about the Gospel. God had immediately sparked a fire in my heart. I felt a passion like no other, this was my love for Christ. And that fire had lasted a long time.

Towards the middle of my sophomore year, my parents told me that we would be leaving our home of 15 years in Ohio and moving to McDonough, GA. This had taken me by surprise and I was scared. Once we got there, I became so angry with God that I pretty much shut him out. That summer I went to a camp (Fuge) with my church and I started to see just how broken I was. The third night of camp I found myself being humbled before God. I needed a Savior and I simply cried out to God for help. I needed him to fix me. I saw that, without God in my life, my heart was broken, but that night I just wanted to run straight to Him. Each day I found myself desiring Christ more and more, and I felt He had given me peace in my heart with Him. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God had restored my soul and given me rest. My love for the Lord was growing stronger each day.

Once that summer ended, it was time to go back to school. Five days into the school year, my parents told us we would be moving again- this time to La Grange, KY. I quickly found myself at peace with this. The Lord tells us that He has made plans for us prosper, and to give us hope for our future. Although moving for the second time in less than a year was hard at first, I trusted that God’s plan was greater than mine. This past year has been one of the most challenging times in my faith, but it has also been the most rewarding. The most important thing I’ve learned through all of this is that God’s love remains steadfast through every season of my life, and His love will continue to do so. In excited to see more of God’s plan unfold, and it gives my heart great joy to know that Christ will be with me every step of the way.

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The Gospel In Me: March 29, 2015

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Emily Brizendine (6th Grade) 

I’ve grown up in church m whole life, so I knew that God was real and that He loved me (you know, because of the song, “Jesus Loves Me”), but I never really understood it. It’s taken me awhile to realize I can rely on God. I thought the only person that could keep me safe was my dad that my mom was the only person who could comfort me. Even though I would still like them to do those things, I realize that God is the one giving them the strength to do so and that God will take care of me too.

My life has been pretty  good. I’ve been just going along, enjoying my family, my toys, and my life. I prayed every night, read my Bible, but only turned to God when I needed something. Then, God’s love for me became so real when I was at dance class. In my dance class, we dance to Christian songs and try to go to places we can show our routines like hospitals and nursing homes. This semester we are dancing to the song, “Forever” by Kari Jobe. My teacher began talking about the meaning of the song – Christ’s death and resurrection. She challenged us to really think about it and then to present this picture of Christ through out dance. This really connected with me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about what Jesus had done and if I truly believed it. I immediately talked to my parents. I needed to know if I was saved! We talked, and I knew that night something was different. I saw things and people differently. I kept thinking about all that He had created. I couldn’t wait for God to use me for what I was meant to be used for. I used to be scared and shy, and I will still fight those feelings, but I’m up here today which was a big fear of mine! I’m not scared to go on a mission trip anymore or talk to my friends about Jesus.

I hope you will help me make sure I don’t stray from the path of Christ and help keep me accountable. Thank you for all you’ve done as a church to teach me. I’m excited to begin my new life in Christ!

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The Gospel In Me: November 2, 2014

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Holly Richardson (7th Grade) 

I grew up in a Christian home, and I’ve always gone to church. For a while I knew there was a God and knew all the stories, but I always questioned my faith and never really took the interest to understand. I would just bury it in my mind.

It wasn’t until I went to Crossings Camp that I figured out I really needed God. It was like the lights turned on. I just felt a wave of emotions and knew that I needed Jesus more than anything. That night I talked with Katy Love (my adult leader), she told me that she understood my concerns. I was worried that I was just having an experience, and that I wasn’t really saved. She explained to me that I was a sinner and that God will forgive me through Christ. That night I asked Jesus to forgive my sins, and I thanked Him for taking my place. I also thanked Him for helping me understand my need for Him.

When I got home from camp I questioned again whether my faith was real. So I talked to my dad about it. He explained to me what it really meant to be saved, and I decided I should get baptized. Before [God saved me], I was really concerned about what people though of me, and it really affected my day to day actions. But now, my concern is only what is pleasing to the Lord. I’m so thankful the Lord saved me, and I’m looking forward to enjoying life with Him forever!

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The Gospel In Me: October 12, 2014

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Janet Grant 

Growing up, I considered myself a Christian based on my belief in God and Jesus and my desire to please people and God. The church my family attended was very legalistic and ritualistic, but I didn’t know any different at the time. Although I had a healthy fear of God, I was confident that He loved me enough to welcome me into Heaven one day; the fact that I was baptized at a young age “sealed the deal” in my mind.

As a teenager, I sometimes tried to justify my sins, expecting that God would understand, given my current circumstances and my good track record. I clearly did not understand the gravity of my own sins or the fact that they had helped nail Christ to the cross. It wasn’t clear to me what it meant to be “saved” and that the only way to salvation was through Jesus Christ and the appropriation of His life-saving blood in my own life.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was exposed to some Bible-based churches and a different kind of preaching and worship that I had ever experienced. During that time, God graciously placed people in my life who regularly demonstrated the love of Christ and displayed confident faith in His sovereignty regardless of their circumstances. I could really sense the Holy Spirit prompting me to draw closer to the Lord and to seek His truths.

Once I was faithfully attending a Bible preaching church and reading the Bible and other Christian literature on my own, God began to speak to my heart like never before. He revealed to me that I had been living according to my own will instead of His, and I was trying to navigate life in my own power rather than relying on Him for strength. And instead of faithfully serving Him throughout my life, I had ultimately been looking to Him to serve me, as though He was a “fast-food” God who was ready and waiting to serve up my requests with a side of extra blessing. I realized that, even though I might not have been breaking God’s commandments outwardly, I was breaking them in my heart on a regular basis. Eventually it became clear to me that I was a sinner who was fully deserving of God’s wrath. Finally I could fully appreciate the great sacrifice Christ made for me at the cross.

Grieved by my sin, I asked God’s forgiveness and looked to Him for help in living a life pleasing to Him. I had a new resolve to make Him Lord over all of my life, rather than just in areas of my own choosing, surrendering to Him even when my flesh wants to do otherwise. Today I’m following Christ in believer’s baptism and I’m excited to continue serving Him with you.

Erin Gedeon

My parents have taught me about God since I have been old enough to remember. They prayed with me by my bedside every night. I have always believed in God, but I would have to say the moment I accepted Christ was when I moved out of my parents’ house and saw what the world was really like. I accepted Christ so that he might guide me through life, both the good times and the bad, and help me to make the right decisions.

The Lord is changing me as I grow in Him. I have realized how much my parents have done for me and what they were trying to teach me, and I’ve become less selfish and a lot more grateful and really appreciative of everything they have done, and still do, for me. I want to be baptized in obedience to my Lord and to tell the world what He has done for me. It is my desire to follow Him wherever He leads.

Katie Grant (9th Grade)

I thought I was a good Christian all my life. I was raised in a Christian family, and I did everything that I was “supposed to do and acted the way I was “supposed” to act; but it never really meant anything to me in my heart becasue it felt like there was just something missing in my life. My life was an unfinished puzzle, and I was waiting for the next piece. Then, I heard that I should have an obsession with God, and that’s when I realized that I didn’t and I needed to.

Immediately after I heard that at Crossings Camp, I wanted to tell everyone about the gospel and how being born again has changed my life for the better. Being saved means you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you – you’re saved by grace through faith in Christ. Jesus died for us because He loves us so much, but we deserved to die instead because we have all sinned, and the consequence of sin is death.

Now that I have come to really understand the weight of Christ’s sacrifice, I know that I’m not just born again, but I feel like I got a fresh start in life. And this time, it’s a happy beginning with a happy ending. Even though I will face persecution, I know that my faith will remain strong in the Lord. Now, every day I think to myself that I’m so happy for the gift of eternal life, and in return, I devote my life to God. Now, I crave sharing God’s Word, and I feel like it’s not this task that I have to complete, it’s my mission that I find joy in doing, and that’s what I’m here for.

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The Gospel In Me: August 24, 2014

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Dylan Gelhausen (7th grade)

When I was 4 years old I was adopted by my aunt and uncle. They started teaching me about Jesus Christ. When I was eight years old I invited Jesus into my heart. A few weeks ago at Crossings Camp, I realized that I didn’t know what all that meant and that I had not yet committed my life to him. So when the pastor at camp asked if any one wanted to commit their life to Jesus, I answered that call. Today I want to show that commitment by following Jesus in believer’s baptism.

Clay Weber (7th grade)

Before I became a Christian I was praying only when I thought I needed it. I would pray during a test or in a baseball game, but not when it was convenient for somebody else or when I really needed it. I didn’t like to trust people. Sometimes I disobeyed my parents to do what I thought was more important.

On the first day of Crossings Camp I had to climb a huge tower. I got to the top but I had to trust some people I barely knew to carry me down to safety. Later at camp I thought about that experience and it made me realize that I couldn’t live without trusting that Jesus died on the cross for me. I knew I needed to so I turned away from sin and trusted Jesus. Later at camp, the preacher asked everyone who had trusted in Jesus and that truly turned away from sin to stand up. So I stood up.

After that experience I have felt happier, like something heavy inside of me just vanished. I feel like a happier person, and I trust my parents more. I have also been praying more for other people and no just when I need something. My life seems more like life now than it was before because before I was covered in the shadow of my sin, but now it’s gone.

Heath Thomas (7th grade)

There was a point during Crossings Camp that I thought I knew everything about Jesus and ow to be saved, but I wasn’t saved. The camp pastor told a story of a man whose car broke down in the middle of the railroad tracks. He sees a train coming so he tries to start the car. It won’t start so he tries to unbuckle his seat belt, but it is jammed. The train is 10 yards away, and he starts to panic. He is about to get hit by the train, but he felt his car jerk forward off the track. When he looked in his mirror, he saw another car get slammed in his place. This story means that Jesus took the punishment for my sins.

Crossings Camp is what drew me to Christ. My group leader asked, “If you died going down the hill to the cafeteria, would you go to heaven?” At that point my answer would have been no. I suddenly realized that if I died, I wouldn’t go to heaven. That night the pastor said, “If you need Jesus, stand up.” I stood up because I needed Christ.

My mom taught me this verse, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, and to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). To me this means, no matter what I’m going through, God will always have a plan for me.

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The Gospel in Me (August 17, 2014)

Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!

Lauren Boyd (college student)

I believe different people come to and find God for different reasons. My reason may be common, but it is very significant to me. I was born into a wonderful Christian family that I thank God for everyday. My parents raised us with strong morals and values and brought us to church growing up. As a young child, church to me was singing and learning verses.

As I got older, I began to realize what the the things I was learning and saying truly meant. I realized that I was a sinner and knew that Jesus our Savior who died on the cross for our sins and all I had to do to be saved was to ask Jesus into my heart and to forgive me for my sins. This is when I accepted Christ.

As I continued to get older and grow as a Christian, sometimes it was hard with a busy schedule and hurried life to step back and remember how much God is a part of my everyday life. As I begin to transition into a new chapter of my life, with many big decisions being made that will affect my future, I am thankful to have a Lord and Savior to guide me in the right direction. Today I am following through with my acceptance of Christ with baptism and am very excited to continue growing with Him through all of life’s challenges.

Ashley Boyd (college student)

I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior a long time ago when I was in elementary school. I mainly came to know Christ through going to Sunday School, and after several talks with my family, I felt confident that Jesus died for me on the cross, was buried, and rose again 3 days later so that I could be saved. I asked Jesus into my heart because I wanted to be saved through Him. For awhile after that, I practiced as a Christian and always had a strong faith in God. However, I never followed through with believer’s baptism.

Before I knew it, I was off to college, where I did not go to church as often as I had in the past. I still believed in God as my Savior, but He was not always my first priority. Recently, some events in my life have brought me closer to the Lord than ever, and he has shown me that there is no better time than the present to rejoice in the beautiful gift He has given us of being saved.

For a few months now, I have felt God tugging at my heart to follow through with believer’s baptism. Since this turning point, I have wanted to share my acceptance of Christ with the public. Although I have been a Christian for some time now, I am more excited to share my love for God with the congregation and to be baptized before the church, and more importantly, my Lord and Savior.

Brendan Boyd (8th grade)

Between going to church, listening to the pastor, and talking to my parents, I knew who God was but didn’t have a relationships with him. During that time I didn’t give him control of my life.

About a year ago I found myself starting to look up Bible verses that I heard other people mention, and that led me to believe that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead for my sins. I found myself praying more often, and I asked God to be a part of my life and forgive me for my sins.

Now I want to learn what God’s Word says, and I find it easier to make good choices. Recently at camp, when asked to stand if you need Christ in your life, I took the next step in front of my friends and made a public decision. I’m now excited to take this step in baptism.

Jeremiah McRoberts (7th grade)

I went to Crossings Camp this summer. On the last day, when we were in our small group, our leader handed us a piece of paper and at the bottom it said, “I would like to become a Christian for the first time.” I checked the box because I knew I was a sinner and did bad things.Even though I prayed every night, I still felt bad about my sins, and I decided I wanted to follow God, to trust in Him and believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins so I wouldn’t have to be punished and go to hell. I asked God to forgive me. After I made that decision, I felt like I needed to help people more and be nicer to them. It makes me happy to know that I will get to see God one day in heaven.

Josiah McRoberts (9th grade)

This past Easter, my dad was explaining the gospel to our family and how to become a Christian. He said we needed to confess our sins to God, and ask Him forgiveness, and believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. At first, I thought I was a Christian already because I was in a family where my mom and dad were Christians. I realized I hadn’t done any of the things my dad told us about, and so I went outside and prayed to God, asked Him to forgive me and to be Lord of my life.

Tyler Holvey (7th grade)

Before I became a Christian, I just went to church and did not really understand what it meant to be a Christian. I thought you had to be this perfect person. Then I talked to my mom about getting baptized and what it meant to be a Christian.

This summer I went to a Christian camp with a friend. My group leader helped me really understand what it meant to be a Christian and to get baptized. A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus died on the cross to saves us from our sins. I also know that I will continue to sin, but God loves and forgives me because of what Christ did. After camp, I felt that I was a Christian, and I wanted to get baptized.

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