‘An old life is swept away’: The pantry becomes the site of baptisms – The Daily Reporter
FORTVILLE — Boxes of vegetables. Muffin mix boxes. Shampoo bottles lined up on a shelf.
It was ready, lined up on tables and shelves for the FARM (Fortville Area Resource Mission) pantry. But some people had come early, before the weekly pantry hours started, and walked past.
Instead, they entered the auditorium of the Fortville Christian Church, where FARM is located. This Tuesday morning, they had come to see four people baptized.
Several people who got to know the pantry volunteers came to a Bible study and/or traveled to Brianna’s Hope ministry in town to deal with addiction. They were interested in being baptized.
“I want baptism to be a symbol that an old life is washed away,” one woman wrote in a read-aloud testimonial just before entering the waters and being baptized by her parents. When she came out of the water, to the applause of the thirty people gathered around round tables, she said: “Thank you. I like You.”
“We love you!” came a shout from the back of the room.
FARM director Lisa Reynolds read the written testimonies before each person entered the baptistery, where someone she had chosen and who had influenced her spiritually asked her questions about her profession of faith. Then they dunked that person under water.
“I knew I needed Jesus’ help so I decided to attend the Bible study,” another person wrote in their testimony. One of the Bible study leaders baptized her.
The FARM Pantry operates from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays at 9450 N. CR 200W, Fortville. Volunteers from several area churches work together to organize food donations and greet those who visit the pantry. In recent years, several area churches—New Life Christian Fellowship, Fortville Christian Church, Fortville Church of the Nazarene, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, and Mercy Road Church Northeast—have come together as Christians Unite, collaborating in the pantry and other endeavors. to serve the community.
Since the food pantry was able to move away from the drive-thru format it used amid COVID, back to an indoor shopping experience, FARM offered an early social hour with snacks. Often there will be a guest speaker who will share their testimony, their story of coming to faith and how it has influenced their life.
At the end of the baptismal service, Reynolds shared the Bible verse John 8:12, in which Jesus says he is the light of the world. She spoke of that light shining in a person’s darkness and filling the void.
“Baptism is just the first step,” she said. “He challenges us to do something with the new life we have in him.”
Then it was time to open the pantry schedules. She informed people wearing numbers 1-5 that it was their turn to shop.