Christian baptisms – Hardy Presbyterian http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/ Sat, 23 Oct 2021 04:16:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Christian baptisms – Hardy Presbyterian http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/ 32 32 Small Kentucky Church Sees 53 Pandemic Baptisms | New http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/10/08/small-kentucky-church-sees-53-pandemic-baptisms-new/ Fri, 08 Oct 2021 20:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/10/08/small-kentucky-church-sees-53-pandemic-baptisms-new/ “And then reproach his brothers for not having listened to the Holy Word of God,” recalled his mother Karen Crozier. “He was tapping on that Bible and he was like, ‘Mom, these guys don’t listen to me and I’m preaching the Holy Word of God.’ We even had a mock church at the back of […]]]>

“And then reproach his brothers for not having listened to the Holy Word of God,” recalled his mother Karen Crozier. “He was tapping on that Bible and he was like, ‘Mom, these guys don’t listen to me and I’m preaching the Holy Word of God.’ We even had a mock church at the back of the house with the family just so he could preach.

Abram’s parents Karen and Harry Crozier, who themselves pastors at First Baptist Church in Falmouth just a block from Trinity, are not surprised that Abram is pastor today.

They are thrilled with the 53 church baptisms of about 150 worshipers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including 31 baptisms this year and 22 in 2020. 72 other members have joined in addition to baptisms in 2019 and 2020 .

Trinity had fallen to only around 20 worshipers when Abram arrived on board in January 2019, having provided a pulpit for the church for the month of December 2018. He quickly cast a vision of a “church on the move” and called the revitalization a “God thing.”

“My love for the community has always been there. I think that is a big part of what’s going on, ”Abram said. “I know the people. I like people. I love the city.

Church treasurer Joe Adams appreciates Trinity’s vitality and the excitement Abram brings. His call to the church as pastor was a unanimous decision, Adams said.

“We found out that he was a substitute preacher and we brought him in here,” Adams said. “He’s a man led by the Spirit. He is very willing to let himself be guided by the Spirit. … But the way he preaches is really what attracts people. He’s just telling the truth and that’s it. It doesn’t water it down or nothing. He’s just going to tell you what it is. I don’t mind having my toes stepped on.

Falmouth was devastated by flooding in 1997 when Abram’s father was on ministerial staff at Trinity before moving to First Falmouth in 2003. The flood killed five people in Falmouth and covered 80% of the town of water as the Licking River continued to rise. .

The city of about 2,000 people experienced great unity as it struggled to recover, but Abram said poverty, drug addiction and plague were collateral damage from the flooding.

Trinity Southern serves the community wherever it’s needed, helping residents move furniture and complete home repairs, serving meals to students during spring break, supporting first responders, and helping maintain community playgrounds. Abram added a youth group to the church ministry. In a place of worship, on a Sunday, the church took care of the community by cleaning it up from scattered garbage. The church has completed minor renovations to its campus and has doubled the size of its parking lot.

“I see the potential of what God can do in a place like this,” Abram said. The church “really supported” the vision of serving the community and did “amazing things”, continuing during the pandemic.

Abram, who completed two years of undergraduate studies at Kentucky Christian University and did not attend the seminar, said he viewed the pandemic as a ministerial challenge.

“I was actually excited throughout the pandemic because I finally felt like I was on an equal footing,” he said. “No one knew what they were doing, so I felt like everyone was kinda in the same boat as me. We probably went through three or four months without any baptism, because the church was closed for a few weeks and it took a while for people to come back.

As worship resumed, Abram wore face masks and continued to baptize people in the church’s baptismal pool and in the Licking River, switching to two Sunday services to allow for social distancing.

“We have never stopped making the altar call. I think sometimes as a pastor you get discouraged if no one comes to the end of the service, but we really pushed the altar call, ”Abram said. “Every message I make, I always refer to Christ. And then a great thing too, we have a lot of Catholics in our area, and so a lot of it was just explaining what baptism was.

The new youth group led to many salutes, with an average attendance of around 40 youth groups per week, Abram said.

Abram’s father involves First Falmouth in many Trinity events, which sometimes means joint worship services and programs. First Falmouth had an average of around 45 in Sunday worship before the pandemic, according to the church’s annual profile.

“He lit a fire under our little church,” said Abram’s father Harry, “because they are trying to follow him.”

At the start of Abram’s pastorship in Trinity, he and the deacons discussed ways to develop the congregation.

“They were always talking about ‘Well, if you kiss a pig, that could probably get them in.'”

Did he kiss a pig? No.

“I’ve always said if I have to kiss a pig this Sunday, then next week I should kiss a cow. And I don’t know what else I’m going to have to kiss, ”he said.

Abram crushed the dramatic gimmick.

“I didn’t want people to come to church for a gadget because then they would leave,” he said. “If they don’t have another gadget the following Sunday, they won’t come back.

“And I knew if we could get them there with the Gospel, it would keep them there. We have seen it too.


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Small Kentucky church sees 53 pandemic baptisms http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/10/07/small-kentucky-church-sees-53-pandemic-baptisms/ Thu, 07 Oct 2021 17:53:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/10/07/small-kentucky-church-sees-53-pandemic-baptisms/ By DIANA CHANDLER, Baptist Press FALMOUTH, Ky. (BP) – When he was just 8 years old, pastor of Trinity Southern Baptist Church, Abram Crozier, walked the streets of his neighborhood of Falmouth, Ky., Preaching to Isaiah. “And then reproach his brothers for not having listened to the Holy Word of God,” recalled his mother Karen […]]]>

By DIANA CHANDLER, Baptist Press

FALMOUTH, Ky. (BP) – When he was just 8 years old, pastor of Trinity Southern Baptist Church, Abram Crozier, walked the streets of his neighborhood of Falmouth, Ky., Preaching to Isaiah.

“And then reproach his brothers for not having listened to the Holy Word of God,” recalled his mother Karen Crozier. “He was tapping on that Bible and he was like, ‘Mom, these guys don’t listen to me and I’m preaching the Holy Word of God.’ We even had a mock church at the back of the house with the family just so he could preach.

Abram’s parents Karen and Harry Crozier, who themselves pastors at First Baptist Church in Falmouth just a block from Trinity, are not surprised that Abram is pastor today.

They are thrilled with the 53 church baptisms of about 150 worshipers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including 31 baptisms this year and 22 in 2020. 72 other members have joined in addition to baptisms in 2019 and 2020 .

Trinity had fallen to only around 20 worshipers when Abram arrived on board in January 2019, having provided a pulpit for the church for the month of December 2018. He quickly cast a vision of a “church on the move” and called the revitalization a “God thing.”

“My love for the community has always been there. I think that is a big part of what’s going on, ”Abram said. “I know the people. I like people. I love the city.

Church treasurer Joe Adams appreciates Trinity’s vitality and the excitement Abram brings. His call to the church as pastor was a unanimous decision, Adams said.

“We found out that he was a substitute preacher and we brought him in here,” Adams said. “He’s a man led by the Spirit. He is very willing to let himself be guided by the Spirit. … But the way he preaches is really what attracts people. He’s just telling the truth and that’s it. It doesn’t water it down or nothing. He’s just going to tell you what it is. I don’t mind having my toes stepped on.

Falmouth was devastated by flooding in 1997 when Abram’s father was on ministerial staff at Trinity before moving to First Falmouth in 2003. The flood killed five people in Falmouth and covered 80% of the town of water as the Licking River continued to rise. .

The city of about 2,000 people experienced great unity as it struggled to recover, but Abram said poverty, drug addiction and plague were collateral damage from the flooding.

Trinity Southern serves the community wherever it’s needed, helping residents move furniture and complete home repairs, serving meals to students during spring break, supporting first responders, and helping maintain community playgrounds. Abram added a youth group to the church ministry. In a place of worship, on a Sunday, the church took care of the community by cleaning it up from scattered garbage. The church has completed minor renovations to its campus and has doubled the size of its parking lot.

“I see the potential of what God can do in a place like this,” Abram said. The church “really supported” the vision of serving the community and did “amazing things”, continuing during the pandemic.

Abram, who completed two years of undergraduate studies at Kentucky Christian University and did not attend the seminar, said he viewed the pandemic as a ministerial challenge.

“I was actually excited throughout the pandemic because I finally felt like I was on an equal footing,” he said. “No one knew what they were doing, so I felt like everyone was kinda in the same boat as me. We probably went through three or four months without any baptism, because the church was closed for a few weeks and it took a while for people to come back.

As worship resumed, Abram wore face masks and continued to baptize people in the church’s baptismal pool and in the Licking River, switching to two Sunday services to allow for social distancing.

“We have never stopped making the altar call. I think sometimes as a pastor you get discouraged if no one comes to the end of the service, but we really pushed the altar call, ”Abram said. “Every message I make, I always refer to Christ. And then a great thing too, we have a lot of Catholics in our area, and so a lot of it was just explaining what baptism was.

The new youth group led to many salutes, with an average attendance of around 40 youth groups per week, Abram said.

Abram’s father involves First Falmouth in many Trinity events, which sometimes means joint worship services and programs. First Falmouth had an average of around 45 in Sunday worship before the pandemic, according to the church’s annual profile.

“He lit a fire under our little church,” said Abram’s father Harry, “because they are trying to follow him.”

At the start of Abram’s pastorship in Trinity, he and the deacons discussed ways to develop the congregation.

“They were always talking about ‘Well, if you kiss a pig, that could probably get them in.'”

Did he kiss a pig? No.

“I’ve always said if I have to kiss a pig this Sunday, then next week I should kiss a cow. And I don’t know what else I’m going to have to kiss, ”he said.

Abram crushed the dramatic gimmick.

“I didn’t want people to come to church for a gadget because then they would leave,” he said. “If they don’t have another gadget the following Sunday, they won’t come back.

“And I knew if we could get them there with the Gospel, it would keep them there. We have seen it too.


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Church of Georgia sees “Harvest Day” with 114 baptisms | Baptist-life http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-of-georgia-sees-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms-baptist-life/ Tue, 07 Sep 2021 23:13:15 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-of-georgia-sees-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms-baptist-life/ Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention. BETHLEHEM, GA (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 even one Sunday was beyond his expectations. “We were blown away,” said Britt, senior pastor of the Bethlehem church. […]]]>

Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention.

BETHLEHEM, GA (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 even one Sunday was beyond his expectations.

“We were blown away,” said Britt, senior pastor of the Bethlehem church. “It’s one of those things that you can’t do every week, and you’re just thankful when God opens the door to do it. “

The Bethlehem Church, with around 4,000 Sunday attendance at its three campuses, has consistently been one of Georgia’s leading baptismal churches with 200 or more per year since 2018.

On August 22, 26 new believers were to be baptized at Bethlehem’s three campuses. However, dozens of others also went spontaneously to the baptistery.

The following Sunday, August 29, Bethlehem baptized 36 more people, bringing the total to 150 baptisms in recent weeks. It’s 200 so far this year.

Britt told the Christian Index that the church has been going through one of those spiritual moments that cannot be made, that can only be brought about by God.

“It’s like with Elijah,” he said. “We don’t bring fire; we’re just stacking the wood. Our job is simply to be obedient.

In an interview with the Baptist Press, Britt said she laid out a theology of baptism this Sunday morning.

“It was never a ceremonial or ritual thing,” he said. “This is our first step when we decide to follow Christ. Then we go public.

He said Christians can sometimes think too much about baptism.

“We pushed him away. We are planning this, ”he said. “We don’t have to deal with what Jesus was clear about. You don’t have a relationship with God on your terms. We have a relationship with God on His terms, which is obedience.

Britt told Baptist Press there have been cases of husbands and wives baptized together, husbands being baptized in answer to their wives’ prayers, and three generations of baptism in one family. He also spoke of a man who was an hour and a half by the lake, watching the first service online. The man was convinced by the Holy Spirit and drove home to be baptized in a later service.

It was a “breakthrough Sunday,” said Britt, “where you saw the fruits of a lot of prayer, of a lot of work, of a lot of ministry, of a lot of preaching, of a lot of sowing. A harvest day.

During the emotional service on August 22, some of the new believers wore beaming smiles; some shed tears of joy; some raised their hands in praise as they entered and left the baptistery.

“Baptism is the symbolic image of being buried with Christ in his death as we go underwater,” said Britt. “And when we go up, it’s a picture of being made alive and new in Christ.”

In a Sunday evening service, as the last new Christians were baptized, Britt spoke about how exciting the day had been for him.

“This is one of those days that you come into the ministry for,” he said. “God is still changing lives. God is still moving mountains.

JJ Washington, evangelism catalyst at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said mass baptisms show that the Bethlehem church has made reaching people with the gospel a priority.

“It shows that God is still at work, even in the midst of a pandemic,” he told the Christian Index. “The church prioritizes the importance of people taking their first step in obedience. “

Washington said that the experience of the Bethlehem church should be encouraging for other churches, “for there is no respect for people with God. Therefore, he is ready to do what he did at the Bethlehem Church in any church that is ready to make a commitment to making the advancement of the gospel above all else their top priority.


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Church in Georgia experiences ‘harvest day’ with 114 baptisms http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-in-georgia-experiences-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms/ Tue, 07 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-in-georgia-experiences-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms/ By ROGER ALFORD, The Christian Index Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention. BETHLEHEM, Georgia (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 just one Sunday was beyond his expectations. “We were blown away,” said Britt, […]]]>

By ROGER ALFORD, The Christian Index

Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention.

BETHLEHEM, Georgia (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 just one Sunday was beyond his expectations.

“We were blown away,” said Britt, senior pastor of the Bethlehem church. “It’s one of those things that you can’t do every week, and you’re just thankful when God opens the door to do it. “

The Bethlehem Church, with around 4,000 Sunday attendance at its three campuses, has consistently been one of Georgia’s leading baptismal churches with 200 or more per year since 2018.

On August 22, 26 new believers were to be baptized at Bethlehem’s three campuses. However, dozens of others also went spontaneously to the baptistery.

The following Sunday, August 29, Bethlehem baptized 36 more people, bringing the total to 150 baptisms in recent weeks. It’s 200 so far this year.

Britt told the Christian Index that the church has been going through one of those spiritual moments that cannot be made, that can only be brought about by God.

“It’s like with Elijah,” he said. “We don’t bring fire; we’re just stacking the wood. Our job is simply to be obedient.

In an interview with the Baptist Press, Britt said he laid out a theology of baptism this Sunday morning.

“It was never a ceremonial or ritual thing,” he said. “This is our first step when we decide to follow Christ. Then we go public.

He said Christians can sometimes think too much about baptism.

“We pushed him away. We are planning this, ”he said. “We don’t have to deal with what Jesus was clear about. You don’t have a relationship with God on your terms. We have a relationship with God on His terms, which is obedience.

Britt told Baptist Press there have been cases of husbands and wives baptized together, husbands being baptized in answer to their wives’ prayers, and three generations of baptism in one family. He also spoke of a man who was an hour and a half by the lake, watching the first service online. The man was convinced by the Holy Spirit and drove home to be baptized in a later service.

It was a “breakthrough Sunday,” said Britt, “where you saw the fruits of a lot of prayer, of a lot of work, of a lot of ministry, of a lot of preaching, of a lot of sowing. A day of harvest.

During the emotional service on August 22, some of the new believers wore beaming smiles; some shed tears of joy; some raised their hands in praise as they entered and left the baptistery.

“Baptism is the symbolic image of being buried with Christ in his death as we go underwater,” said Britt. “And when we go up, it’s a picture of being made alive and new in Christ.”

In a Sunday evening service, as the last new Christians were baptized, Britt spoke about how exciting the day had been for him.

“This is one of those days that you come into the ministry for,” he said. “God is still changing lives. God is still moving mountains.

JJ Washington, evangelism catalyst at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said mass baptisms show that the Bethlehem church has made reaching people with the gospel a priority.

“It shows that God is still at work, even in the midst of a pandemic,” he told the Christian Index. “The church prioritizes the importance of people taking their first step in obedience. “

Washington said that the experience of the Bethlehem church should be encouraging for other churches, “for there is no respect for people with God. Therefore, he is ready to do what he did at the Bethlehem Church in any church that is ready to make a commitment to making the advancement of the gospel above all else their top priority.


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Church of Georgia sees “Harvest Day” with 114 baptisms | Baptist-life http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-of-georgia-sees-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms-baptist-life-2/ Tue, 07 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/09/07/church-of-georgia-sees-harvest-day-with-114-baptisms-baptist-life-2/ Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention. BETHLEHEM, GA (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 even one Sunday was beyond his expectations. “We were blown away,” said Britt, senior pastor of the Bethlehem church. […]]]>

Editor’s Note: Sunday, September 12 is Baptism Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention.

BETHLEHEM, GA (BP) – As the pastor of one of Georgia’s most evangelical churches, Jason Britt is used to many baptisms, but 114 even one Sunday was beyond his expectations.

“We were blown away,” said Britt, senior pastor of the Bethlehem church. “It’s one of those things that you can’t do every week, and you’re just thankful when God opens the door to do it. “

Bethlehem Church, with around 4,000 Sunday attendance at its three campuses, has been one of Georgia’s leading baptismal churches with 200 or more per year on a regular basis since 2018.

On August 22, 26 new believers were to be baptized at Bethlehem’s three campuses. However, dozens of others also went spontaneously to the baptistery.

The following Sunday, August 29, Bethlehem baptized 36 more people, bringing the total to 150 baptisms in recent weeks. It’s 200 so far this year.

Britt told the Christian Index that the church has been going through one of those spiritual moments that cannot be made, that can only be brought about by God.

“It’s like with Elijah,” he said. “We don’t bring fire; we just stack the wood. Our job is simply to be obedient.

In an interview with the Baptist Press, Britt said he laid out a theology of baptism this Sunday morning.

“It was never a ceremonial or ritual thing,” he said. “This is our first step when we decide to follow Christ. Then we go public.

He said Christians can sometimes think too much about baptism.

“We pushed him away. We are planning this, ”he said. “We don’t have to deal with what Jesus was clear about. You don’t have a relationship with God on your terms. We have a relationship with God on His terms, which is obedience.

Britt told Baptist Press there have been cases of husbands and wives baptized together, husbands being baptized in answer to their wives’ prayers, and three generations of baptism in one family. He also spoke of a man who was an hour and a half by the lake, watching the first service online. The man was convinced by the Holy Spirit and drove home to be baptized in a later service.

It was a “breakthrough Sunday,” said Britt, “where you saw the fruits of a lot of prayer, of a lot of work, of a lot of ministry, of a lot of preaching, of a lot of sowing. A harvest day.

During the emotional service on August 22, some of the new believers wore beaming smiles; some shed tears of joy; some raised their hands in praise as they entered and left the baptistery.

“Baptism is the symbolic image of being buried with Christ in his death as we go underwater,” said Britt. “And when we go up, it’s a picture of being made alive and new in Christ.”

In a Sunday evening service, as the last new Christians were baptized, Britt spoke about how exciting the day had been for him.

“This is one of those days that you come into the ministry for,” he said. “God is still changing lives. God is still moving mountains.

JJ Washington, evangelism catalyst at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said mass baptisms show that the Bethlehem church has made reaching people with the gospel a priority.

“It shows that God is still at work, even in the midst of a pandemic,” he told the Christian Index. “The church prioritizes the importance of people taking their first step in obedience. “

Washington said that the experience of the Bethlehem church should be encouraging for other churches, “for there is no respect for people with God. Therefore, he is ready to do what he did at the Bethlehem Church in any church that is ready to make a commitment to making the advancement of the gospel above all else their top priority.


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15 baptisms in one day at Noddfa church near Pontypool http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/08/19/15-baptisms-in-one-day-at-noddfa-church-near-pontypool/ Thu, 19 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/08/19/15-baptisms-in-one-day-at-noddfa-church-near-pontypool/ It WAS normal for the service to resume – and then some – at the church in Noddfa this weekend. Pastor John baptized 15 people on Sunday, the first church baptisms since before the pandemic began. Over 200 people attended the church for baptisms, and there was also music from the Noddfa Band to celebrate […]]]>

It WAS normal for the service to resume – and then some – at the church in Noddfa this weekend.

Pastor John baptized 15 people on Sunday, the first church baptisms since before the pandemic began.

Over 200 people attended the church for baptisms, and there was also music from the Noddfa Band to celebrate one of the first occasions the congregation had to come together in nearly 18 months.

Pastor John said the day showed how far the church has progressed in recent years, having already faced impending closure.

“We had a fantastic day,” he said. “We had 15 people who were all baptized.

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“They come from all walks of life and it shows that anyone can enter religion – it’s not just a crutch for the broken.

“This is the first chance we have. Some of them have been coming to the service for three years, others for six months.

“Before coming to Noddfa in 2014, they had not had a baptism for 30 years.

“The day went very well. There was a very good turnout and we are very grateful.

READ MORE:

Among those crossing the waters was Ella Harding, a 17-year-old heterosexual college student.

“I don’t come from a Christian family and I never thought I would ever go to church, but I tried three years ago and the rest is history”, a- she declared.

Pastor John performed 15 baptisms in one day at Noddfa Church. Photo: Church of Noddfa.

And Alex Madden, 35, was also among 15 to be baptized. Mr. Madden joined the church following a suicide attempt two years ago.

“Pastor John came and told me about forgiveness from God, since then I have been off drugs, have lost six kilograms of weight and have become a member of the church,” he said. -he declares.

It was also a day of reflection, as it was the first baptismal service Pastor John had conducted in Noddfa without church elder Peter Sweeting, who died earlier this year from Covid-19.

Asked about the change in restrictions, with the move to zero alert in Wales, which means the Noddfa congregation could meet in full for the first time in over a year, Pastor John said : ” It’s fantastic. It was really amazing to be together again.

“Downstairs anyone can come in, but upstairs we always maintain a social distance for those who are nervous about coming back or who are vulnerable.

“It was great to sing again – that’s what we missed the most.”

Argus from South Wales: More than 200 people attended Noddfa church on Sunday as restrictions have now been lifted.  Photo: Church of Noddfa.More than 200 people attended Noddfa Church on Sunday as the restrictions have now been lifted. Photo: Church of Noddfa.

The church runs a number of initiatives within the community, including homework clubs and youth groups. These will resume from September.

And this Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the doors of the church will be open for its bank of school uniforms – where parents can pick up donated school uniform items.

“Noddfa church is a beacon of hope for our community, on Saturday volunteers from Noddfa church joined me to walk the valley picking up school uniforms to redistribute to needy families in time for September” said Councilor Giles Davies, who also attended the Sunday service

The baptismal service will be on the Noddfa Church YouTube channel for those who were unable to attend.


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BANGLADESH Some 300 baptisms took place at Easter in the Diocese of Rajshahi http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/08/04/bangladesh-some-300-baptisms-took-place-at-easter-in-the-diocese-of-rajshahi/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/08/04/bangladesh-some-300-baptisms-took-place-at-easter-in-the-diocese-of-rajshahi/ In the north of the country, many tribal catechumens received the sacrament during the rites of Holy Week. “In the past, I loved nature, the sun and the trees,” said one of them, “but now I can speak directly to Jesus. On the other hand, “The life of a Christian is simple”, and Christians “love […]]]>

In the north of the country, many tribal catechumens received the sacrament during the rites of Holy Week. “In the past, I loved nature, the sun and the trees,” said one of them, “but now I can speak directly to Jesus. On the other hand, “The life of a Christian is simple”, and Christians “love others”.

Rajshahi (AsiaNews) – More than 300 people, mostly adults, were baptized at Easter in several parishes in the diocese of Rajshahi, in northern Bangladesh, where missionaries, both local and foreign, are active in promoting the Kingdom of God.

Father Arturo Speziale, missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), said AsiaNews that he employed seven catechists, including two women, who prepared the new Catholics for about a year.

“A total of 46 new believers received baptism in the village of Borshapara on Easter Sunday,” he said. “Our catechists have played a vital role in bringing them to Christianity. “

Father Speziale is assistant pastor in Nobai Bottola, a parish in the diocese of Rajshahi. Its seven catechists are from local tribes and have been able to reach local villages, teach the Bible and preach in local languages.

After their passage, nuns and priests visited the villages of the catechumens and conquered their hearts, so that little by little, more and more faithful came closer to Christianity.

Some children of Christian families were also baptized in the same parish at Easter.

Now 80 years old, Father Speziale has worked as a missionary in Bangladesh for 50 years. He said his catechists were following 100 other families who could receive baptism next year.

Father Michael Corraya, pastor of Nobai Bottola, also spoke of his feelings about baptizing people of other faiths.

“I was very happy to see adults receiving baptism from me,” he explained. “These people have freely chosen Christianity. In the past, they worshiped nature and trees; now they understand the importance of Christianity and were eagerly baptized.

The new Christians are of the Santal, Orao and Paharia ethnic groups of the local tribal communities.

Father Swapan Martin Purification, pastor of Bhutahara, Naogaon district, said AsiaNews that 114 adults were baptized in his parish on Easter Eve and Easter Sunday. He confirmed that more than 300 people have been baptized in the Diocese of Rajshahi.

Some new believers spoke to AsiaNews on the reasons that prompted them to welcome Jesus Christ as the Lord.

“In the past, I loved nature, the sun and the trees,” said Subash Hembrom, a catechumen baptized in Borshapara. “Our thakur (Hindu priest) acted on my behalf; now, instead, I can speak directly to Jesus and get an answer in prayer.

He did not know the prayers of his ancient religion before, but catechists have taught him and his family members the Our Father, the Ten Commandments, and other Christian prayers he loves.

Another convert, Anita Akka, said she loves the life of Christians very much. “I saw that the life of a Christian is simple, that they (Christians) love others, teach love and forgiveness. I have learned that only Jesus Christ can give us salvation. So I received the baptism.


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Baptisms Show “Faith in Action” | New http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/07/21/baptisms-show-faith-in-action-new/ Wed, 21 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/07/21/baptisms-show-faith-in-action-new/ Nine members, young and old, of the First Baptist Church in Lenoir City were baptized Sunday at the Tugaloo Beach Pavilion near Highway 444. “One of the things I really love doing this is because a lot of times people attribute it to a building or a baptistery and it really should be attributed to […]]]>

Nine members, young and old, of the First Baptist Church in Lenoir City were baptized Sunday at the Tugaloo Beach Pavilion near Highway 444.

“One of the things I really love doing this is because a lot of times people attribute it to a building or a baptistery and it really should be attributed to Jesus,” said Rev. John Hunn, pastor. main. “I mean these are the three marks of the Christian… death, burial and resurrection. What I think it does is that it simplifies the symbol that Jesus gave us and – I want to hesitate that it’s more meaningful because I don’t want to take away from the people doing it there – but it Sometimes there are distractions in a building where here it’s just that you’re out in the open and it’s about as raw as it gets in a good way. I think people really like the fact that it’s not about a building, but about the three symbols.

Hunn pointed out that baptisms were “faith in action” and that the holding of the ceremony outside reflected the way Jesus Christ had been baptized.

“It really is the first step to obedience,” Hunn said. “We don’t think it’s part of salvation, but it’s a step in following Jesus. It is an outward symbol of an inner reality. This is really what the Bible teaches. … I think the reason given by Scripture is that salvation is almost always a personal and private moment and it seems to me that the Bible teaches baptism because you publicly share what has happened to you in private. The point is, these are the people who brand themselves by saying, “I want everyone to know that I’m a Christian,” and it’s no secret. He takes the personal private moment and he makes it public. I think it’s really cool so everyone can celebrate what’s happened to them before.

Hunn, Reverend Mark Shaddix, FBC Student Minister, and Reverend Chris Harding, Minister of Families, each baptized people of different ages.

“One of the things we’ve been talking about lately in the life of the church is about people who were baptized at a younger age and maybe didn’t mean so much to them, so go ahead and make it. a memorable and meaningful experience, ”said Shaddix. “We explained that if you don’t remember this transformational experience from your childhood until now, you won’t really have confidence in the life you are trying to live if you ask yourself, ‘What is it? what does it even look like back then? ‘ … We call it a celebration, so I think everyone sees it this way that we celebrate the new life, the transformation of life, the transformation of eternity. Baptisms are not a real transformation in and of themselves, but an outward representation of that transformation that occurs internally.

Bob and Betty White recently converted from Methodist to Baptist. Betty said the couple got hosed down, but Sunday was a total immersion.

“It’s really important to us because we’ve just learned more about the Bible and it feels like it brings us closer to him, to Jesus,” Betty said. “… You must be thinking that’s what they say we were dead in our sins and we were buried in our sins and when we rise up we are resurrected and set free from that sin.”

Lauren Mason was baptized in front of her friends and family for the second time. Her first baptism was when she was about 7 or 8 years old, but now, at 34, a new dedication to Christ made her want to start over.

“I remember being baptized, but I feel like the transition from child to adult and my experiences and time with the Lord now, I feel like it transformed me,” said Mason. “To be a mother and to raise my children and to know how much I need the Lord every day to be a parent and to be a good wife, to love others, I need him every day. I made this decision in 2015 to dedicate myself again and now it’s just a moment that symbolizes my relationship with him and what he did to change me.

Mason said she felt loved and forgiven.

“I just want this testimony to show others that no matter what they have done, no matter how they feel, no matter how ashamed they are, may the Lord love them,” she said. .

Hunn hopes to have another baptismal service in August at Lenoir City Park.

“I didn’t grow up in church, so it always bothered me when I was pastor to young people or even older people who said, ‘I don’t remember my baptism,’” he said. Hunn said. “Part of my motivation is that it should be memorable. When you go out here like that, it makes it a bit more memorable. “


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The Southern Baptist Church sets up in 2020, but baptisms …… | News and reports http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/05/21/the-southern-baptist-church-sets-up-in-2020-but-baptisms-news-and-reports/ Fri, 21 May 2021 17:04:16 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/05/21/the-southern-baptist-church-sets-up-in-2020-but-baptisms-news-and-reports/ Southern Baptists have seen an increase in church planting and have maintained relatively stable donation levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. But overall, the denomination has seen another year of decline, the pandemic accelerating historically significant drops in the number of members and baptisms. The country’s largest Protestant denomination has shrunk for 14 consecutive years, […]]]>

Southern Baptists have seen an increase in church planting and have maintained relatively stable donation levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. But overall, the denomination has seen another year of decline, the pandemic accelerating historically significant drops in the number of members and baptisms.

The country’s largest Protestant denomination has shrunk for 14 consecutive years, falling to 14 million after losing 436,000 members last year, according to the Annual Church Profile released Thursday by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Baptisms soaked by almost half from one year to the next.

“The effect of COVID-19 on the statistics for 2020 is undeniable. Yet 2020 is only the last year of continued decline in major categories ”, tweeted Mike Stone, a pastor in Georgia who is in the running for president of SBC. “Southern Baptists need a movement from God. Let us pray and work for this.

For years pastors and denominational leaders have responded to the dwindling numbers by calling for mission-centered renewal. The year 2020 has shown promising signs of progress on the mission field, adding 588 new church plants in the United States and more than 18,000. abroad, both figures are up from the previous year.

But the growth has not offset the downward trend in total membership. Researcher Ryan Burge wrote last year that generational change will be the biggest accelerator of losses in the SBC, as the denomination ages and members die.

According to Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, the loss of more of its older members to COVID-19 is likely one of the factors behind the decline in 2020. The number of members has decreased by 2 % in 2019, the biggest drop in the SBC in a century. Last year, as congregations removed inactive members from their lists and saw fewer people joining during closings, the drop was 3%.

Churches were also less likely to participate in this year’s annual compilation; 69 percent provided data, up from 75 percent in previous years. While not a complete picture, the annual church profile is the denomination’s best snapshot of Southern Baptist trends. Executives are still grappling with what last year’s numbers will mean for the SBC in the long run.

“It may take years for us to know the full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our churches,” said Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the SBC executive committee, in comments to Baptist press. “There are lessons to be learned from 2020 as we put it behind us, such as the vital need for collective worship, the value of being creative in developing ways to share the gospel, and how much communities local people need our churches to minister in difficult situations. conditions. “

Church planting represents a bright spot in the midst of the declining trend; the number of SBC churches launched in the United States in 2020 was 588, an increase from 552 the year before. Southern Baptists have planted 8,200 churches in North America since 2010, a rate which, according to researcher Ed Stetzer, amounts to “replanting the name every few decades”.

“Well, the SBC continues its downtrend for sure, but the church planting numbers remind us that the North American Mission Board is crashing more than anyone and has continued to do so over the course of time. of a remarkably difficult year, “said Stetzer, Director. director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. “If Southern Baptists find a way to a better future, the route goes through church planting territory.”

Kevin Ezell, chairman of the North American Mission Board, the body that oversees national evangelism and mission, told CT he is encouraged by their work in 2020 but is also looking forward to it.

“The number that matters most to me is how many survive after four years. Right now that survival rate hovers around 80%, which is incredibly strong, ”he said. “But planting 588 churches during closures and social distancing demonstrates that Southern Baptists have a strong church planting network and a solid financial commitment that withstands even the most difficult challenges.”

Even in a year when many churches were closed or digital-only during closings, and even with fewer churches reporting, donations have remained relatively stable, falling less than 1% to $ 11.5 billion. . SBC churches spent $ 1 billion on missions in 2020.

The annual report comes less than a month before Southern Baptists gathered in Nashville in June for their annual meeting, the first since the pandemic. Leaders are expected to address the denomination’s declining trends as well as recent debates over their approach to politics, race, women and abuse.

“A convention perpetually at war with itself cannot do what God called it to do: sue the Great Commission,” SBC outgoing chairman JD Greear said in a statement. “There are voices calling us [to] come to Nashville to divide even more on things beyond the scope of our declaration of faith and therefore better leave it to the autonomy of the churches. This will surely send us further into decline. “

Baptisms have declined as fewer converts join SBC churches and have been suspended in many churches due to the pandemic. Historically, this has been the benchmark measurement for the denomination. “It’s not just a point of pride; it’s also proof that the SBC is carrying out the Great Commission, ”said Barry Hankins, historian at Baylor University. “It’s not hard to imagine a sense of bewilderment, even hopelessness, in the face of the constant decline in baptisms and SBC membership. “

Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, said Southern Baptist leaders continued to respond with urgency.

“We desperately need a great movement from God among our people that these statistics should bring us all to our knees in prayer,” he said. “The data also underscores the critical need to provide the best theological education to prepare the next generation of pastors and church leaders for the challenges of ministry today. “



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SBC sees drop in baptisms, church memberships and donations in 2020: report http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/05/21/sbc-sees-drop-in-baptisms-church-memberships-and-donations-in-2020-report/ Fri, 21 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.hardypresbyterian.com/2021/05/21/sbc-sees-drop-in-baptisms-church-memberships-and-donations-in-2020-report/ A new report has revealed that in 2020 the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) saw a decline in several key metrics, including baptisms, church membership and weekly church attendance. According to the most recent Church Annual Profile (ACP) report, last year the SBC saw a 3 percent drop (435,632 people) in church memberships. The decline in […]]]>

A new report has revealed that in 2020 the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) saw a decline in several key metrics, including baptisms, church membership and weekly church attendance.

According to the most recent Church Annual Profile (ACP) report, last year the SBC saw a 3 percent drop (435,632 people) in church memberships. The decline in numbers brought the denomination’s total membership to 14 million. According to Lifeway Research, over the past 14 years, the SBC has seen a steady decline in membership. The denomination’s strongest year would have been 2006, with 16.3 million members.

Weekly in-person worship attendance was another key factor that saw significant declines in 2020. According to the report, the average number of people attending in-person worship each week fell 15.44% or 4.4% to 4.4%, according to the report. million people last year.

Lifestyle research Executive Director Scott McConnell has argued that COVID-19 has certainly played a role in this decline.

“COVID-19 clearly had an impact on in-person attendance. For much of the year, churches have been trying to strike the right balance between in-person and online events, ”McConnell said, according to Lifeway Research.

McConnell noted that congregations were only asked to report the average number of people who attended weekly worship in person when the church was actively meeting in person. “This is consistent with how congregations have been instructed to report in previous years when snowstorms and hurricanes prevented congregations from meeting,” McConnell said.

“But the impact of COVID-19 extended beyond the weeks that congregations could not meet at all,” he said. “When they first met, the average church saw fewer people attending.”

Baptisms also saw a decline in 2020, with just 123,160 people baptized. This is a decrease of 47.7% for 2019, when 235,748 people were baptized. Lifeway reports that it is the 9e consecutive year that the number of baptisms within the SBC has decreased.

McConnell again argued that the COVID-19 pandemic would have affected these numbers as well, claiming that “socially aloof behavior is helpful in containing a pandemic, but it has made it difficult to meet new people, invite people to l church and help them take a step of obedience to be baptized.

He added, “The last year that Southern Baptists saw this small number of people first follow Christ was in 1918 and 1919, when the influenza pandemic swept the world. “

The last key metric that saw a decline in 2020 was spending on donations and missions. The report found that “total church revenue” fell 0.98 percent to $ 11.5 billion. Congregations also reported mission expenses totaling $ 1 billion and large commission giving of $ 409.8 million.

Photo courtesy of Debby Hudson / Unsplash


Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor-in-Chief of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has a BA in English and History and previously wrote and was Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. Yellow jacket newspaper. She wrote on it Blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.


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