Emmanuel College’s first Wednesday night chapel service of spring semester included baptizing 13 people at the Roberson Aquatic Center in the College’s new Athletic Center.
This is the first baptism service in the new facility since it opened during fall semester. In the past, baptisms on campus have taken place at the outdoor campus pool and the indoor baptismal pool at nearby Franklin Springs PH Church.
Campus Pastor Chris Maxwell and Dr. G. Earl Beatty, retired Dean of Academics, baptized each person. They are Jason Croy, Kyle Booth, Rachel Poole, Callie Sorrow, Richard Clark, Shelbi Morgan, Jennie Gardner, Arin Adesuyi, Avery Lewis, Kara Horton, Nathan Tew, Lindsey Tolbert and Contravious Heard.
“The honor of baptizing them in the new Athletic Center reminded me again of our big mission statement at Emmanuel College,” Pastor Chris says. “I love the meetings in that building. I enjoy the ball games. I enjoy seeing us give students, faculty, staff and the community a chance to enter a quality building with first-class equipment in a new facility.
“But here’s what excites me the most,” he continues. “Seeing us all celebrating God’s love. Seeing lives changed for eternity. Seeing us welcome God’s invitation to enter a relationship with Him.”
The baptism service follows the first weekend of the semester, called New Beginnings Weekend. After nightly services ended and students were dismissed, more than 100 students lingered for more prayer and worship. One of the speakers was Jason Croy, Vice President for Student Life at Emmanuel.
"After finishing my New Beginnings message to our students on Saturday night, I expressed the relevance and importance of water baptism. As the VP for Student Life, my heart is to lead our students into the great reality of the With God Life,” Mr. Croy says. “This leading can and does occur through words, but sometimes we need to get into the water with them.
“My first baptism occurred at age 17 in my uncle's church on a Tuesday night with three witnesses. This baptism served as a celebration and confession of my love and commitment to Jesus now more than ever," he adds.
Those who were baptized confessed their faith and commitment, talked about how they would no longer live as they had in the past, and admitted this way of testifying would remind us all of God’s love. Several of the students said they want others to know they are “all in” to this “life with Christ.”