Easter Sunday is traditionally a day when many choose to profess their faith in Jesus through the waters of baptism, and this year was no exception. The number of baptisms communicated to The Baptist Times
has already exceeded that of 2013.
In London members of the Royal Docks Community Church followed the example of their Baptist forefathers 400 years ago. Back then the first English Baptists would walk from Spitalfields to Tower Hill and conduct their baptisms in the River Thames. On Easter Sunday Mikey Mann (pictured) and Joey Allgood also took to the Thames to be baptised, in Lyle Park, West Silvertown.
A further three baptisms - Natasha Foster, Didi Daudia and Jayne Randall – took place in the Britannia Village Hall, Canning Town where the church meets each Sunday.
At Bridgnorth Baptist Church in Shropshire the Revd Stephen Derges shared how two women with ‘completely different experiences of salvation’ were baptised on the Sunday evening. Kim Edmunds was a total stranger to Christian thinking and had dabbled in spiritualism and the occult but then had a ‘marvelous experience’ of Jesus. Debbie Wellings had Christian parents who attended another church. She went through a painful divorce which left her angry and unforgiving until she finally understood the forgiveness Jesus gives.
‘Remarkable stories, remarkable Jesus,’ said Stephen.
A moving morning service took place at Grangetown Baptist Church in Cardiff on Easter Sunday, when Darren Hiatt, 40, was baptised. ‘His declaration of faith in Jesus was clear,’ said church elder Elfed Godding. ‘Having lost his sight as a child Darren has had to face many challenges but his faith in Christ is a living example of the hope of the Gospel.’
On Palm Sunday yet more encouraging baptisms took place at Newbury Baptist Church. Teenagers Bethany Buckingham and Bethany Edwards invited more than 30 friends to witness their baptism. A week earlier they had been interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire. Married couple Toby and Linda-Jean Ford were also baptised.
‘The baptisms have been a great opportunity for us to celebrate together as a church family the amazing journey that they have been on and the work Christ has done in their lives,’ said children’s and youth worker Scott Perchard.
‘It was also a fantastic opportunity for the girls to talk to friends about their faith and seeing more than 30 teenagers packed into the baptism service, many for the first time, was a huge encouragement for the whole church, going to show that often our most gifted youth evangelists are our young people!’
Around 3,500 baptisms are reported to our Union via the annual return each year.