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We were delighted to share in the baptism of Jerry Amokwandoh, Tasha Kensington, and Liz Lamb on Sunday morning 6th November
Mike Elcome preached on the text “Fight the Good Fight”, from 1 Timothy 6. The phrase is a sporting term, meaning battling to succeed, and Mike challenged us that following Jesus is a battle worth fighting, a battle to be faithful, loving, dependable and gentle. Baptism is a public start to that battle, a commitment, a promise to God to follow Him and be His person. It will lead to a new quality of life, eternal life, but not necessarily an easy life. You will be called to struggle with temptations, with other people who don’t understand your faith, with yourself for not being what you want to be, and with the influence of friends who would lead you away. The Holy Spirit will remind you to Fight the Good Fight.
Coming to baptism is an act of obedience -
You can listen to Mike’s sermon on the audio page.
Jerry told us how coming from a home where the Bible is cherished allowed his faith to develop. He is convinced by the promises of God such as John 3:16 and 1:12 -
He wants to allow God to guide him.
Jerry said he had been thinking of baptism for about a year, since he started at secondary school, and wants to identify himself with God
Originally he thought that he needed a sign, or to see an angel, to be baptised, but after discussing it with his mum, he understood that believing in God is also about obeying him and following his commands and walking in faith.
He said that baptism is a symbolic expression that Jesus died for him, and by his resurrection has given Jerry a new life.
Jerry yearns to be like Christ and let him take charge of his thoughts and actions, to make him really what he is meant to be.
Tasha told us how she had always considered herself a Christian since she was young. She had thought about and asked for baptism before, but was too young and not ready, and she accepted the advice of her family. Now at 16, her Nan advised her that God may send a message in something that happens. Tasha thought of the explanation that Karen Crossley gave early this year of how the cross washes away our sin. After this Tasha prayed about it and the word that kept coming to mind was baptism. Tasha discussed this with her Mum, her pastoral carer Tracey, and Mel King and they encouraged her. Tasha prayed further about it which confirmed her decision and gave her an overwhelming feeling of excitement about it. She said that her reasons where that her relationship with God will grow. She wants the Holy Spirit to wipe away her sins, and for Jesus to forgive her. She is also following in His footsteps, as Jesus asks us to in the Bible. She concluded with the words of one of the songs she chose “Here I am to say that you’re my God” which is what she is saying with her baptism
Listen to Jerry’s full testimony
Listen to Tasha’s full testimony
And her baptism
Tasha giving her testimony
And his baptism
For 30 years Liz Lamb worshipped at Addington Methodist, but during the 1990’s she became depressed and lost her faith, and felt God was an angry God, a hurtful God and a God that no longer loved her. Many people tried to help her, but she was so sure of her own worthlessness. Then she met Mike, her husband, and he told her of his firm belief that God had saved him from self-
Last November, our magazine Insight told us that Mike Elcome's wish for his last year at SBC was for people to come forward for Baptism. God was shouting at her “He means you, Liz!”, but again she managed to ignore it.
During the year, our homeless shelter coordinator Hilary stepped down, and Liz was asked to take over. As this ministry was a passion for her, she felt this was clearly God’s will and she readily accepted His call. So why couldn’t she respond to the call for baptism? When asked by a nephew, she said “I’m scared of standing up there and giving my testimony, and I don’t like water up my nose!” which her nephew thought was feeble. Finally, one night, lying in bed, she finally made up her mind, and next morning telephoned Mike Elcome. So she told us “So I stand here this morning, terrified, to proclaim my belief ad my love for our God” -
Liz giving her testimony and waiting to be baptised
Listen to Liz’s full testimony
Listen to Liz’s baptism
Liz is baptised (holding her nose!)
Mike and Ro pray with Liz following her baptism
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