Have you been baptized since trusting in Jesus?

Kimberly and I on the night of our baptisms in 1998

3 events, separated by 25 years, tell the story of my spiritual journey when I came to be a Christ follower. 

The first event was when I was baptized as an infant.  I was born to two amazing parents who wanted to raise me in a Christian home.  They brought me to church each Sunday growing up.  I do not remember a time when church was not a part of my life.  This is such a huge blessing.  When I was just a few months old, my parents had me baptized at the church we attended. 

The second event was when I placed my faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins.  This was a major turning point in my life.  I had attended many church events, memorized many verses, knew the words to many hymns, and even had been confirmed as a church member . . . but I did not know what it all meant.  Jesus was a historical figure . . . Christianity was a subject.  It was not until Easter Sunday 1990 that the Spirit of God convicted me of my sin and I turned to Jesus as my rescuer from sin and judgment.  I have been following Him ever since.

The third event came when I was baptized upon profession of faith in 1998.  At the time I was an Associate Pastor at a church in Coppell, Texas.  I decided to be baptized at that time because as I studied Scripture, I saw a pattern emerge: people believed in Jesus, then they were immersed in water baptism.  This was the pattern of the early church, and it was consistent with the teaching of Jesus.  The Scriptures were clear (in my mind) about the pattern of baptism, but in order to be baptized I had to clear a few hurdles:

  1. I needed to talk to my parents.  I was so thankful for the legacy of following Jesus that they had passed on to me.  I did not desire to reject that heritage by being “re”baptized.  However, my desire to follow the clear teaching of Jesus trumped my risk of offending my family, so I decided to be baptized.  I called my parents to tell them about my decision.  I also wanted to tell them THANK YOU for the spiritual investment they made in my life.  They were so gracious and celebrated this decision with me.
  2. I needed to talk to my Pastor.  As I mentioned, I was already serving as an Associate Pastor at a church.  I was afraid that my Pastor might react negatively to the notion that one of his staff wanted to be baptized!  I met with him and told him what God had been teaching me.  He graciously celebrated this decision with me and together we planned to baptize me at a friend’s swimming pool during a youth group meeting that next Wednesday night — a youth group meeting I was LEADING!  I also had the privilege of baptizing my wife (who had come to a similar conviction) right after I was baptized by Pastor Wayne.    What a night!
  3. I needed to talk to Jesus.  No one’s salvation depends on the act of being immersed in water.  Salvation is by grace through faith, and not as a result of works (including water baptism!)  However, the New Testament is really unfamiliar with the idea that an adult could be a Christ follower and yet intentionally choose to NOT be baptized with water.  If I were to reject His command of baptism, I would be saying “no” to the One who bled and died for my sins.  In prayer, I expressed my decision to be baptized as an outward expression of my inward faith.  I declared to Jesus that I was not baptized in order to BE SAVED, but as an expression of the salvation that was already given.

Friends, I write this note today to encourage everyone who reads this to consider water baptism.  In our culture, sometimes we think baptisms are for children or students (since many of those baptized are younger in age.)  However, the New Testament does not put an age parameter around baptism.  People of ANY age are baptized . . . after they have professed faith in Christ. 

Like me, you may be a college student or adult who has not been baptized since trusting Christ.  Like me, you may have avoided baptism because of the 3 conversations I mentioned above.  You may fear talking to your parents about a christening that happened in your early years.  You may fear talking to me, because you don’t want to appear as someone who does not “have it all together.”  You may have never considered that NOT being baptized was actually saying “no” to Jesus’ command.  Whatever your story, I want to encourage you today with a few thoughts:

  1. Take this opportunity to thank your parents or grandparents for the investment they made in your life.  Being baptized since trusting in Christ is not an affront to your family, it is a public declaration of who you are following today.
  2. Talk to me (or one of our other Pastors/staff) about this.  We will absolutely THROW A PARTY!  We love celebrating any step of faith God is leading you towards — including water baptism!
  3. Take this opportunity to talk to Jesus about it.  Baptism does not save you, but it is a step of faith in following Him!

To help facilitate all of these things, we have a web form found at wildwoodchurch.org/baptism .  Fill that out and we will get back in touch with you ASAP.  We even have some classes about the biblical teaching of baptism that we offer on Sunday January 26 (for children, students, and adults) for all who are interested.  We look forward to hearing from you in preparation for our next baptism service at Wildwood Community Church on March 8.  Hope to hear from you before then!

Baptism Sunday: November 24, 2019 Preview!

Three times each year, we dedicate an entire worship service at Wildwood Community Church to celebrating new life in Christ.  The way we celebrate this new life is through water baptisms.  The celebration (i.e. the water in the tank) does not CREATE new life, it merely CELEBRATES IT through the same gift Jesus gave to the church at its inception 2,000 years ago when He commanded us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)

This Sunday, November 24, 2019, we will celebrate the new life in Christ of 15 individuals!  They will be baptized in the following services:

9:45 Service:

  1. Brooklyn Crowell
  2. Beau Follis
  3. Isaac Williams
  4. Cooper Grave
  5. Harris Volentine 
  6. Maddox Volentine
  7. Gracie Warren

11:00 Service:

  1. Eli Adams
  2. Laini Akram
  3. Tinsley Joy Arnold  
  4. Miranda Waterman
  5. Bailee Whorton
  6. Emery Williams
  7. Michael Glessner
  8. Samantha Putman

Additionally, at the 9:45 worship service, we will be commissioning High School Minister Abe Mahner for Gospel Ministry.

As is our custom on Baptism Sundays, we will not have any of our Adult classes, student ministry classes, or elementary classes meeting (though our nursery, toddler, and preschool rooms will be running).  The reason we do this is to encourage participation in the main worship services as we all come together to celebrate what God has done.

We hope you make plans to join us this Sunday!

Baptism Sunday (August 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, we celebrated the baptisms of 14 people.  As a part of this service, we looked at Acts 16 together.  Below are a series of questions related to this passage for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Acts 16:1-34
  3. What is the spiritual heritage of your family?  What “faith” or knowledge of God was passed down to you from your parents, grandparents, or extended family?
  4. In what ways is your life continuing to profess the “faith” given you from your family?  In what ways are your beliefs different?
  5. Though some have a family that pointed them to Christ and others have families that promoted a different god or atheism, responsibility still lies with each individual to determine what THEY believe.  Have you ever placed your faith in Jesus Christ?
  6. Have you been baptized with water since trusting Jesus as your Savior?  If not, why not?  Wildwood’s next baptisms services are November 24.  Let us know if you would like to be baptized then by contacting us at wildwoodchurch.org/baptism
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Baptism Sunday . . . THIS SUNDAY, August 4!!!!

This Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church in both our 9:45 and 11:00 worship services, we will be celebrating the water baptisms of 14 people!  What a joy it is for our church family to hear the stories and celebrate the grace of God that has led people into a life-changing and eternity-altering relationship with Jesus Christ!  This Sunday we will be celebrating the following baptisms:

In the 9:45 Service
  1. Natalie Carr
  2. Lillie Geist
  3. London Geist
  4. Reese Lamke
  5. Kinsey Schones
In the 11:00 Service
  1. David Ayodele
  2. Samuel Ayodele
  3. Jacob Reyes
  4. Robby Reyes
  5. Anna Shuman
  6. Callie Skaggs
  7. Abby Skaggs
  8. AnnaKate Skaggs
  9. Emma Skaggs

In addition, we will also get to hear (in both of our services) from one of our visiting missionary partners, Talis Talbergs (the founder of Latvian Christian Radio)!!

Make plans to worship with us this Sunday!  Know that on baptism Sundays, our “normal” is a bit different.  In order to facilitate almost all of our church family seeing these baptisms, we will NOT have adult Sunday school classes, student ministry (6th-12th grade), or elementary aged children’s classes (Kindergarten-5th grade) meeting this week (August 4).  Only preschool, nursery, and toddler rooms will be operational this Sunday, as the rest of us are “all in” for the worship services.  See you Sunday!!!

Baptism Sunday – April 7, 2019

On Sunday, April 7, 2019, we celebrated the baptisms of 26 Wildwood people in our 9:45 and 11:00 service!  Below you will see a few links with content from this morning:


To access the testimony videos of those baptized, click here.


To watch the live stream of the 9:45 service, click here.


To watch the live stream of the 11:00 service, click here.


To watch the video highlights of the baptisms from the Jordan River, view online below:

Baptisms: April 7, 2019 Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 7, 2019, we celebrated the baptisms of twenty-six people at Wildwood Community Church!  Before these baptisms, I shared a brief reflection from Galatians 2:20-21.  Below you will find a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 2:20-21
  3. Is there something or someone OUTSIDE YOURSELF that you draw your identity from?  (i.e. your vocation, your role, your family, your faith, etc.)
  4. In Galatians 2:20-21, we are called to find our identity with Jesus Christ – His death and His resurrection life.  What does it mean that we are “crucified with Christ”?
  5. What does it mean that “Christ lives in me”?
  6. What are some areas where God is calling you to live by faith in Him today?  (i.e. are there any areas where you think you know more or better than God?)
  7. Have you been baptized with water since trusting Jesus as your Savior?  If not, why not?  Wildwood’s next baptisms services are August 4.  Let us know if you would like to be baptized then!
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.