Dr. Stephen N. Rummage, senior pastor,
Bell Shoals Baptist Church
(Ed.’s note: We are grateful to God for how he works at Bell Shoals Baptist church. We also are glad that Pastor Rummage allowed SBCToday to publicize the goodness of God. We hope this account encourages you in your ministry efforts, and that you, too, will send SBCToday your Altar Call Report.
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Last Sunday (Feb.2) was an “Unashamed Sunday” for us. We have two or three of these each year to challenge people to follow Jesus in baptism. Usually, we have a large group of people scheduled ahead of time to be baptized on these Sundays; but because we’ve been baptizing a good number of people week-by-week, we didn’t have the usual baptism backlog. In fact, we had only three people scheduled for baptism, and one of those didn’t show. So, we were praying diligently for God to send us a lot of people at the invitation.
God came through in a wonderful way!
I preached earlier than normal in the first service to give extra time for baptizing at the end. My message was from Ephesians 4:17-32 on living a new life in Christ, and I emphasized how being baptized shows that we have new life in Christ, from Romans 6:4. Seventeen people came forward and were baptized at the end of our first service. Sixteen came forward and were baptized in the second. Two others came forward who will be baptized in a few weeks.
Here’s an interesting part of the account. We’re getting ready for a youth discipleship weekend next week, and our student ministry was giving out wristbands with each of our students’ names on them so church members could pray for the youths. Earlier that morning, our middle school pastor gave me a wristband with the name “Miguel Rosario” on it. I didn’t know who Miguel was, but I put on the wristband and took a moment to pray for God to work in his life.
In the first service, one of the last people I baptized was a teenaged boy. Our baptism team had put a nametag on him that read, “Miguel Rosario.” I couldn’t believe it! As we stood in the baptismal pool, I said, “I’m wearing a wristband with the name of a student I’ve committed to pray for each day this week.” Then I asked Miguel, “Whose name is on my wristband?” He answered, amazed, “That’s my name.” The whole congregation exploded in applause. It was a God moment.
It was just a reminder that God answers prayers, that He knows our names, that He’s in control, and that He desires to draw people to follow Jesus as we proclaim the gospel.
Thanks for letting me share. I hope our story will encourage others.
May the Lord bless you this day!