While digging through a treasure trove of memories, I came across my original baptismal certificate. I did not know it still existed. It is slightly stained and marred, but very legible. According to the date of my baptism, I must be way older than I imagine. The pastor’s signature verifies that I was baptized at the Riverside Methodist Church in Miami, Florida, in the presence of the congregation, on March 21, 1948. I was “a wee little man” in those days.
My mother had been raised Methodist and my father Baptist, so when they married, as my father used to say, they compromised and became Methodists. Our family became very active church members and my Methodist pastor led me to know Jesus as my personal savior when I was nine years old. A few years later they compromised again and we became Baptists. At 12 I was the reluctant hold-out. Why couldn’t we find another Methodist church? Why did I need to be baptized again? Dr. John Wheeler, pastor of the neighborhood Baptist church and later a professor at the European Baptist Seminary in Switzerland, kindly taught me the difference between infant baptism and believer’s baptism. It made sense to me.
Also, I found in the treasures a little card where I had written in green ink an acrostic outlining the distinctives in the word Baptist:
B – Born again
A – Authority of the Scriptures
P – Priesthood of the Believers
T – Teach and Train
I – Immersion
S – Security of the Believer
T – Tither
I probably heard that in a sermon and jotted it down. Our whole family was baptized together on a chilly October night. Do you remember your baptism? What was going on in your life? Were you re-baptized? How are things going in your soul today?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Tell your story. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.