One-hundred thirteen Florida Baptist churches took part in the recent Acts 2:41 Baptism Sunday, but Lloyd Bertine’s church couldn’t be one of them.
Bertine, pastor of Gulf to Lake Church in Crystal River, was recovering from back surgery during the May 7th event so the church postponed their baptism celebration until July 9th.
On that day, members of Gulf to Lake gathered on Fort Island Gulf Beach to celebrate as 117 people made their professions of faith public, following Jesus through the baptismal waters.
“I’ve never experienced that many people coming out into the water to follow the Lord in baptism,” Bertine said.
It was just another example of how the Lord’s been moving in the hearts and minds of the people of Gulf to Lake this year. Earlier this summer, 51 people responded to an altar call during one Sunday.
In their matching T-shirts and in the midst of cheers and shouts of joy from fellow church members, those baptized on earlier this month started to draw a crowd, Bertine said. Even the local paper came out to shoot a few pictures and find out what was going on.
And Bertine’s people couldn’t wait to tell them.
Bertine said it’s the testimony of the crowds on the beach that will make beach baptism an annual event of Gulf to Lake Baptist Church.
To get more information on the Florida Baptist Convention-sponsored Baptism Sunday, go here: http://gofbw.com/blog_search?q=beach+baptisms
Nicole Kalil is the Jacksonville-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness, the official news source of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She can be reached by phone at 904.596.3169 or via email at nicole.kalil@goFBW.com