Crosswind Church Baptism story

I wrote this article for my feature writing class, but I thought it would be nice to share on here as well. So enjoy!

Dozens of children jump on the moon bounce and swing on the playground as parents visit with friends and eat. There is a buffet lined up with chicken, fruit, macaroni salad, brownies, and other homemade goodies.

The clouds are grey and there is a high percent chance of rain, but over a hundred people are still gathered in a parking lot. The Crosswind Church Picnic and Baptism is finally underway.

Teenagers play basketball, kids run up to the tables of food and steal cookies and juice boxes, and couples exchange stories at dozens of tables.

After the meal, the men start to stack chairs and tables, and the women pack up the food and throw away the trash. One volunteer starts to deflate the moon bounce, much to the disappointment of the children.

Senior Pastor David Sulcer turns on the microphone and informs the congregation that the baptism will be starting in a few minutes inside the sanctuary.

“We usually have these picnics and baptisms two to four times a year,” says Sulcer. “But my first choice is always to have the picnic outside. But this weather was too much of a risk.”

Families start to move into the sanctuary, and people see a pool set up in the corner of the large room. The Worship Arts Pastor Mike Ferrante helps an intern set up the camera and microphone so that the congregation will get a good view of the baptisms.

Ferrante expressed his excitement for the eleven baptisms that would be taking place that evening. After everyone settles in their seats, Ferrante led the congregation in worship. “At the end of this night, all of us will leave here with some kind of hope and faith,” Ferrante said.

Sulcer explained that the reason baptism was so important is “it represents the biggest event of a believer’s public life. It is a way to act out their faith and share their testimony.”

Sulcer always conducts the baptism, and his wife, Debbie Sulcer, reads the individual prewritten testimonies.

If you take a look around the sanctuary during baptisms, there are often tears being shed, people cheering, and photos being taken. Mary Carrier, a church member, explained “I’m very captivated with the testimonials. It’s a very emotional thing, and I often feel tears of joy.”

Of the eleven people being baptized, there is a large range of ages. The youngest is a college freshman, and the oldest are two women in their 80’s. There are three married couples represented as well.

One man being baptized is currently living at the Westminster Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter for men that offers Christ-centered rehabilitation, and provides clothing and meals for families in need.

“I am a work in progress,” he stated. “I am at the Rescue Mission by choice. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

After all the baptisms conclude, individuals hug one another and exchange goodbyes and excitement to see one another next Sunday. Teenagers run outside to play a quick game of volleyball before darkness starts to set in.

And within an hour, the quaint medium sized church becomes dark and vacant, waiting to be brought to life once again by the active congregation that inhabits is a couple times a week.

Sulcer explained to his church of 18 years, “It just thrills my soul to see what God does in peoples’ lives.”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Shari D.
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 06:59:18

    Great article, Kellie! I will be anxious to hear what your professor thinks of it. Having attended several of Crosswind’s baptisms, you really captured the feeling of being there during that very special service.

    Reply

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