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Fla. Baptists celebrate 1,100 baptisms

TIERRA VERDE, Fla. (BP) — On a day focused on celebrating life transformation, the Quinlan family decided to be baptized together as a symbol of how Jesus had been working in their lives. Their church, The Island Chapel in Tierra Verde, was just one of hundreds of Florida Baptist churches that participated in Acts 2:41 Beach Baptism emphasis on May 6.

Becky Quinlan, along with husband Scott and children Emma, Anna and Brady, joined nearly 1,100 others who were baptized at beaches, lakes, springs and even fountains in a celebration of life transformation that echoed from coast to coast all around the state.

Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, launched this baptism emphasis last year by challenging Florida Baptist churches to get outside and baptize new believers in public places, highlighting the power of the Gospel testimony.

“I am grateful for the strong evangelistic heartbeat of our Florida Baptist churches,” Green said as stories of baptisms were shared and celebrated on social media.

Cornerstone Baptist Church in Inverness had a record number of baptisms at a lake this year. Thirty-one people were baptized, up from the 19 that were baptized last year. Pastor Greg Kell said having a baptism service at the lake creates a special moment for people and keeps the conversation about the Gospel going for weeks afterward. A father and his three children chose to visit Cornerstone on Acts 2:41 Sunday, and they all made professions of faith in Jesus and were baptized that day.

In the 24 hours following the baptism at the lake, Kell noted, the church had three people confirmed for baptism on May 13. And baptisms are now scheduled for three of the next four Sundays.

The baptism celebrations actually began on Saturday (May 5) when 79 people were baptized at the One Family event in South Florida. Churches of different ethnic and racial backgrounds gathered on Key Biscayne to publicly proclaim, that no matter their differences, they are united in the Gospel. See related Baptist Press story.

“Events like this are a catalyst for us,” Kell said, speaking of the Acts 2:41 Beach Baptism day. Kell said his church enjoys knowing that they are joining with congregations all over the state impacting people outside of the four walls of the church.

Green noted, “What a powerful testimony of salvation and baptism through the Acts 2:41 emphasis. We rejoice in lives that are eternally changed through Jesus Christ. Let’s keep pressing on with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”

Go to http://flbaptist.org/acts-241-beach-baptism-heres-whats-happening/ for pictures from churches around the state celebrating baptism on Acts 2:41 Beach Baptism Sunday.