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Three generations baptized in one service at Kentucky church

Belfry First Baptist Pastor Mike McCartney (back, right) baptized three generations on Sunday. The family includes (from left) B.J. Collins, Bruce Collins and Bo Collins.

BELFRY, Ky. (BP) — It was a baptism service unlike any other that Belfry First Baptist Church Pastor Mike McCartney has ever been involved in.

McCartney baptized three people – 85-year-old Bruce Collins, his son, B.J., and his grandson, Bo. All three came to faith on the same day in January.

McCartney recalled getting a text the afternoon of Jan. 12 from B.J., who, even though a regular attender at the church, had been “wrestling with God for a while.” B.J. said he hated to bother the pastor on a Friday, but he needed to get the salvation issue settled. B.J. also said his 11-year-old son had been asking questions about being saved and baptized. The question — would you talk with him? — was answered with a resounding “Yes!”

Around 5 p.m. that evening, McCartney met with them along with Bruce, the grandfather. Bruce had been a regular attender at First Baptist Belfry, but he “wants to get saved and doesn’t want to wait until Sunday,” B.J. related.

When McCartney arrived for the meeting, he talked with each one individually. “You could tell God had worked differently on each one — each had been putting things off,” McCartney said.

As he counseled each one, McCartney asked what led them to that moment and received assurance that each one had genuinely accepted Christ as Savior. Two days later, each came before the church to make a public profession of faith – a story reminiscent of Acts 16:31-34 where the Philippian jailer was saved as well as his household. In Bruce’s case it wasn’t the “entire” household because his wife, Phyllis, had been praying for him some 60 years.

When news of the three-generation salvations was shared on Facebook, “it lit up,” McCartney said. “There were over 400 likes/loves and tons of comments, such as ‘best decision ever made.’ The whole church was stunned, amazed and excited.”

The baptismal date of Jan. 28 was set so family could attend the service and special arrangements could be made for Bruce.

Reflecting on the baptismal service, McCartney said it was “a glorious, wonderful day. Bruce was as eager as anyone I have ever seen to get baptized.”

In McCartney’s four and a half years at Belfry and 25 total years as a pastor, Bruce is the oldest person he has baptized, and this is the first time he has ever baptized three generations in the same service. He enlisted B.J. to help with his father’s baptism.

“A lot of folks came in for the service,” he said. “When B.J.’s wife, Amanda, posted it on Facebook, responses came swiftly — there were more than 200 likes/loves and some 90 comments praising God for what had happened. There were a bunch of tears in the eyes of people. People were saying, ‘Wow!’”

He added: “God has been doing some amazing things in our church. We’ve not changed anything, but we have several other neat salvation stories. We’re doing another baptism next week — it will be the fifth person in the last three months where someone over 30 years old got saved. We’re just staying faithful, we’re praying and praising the Lord and letting God do what He does.”

This story originally appeared in Kentucky Today.

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  • Chip Hutcheson/Kentucky Today