HOLLISTER, Fla. (BP) — Widower Fred Hall had suffered three strokes and was in hospice when his pastor Dale Rogers visited in January.
“He was pretty bad off. They didn’t think he was going to make it. He couldn’t hardly lift his head or anything,” Rogers told Baptist Press. “He got better and I went in there one time to visit him and caught him crawling on the floor.
“I said what are you doing? He said, ‘Well, I can’t walk yet, but I can sure crawl.’ He told me there, that when he got back, able to do it, he wanted to be baptized. And I had a 15-year-old who had just received the Lord, and (Hall) wanted to be baptized with him.”
Rogers baptized Hall on April 24 at Dunham Woods Baptist Church as Southern Baptists nationally celebrated Baptism Sunday, an official Southern Baptist Convention calendar observance.
“Since he could walk, he wanted to be baptized to rededicate his life. He wanted everybody to see that just because he was in hospice, doesn’t mean it was it, it was over with. God just moved in his life and brought him out of hospice. After three strokes, he got in the pool and he was able to get out of the pool.”
Rogers considers Hall, in his 80s, a miracle.
“Fred Hall, he’s just one of them miracles that happened to us,” Rogers said. “He’s my door greeter now. We may have to sit a chair there for him, but he greets everybody coming in.” For more than five years, Hall has attended the church that averages 60 in Sunday worship.
Posting good news on social media, Southern Baptist pastors celebrated many public proclamations of God’s grace.
Life Community Church in Jamestown, N.C., where Chad Grayson is lead pastor, baptized 35. Pastor Jeremy Leithoff baptized five young believers at Maranatha Baptist Fellowship in Topeka, Kan. Pastor Adam Crozier noted three baptisms at Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Falmouth, Ky., bringing the annual tally to 29.
Pastor Hector Medina baptized 12 at Saved By Grace, a church plant in Pomona, Calif. Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, La., pastored by John Fream, noted 18 baptisms. Salt Church, a 2019 church plant in Gainesville, Fla., under the leadership of Paul Sabino, baptized 10.
Pastor Dean Inserra celebrated 39 baptisms at City Church in Tallahassee, Fla.
“Jesus lives. The local church is alive,” Inserra tweeted Sunday night. “The enemy hates it and prowls. Please pray for us! Let’s be unashamed of His name.”
At Dunham Woods Baptist, Rogers celebrated Hall’s testimony of God’s spiritual and physical deliverance.
“It shows that you’re never too old,” Rogers said. “You’re never too mature … to recognize what God has done in your life. We forget how great and how merciful He is to us. It was (Hall’s) way of showing the congregation that even though they thought it was over with for him, God still had a better plan.”