Family Thoughts03 Jan 2006 10:32 pm

On January 1 2006, I watched as my son and daughter were baptized. The baptism service at the start of the new year, was a way to show their rebirth. The events which surrounded the baptism, and the service which followed, have pushed me to start this site. Let me explain.

Thomas and Elisabeth, our twin children were born in Knoxville Tennessee in 1994. Through the years, work and life had taken us from Knoxville to Abingdon, Virginia and finally to Brandon Mississippi. The move to Brandon was tough on the kids, as they were fourth graders when they entered the school system here, and because they moved from a school of approximately 100 children per grade, to a school with approximately 350 per grade.

Last summer the children went to summer camp with our church, and they both accepted Christ as their savior. This was an exciting time for April and I as parents, as we have seen the kids mature so much in the last years. Thomas and Elisabeth are both great kids, well mannered and the like, but their salvation brought a change that was noticeable. Both children showed more caring, and both were more aware of their witness to others.

Our church held a membership information class, over the course of several weeks in the fall, and baptism was scheduled for a week before Thanksgiving. We had planned a visit to Knoxville to see friends, and were out of town that weekend.

Simultaneous to the camps and classes, the church was losing it’s senior pastor to retirement. Brother Gene who had been the pastor for many years was retiring to pursue a mission ministry. The church had identified a new pastor, and he was coming to speak the weekend we were headed to Knoxville. Little did we know, that we would pass him on I 59, somewhere in Alabama, his source Knoxville and his destination Brandon. Brother Scott was called practically unanimously, and would start during the Christmas season.

Two additional baptisms that were scheduled before Pastor Gene left were cancelled, and Elisabeth especially was disappointed, as she was excited about being baptized. When we received the letter about baptism on the first, it just seemed as though it would be a great fit.

Brother Scott noted the irony in the fact that the first person he should baptize in Brandon, was someone born in Knoxville. “Born in Knoxville, reborn in Brandon” he said. Indeed.

For a couple of kids who still identify the mountains of East Tennessee as home, Brother Scott’s words, and encouraging sermon brought a sense of acceptance, and comfort.

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