Churches prepare to celebrate ‘Acts 2:41 Sunday’ May 7
South Korean native Soo Lim began attending MissionWay Church in south Jacksonville at the invitation of a Christian friend. Before long, the young businesswoman began earnestly searching the Bible and seeking counsel from friends at church to discover more about Christianity.
After being led to Christ, Lim was baptized in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean in St. Augustine Beach. Her newfound faith was one of “surrender,” said Lim. “Stop thinking that I am in control of my life.” And as she experiences heartaches and joys in life, “accept them with gratefulness and go through them.”
Noting that “being baptized in the water is a symbol of your new life as a Christian and beginning of a new life,” Lim added, “I think being baptized in the ocean is close to the time when Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”
Beach baptism is an annual highlight in the life of MissionWay Church, said Pastor Ron Henson. Many of the church’s new believers often choose to wait to be baptized at the beach event, rather than in the baptistery, which at MissionWay, located in a strip center, is a horse trough in the worship center.
“Beach baptisms are appealing to new disciples. It’s a great gospel witness and a great family fellowship event for the church. And it encourages the church in their commitment to the Great Commission,” he said.
“Jesus did not give any instructions on where we are to practice baptism,” added Henson. “All we need is water and Florida has a readily water venue—the ocean. And there is plenty of water there.”
On May 7, the state’s 663 miles of sandy beaches and 1,350 miles of coastline will come alive with the Gospel testimony, believers baptizing coast-to-coast for “Acts 2:41 Sunday.”
During that day, Florida Baptist churches plan to gather at beaches near their community—or another public body of water—to demonstrate and celebrate the newness of life expressed through believer’s baptism.
The one-day emphasis is based on the passage found in Acts 2:41, “Then those who gladly received His word were baptized and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”
It will be a day of celebration, said Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.
“Acts 2:41 Sunday provides the opportunity to surround Florida with the witness of Jesus Christ. This unified day of testimony for our churches will declare from coast-to-coast in our state that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Churches planning to participate can find additional information and resources about the event at www.flbaptist.org/Acts2:41. Included in the resources are items to promote the event, including logos, PDFs of fliers to distribute and a brief, promotional video to show during church. The fliers and videos are available in English, Spanish and French.
Step-by-step instructions to help churches plan and conduct a beach baptism event can also be downloaded.
Also included–as a means to celebrate the day–is a registration form to gather names of participating churches and locations where the baptisms will be held. After signing up for the event, pastors will receive a gift from the Convention.
Green is hoping the event will be the start of a great evangelistic harvest for Florida Baptists. “Let’s join as thousands declare their public professions of faith in waters across Florida on May 7!”
By Barbara Denman, Florida Baptist Convention, March 21, 2017