MIAMI-DADE — Embracing the simple but succinct adage, “We help people find and follow Christ,” Miami-Dade’s Christ Journey Church celebrates baptism as a vital step in the life of every believer.
The church makes it a big deal, said Ryan Reed, campus pastor of the church’s Coral Gables location. “Though baptism does not secure one’s salvation, we celebrate every believer who comes up from the waters of baptism as a symbol of one’s new life now and resurrection to come in Christ.”
In 2019, the church with four locations—Coral Gables, Kendall, Miami Beach and an on-line congregation—baptized 113 new believers, one of 300 Florida Baptist churches to baptize more than 100 persons during the past year.
Reed said the church incorporates baptism into the messages and worship to help new believers understand the biblical and theological meaning of baptism and Jesus’ mandate in the Gospels.
“We want everyone to know clearly what it means and why it’s important,” said Reed.
Christ Journey hosts a baptism Sunday on the third Sunday of every month. That way they are always prepared to receive people for baptism during worship experiences, said Reed. Often these baptisms are held in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Christ Journey was begun in 1926 directly across the street from the University of Miami. Formerly known as University Baptist Church, the congregation withstood a devastating hurricane in 1926, rebuilding it while seeking to be a lighthouse for God in the city of Miami.
The congregation, renamed Christ Journey, is led by Senior Pastor Bill White who has served the church for the pastor 25 years. More than 1,600 persons attend weekly worship service. The church reflects the diversity of the Miami-Dade community, with members representing 50 nations and speaking 29 languages.
Nearly a century later, the church’s purpose remains the same, helping people find and follow Christ.
Florida Baptist churches baptized more than any other state convention in the Southern Baptist Convention, reporting 25,338 new believer’s baptisms in 2019.