Barbara Ringer is baptized by Scott Yirka, pastor of Hibernia Baptist Church in Fleming Island, during Acts 2:41 Baptism emphasis held May 7 across the state of Florida. She is one of the church’s 18 baptisms held in Jacksonville’s Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park that Sunday. Photo by Jerry Favorite/Florida Baptist Convention
1,285 baptized in Fla. on 'Acts 2:41 Sunday'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) – Florida's beaches, rivers, lakes and even pools came alive May 7 with the gospel testimonies of 1,285 new Christian believers as 112 Florida Baptist churches partnered for "Acts 2:41 Sunday – Baptizing Coast-to-Coast."
From the sandy white Gulf beaches of Perdido Key in Pensacola to the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean that stretch from Jacksonville to Miami; from the Suwannee River to lakes and state parks in every region, thousands of Florida Baptists and onlookers gathered to celebrate and witness the hundreds of Christians who publicly professed their faith through baptism.
Several churches reported that following the public baptisms, those who watched from the beach and other public places listened to gospel presentations and were led to the Lord and baptized right on the spot.
Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, created Acts 2:41 Sunday and challenged Florida Baptist churches to engage in the effort. "My desire was to celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a unified manner across our state," Green said. The idea was sparked after a conversation with David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, about the church's annual beach baptism celebrations.
"I thought it would be exciting for churches to join together from coast-to-coast. The conversation stirred my heart to extend the challenge for Acts 2:41 Sunday."
With nearly 1,300 baptisms reported, Green said, "The results of the day demonstrate the power of the Gospel and the evangelistic passion of our churches. It is thrilling to witness the incredible reports of our Florida Baptist churches celebrating baptisms throughout our state."