When I was eleven I went with my aunts to Camp Meeting. Camp Meeting was a two week period where the Seventh Day Adventists Churches in the area all meet and have church together. One day I went to children’s church. During the service there was an altar call. I didn’t really understand what was happening. The person preaching was talking about how much God loved us and how Jesus died for our sins.
I felt very loved and emotional during the sermon. The person preaching said if you love Jesus to come to the front. so I went to the front. The next thing I knew an adult was asking me which church I attended so they could note it for my Baptism that would take place later that day. I was shocked. I was just following instructions. I loved Jesus so I went to the front, like they said. I had no clue that meant I was volunteering to be baptized.
I found my aunt’s and told them I’d been signed up to be baptized . They asked me if I was sure. I wasn’t! My parent’s were not there with me, specifically my dad who was the religious one. They took me to a pay phone (remember those?) so I could call my dad. He was not home. I decided not to do it.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t shake the feeling that
- they had tricked me. How was I supposed to know going to the front like they said to do would mean I would be baptized.
- I had done something wrong by not showing up for my baptism.
After Camp Meeting I was afraid to go to church. I thought they had a list somewhere with my name on it that said I’d failed to show up for my baptism . So began 22 years of me not feeling uncomfortable in church.
Even though I had not been a church goer in over 20 years I had maintained my faith, prayed and read my bible. I even planned to be baptized one day. I just needed to find a church where I felt comfortable. Fortunately, about two years ago my cousin suggested I visit Epic Church. I liked it! I felt comfortable attending service there regularly.
So a few weeks ago without being tricked, I signed up! I would finally be getting baptized after 25 years. What made it even more special was doing it on my mom‘s birthday.
So, if like me you had some experience that pulled you away from church don’t worry. God is still in your heart and he will work it out for you. Even if it means you’ll be getting baptized after 25 years.
The baptism service was nice and my family and friends came out to support me. I spoke a little about getting baptized in one of my #Vlogmas Facebook Live videos. Check it out below.
Have you been baptized? Have you ever had a similar experience of feeling uncomfortable at church?