I was baptized on this day 20 years ago. By God’s grace, I’ve served as a pastor for nearly 16 of those 20 years.
I keep my baptism certificate inside of the KJV Bible my parents gave me on my 18th birthday. I’m thankful the ink has held up.
I was nearing high school graduation when I walked through the doors of the First Baptist Church of Killeen, Texas. My church experience was little to none and my knowledge of Jesus Christ was in even worse shape than my church attendance. It wasn’t long before I realized that the people of this church worshipped a God I did not know and spoke of a salvation I did not possess.
First Baptist Killeen demonstrated to me the glorious riches of Jesus Christ. Men and women led me in worship, preached the gospel, served out of faithfulness, and treated me with love and generosity.
I began to read the Bible and words seemed to lift off the page and wrestle my desires. My desires were overmatched. God routinely show up for an intimate conversation between the two of us. My heart turned from stone to flesh through hearing and rehearing the message that Jesus bore the cross for my sins.
Through the witness of the church and my personal encounter with God, I surrendered my life to Jesus as a college freshman. I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and vowed to follow him.
It has been a glorious adventure following Jesus. There have been moments of fear and failure, along with sustained glimpses of God’s goodness and greatness. Yet, there is so much more to see and much more to be done. May I never grow weary in the pursuit of faithfulness to the One who provided me everything.