It was the last Sabbath of 2018, and there’s no doubt that heaven was rejoicing. Tehachapi church ended the year with a high Sabbath—baptizing seven members, accepting two by profession of faith, and celebrating communion.
Often when a group of new members is baptized together, the service comes as the result of an evangelistic series or similar event. Not so with these individuals, who each have their own unique journey and story. “I can only give credit to prayer and patiently waiting on the Holy Spirit to move on the hearts of those who made decisions for Christ,” said Eustace Laurie, pastor of the Tehachapi church. “It was a really awesome moment where everyone requested baptism on their own time.”
The Alveza family (Amador, Lelibeth, Faith, Grace, and Daniel) began a group Bible study that quickly grew. They were fervently searching for truth, asking challenging questions that, as Laurie put it, were a result of their own deep study. “What I love about it is that they actually invited some of the other members of the church to the Bible study,” Laurie said. “Talk about just jumping right in!” Their passion led them to share with existing church members what they had learned about the seventh day Sabbath. “They want to live their lives according to God’s Word,” Laurie asserted.
The other two newly baptized members, Victor Delgado and Henry Dickey, had attended the church for years before deciding that it was time to be baptized. Delgado had been attending the church for 4 to 5 years and joined in with the Alvezas’ Bible study. He told Laurie that he knew he had been putting baptism off for too long; his decision was accompanied by excitement. Even as he stood in the baptismal tank, he bowed his head in prayer, thanking God for all He had done in Delgado’s life.
Dickey was no stranger to the church; he’d been attending his entire life. But when he answered an altar call, he approached Laurie and admitted that he, too, had been putting the decision off for far too long. He even added that he wanted to be baptized before he turned 30!
May Rose and Nuria Langan joined the church the same day by profession of faith. These faithful attendees had joined the church family long ago; Rose from outside the country and Langan from out of state. For some reason, their membership was lost in the transfer, and they were eager to recommit their lives to Christ.
Each of the new members had experienced communion before, but on this Sabbath, the communion service was extra meaningful. Part of the “staying power,” as Laurie puts it, experienced by these individuals is the powerful connections they made upon joining the church. He is convinced that this special day was organized by the Holy Spirit.