Advent baptism joy in Gillingham
Advent Sunday saw two Gillingham (Kent) Baptist Churches join together to celebrate Advent and two baptisms, writes Paul Hill
Gillingham Baptist Church (GBC) has kindly allowed The Bridge Baptist Church (who normally meet in a Community Centre in North Gillingham) to use its baptistry and premises in the past, but on this occasion they both had baptismal candidates and shared the service.
The first to be baptised was Ruby Smith, a 12 year-old from The Bridge, who gave her life to Jesus on Advent Sunday 2014, so it was an even more special day for Ruby and The Bridge. Shortly after Ruby’s commitment to Jesus, her birth father, a Muslim whom she sees very little of, heard about it and went to her home to try and force her to wear a hijab. Ruby replied, “I’m not wearing that: I’m not a Muslim, I’m a Christian!”.
Ruby’s Pastor, the Revd Paul Hill, said, 'I didn’t know about that for ages, but it just shows Ruby’s courage and commitment; something a lot of older Christians could learn from.' Paul was assisted in the baptistry by Ruby’s “Nan”, Bridge Deacon Mrs. Denise Smith.
Following Ruby was an older lady, Lorraine Hopper. “Lorrie” had started to attend GBC’s Friendship Club some years ago and decided to attend a Sunday Service about two years ago, which led to regular attendance. An Alpha Course followed, during which Lorrie committed her life to Christ too. Lorrie, whilst older, seemed to exhibit something of the same youthful excitement as Ruby!
Lorrie was baptised by GBC’s Pastor, the Revd Stephen Greasley, assisted by Paul. Both agreed it was an amazing Service, with others describing it as “electrifying” and “inspirational”.
Advent Sunday will never be the same again for any of us! To God be the glory!
The Revd Paul Hill is the Pastor of The Bridge Baptist Church