Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Cherry Hill Celebrates Eight Youth Baptisms

Story by Mario Thorp

Members of the Cherry Hill church recently celebrated as eight young people, aged 10–16, chose to make their commitment to Christ public through baptism.

Willie Bonilla, church elder, shares that the young people are all members of the same Sabbath School class. When they began talking about baptism, he started a baptismal class. They met together every other Sabbath afternoon from January through July, 2018. Bonilla says, “They all wanted to be baptized to demonstrate their love for Jesus. ... They are excited to begin this new part of their walk with the Lord!”

Kristine Elivera, Edie Rose Racpan, Asa Williams, Nicholas Christopher Bonilla, Alexander Bryce Bonilla, Jared Tugade, Christopher Freire and Danniel Freire (pictured with Bonilla) stood in front of the congregation and expressed their personal convictions on why they wanted to be baptized. They recited their favorite Bible verses and affirmed their baptismal vows together.

One by one, the young people stepped into the pool, as Tom Dunham, pastor of Cherry Hill, baptized them. As Dunham presented the newborn Christians to the congregation, parents, relatives and church members praised God and rejoiced with the youth who decided to be taught, filled and led by the Holy Spirit. The church elders joined Dunham to lay hands on and pray for each baptismal candidate.

Dunham says, “Seeing these young folks so anxiously demonstrating their love for Jesus by taking the initiative for getting baptized is testimony to the Christian character of this fellowship at Cherry Hill. These young folks are encouraged in a loving, accepting atmosphere where they are free to grow in Christ.”

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