Churches across the state have held baptisms in recent weeks and months and are looking forward to seeing more believers take the next step of obedience this Sunday, Sept. 12, as part of the statewide Fill the Tank baptism initiative. Several churches shared their plans for a special baptism celebration, as well as stories of how God has worked in people’s lives.
Biltmore Baptist Church, Asheville
Biltmore Baptist celebrated the baptisms of Emilie and Ben Householder in June. The couple started attending Biltmore after Emilie received a generous tip from a church member dining at her restaurant. According to a post on Biltmore’s Facebook page, Emilie previously avoided church but “was amazed that there were people who lived out what they believed.”
Friendly Avenue Baptist Church, Greensboro
Friendly Avenue Baptist Church will celebrate “Harvest Day” on Sept. 12, calling members to “Bring Your One” to that morning’s service and to a special outdoor “Fill the Tank” service in the evening. Six baptisms are currently scheduled, with church leaders reaching out to some regular attenders to consider getting baptized.
Friendly Avenue pastor Daniel Dickard said they also plan to counsel anyone who responds to the gospel message during the morning service on getting baptized that evening.
“We are encouraging those who are being baptized to bring their family, friends and relatives for the evening ‘Fill the Tank’ service,” Dickard said.
Evangelist Dave Walton will be the guest speaker for both services.
Grace Community Church, Marion
Grace Community Church celebrated about 10 baptisms on Sept. 1. Shown here is one of their last baptisms held earlier this year on Easter Sunday.
Red Bud Baptist Church, Castalia
In July, members of Red Bud Baptist Church began praying for God to “Fill the Tank.” On Aug. 1, a 9-year-old came to faith and expressed a desire to follow Christ through baptism.
Paul Langston, missions mobilization consultant for Baptists on Mission, serves as interim pastor at Red Bud and said he has heard from several other families about children wanting to get baptized. At least three adults have also expressed interest in church membership.
The church, which averages about 90 people in attendance every week, hopes to see 4-6 children baptized on Sept. 12. Langston said they are praying the gospel message would penetrate the hearts of adults as well.
Summit en Español, Durham
When The Summit Church began the “Who’s Your One” evangelism series in 2019, member Alberto Ochoa began praying for and sharing the gospel with his cousin, Enrique Talamantes, who lives in El Paso, Texas. They grew up together, and Ochoa considered him more like a brother.
“I’ve continuously been praying and speaking to him about Jesus and how Jesus forgives and saves,” Ochoa said. “I knew that the only thing I could do was get him closer to Jesus and let Him do His work.”
Talamantes tuned in to Summit en Español online and started applying the messages he heard to his life, he said. During a service last November, he knew he needed to be baptized and contacted his cousin. Ochoa worked with Summit en Español pastor Raudel Hernandez to make arrangements for his baptism, and this summer, Talamantes and his family traveled 26 hours for him to be baptized at The Summit on July 11.
“It has not been easy, and it’s definitely been a learning process,” Talamantes said, “but I know that God is building my character according to His will.”