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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Baptismal waters stirred often at Rockford Baptist Churchcomment (0)

December 10, 2009

By Jeremy Henderson


God is up to something with the 500 or so adults in the town of Rockford. That’s the best Jeff Fuller can explain it.

“It’s been neat to watch,” he said.

And wet.

“A lot of preachers wear waders,” he said, laughing, “but I don’t.”

For eight of the year’s 52 Sundays, Fuller has started worship services at Rockford Baptist Church not in his coat and tie but shorts, a t-shirt and a plain old robe.

He’ll walk into the water with a 46 year old, or a 7 year old, or a 62 year old, and then he’ll look out into small congregation and say, “Today we’ve come to watch the burial and resurrection of a new soul into the kingdom of God.”

He’s done it 16 times this year at the church, which averages 110 on Sunday mornings.

Twenty-six new members.

Sixteen baptisms.

Fuller, who came to the Central Baptist Association church less than two years ago, tries to keep it from going to his head.

“Yeah, there’s a real excitement about things, but that’s part of growing a church and there seems to be an excitement among all age groups in the fact that God is at work here,” Fuller said. “There is a personal satisfaction that’s something being done right, but overall you see that God is doing something and you just want to get where God is. You want to keep your eyes focused on Him and what He’s doing and just being involved.”

Wade Turner feels the same way.

“Whenever I’m not at work, I come up here,” said Turner, who is currently going through a divorce. “I needed something and this church was that something.”

At press time, Turner’s baptism was scheduled for Dec. 6.

“When I made that decision (to accept Christ and be baptized) I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” Turner said. “I could wear my wet suit but I probably won’t go that route. I understand they provide robes.”

Indeed. Robes. T-shirts. Shorts. Whatever it takes.

“Over the last couple of months [Turner’s life] has just been in turmoil,” Fuller said. “Yet I’ve watched God work in his life.”

But how to explain it? How to explain such a phenomenal new member-to-baptisms ratio?

“It’s the Spirit of God coupled with great Sunday School teachers and excellent youth ministry and a commitment to the Great Commission,” he said.

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