Church Finds Innovative Ways to Baptize Believers

Biltmore Church baptism event held August 29, 2021. Source: Baptist Press

Not wanting to miss an opportunity to extend a relationship with Christ to anyone, the Asheville, N.C. area Biltmore Church is seizing the moment. If there is a creek, waterfall, river, pond, or swimming pool and individuals want to be baptized, Discipleship Pastor James Myers is all in.

“This is kind of getting back to Acts here. This is really just seizing the moment and wherever you have the opportunity you do it,” he remarked. “I was fortunate and blessed to walk one of my families, that was a part of my connect group, through it in their own bathtub.”

Baptizing more than 400 people in 2020 in the early waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, the congregation has used as its scriptural foundation the plea of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36, “Here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?”

“Even in COVID, a lot of people were still making these major spiritual decisions and wanted to follow with baptism … and still wanted to go public with their faith,” Myers said, “But then we didn’t want to do mass gatherings, so what do we do?

“I’m sure we just kind of looked at Acts. ‘What prevents me from being baptized?’ and said, ‘Hey anything is possible. Wherever there’s water.’”

On August 29, Biltmore Church baptized 101 individuals in its annual outdoor baptism celebration in a local lake on Six Oaks Ranch in the nearby community of Fletcher. Additionally, the church will be baptizing other candidates in coming weeks as the complete discipleship/baptism classes.

According to Lead Pastor Bruce Frank, baptism is a central component of the gospel.

“There are times when we do preach on the importance of baptism, probably once a year for sure,” Frank said, adding that they cover topics such as why baptism is important and what it means to be scripturally baptized. “And we baptize most every Sunday, but there are a couple of times a year where we focus on it,” he said.

In addition to Biltmore’s annual summer outdoor baptism, the congregation has an annual winter baptism event. COVID-19 might have changed a lot according to Pastor Frank, but it can never transcend the power of God’s grace offered through the gift of baptism.

Source: Baptist Press