July 4th Celebration Turns into a Celebration of New Life in Jesus
Aimee Herd : Jul 9, 2012 : Destiny Christian Center
"I've stood before thousands of people in various conferences in England, Hong Kong, Africa, Europe and all over the U.S. Honestly, the moment I looked into [Thelma's] eyes, and saw her smile after she came up out of that water, impacted me very deeply." -Pastor Lawrence Neisent.
(Oklahoma City, OK)—Sunday night, July 1st was a special time at Destiny Christian Center in Oklahoma, where—reportedly—there were people "from all over in attendance."
That evening, 34 people were baptized, and the joyous event culminated in a fireworks display.
But, for Pastor Lawrence Neisent—the highlight of the night, and perhaps of his entire ministry—was one baptism in particular; 87-year-old Thelma.
"Thelma has attended Destiny for several years now and loves Jesus with all of her heart," explained Pastor Neisent in an email.
Prior to Sunday night, he had shared a teaching about the significance of baptism. Neisent noted how the "Israelites walked through the Red Sea with all that had held them captive for generations remaining in the water," and how "baptism is an opportunity for us to combine our faith to believe God for a great freedom and advancement toward the promise. Surrendering to go under the water is not only identifying with the burial of Christ, but also identifying with how God used water throughout the Bible to pronounce judgment on sin."
According to Pastor Neisent, Thelma had some areas in her life that she was looking to the Lord to overcome, and it was this that prompted her desire to be baptized. Although Thelma was a bit concerned at first because of her age, Pastor Neisent assured her that it "would be a wonderful expression" not only for her, but also "for everybody there that night."
So, on Sunday night, July 1st—at the Destiny Christian Center's July 4th Celebration—Thelma was baptized along with 33 others. Pastor Neisent describes what it meant to him. (Thelma after getting baptized, with Pastor Neisent/DCC)
"God has allowed me to have tremendous ministry opportunities all over the world," explained Neisent. "I've stood before thousands of people in various conferences in England, Hong Kong, Africa, Europe and all over the U.S. Honestly, the moment I looked into [Thelma's] eyes, and saw her smile after she came up out of that water, impacted me very deeply.
"This was a greater impact than any ministry opportunity I've had for myself. There was a clear sense that something had ignited in Thelma's faith. Suddenly I realized that this was more of what my life was to be about than anything else I could try to personally accomplish. I've been thinking since that night, 'What can I do to further the lives of people of all ages?'"
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