IDAHO FALLS, ID – The members of Falls Baptist Church voted to hire a contractor for the renovation work on the church building on the south side of Idaho Falls in October of 2020. Although the Covid-19 pandemic had taken a toll on our attendance during that season, the church felt it was the perfect act of faith to renovate the building in the hope to be able to accommodate more people once life began to return to normal. The actual work began in December of 2020 with the majority of the construction completed in April of 2021. The renovation allowed us to expand our seating capacity from around 70 to 120. We were also able to build an infant room for nursing mothers and a new baptistry. We were so blessed to be able to utilize the skills of Nathan Harden, a Baptist Builders missionary who did the tile work in the new baptistry and built steps and handrail for a new door that was installed so that we could pass our final inspection with the county. We performed a dedication ceremony on the baptismal on August 15 where the church family gathered around and dedicated it to the Lord’s glory and purpose. On October, Sierra Heffron was the first believer to enter the waters of baptism in our new baptistry. It was a very exciting day for the faithful saints who call Falls Baptist their home.
Story by Jared Clark, Pastor Falls Baptist Church Idaho Falls, Idaho
What the Sanctuary at Falls Baptist looked like before construction began
UT/ID- September has been a busy month in church planting across Utah and Idaho. We also had a couple of churches pass full board approval for membership into UISBC.
We want to welcome Water’s Edge Fellowship in Burley, ID as a full Executive Board approved church who has been meeting since [insert launch date here] and will be able to seat their own messengers at our upcoming annual meeting in Meridian, ID. Pastor Dave Carver has given over two decades of ministry service to Utah and Idaho churches and is a leading church in the Magic Valley Association in baptisms [verify]. Find out more about Water’s Edge on their website at watersedgeidaho.org
We also welcome Gospel Grace Church meeting in the heart of Salt Lake City, who is now full Executive Board approved member of UISBC and will be able to seat their own messengers at our upcoming annual meeting. Gospel Grace is a church planting church, which started when four families moved to the Salt Lake Valley in November of 2011 and began a church planting movement. Over the next several years, GG would go on to plant Gospel Hope in Riverton, UT and Gospel Peace in Logan, UT, all while the original Gospel Grace church continues to grow and thrive. Their entire church planting story can be found on their website, gospelgrace.com.
Celebrate with us these new churches and church plants across Utah and Idaho.
Gospel Peace in Logan, UT
Hope Valley in West Jordan, UT
Resonate Collegiate Church at UofU in Salt Lake City, UT
Nueva Esperanza in Caldwell, ID
Nueva Esperanza in Ontario, OR
Twin Falls Community Church in Twin Falls, ID
God is working faithfully through people across our two states. Hearts are being transformed and lives changed. Pray for these churches and their sponsoring ministries as they seek to impact communities across Utah and Idaho with the live changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
UTAH-IDAHO – September was a busy month for Baptism preparation teams across Utah and Idaho, but you won’t hear anyone complaining about the extra efforts. In the weeks around National Baptism Sunday (September 12), churches and new church plants across the two states had multiple services where several new believers celebrated this special event.
Hope Valley Church in West Jordan celebrated their launch as a new plant with three baptisms
Over 40 other baptisms were reported from Church Plants along the Wasatch Front
What about your church? Did you have a big baptism event at your church that you want to share with others reading this post? Comment below with your recent baptism story and we will celebrate with you.
You can also post pictures or videos of your Baptism events to our Facebook page.
NASHVILLE (BP) – For Michael Bowen, Baptism Sunday was about a celebration of those publicly proclaiming their faith in Christ. The baptisms hit close to home because they were the culmination of three years of dialogue and building relationships.
“My neighbors live two doors down from me and I have been trying to get them in church for three years,” said Bowen, pastor of East Lumberton Baptist Church in Lumberton, N.C. “Their son is my son’s best friend. Right before VBS, I invited the two children and told the parents that if they will come to church one time, I won’t bother them again if they don’t like it.
“They took me up on the challenge and came that Sunday and loved it. The whole family came to VBS every night because we have a class for adults as well. All four got saved in VBS and got baptized last night.”
That story joined others around the country as Southern Baptists took part in Baptism Sunday. On that day, not only are churches encouraged to perform and celebrate baptisms, but also to provide the opportunity for others wanting to make a decision for Christ and be baptized.
East Lumberton Baptist joined others in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina that got involved through its Fill the Tank emphasis, with 673 eventually registering to do so.
“It’s been exciting and encouraging to see so many churches across our state come together to celebrate new life in Christ through baptism,” said Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer for North Carolina Baptists. “We’ve heard so many powerful testimonies of how God moved, and reports are still coming in. I pray that what happened yesterday would compel us all to be more intentional about sharing the good news, making disciples and sending the saved.”
In the Sunshine State, Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, noted the stories shared of lives changed by the Gospel and the anticipation of more to come.
“It is exciting to hear reports and see the pictures on social media of Florida Baptist churches participating in baptisms this past Sunday,” he said. “I am thankful for the evangelistic witness of our churches for Christ. I rejoice that every week that baptismal waters are stirred in Florida Baptist churches.”
Others shared baptism stories at their churches.
“I love baptism Sunday. I had the great joy and privilege of baptizing 3 ladies today,” Jonathan Hayashi, pastor of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Holt, Mo., posted on Facebook. “The highlight of my day was where I got to baptize Cindy Smith who is 72 years old. She is my hero. We are so thankful for every baptism that took place this morning!”
Central Baptist Church in Livingstone, Texas, was the site of the baptism of “Charlie,” a story shared by Pastor Sonny Hathaway. For more than 30 years Charlie has worked for a family in the church and recently accepted Christ as Lord. A retired Hispanic pastor at Central has spent weeks discipling Charlie.
“Every new believer has faithful praying, witnessing and discipling behind them. God is good,” Hathaway said.
And although yesterday emphasized baptism among Southern Baptists, it by no means is constrained to a day on the calendar. For East Lumberton, it was the continuation of a movement that began last year.
“In the middle of COVID we baptized 150 people in the past 12 months,” Bowen said. “We had a tent revival that lasted five weeks with 313 saved and 113 baptized under the tent. COVID hasn’t slowed our church down one bit.”
About the Author: Scott Barkley Scott Barkley is national correspondent for Baptist Press.