By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
TYLER, Texas – Two young men from Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria entered camp expecting to spend quality time with one another, but in the end left for home with something even more special that strengthened their friendship bond – a memory of their unplanned baptisms in late June.
An out-of-state destination for a number of Louisiana Baptists, Pine Cove Christian Camp in Tyler, Texas, offers campers the opportunity to be baptized at the end of their week of faith building and summer fun.
Andrew Cole and Colin Renois – both ten years old — had accepted Christ at a younger age but had not yet followed through with baptism. But when the opportunity was presented at Pine Cove, Cole and Renois eagerly jumped at the chance to be baptized in a swimming pool.
Surrounded by a handful of family members and friends who made the trip with them, each boy stepped into the water and was baptized by Todd Strain, connections pastor at Calvary Baptist, who was attending the same camp with his wife and children.
Andrew’s dad, Philip, was emotional as his son was baptized.
“Andrew had previously talked to us about salvation and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior of his life,” he said. “While at camp he began to realize how that personal relationship would manifest in his daily life. This led to his desire to be baptized during our week there. It was such a sweet time, we were with a great group of friends and were able to share that experience with him. One of his best friends was baptized that same day, strengthening their friendship and making them true brothers in Christ.”
Colin was nearly speechless as he recalled his baptism.
“It was moving because it’s just a spiritual place and makes me feel at home,” Renois said. “It felt just the right time.
“It’s important to get baptized because it shows people how you love Christ and how you want to show people how it works,” Renois said. “It was just an example that I believed in my heart that I was supposed to be baptized.”
His mom, Kasey, said the camp was the perfect setting to end the week on such a memorable note and will provide extra meaning for when he and his family return next summer.
“It was so sweet to know he will always have this memory when he returns,” Kasey Renois said. “This is our little piece of Heaven. Colin getting baptized there is just the cherry on top.”