By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
LAFAYETTE, La. (LBM) – Nora Mire knew a great deal about religion as a young adult, but she knew very little about Christ.
After losing a spouse to cancer in 2008, Mire was introduced to the living hope found in Jesus. She did not accept Christ at the time, but the seeds that were planted guided her through a journey that ended in Mire’s acknowledgment of her sins. Her desire to become a Christ follower was sparked after hearing the Gospel presented at The Bayou Church in Lafayette, just days into the month of October.
“I kept hearing Pastor Sean Walker say that it [baptism] is a symbol, just like his wedding ring, and that it is an outward display of an inward commitment to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,” Mire told the Baptist Message. “I understood. My parents made the decision to baptize me as an infant … I am making the choice for myself, professing my faith, my belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.”
LIVES THAT LAST
Mire was one of 67 new believers baptized at The Bayou Church on Sept. 29.
The catalyst for the mass baptism service came from the culmination of a sermon series, “Unleashing A Life that Lasts,” in which Senior Pastor Mike Walker shared what God says about a life of significance.
“The mission of The Bayou Church has always and will always be to transform lives,” Pastor Mike Walker said. “Jesus was about the Father’s business, and that is what we must be about too. Sunday was an awesome reminder that God is real, and He is still transforming lives. Seeing 67 people step forward to declare their faith in Christ and follow in obedience with baptism was an exclamation point on my 35th year of ministry as senior pastor at The Bayou Church.”
Since January, 153 believers have been baptized at The Bayou Church, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The church, which started out in 1969 with 31 people worshipping inside a furniture store in Lafayette and in 1971 relocated to its current location off Kaliste Saloom Road, now averages 2,000 people during its three Sunday morning worship services.
Throughout the week, members grow their relationships with Christ and each other through one of 87 small groups.
Locally, members share the love of Christ at the Festival International de Louisiane, host a Christmas party for children in foster care and their families through a partnership with the Department of Children & Family Services, and invite educators to its campus for an annual breakfast.
Globally, members have taken mission trips to Alaska, Guatemala and Haiti.