By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
KEITHVILLE, La. (LBM) – Chris Willcutt spent nearly eight years on his knees, praying for his daughter, Brooklyn, to accept Christ. Then, a month before her eighth birthday, his prayers were answered when her sister, Ryleigh, led her to a relationship with Christ.
Brooklyn was baptized on her birthday, August 25, to publicly declare her newfound faith in the same baptistery where her father was obedient in believer’s baptism 18 years earlier.
“We prayed so long for Brooklyn and to see our prayers answered, watching her spiritual journey, and, to be able to baptize her made it a special time for sure,” Willcutt told the Baptist Message.
“That day, I was thinking about the faithfulness of God and how He brought my life from the ashes,” he said. “To see what He has done with my own children is, oh, so special.”
Brooklyn Willcutt was among 15 new converts who participated in the baptism and baby dedication service. The participants mostly were elementary-aged children, but included four adults and two high school students.
During the service, a video was shown of four other students who were baptized in the ocean during the church’s summer camp in Panama City, Florida, in July.
Willcutt said he was blessed to baptize his daughter at Grawood Baptist, his home church and the place where he was baptized and surrendered to the ministry.
“The crazy thing is I am blown away by the faithfulness of God,” he said. “I was baptized in that same baptistery and then got to watch two of my girls participate in baptism there too. When my wife and I left for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we never anticipated coming back to Grawood. I remember when I surrendered to the ministry how cool it would be to preach here again. In 2010, I got to stand in that same pulpit and preach. I was thinking that Sunday about my baptism and call to the ministry and just how faithful God is. He didn’t have to do that but by His power He worked mightily.”
The special baptism service is reflective of a heart for sharing the Gospel among the members at Grawood Baptist, Willcutt said. The church, which averages 340 during its Sunday morning worship service, creates pillows that are sent to local hospitals, helps feed veterans, travels to Guatemala for mission trips, volunteers at nursing homes and builds beds for needy children through the ministry, Sleep In Heavenly Peace.
“My goal as a pastor is to help our congregation to love like Christ and serve like he would want us to serve,” Willcutt said. “I believe we are ambassadors and we need to take that very serious.”