By Norm Miller, Baptist Message special assignments reporter
DRY CREEK, La. (LBM) — On the lawn of Cherry Grove Baptist Church in Dry Creek, Pastor Josh Eubanks stood in knee-deep water in a small, round, plastic stock tank, in which he baptized six people, that Sunday morning.
“Never take for granted what’s about to happen because there are tens of thousands of churches across this country that may never get to experience what you guys are about to experience in a few moments,” Eubanks said prior to the baptisms.
“We don’t decide when people are baptized, God does,” Eubanks noted. “We prayed specifically for God to save some people so we could baptize them. And today is the culmination of our prayers.”
The church baptized seven new believers total in 2020.
But Eubanks is excited about how the harvest of souls in 2020 has set up Cherry Grove for an even greater soul-winning experience in 2021.
Already, the church has witnessed attendance grow in Sunday morning services, from 60 in early March to 100 in December.
Josh Boswell, a 40-something husband, a father to five girls, and a former alcoholic who started drinking at age 16, is among those baptized by Cherry Grove in 2020.
Before baptizing Josh, Oct. 4, Eubanks recounted that Josh said he was “tired of the life he was living and wanted to give his life to the Lord.”
“I feel re-born, I really do,” Josh told the Baptist Message. “I feel more humbled — more caring, you know?” He said he’s not had a “single craving for alcohol” since committing his life to Christ.
Looking ahead at life, Josh said, “I feel like there’s no limit to just keep growing and growing and growing. I’m going to live for that. I am. I’m going to study and learn.”
Josh’s older brother Brandon Boswell said that he was baptized “as a very young kid. I thought that was it — you got baptized, you did the best that you could and God understood. It didn’t really matter what you did. You were okay.”
Saying he’d lived a rebellious life, Brandon shared that he was “always ready to be a big tough fellow, and I always was.
“But that never changed anything, and someday you’re going to die,” he explained. “I don’t care how tough you are or how mean you are or how bad you are.”
Brandon — whose grandfather was a preacher — recalled a life of alcohol abuse that led to a serious infection. That was when he became serious about being a Christian and he turned his life over to Christ.
“I told God, ‘Okay, this is it, I‘m going to quit drinking.’ And with His help I did.”
His transformation began after he started reading his Bible and praying.
“The answers started coming and I finally surrendered,” Brandon said, adding that he was trying to live a good life on his own. “That’s not the way we’re supposed to live. For one thing, it’s not peaceful. It’s chaotic, hopeless. You feel alone no matter if you’ve got family or not.”
Having been in some bad situations, Brandon said, “Now I know what peace is like. I’ve seen the difference.”
“There is a God and there is an eternity,” Brandon said as he wondered aloud about how to spend his time on Earth. “I want to spend it in service to the Lord and try to do the best I can to bring people to Him the best I know how,” he concluded. “That’s the way I look at it.”
He and his wife Cindy surrendered their hearts and lives to Christ and were baptized together, Oct. 4.
Eubanks baptized a young girl named Lyssa that day, too.
After she answered Eubanks’s questions about her conversion to Christ, she said, “Can I ask a question? How many cow tongues have been in here?”
Lyssa’s question added levity to a relaxed and joyful occasion, Eubanks said, and he reassured her that, although the stock tank once had held some catfish, too, it had been “cleaned a little bit” before the baptisms.
Eubanks said the congregation already is looking forward to the upcoming year. He said there are three more new believers in discipleship training who are on the baptism list.
“The way God has moved through our church has been really fun to watch,” Eubanks said. “We are praying that 2021 brings us even closer to the Lord in ways we never imagined.”