By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
DRY PRONG, La. (LBM) – Chris Smeltzer assumed he was a follower of Jesus because of the many years he attended worship services with his family.
But, recently, Smeltzer realized growing up in a Christ-centered home would not get him into Heaven. He not only accepted the Lord after a conversation with Pastor Trey Lewis, but chose to celebrate his freedom in Jesus through baptism Independence Day weekend.
“I truly believe that it is God and his Son Jesus Christ who have given me the strength and will to be a better version of myself,” Smeltzer told the Baptist Message. “He gave me courage to talk with Pastor Trey about becoming a member Prospect Baptist church and to stand up for everyone to see how Jesus has filled my heart.
“I look back now and realize something had been missing in my life, like a void of sorts that has now been filled,” he continued. “I’m proud to be a part of a new family at Prospect Baptist Church and I’m so glad that I asked Jesus to come into my heart and life. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Smeltzer’s baptism, July 5, was the first for New Prospect Baptist, which averages 90 in worship, since they resumed services June 7 after state COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings forced them to meet online for the last three months. Three more individuals have indicated a desire to be baptized as soon as possible.
Lewis said while COVID-19 has posed challenges in sharing Christ’s love with the community, the Holy Spirit has continued presenting opportunities to present the Gospel. He referenced a recent conversation with a homeowner named Belinda who needed help with placement of a trap on her damaged roof as a storm approached. Moments later, Lewis asked her about the spiritual condition of her life, and she subsequently professed her faith in the Lord.
“She prayed the sinner’s prayer in her yard,” Lewis said. “People are still responding to the Gospel.”