141 Baptisms at Upstate Church
First Baptist Simpsonville / Upstate Church baptized 141 individuals on December 3.
“I am overwhelmed with the work of the Holy Spirit,” Senior Pastor Wayne Bray said. Across its six locations, First Baptist Simpsonville / Upstate Church planned for 86 baptisms but added an additional 55 as a result of two response points during messages on Sunday. After presenting a clear Gospel message, pastors first invited those who had never made a profession of faith and extended a second invitation to believing members who had never followed through in baptism.
Creating Pathways to Respond
“We had high expectations but had no idea what God had planned,” Bray said. He wanted to make sure that there were no barriers to individuals being baptized, so the church purchased clothes and towels, hoping that people would respond. “I have never personally been a part of anything like this,” Bray said.
Pastors gathered with those who responded to the calls to salvation to assess their readiness for baptism, and, in the weeks to come, newly baptized members will be offered discipleship to ensure that they understand and begin to mature in their faith. “Our church has never been more prepared to disciple these new believers,” Bray said.
Taking the Next Step
During one service at the downtown campus, six individuals were baptized. One student, Ava, said she was saved when she was nine after going to VBS and learning about Jesus. Another student said he was saved at camp when he was seven and wanted to follow Jesus by being baptized.
Over the last year, the church developed a Spiritual Formation Team that includes four teaching pastors. They oversee all areas of evangelism, connections, and discipleship.
“We’ve been saying this often. We don’t just want to be a church that makes disciples. We want to be a church full of disciple-makers,” he said. “That is our heart, and we believe that is what God is doing at Upstate Church,” Bray said.