The desperate prayer of a young Scot who didn’t even believe in Jesus has led to his baptism at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Scotland.
The story of Aidan Hughes, a resident of Dunfermline, a city of about 50,000 people and the former royal capital of Scotland, has encouraged the local Hope House church and members across Britain, a region where the Adventist Church has found it challenging to make inroads in an increasingly secularized society.
Hughes’ baptism late last month was the first at the Dunfermline church since it moved into a newly constructed building in November 2014.
In a heart-felt testimony, Hughes told the congregation how teenage years filled with drink and drugs and a life spent far from the church and Christ had finally led to a night in January 2015 when he could no longer see a way forward.
“Though not believing in Jesus Christ, yet tormented by spirits and a troubled mind, Aidan explained how he was compelled to pray,” Paul Norman, the local church’s communication director, said in remarks published by the British Union Conference.
“He had never been a believer and indeed would have laughed at the thought not long before, but he knew prayer was his last hope,” Norman said. “So Aidan prayed as hard as he could, even though he didn’t know who he was praying to or if anyone was listening. There was, and He heard.”
Hughes described how a sudden peace came upon him, the bothersome spirits left, and his mind became clear after his earnest prayer. He knew that something had changed and his life could not be the same.
“A corner had been turned, and Aidan knew the first thing he needed was a Bible,” Norman said.
Reading the Bible from cover to cover, Hughes felt compelled to search for a church that reflected the truths he had found within its pages. Eventually he contacted pastor Jimmy Botha at the Dunfermline church.
“And so in early autumn 2015, Aidan gathered enough courage to visit Dunfermline Adventist church, where he was warmly welcomed and his story became known,” Norman said.
Hughes soon expressed a desire to be baptized and demonstrate his commitment to God and a new life. After completing baptismal lessons, he was baptized by Botha “before a large congregation eager to welcome him into their family and to give thanks to the transforming power of Jesus Christ,” Norman said.
The Feb. 20 baptism was the first for the church at its current site. The church, established in 1953, moved in 2014 after its original building was condemned following severe flooding three years earlier.
“This is the beginning of Aidan’s Christian life, but already family and friends have noted the changes in him,” Norman said. “And it seems clear that the troubled young man has his feet firmly set on his walk with Christ.”