Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Brisbane Adventist College (BAC) in Queensland, Australia, finished 2021 on a high note, with 12 students baptized in a single event, for a total of 21 baptisms throughout the year.
With a room filled with parents and an affirming community that gathered from four local churches, the evening was described as a “truly wonderful celebration” by attendees who watched the students rise from the water smiling and pumping their fists in the air.
“I have been to many wonderful baptisms that have been filled with praise, love and joy, but I have never experienced a baptism with more excitement and celebration than this one. No wonder Jesus admonished us to become as little children,” former BAC principal Leanne Entermann said.
Before performing the baptisms, BAC chaplains Annalise Cherry and Jean-Pierre Martinez invited the candidates to share their testimony, publicly affirming their decision and encouraging others to give their hearts to Jesus.
“They shared their testimonies with such infectious joy, and when we gave an appeal for baptism, about 25 other students came forward, declaring their desire to be baptized in the future,” Cherry said.
Working intentionally with students throughout the school year, Cherry and Martinez strive to plan attractive spiritual projects that draw students near to God while building a strong sense of community. As they hosted Bible studies, small groups, chapels, and a memorable week of worship, the chaplains received support from a diverse team of volunteers, including local pastors, elders, and church members.
Eleven-year-old Naomi was among the 12 students recently baptized. She testified about the positive impact that the spiritual projects and caring school team had on her decision. “I was inspired at school by the teachers and pastors to make the decision, so I wanted to be baptized in the same place,” she said.
Naomi added that she hopes her decision will influence others.
“I wanted to be baptized at school so I could declare it publicly that I wanted to dedicate my life to God and have an influence on others who would think ‘Well, if she did it, maybe I can do it as well.’ ”