My Baptism Story

December 14, 2023

I consider it an honor to serve Browncroft through baptism. With each and every person I baptize, I am reminded of our church’s mission to invite people into life-change in Jesus. This ordinance reminds us as a church of the visible expression of the Gospel at work in the lives of others.  

In our baptism process, we ask every individual to share their story through an online form and a follow-up conversation. These discussions never cease to amaze me, as I get to hear how God has worked uniquely in each person’s life.  

When I was asked to write about baptism for Browncroft’s blog, I felt called to share my own baptism story with you. My hope is that, as a church community, we can become more comfortable talking about this important and exciting step of faith. 

My hope is that, as a church community, we can become more comfortable talking about this important and exciting step of faith.

I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents. Faith was part of our everyday lives. We read devotions during dinner time. I attended a Christian school on top of being a part of First Assembly of God in Binghamton. I can’t point to a single moment when I gave my life to Jesus, but it seemed like God brought countless opportunities for me to experience the grace of the Gospel.

In the summer of 1997, my church announced its next baptism opportunity. I remember making the decision in kids’ church group to take this next step in my walk with God. I told my parents and they signed me up for Sunday, September 7th.

The baptisms took place during our Sunday night services at 6:30pm. We arrived at 5:30pm for Pastor Piedmonte, the Senior Pastor, to share the why this ordinance meant so much to our faith journey. I still remember the room we sat in and feeling the significance of what was about to happen. He asked for a volunteer to go first, and, without hesitation, I raised my hand. 

Our baptismal was in the front of the sanctuary. When I stepped into the pool I could barely see over the sides into the crowd. Pastor Piedmonte asked me, “Peter, do you believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life?”

I stood on my tiptoes to reach the mic and said emphatically, “I do.”

He then dunked me saying, “Based on your profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” 

Baptism joins us in the greater story of God’s work in the world around us. 

The church erupted in celebration and the band began to play a worship song. When I baptize people, I joyfully recall this moment in my life. Baptism joins us in the greater story of God’s work in the world around us. 

I want to challenge you to do two things this weekend: First, I want to personally invite you to come see the baptisms taking place at Browncroft this Sunday. Come ready to celebrate God’s work in the lives of these individuals taking a courageous step. And secondly, find one person with whom to share your baptism story.

Lastly, if you have not yet been baptized, our next Baptism Sunday will take place in May. If you feel ready to take this step, or if you’d simply like to learn more about baptism at Browncroft, I encourage you to check out our baptism page. You can fill out an interest form and a leader will follow up with you about next steps. It is our privilege to walk alongside you go through this process– one that I promise you’ll always remember!

About The Author

Further reading

We’ve Got It Backwards: NTS Camp and the Faith of Our Students

This past week, 34 Browncroft students and leaders traveled to Houghton University for five days of Never the Same Camp (NTS). They gathered alongside 600 students and leaders from other churches in the Rochester/Buffalo area to grow in community with each other and with God. I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in this experience with them, and let me tell you, the things I witnessed during this week were eye-opening.
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Browncroft’s Wolof Ministry and Bible Project

In 2024 Browncroft is celebrating the 25th anniversary of our partnership to reach the Wolof people of Senegal! One new way of making an impact that we are excited about is the sending of $25K of the Browncroft Reach 2024 ministry funds to help make God’s Word available in the Wolof language.
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God Is Moving at Browncroft

As we wind down the school year and officially head into summer, I am thankful for our church and the ways that God is moving through the hearts and lives of so many.
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