It was January 31, 1982.
He was a young husband and newly ordained pastor and he was crazy enough to agree to be a missionary pastor and “church planter” in southwest Florida. She was his bride and taught Sunday school and played the piano at the services and took care of their baby girl – the one who was born six months before he graduated from seminary.
A big debate had raged among seminary professors and classmates around the time the young pastor’s baby girl was born: a debate over the issue of “infant baptistm:” should the children of believers be baptized into the covenant family of God based on the faith of their parents, or should they be required to wait until they achieve the age of reason and make their own profession of Faith in Jesus Christ?
The issue weighed heavy on the pastor’s heart, especially after his little girl was born. Shortly after her first birthday, he and his wife became convinced that the biblical answer to the “infant baptism” debate was that the little ones were to be welcomed into the Covenant Family – even as babies.
And so on a Sunday morning in January in front of his entire congregation he poured water over her head and said the sacred words and welcomed her into the Covenant Family of God.
That morning, half of the young pastor’s congregation walked out of his church angry and disappointed, and never returned.
Years went by and more babies were born. And he became all the more convinced of the saving power of God and the sacred promise of the sacrament. He poured water and said the words over them. And other young fathers and young mothers brought their babies to him, desiring their children receive Baptism too.
And even though his journey has been long and he’s learned many things… Even though he left his pastorate decades ago, convinced that the truly biblical, historical Church was one, holy, Catholic and apostolic…Even though he’s sacrificed many greater things for the sake of his beliefs since that January morning….
Still, he remembers.
And he never forgets to remind her of the day she became a Christian.
Her baptism day.