Burrton church baptizes six more people

Samantha Baumann, center, laughs with pastor Ryan Wray and her daughter Hannah Baumann as she is baptized. She was one of six people baptized last Sunday at First Christian Church in Burrton.

By Jared Janzen

BURRTON—First Christian Church had another big round of baptisms last Sunday, with six adults choosing to make a public confession of their faith. This comes two-and-a-half months after the church baptized 13 people in one Sunday.

“That’s pretty neat, to have 19 people baptized in two weekends of baptisms,” pastor Ryan Wray said.

Each person shared about their faith journey before being baptized by full immersion.

“It was all adults this time, which really kind of changed the dynamic of the testimonies,” Wray said. “All of the testimonies kind of had a theme, and it wasn’t on purpose. They had all experienced loss or a struggle in life and they really relied on the Lord to bring them through that, and he did.”

He added it had been really neat to hear these testimonies.

The people baptized were a mix of people being baptized for the first time, people getting re-baptized, and people getting re-baptized after an infant baptism. These people were Gary Rivers, Vicki Allala, Mark Boese, Doug Kimball and Samantha Bauman.

The sixth person baptized was particularly meaningful to Wray, as it was his sister, Nichole Erickson.

She actually drove up from Denton, Texas, to be there. Wray explained that his sister had watched his sermon the previous week online, at the end of which he had made an altar call.

“I invited if somebody needed to commit their life to Jesus, to give their heart to him and drink from that metaphorical cup, I invited them to do that,” Wray said. “I said if you’re someone who feels they need to go through that baptism process, you need to get here.”

Erickson took that to heart and drove up to Kansas on Saturday night. Wray didn’t know he was going to be baptizing his sister until the middle of the service, since she had coordinated the surprise with help from his wife, Lindsay, and Joni Embree-Meinders.

“I was just blown away,” Wray said. “Such an awesome surprise.”

Wray added he doesn’t see it as a competition as to which church has the most baptisms, but rather something all believers can celebrate together.

“We’re all part of the same body, which is awesome,” he said.

Even more baptisms may be in store at First Christian Church. After Sunday’s service, the congregation celebrated with a fellowship meal, during which Wray had two more people approach him about wanting to be baptized.

The baptism group poses for a photo. From left, pastor Ryan Wray, Nichole Erickson, Vicki Allala, Hannah Baumann, Samantha Baumann, Doug Kimball, Gary Rivers and Mark Boese.
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