Blackberry Creek

Alexander Esquivel

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Alexander Esquivel

Jenna Soucie

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Jenna Soucie

All my life, I have been brought up by a religious family. I went to church, Sunday School, and said a prayer before dinner every night just because that was what I was taught to do. But, I never really knew what it truly meant to be a Christian. So, I decided I wanted to learn more and surrender my life to Christ. I asked my mom how I could do that, and together that night we said a prayer in my room that stated I knew I was a sinner, and asked God for forgiveness and invited him into my heart. I wanted Jesus to control my life. Since then, I have grown as a Christ follower. I pray every night, I have joined Genesis, and much more. Now that I have given my life to God, I truly know what it means to be a Christian and what it takes to pursue this faith. I know that I will still sin, but now I know that God will always forgive me, and I can always come to him when I need to.

KC Vogt

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KC Vogt

 

As a child, I was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church with little say in the matter and without a mature grasp of my faith. I had accepted God as my King but not as my Father, and therefore I lived in a constant state of guilt, which only ever led to resentment and a misunderstanding of who He is. Our relationship was anything but intimate. 

Then when I was 17, I partook in a program called PeaceBuilders Initiative where I studied the Word and, for the first time in my life, put it to practice. But it wasn’t until I met my girlfriend, Andressa (Phonetic: Un-Drray-Suh), that everything clicked. One day early in our relationship, she asked if we could pray together. I was hesitant at first. Outside of the insincere muscle-memory prayers my family would spew out 5 seconds before a meal, communal prayer wasn’t a practice I was used to. In fact, it was something that made me feel uncomfortable and even embarrassed. However, something in my heart told me to give it a shot and the result was an overwhelming sense of conviction that I hadn’t experienced before. For the first time in my life I felt like I was in God’s presence.

Since being saved, my relationship with Christ has blossomed. Prayer has become my daily ritual with Andressa, now my fiancé. Just as Paul said in Romans 1:16, I have now become completely unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as I now prepare to start my own family, I wanted to be baptized on this Father’s Day, to publicly proclaim that our Lord is my Father and that His Church is my family.

DeKalb

Isaiah B.

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Isaiah B.

Before Christ, I loved sports the most and playing with my friends. My mom and dad were the most important people to me. I thought they were the best. I really didn’t know about Christ. I started learning about him when I was young so a lot of my memories include him.

My brother’s friends brought Christ into my life. My life changed when I read about Christ and how he loved me and created the world. I knew I needed him. Now, I go to Christ Community to learn more about him. I saw that my sinning was wrong and that I needed help. So, my family taught me that baptism means surrendering my life to Jesus. I wanted to do this.

After learning a lot about Christ I feel like a whole new world has opened for me and my family. We pray a lot and go to church as much as we can. I love Christ Community and everything they teach me. I still need to learn a lot more information about Christ. I don’t sin as much anymore. Now, I try to get more people to believe in Christ. My friend does, but he just needs to go to church. I try very hard to put Christ first in all I do. We all sin, but Christ will be at the front of my life forever.

Courtney Bemis

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Courtney Bemis

I had always thought that God’s love was something I had to earn and that it dwindled away with every sin I committed. I saw religion as a set of rules and was in a continuous, disheartening cycle of feeling undeserving of His love. 

Over winter break, I decided I needed to find answers to clear up the confusion and uncertainty I was feeling. So, this past semester I began meeting with Diane Brown, a leader of Athletes in Action, at my university. My perspective was changed entirely. I learned about God’s everlasting, boundless love for me (and every single other person) and now know that I’m in an ongoing relationship with Jesus that I do not have to earn and does not dissolve with poor choices I may make.

As stated in Ephesians 2:8, it is “by grace, through faith” that we are saved, and I am eager and determined to continue to grow in my faith and learn more about God’s amazing grace. I am confident to walk where He leads me, and know that although I cannot see Him, He is always with me.

Gene Bristow

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Gene Bristow

My journey to find a relationship with Jesus Christ began one sleepless night when I was in a very dark period.  My wife of 46 years had died of lung cancer the previous year.  The Holy Spirit appeared by my bed and told me he was with me and had been with me through my troubles.

Two and a half years ago I moved to DeKalb to live with my daughter Janie, a member of Christ Community.  She and I attended several churches in the area starting with and usually alternating with Christ Community. It became apparent to me that the messages from Pastor Jim and his staff followed the bible closely and I now call this place home.

I have joined a wonderful Community Group lead by Chuck Watkins whose wisdom and knowledge of the Bible has taught me that we all live with Jesus through his love and his paying for our sins with his blood. Ed Kelley and Ron Jossendahl have been a tremendous help in my quest that started like the lost lamb in Luke 15:4.  

Treyten Butler

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Treyten Butler

Before accepting Christ into my, life, I can’t say everything was different. The majority of my friends were christian so I knew what the religion was about and why they went to church every Sunday. I did not feel the need for Christ in my life at that time

My faith began when I was in fourth grade. My friends, Grayson and Ashton Lottes, introduced me to Christ Community Church. I was excited! The first time I went to KidsWorld, I had a prodigious time. We got to spend time with friends, play games and learn about God. What more could you want?  

Despite not everything being different, I can tell you my life has indeed changed. Now, with Christ, I feel I have something to fall back on whenever I’m feeling down or alone or whenever I need something. That “something” is my faith. I pray everyday. I can truly say my life has changed for the better because I have accepted Christ. I can also proudly say I have spread his word to a few friends!

James F.

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James F.

In 2006, I was baptized as a baby as a symbol of parent/child dedication. My parents have kept their promise by reading the Bible to me and teaching me about Jesus. When I was five years old, I understood that I had sin and I wanted Jesus in my life.

I have learned a lot about God's love for me by going to church and Sunday School.  Going to youth group this year has brought me closer to Jesus. I know I have a choice to make in the way I live my life: living God's way or on my own. I want to be baptized because I want everyone to know that I'm choosing to follow Jesus and want to obey Him. Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." As I get older, I know there will be good times and hard times, but I want my faith in God to stay strong. 

Dana Hardenbergh

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Dana Hardenbergh

Before I gave my life to Jesus, I was a mess. I struggled on a daily basis with faith and obedience. Even though I was attending church, I was just going through the motions. I was hearing, but not really listening.

My oldest daughter was born in 2009 and I found a church to call home. The pastor spoke messages that reached into my heart. I began to really listen. One beautiful Sunday morning something inside me just clicked. I got it. I decided at that moment to surrender to Jesus.

It hasn't always been easy.  I’ve asked my husband and family to help me through prayer.  We moved to DeKalb last summer and I see the Lord working in my life. I found a part time teaching job which allows me to bring the good news of Jesus to children. And, we found Christ Community Church. With Jesus in my life, my relationships with others are growing strong, I have a bible reading plan and my eyes are fixed on Jesus. I am confidently sharing his love with others.

It says in Romans 10:9 " That is you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I believe every word of that verse. Jesus is Lord and I believe with all my heart.

Geriann Heynck

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Geriann Heynck

Growing up in church, I believed in God, but often questioned his existence. I was a member of the college group at church. One evening, the church held an event for all students. The performance felt as though God was speaking directly towards me. That evening, I sat outside the auditorium with another college student praying to God for forgiveness and asking him to be a part of my life.  

Since then, I‘ve had personal struggles I know I would not be able to overcome without the strength of God. Whenever I lose focus or face obstacles, I remember Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength”.

Audrey Latimer

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Audrey Latimer

I grew up in a Christian home and attended church each week. Towards the end of high school, I could feel my enthusiasm for growing in faith lessen and in its place arose the enthusiasm for hanging out with the “cool crowd”. By the time I was in college, I had drifted away from the Christian lifestyle of my upbringing. I still believed in God and Jesus, but placed them on the back burner of my life.

When a burden became too much to bear, I would look anywhere but God for help. It didn’t take long to discover no matter how wild and crazy I got on the weekends or how many shopping sprees I went on or how many followers I had on social media, the burdens were still waiting for me the next morning. One day as I was driving in my car, Joshua 1:9, the verse I had chosen for my confirmation, popped into my head: “Be strong and courageous, do not my frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I cried as I realized that while I was looking down the wrong paths for the right answers, God had been next to me the whole time. I knew in that moment, I was loved.

I no longer put Jesus on the backburner; instead I know he is by my side. It blows my mind that the God who created everything, wants to go with me wherever I go. I know God has a plan and a purpose for my life and I pray for a heart that loves, trusts, obeys and worships him through it all.

Jim Latimer

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Jim Latimer

I was baptized as an infant, raised in a loving Christian home, and went to church on a regular basis. However, after High School my need for God had taken a back seat. I had made God what I wanted him to be and used him when it was convenient for me. 

I began attending Christ Community Church in July 2010 with my wife and two daughters. As I was listening to the weekly messages I was feeling that I was missing something spiritually. I wanted a more intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ that I had not had in many years. I needed to seek God’s love and forgiveness of my sins and have Jesus take control of my life.

Now inspired by the Holy Spirit, I have joined a community group, attend Church programs, enjoy serving opportunities and I know that Jesus loves me and has a plan and a purpose for my life. I completely trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior who died on the cross for my sins and will give me eternal life in Heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew Maillefer

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Matthew Maillefer

I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ at a young age. I attended youth group regularly, though sometimes reluctantly and went through the motions more than maintaining a relationship with Jesus. As a result I was not spiritually prepared for entering public high school. Sophomore year was a low point in my relationship with Christ. I am blessed to have Godly parents and the great environment and pastors of Christ Community for correction and support.

As a perfectionist, I felt I had to have everything right with God before publicly declaring my devotion to him through baptism. Satan twisted the truth and I believed I was unworthy of God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 counters with, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” I failed to comprehend the greater truth that I was made right at the cross because Christ died for me, Romans 5:8.

Although baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, I also felt ashamed that I was serving in the worship band, sometimes at baptism services, without being baptized myself. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I never need to be ashamed of God’s work in my life. I am learning to trust God’s plan, however peculiar, in my vocation, relationships, and spiritual growth in the future.

Carol Prevenas

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Carol Prevenas

I was raised in a wonderful Christian home where reading the Bible, prayer, and worship were regular practices. I attended church, Sunday School, and youth groups. When I was in elementary school, we were excused from class early once a week to participate in Bible study, or as we called it, catechism classes. I had some head knowledge, but didn't realize at that time, the importance of truly trusting in Jesus.

Later in life, I drifted away from those practices I grew up with. There was an emptiness in my life that only Jesus can fill. A neighbor, Jan Fox, invited me to Bible Study Fellowship. Studying God's Word had a profound effect on me. I trusted in Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I was convicted of my sins and prayed for forgiveness--on my knees and in tears. He knew my sins and loved me anyway--amazing! I realized that God's love for me is unconditional and everlasting. I have done nothing through my own efforts to deserve His love or His sacrifice on the cross for my sins. It's a gift freely given to those who believe. It's through faith in Christ that I have eternal life.


I thank Him daily for His love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. He is great and greatly to be praised. Thank you Lord!

Peter Prevenas

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Peter Prevenas

I owe my presence here to my wife, Carol, and her encouraging me to attend Christ Community. After my first worship experience here, I realized that I was an untutored Christian, unaware of basic fundamental Christian teachings. Thanks to the sound biblical messages delivered by our pastors, I was motivated to begin regularly reading God's word and praying.

Now as an adult who has sinned throughout my life, I have the firm belief that accepting Jesus Christ is the only action to take so as to live a loving, truthful, and fulfilling life. I accept Jesus Christ and wish I had experienced biblical teaching decades ago.

Jasmine Salinas

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Jasmine Salinas

As a child growing up, I was raised in the church atmosphere my whole life. I went through everything from First Communion to Confirmation. When I was older, my brother asked me to try his church. I thank God every day for my brother, Jesse Pena, introducing me to Christ Community Church.

When I came for the first time, I felt the Lord’s presence! I knew from that moment on, he would always be there to guide me on the right path. I was going through a hard time with my marriage and had no idea how to fix my problems. I started going to church every week. Slowly, I started engaging my children in Genesis and Epic and myself with the women’s bible study. I have grown tremendously through being an active part of this church. If I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus and know that he would always there for me I honestly have no idea where I would be today.

I am truly blessed God has provided me with a fantastic family!  I have three beautiful children, very supportive parents, awesome brothers and terrific sister! I keep all of them close to my heart. As an act of obedience of Jesus, I am getting baptized today because I have accepted him to be my savior for eternity!

Sue Shaver

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Sue Shaver

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was young. I grew up in a Bible Church, attended AWANA for 6 years, Silver Birch Ranch in the summers, and had an amazing youth group all through high school and college.

God has opened doors for me and has helped me through many situations. I have a caring husband and two wonderful children. I have tried to live my life in a way that is honoring to Him. Being baptized today is a public way for me to share my love for God and to let all know I am His child.

St. Charles

Abby A.

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Abby A.

My name is Abby and I am 10 years old.

To me, God is the creator, a listener, a provider, and all powerful. He has answered my prayers and lifted weights off my shoulders. I want to follow Jesus because I want to be with him forever.

I put my faith and trust in Jesus when I was 5 years old. I asked my mom how I could go to heaven and she explained that I needed to believe that Jesus loves me and that Jesus died for me, and that I needed to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life. I wanted to put my faith and trust in him so we prayed together and that night my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Getting baptized means I am proclaiming my belief in the one true God and I believe Jesus is the only way to heaven. I am sharing with everyone that I have put my faith and trust in Jesus and I am committed to following him.

My life is different now because I know that I will go to heaven. I am setting a standard for myself to try and lean on him and follow his ways. I have been working to learn more about him and I look forward to continuing to grow in my knowledge of the Bible and my relationship with the Lord. I’m not perfect and I’m thankful to have the comfort of knowing Jesus loves me always and I will be in Heaven with him someday.  

Cesar Acevedo

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Cesar Acevedo

As a kid, I grew up in a charismatic church where my parents took me weekly and raised me the charismatic way. I was dedicated to the Lord when I was an infant. I don't remember much other than memories in a picture. As a teenager, I accepted Christ as my savior and repented my sins. Through the years life was not easy for me. I started distancing myself from God and made bad decisions. My life became filled with drugs and alcohol. My world was dark and full of anger.

When I met my wife we attended church together. I felt my life slowly changing but deep in my heart I felt empty. As the years went by my marriage started to fall apart. I knew I had to change my ways and decided to reconcile with Jesus. I asked him for forgiveness and help to change. I felt a heavy load lift off my shoulders.

My wife and I began attending Christ Community Church and started to rebuild our family. I am grateful to God for saving me, forgiving my sins and restoring our marriage. I have decided to take the next step to become closer to God through baptism.

Allan Araujo

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Allan Araujo

I was born and raised in a traditional faith. As I got older I became disillusioned and in college. I pulled away completely and went my own way for several years. About 8 years ago I found myself living for the next time I could have fun with my friends. The worst moments came as I drove to work exhausted from the night before. I thought how nice it would be to just fall asleep and die so I wouldn’t have to worry about things anymore. I had loads of debt and no direction or plan.

I met my wife, Jenna, in college. It was by her example that I saw the life of Christ. When I decided I wanted to marry her it was because I wanted to be more like her. She lived a life that I wanted. She was confident, calm, and secure. I decided that if she had found this in Jesus, maybe I could too. I started accompanying her to Christ Community Church (CCC). It was weird at first, a complete 180 from the church I was used to. I forced myself to keep going because Pastor Jim’s preaching was logical and more familiar than a homily.

It’s been 6 years since I began attending CCC with Jenna and each service has been building my new foundation. God had to tear me down to build me up and I’m ok with that. He’s shown me repeatedly that if I am faithful he will keep his word to take care of me and my family. If God is telling me to trust that Jesus is his son and that he sacrificed himself for me by willingly dying a horrible death and rising from the dead in power, I feel compelled to listen. I may still be the same imperfect me I was before but now I know he’s got my back in eternity. He forgives and loves me and no matter how awful or how great life can be, he is constant. I feel good.

Webb B,

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Webb B,

My name is Webb and I am 11 years old. I asked God to forgive me when I had to move to Korea because I was sad and did not want to say goodbye to really close friends. I asked Him to help me say goodbye and to help me remember to look forward to what I will be doing in Korea. To me, God is my Savior. He never lets anyone down and is always there for me. He has given me great friends, although I have to say goodbye to some of them, I still believe that God will help me get new friends. I want to follow Jesus because He is my Savior and never gives up on keeping me safe. Jesus came to earth to share the Gospel and he died for everyone. No wonder people love him! My mom and dad have also helped me because they have told me to work through the hard times and look forward to the possibilities of the future. Being baptized means that I am showing everyone that I believe in God and that I will do anything for him. My life will be different because I know that in hard times or when I am scared, Jesus will help me through.

Brandon B.

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Brandon B.

My name is Brandon and I'm 10 years old. I was dedicated at Christ Community Church when I was a baby and have always gone to Christ Community Church. I have attended KidsWorld almost every weekend of my life. Me and my whole family serve in KidsWorld too. I don't remember when I put my trust in God. It seems like I have always had God in my life. My family prays before dinner every night and we say prayers at night before bed as a family. We also pray if there are problems in our lives or other people's lives. A few weeks ago, my mom told me that she wanted to be baptized and I said that I did, too. For the past year, whenever I attend a baptism service, I've gotten a weird feeling over me and I now know that it was God telling me that I should be baptized. I'm so excited that I'm finally going to be baptized so that I can show everyone that I believe that God is my Savior and I want to follow him. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me next!

Grace B.

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Grace B.

I have grown up in a Christian home. My parents brought me to church every Sunday and taught me what it meant to follow God and be a good Christian girl. About 2 years ago, I got extremely sick with an illness that was unknown to every doctor I went to. Every day was a struggle for me, health-wise, and faith-wise. After asking God for help, it just seemed like he was abandoning me.

I was prescribed a medication that gave me an extreme anxiety and depression. I stopped taking it and I became more frustrated with God because things were getting worse. After 6 months of struggling with crippling pain and anxiety, my parents took me to the elders, Mark and Nancy Ahrenholz and Tim and Kay Downey to pray for me. I was doubtful that this would work because I thought that God was absent from my life.

The following week my parents took me to Mayo Clinic where we finally got the answer. I realized then that God had never been absent, I had let doubt and fear control me instead of trusting God and having faith that he would take care of me. Since then, my life has completely changed. I am now healed and free from the pain and sickness that ruled over me. I still struggle with anxiety, but it reminds me that God is with me, and loves me no matter what. I feel closer to God than ever. I trust in God completely and I do not let doubt control me anymore. One of my favorite verses says "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). This is just what God did for me.

Jacob B.

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Jacob B.

When I was 6 months old, my parents dedicated me at Christ Community Church, and I have been going there my whole life. I'm now 14 years old. My parents brought me to KidsWorld almost every weekend where I learned about the Bible and. We also pray before bed for our family members, friends and neighbors. I don't remember exactly when I put my faith in Jesus, but I know it was when I was in grade school. Kids at school were being mean to me and picking on me a lot. I remember praying that God would forgive me and would help me to get through these hard times. I asked him to be my savior.

Since accepting Jesus as my savior, I continue to attend the weekend services with my parents and serve in Kids World where I get to teach little kids about Jesus and God. I also enjoy helping at Second Saturday and at Wayside Cross Ministries with family. There are still times when I do something wrong or go through hard times and I know that I can pray to God for his help. I know that God loves us and is there for us. Recently, God answered my prayers about my uncle who has a very bad drinking addiction. My family and I have been praying every night for God to get my uncle to stop drinking. Something
happened to him about a month ago which made my uncle finally check himself into rehab. Praise God for that!! Knowing that God answered my prayers for my uncle shows me that I can ask God to help me know matter how crazy it may seem and he will eventually answer my prayers, just on his time.

Chris Behnke

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Chris Behnke

I grew up in a traditional church and was baptized as an infant. We rarely went to church. However, I did attend CCD until I made my first communion, but got nothing out of it. In high school, there were times that I had to make hard choices. My best friend at the time turned to drugs and alcohol. I had to make a choice between right and wrong. I found myself asking God for strength, but still didn't fully understand about God.

Fast forward nine years when I met my wife. She got me to go to Christ Community Church (CCC) with her back in 1998. There I learned who God was and that Jesus died for my sins and that I could have eternal life if I put my faith in him. At that point, I prayed to God to forgive me and claimed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In 2000, my wife and I were married at Christ Community Church. I've attended CCC since 1998 and have had both my sons dedicated at CCC.

I now find myself going out of my way to help people. I serve in KidsWorld and at Wayside Cross. I'm getting baptized with my family to show everyone that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Jennifer Behnke

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Jennifer Behnke

I had a pretty normal childhood. We went to church and Sunday school every week. I sang in the choir and went through confirmation classes where I learned about the Bible. I tried to do the right things as I had been taught in church as well as by my parents. In my teenage years, I started to rebel and stopped going to church. When I was a freshman in college, my parents had to move and I refused to move with them. I moved in with my boyfriend’s family, stopped going to church, and pushed God away, thinking I could do everything on my own.

Four years later, I broke up with my boyfriend and moved in with my older sister and her family. I was depressed and down on myself, questioning whether God was out there and if he cared about me. My sister was very supportive and kept inviting me to Christ Community Church. I finally decided to go, and absolutely loved the worship time and Pastor Jim’s message. I felt a peace come over me like I hadn’t felt in a long time. That night, I prayed for God to forgive me for my sins and accepted Jesus as my savior.

I’ve been attending Christ Community Church for 19 years now. My husband and I were married here, our kids were dedicated here, we serve in KidsWorld as a family, and now we’re all getting baptized here together. I’m so excited to be baptized with my family and can’t wait to see how God will use me in the future.

Michael Beusse

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Michael Beusse

I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school all the way through high school, so I have always been very familiar with what it means to be a Christian. However, I was still living for myself, despite knowing what the right thing to do was. It wasn’t until 2nd grade that I truly understood that I needed to make Jesus my personal savior during a chapel at school, and I dedicated my life to him that day with my mom. After that day, I finally began to apply my head knowledge to my heart and live out the principles I was learning for His glory. 

Since that day I have been growing in my faith as I mature, but I kept passing up baptism opportunities because I told myself I wasn’t ready yet. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you”. I am done telling myself “next time” or that I am not ready because God has always been ready for me.

Anthony C.

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Anthony C.

My name is Anthony and I am ten years old. When I was three I chose Jesus to be my Savior. I was talking with my mom in the car, and the Holy Spirit was saying I will help you through the future. So I prayed to God for Jesus to be my Savior. 

Since my decision to follow Christ, God has given me more love to share with others. I continue to follow Jesus because he gives me courage and strength. He gives me many blessings.

Kang Choi

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Kang Choi

For most of my life, I had pursued all kinds of things and lived for myself. However, I carried a vague hollow feeling deep inside of me, an emptiness I just could not fill. At the time I didn’t understand, why it was that all of the world’s desires did not bring the fulfillment I was looking for. In my youth it went from partying and drug abuse to having a professional career and achievement, which led to wealth, materialism, and sexual immorality. Strangely, even being blessed with two beautiful children, I could not answer my heart’s lingering question as to why I am here.

A few years ago my wife had insisted that we attend Christ Community Church.  I relied on the secular worldview for so long and carried a lot of skepticism with me. I could not explain why I would break down full of tears after some of Pastor Jim and Clayton’s messages about the Gospel.  I was moved to spend the next year seeking the truth. After much research, questions, and attending Alpha, I eventually came to recognize that I desperately needed Jesus Christ in my life.

Today I can say my decision to surrender and trust in Jesus is the best one I have made in my life. God’s grace has opened my eyes and has revealed why I am here.  I have begun to spend more of my time and priorities with Christ. I trust that in time and in continuing in following in His way, I will experience significant change that I would have never imagined to even be possible just a few months ago.

Asher D.

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Asher D.

My name is Asher and I am 10 years old. When I was walking home from school God put Jesus on my mind to confess my sins. That day with the help of my Mom and Dad I put my faith and trust in Jesus. I want to follow him because he died for me. It should have been me and all of us to die on the cross. Now I'll be able to go to heaven. Also, I want to read the bible more and treat other people how they want to be treated.

Gabe G.

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Gabe G.

I always knew my mom and dad were Christ followers.They pray with us and go to church and serve. I prayed about a lot of things like having a brother and a sister and God answered my prayers. I knew God was real but I didn't know what that meant for me.

During a Christmas worship service, I felt something warm inside of me during the prayer and I decided to stand up and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Afterward, my dad and mom took me to the welcome center to pray with Pastor Dwight about my decision. It was exciting, but I was nervous.

Since accepting Jesus, I turn to prayer more quickly and I see God answering my prayers. I like inviting friends to KidsWorld so they can hear about Jesus too. I also think about how to make better decisions. I know the Holy Spirit helps me do that. I also really enjoy serving others

Jennie Goss

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Jennie Goss

I grew up attending a small traditional church, and I actually can't remember a time I didn't believe in Jesus. I was baptized as a baby, went to Sunday School, sang in the praise band, taught Vacation Bible School, and remained actively involved through college. I thought that being busy at church equaled a meaningful relationship with Jesus.

I had accepted Jesus as my savior at a young age, it was attending Christ Community Church that made all the difference in my spiritual journey. My spirituality and faith have deepened and blossomed in a way I could never have imagined. I completed an Alpha course with my husband, met other curious and committed Christians, formed a community group, and developed a newfound passion for my Bible.

Even still, and perhaps more now, I see the need for Christ in my life on a daily basis. As I experience feelings of impatience, envy, and judgment, I know what a gift I have in Jesus and His forgiveness. Baptism is my way of sharing this with the world.

Kevin Goss

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Kevin Goss

I had always believed in Jesus but for a long time, it didn’t seem important to me. I became an expert at living my life the way I intended to. Along the way, I had lost control of everything and gained a lot of fear, anxiety, stress and pain. Through a series of events, I came to find out that I never had control of my life and I needed Jesus. I returned to the church and gave my life to Jesus and he became the leader of my life. Quickly I stopped living in fear or pain and lived in trust with Jesus and joy. My stress and anxiety have diminished and have been replaced with peace and harmony. I thank Jesus for my broken past because without that I might not have ever found my place with Jesus.

Kyle H.

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Kyle H.

Hi, my name is Kyle and I am 10 years old.  I have known Christ my whole life and put my faith and trust in Jesus multiple times, but it's time to make it public. I have gone to church most of my life and all of these people helped me:  My mom, my dad, Pastor Randy, Pastor Jim, Pastor Clayton, and all of the staff. God helped me when my mom had cancer. I was scared. But God helped me. I want to get baptized so people know that I know Jesus and that they can talk to me about Him.

Lily H.

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Lily H.

I've been going to Christ community my whole life, and never really thought of getting baptized before, but then I went to Silver Birch Ranch (SBR). Attending SBR made me realize that I wanted a relationship with God, That’s when I accepted him as my lord and savior. I'm so excited to get baptized and I want to thank Christ Community Church and everyone in it for supporting me.

 

Tyler Jones

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Tyler Jones

Before finding Christ, I was abusing drugs, looking at relationships wrong, and searching for truth in words that liars spoke. I felt like the world was there to teach me a lesson rather than to glorify and love our creator.

I found Jesus Christ when a small group I was involved in took me to a Christian conference. At the conference, I heard a case for Christianity, as well as numerous facts to prove that Jesus Christ is God beyond a reasonable doubt. I decided to try submitting to Jesus and walked out of the church feeling higher than any drug had ever made me. Soon after I started to question why I did drugs and what I was truly living for. After going back the next day and singing songs with everyone and feeling Jesus Christ spirit, I committed to being a Christian.

As a result of becoming a Christian, I have found a new love for life and fellowship with others. I have started involving myself in serious matters and giving Christ control of my day to day life to spread his love from my actions. I have felt the great feeling of serving others. The music that I write and record now have substance and is all done to glorify the great creator of ours. My life has way more purpose and I feel reborn.

Kayla M.

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Kayla M.

My name is Kayla and I am getting baptized to show I am a new person in Christ. I grew up going to church three times a week with a God-loving family and memorizing bible verses, but I never showed that through my actions and choices in things like trying to fit in, my friends, and the fights I got in with my sisters. All of my sins were clogging up my life.

Earlier this year at Uproar, I said, "I can stop all this sinning and unclog my life for more of Jesus". I had surrendered my life to Christ that night.

Afterward, I felt the Holy Spirit was in me but it did take a while for me to unclog those little sins and I still am working on it today. I changed who I hung out with, what I chose to say and
definitely showing what Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes”.

Now I am letting God take over with me in the background. My sins are not that important anymore because I used up that room in me for God

Stacie Osar

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Stacie Osar

I wasn't raised in the church but there was never a time that God wasn't with me. The first time I realized he loved me was when I was 6 and my brother 3-year-old brother was hit by a car. He was hit so hard that he was knocked out of his shoes and thrown far from the car. He is a walking miracle. He had no injuries and no broken bones.

This may sound strange but I'm thankful my brother was hit by that car that day because we started going to church. It was the first time I heard about Jesus and how much he loved me and how much the devil was fighting for my soul.

I still strayed from him off and on for years trying to handle or control life's issues on my own, feeling helpless, stressed and angry. I was also filling that "hole" with sinful things and behaviors.

Since attending Christ Community Church I've felt the Holy Spirit working in my life. Looking back, I know Gods been with me and waiting for me to wake up. I'm now able to handle life's curve balls without feeling so out of control or anxious because I know the Almighty One is with me always and that I can handle anything with him. My life just doesn't work without God and I'll never live my life without him again! Thank you God I love you!

Aidan P.

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Aidan P.

Hello, my name is Aidan and I am 11 years old. I decided to put my faith and trust in God in 3rd grade because I believe that God is all-powerful and He can do all things. I have grown up going to church every week. This is what has led me to put my trust in Jesus as my Savior. I truly wanted to put my faith in God after He helped me through a hard time in my life where I was very anxious about school and other things.  

Now I’m not so anxious about those things because God has helped me. I believe that God has conquered death and that he saved us from our sins. This is why I want to be baptized.

Ashley P.

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Ashley P.

My name is Ashley and I am 11 years old. When I was 5 years old, I went to church. They told me that I needed to trust Jesus. My family and I went to Dairy Queen after church. At Dairy Queen, I asked my mom and dad to pray with me so I could ask Jesus to forgive my sins. My mom and dad prayed with me so that I could tell Jesus that I was sorry for my sins and ask him to forgive me. Jesus forgave my sins and now he guides my life and I will be able to go to heaven and be with him some day. My sin separated me from Jesus but now I can draw near to Jesus. I am part of the Big God Story.

Gloria Polendo

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Gloria Polendo

I was all messed up. I was bad. About 30 years ago I was in a car accident. The doctor told me I would never walk again. As I laid in pain in the hospital, people prayed over me and I actually felt it. That’s how I knew I needed Jesus. Those prayers were answered and I am walking. 30 years later I am finally getting baptized. 

Wendy Pryor

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Wendy Pryor

I was raised in a traditional church where you only talked about church on Sunday. Due to the damaging effects of an alcoholic father my trust in God diminished. This led to allowing Satan to take control of my life. He made me believe I wasn’t worthy of being loved.

My dear friend Linda Hurn brought me to Christ Community Church and while there was a sudden curiosity, I struggled with staying with the traditional church or the conviction I had at Christ Community Church. I felt something change as I came to the realization that I am broken. How do I comfort the damaged little girl that lived inside of me and how do I set her free?

Linda invited me to help her and Carla Kopp volunteer at a women's event at Christ Community Church. Lisa Harper was the guest speaker and I can say without a doubt that something happened to me that evening. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and this was the night I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. 

Having been a single mom I longed to meet someone who would truly love me. I can say that my prayer for this answered. I now am living the greatest love story ever written!!! The love of Jesus and the gift he gave me by taking my sin is greater than any earthly love.

Since accepting Jesus I feel myself wanting to learn his word. Sundays can’t come fast enough! My favorite verse truly resonates. “Yes I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 

Elizabeth S.

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Elizabeth S.

I am Elizabeth, and I am 10. My cousin just got baptized, and I was happy for him. But every time someone else gets baptized, I feel like I never would. When my cousin got baptized, I thought I probably would make my decision in about 5 years. But it turned out, it was only 3 days later.

I was at my grandma’s house and while I was thinking deeply about my decision soon to be made, God brought a storm. My whole life I‘ve been afraid of storms, and I think God sent the storm to keep me inside and think. 

While I watched the storm rage on, I finally asked God to forgive me of my sins, making my decision to follow Jesus. As I started to get up and tell mom, I saw the storm clear away. What surprised me, was that it happened so fast and unlike other storms, I wasn’t scared.

I told mom, and we went through God’s Good News booklet together. We said a prayer, and then I told grandma.   

Then, my friend had surgery. As I thought about her all day the day of the surgery, about how much I wanted to help her and be with her at the moment, I realized I loved her. I’d never thought of her like this before.  

So, this turned out unexpectedly. My decision happened on March 29, 2017. 

Emma S.

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Emma S.

Hi, I’m Emma. I’m 11 years old, and have been attending Christ Community church since I was born. I was born into a Christian family, and pledged my life to Jesus when I was four. I have been serving in the nursery for three years ever since fourth grade. I was given the opportunity to get baptized, like all kids, in fourth grade. Yet, I hesitated. I’m not sure exactly why, but I did. God seemed to be telling me that the time wasn’t right. Not yet, but soon. I tried to get baptized in fifth grade, but that didn’t work out either. Still, the time wasn’t right. The opportunity kept coming up, but I was still hesitant. Finally, as baptism time came around again and sixth grade was closing, I decided to do it. God was telling me it was time, and that I had waited long enough. I am looking forward to it, and can’t wait for the day it happens. To close I would like to quote my favorite Bible verse, James 5:16. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Fabian V.

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Fabian V.

My name is Fabian and I am 11 years old. I started going to Christ Community Church when I was 5 years old. I started to know Jesus when I was 6 years old while coming to Awana. That is when I started to want to pray before every meal even if others don't want to.

I saw my mom and sisters get baptized a couple of years ago and that's when I decided to keep asking my mom and pastors if I could be baptized. Since I began Genesis, Pastor Pete has been a big part of my growing to know and love Jesus. I want to be Baptized because I love Jesus.

Brittany W.

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Brittany W.

Hi, my name is Brittney, I’m fourteen and in eighth grade. Before I came to know Christ I didn’t really care or think about the people around me. I needed to be more grateful, but somewhere in my heart I just couldn’t forgive people or feel sympathy for others in need. This all changed when I lost my Nephew Wyatt. Wyatt had not been born yet but my sister was eight months pregnant when she lost Wyatt. It was a really hard time in everyone’s life, and that’s when I knew I needed Christ to help me through these hard times. This whole situation made me think how fast someone you love can pass away. I was at the hospital with my sister after Wyatt had passed away and I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to accept Jesus as my savior. I decided right then and there when I was sitting on that hospital bed that I wanted to accept Jesus as my lord and savior. After this event happened I feel like I’m opening up more, I am also helping people more. This is why I’m being baptized to make my announcement that I belong to God.

Meagan Wizceb

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Meagan Wizceb

I grew up knowing and believing in Christ. For the most part, though, he was in the background of my life. I have also always been a planner, I like keeping schedules and being prepared for anything.

Then, on March 2 of this year, my life was turned upside down, I was 36 weeks pregnant and suddenly my son, Wyatt, had no heartbeat. After giving birth on March 3, and holding Wyatt's body in my arms, Christ seemed to throw himself into the foreground of my life. Surprisingly, although this was the most pain I had ever felt, I was never mad at God. Instead I felt His overwhelming presence, and I knew that He chose Wyatt for a reason. This was never part of MY plan, but I truly believe it was always in God's plan. This is when I came to realize that I was ready to surrender myself to Christ.

Since making this decision, I talk much more openly about Jesus and Heaven. I have let God lead me in new directions; towards volunteer opportunities, and to church. I have learned to let the little things go, and trust that my relationship with God will lead me to positivity and eventually take me to Heaven where I can see Wyatt again.

Streamwood-Bartlett

Linda Evans

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Linda Evans

I was raised going to church, but it was more of an obligation, like on a check list.   I thought II was a ‘good person’ and  thought I understood God.  I was  baptized as a baby as well as participated in other rituals that were designed to be affirmations of faith. A faith that I didn’t quite have, yet.       

When I was a young mother of 2 boys, a friend invited me to Bible Study Fellowship, a nondenominational in-depth study of the Bible .  I had never read the Bible, and did not own one. So I purchased one and started reading the bible in BSF in Genesis.  

I learned I was not as good a person as I thought I was and discovered that I was sinner in need of forgiveness. I also learned of God’s grace, specifically the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and how he paid the penalty my sins deserved. I put my faith in Jesus Christ, as my Savior and my Lord.

Now that I have a relationship with Jesus I go to church and read the bible not out of obligation, but because it changes me and I hunger for more.  

I put my faith in Christ many years ago, however I am getting baptized as a believer today, as an act of obedience, and not wanting to wait any longer to publically acknowledge my faith.

Matt Restivo

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Matt Restivo

Even though I’ve always believed in Jesus, I didn’t fully understand how much I truly needed him until recently. Over a year ago, I went through a very difficult experience that brought me down to lowest emotional and mental points of my life. I had lost my sense of self-worth, my spirit, and my normally positive outlook on the future. Although I had an abundance of support from family and friends through the healing process, it was evident that a much higher power was needed. It was at that moment I decided to put my faith and trust completely in God’s hands, and allow him to decide what was best for me. I chose to regularly attend Christ Community Church, pray more often, serve others on a regular basis, and live a fulfilling life that followed in Jesus’ footsteps.  I am now focused more on being at peace with my past, and putting my energy into being a good Christian and a humble man with integrity. My decision to be baptized today is a direct result of the relief I’ve felt from my growing faith in God, and one that I’m proud to share with all of you.

Melissa Ruge

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Melissa Ruge

Before Christ, having God in my life was not a priority.  I believed I  had my whole life ahead of me which would give me plenty of time to accept Him. Ten years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to Christ Community Church, however at that time, I was still not in a place where I thought I needed Christ.  Then I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, which brought my priorities into sharp focus.  By his power, I was put into remission.   It was then that decided I needed to put my faith and trust in him for the forgiveness of my sins and my future.  Understanding the Good News of Jesus made me realize that I have always needed God more than I ever thought.  

Since putting my faith in Christ, most of my worries and concerns have disappeared.  My family has joined me in my quest to have Christ in our life and we have had more happier days.  I know there will be days that will challenge us, but I know God will get us through any trial that my come our way.