I have known Jesus my whole life. Growing up, I knew I believed in him but did not seriously pursue a relationship with him. Four years ago, we began attending Christ Community. My husband and I were new parents, and we immediately joined a couples community group and formed a bond with others that were walking through the same season of life that we were. Something in my life changed as we continued to attend Sunday services week after week. Church felt like home because my heart found peace in hearing sermons about God’s love for me. The fearful, anxious, and worried person I once was began transforming into a confident, peaceful, and prayerful woman of God. Now, I wake up each and every morning grateful for all He’s provided for me in this life. I find ultimate joy in each and every day knowing that I’m good enough for Him and don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations. While life is full of struggles, I am able to embrace each obstacle that comes my way with the confidence that God is there to help me every step of the way, just as Philippians 4:13 reminds me that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Prior to following Jesus I felt I had no direction in my life. As if I had no purpose or meaning. I lived my life the way I wanted and I was never happy.
I then realized there was an emptiness inside of me. My grandmother always encouraged me to attend church. She told me that Jesus loved me and all I had to do was to put my trust in him as my lord and savior. I could finally see that I worthy. I finally felt like I belonged.
Since turning my life over to Jesus I feel truly blessed. I am raising my beautiful daughter to follow Christ. We attend church every week, we pray, we worship, and we know we are loved. I know life won’t be perfect and there will be difficult times but Proverbs 18:10 says: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
Before I truly trusted in my own self to have the faith in something other than myself. I was completely self-centered, egotistical, and thought that I was meant to lead my own life and take full control.
Sitting at my rock bottom in life, just starting to overcome substance addiction, the pastor of the facility told me not to worry about writing my own story but focus on living the one Jesus set up for me. That I need to stop beating myself up for every sin because Jesus already has, along with much more knowledge of the highest of powers. And with this new knowledge I confessed my sins to the Lord and asked him for forgiveness and to help me regain control of my life in the direction he has originally chosen for me.
Since then I have turned my life dramatically around for the better. Went from being a college drop-out, no job, low life. To go on and graduate college, good job to start my career, beautiful healthy daughter, a loving family, and the chance to wake up everyday and strive for even better. All thanks to the faith I have in God’s plan for me.
I was baptized as a baby when I was only a couple months old. My family and I went to church every Sunday until I was around 9 years old and then we only went to church on Christmas and Easter. It was hard for me to connect with Jesus in that church because I was one of the only kids around my age, I felt like the odd man out. In March 2018 my new friend, Mackenzie invited me to HouseGroup with her. After weeks of her asking me I finally gave in and went. I ended up loving it and went every week after that. My first weekend at Christ Community was in August 2018 and I fell in love with the amazing people and worship sets and new friends I met. But most importantly I was eager to learn more about Jesus and I was excited about it too. I have decided to surrender my life to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. And now a year later from first hearing about Christ Community Church I’m overwhelmed by the love that the church has shown and the new life I have in Jesus.
When I was 3 months old I was baptized into the Catholic Church. Throughout my childhood, my parents and I would only attend church on Christmas, Easter, and the occasional Sunday. I was never thinking about God or how he would want me to live my life. In 2016, my dad passed away, leaving my mom and I alone and confused about why this had happened to us. My mom started wandering back to God but I was not for it. When she met her now husband in 2016, he brought us to Christ Community Church one sunday and I honestly thought everyone was insane. I had never seen a church with lights and drums and screens before. My mom and Eric (my step dad) made me come with them to church every Sunday along with going to housegroup every Wednesday. More recently, I went to Brazil on a go team trip where I saw God working. That trip is what really opened my eyes to Christ. Since that trip I have made the life changing decision to give my life to Christ. Now I am volunteering in kids world, going to house group, and helping out around the church whenever and wherever I can help. Today, in baptism, I am declaring that I am a believer in Jesus and that I’m being adopted into my church family forever, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I had grown up learning about Jesus, but last year I was having doubts. I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to believe in, and I wasn’t sure if God was who I wanted to follow. So I wanted to learn about other religions. We go to the library every Wednesday, so one day while we were driving home from the library, I remembered that we forgot to get books about other religions! I was so disappointed, and I couldn’t stop feeling this way. I had to wait another week! But at Epic that same night, we were singing the song “Lord I Need You”. My hands went up in the air to praise God. Then, all of a sudden it got chilly in the room. And I was standing under the heating vent! Then, I heard a voice in my head. I felt like it was God’s voice asking me to follow him. I also felt God’s presence very strongly at that time. That’s why I felt so chilly! So that night, I accepted Christ as my Savior and started a new chapter of my life. Now, God has given me more understanding about the Bible, more wisdom of what’s wrong and what’s right, and helped me to stop focusing on things, but on God.
I was born into Christianity and was baptized as a baby. Jesus
has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Last year, in our community group, we were asked to share our
testimony – our story of life before and after we chose to
follow Jesus – and I realized that I don’t have that story to tell. I never officially decided to follow Jesus. It got me questioning, am I going to church out of habit, or am I fully committed to being transformed by God? I concluded that I want to be all-in, and that I need to officially make that choice for myself. Today, in front of all of you, I declare that I choose Jesus!
Since making the decision to be baptized, I have felt more invested in the journey. I am reading the Bible more regularly, praying more purposefully, wrestling with my sin more actively, and putting God at the center of my decisions more intentionally. I attribute this change to the fact that this is no longer a habit or ritual, but a personal choice and commitment.
I was a homeless child who lost my 3 older siblings and bounced around from 7 different foster homes/random house holds. I have experienced all forms of abuse from aunts, uncles and foster parents. At the age of 16 I was extremely lost as a young male with a lot of emotional pain. I lacked any mature positive guidance and learned the ways of life the hard way. I learned instead of fighting for myself in a healthy way, I learned to just be what I was told I was supposed to be, even if it meant taking blame. I became an easy target and had no stability.
It wasn't until my junior year a teacher Bob Ludwigsen(track coach)somehow reached something inside of me and I decided to run track that year. My senior year and this is when I became friends with John Albanese. During this time I was looked at as a leader on the track team. After high high school, John’s parents (who are Christians)asked me to move in. They saw me as a young man needing love and guidance and through them was the first time I came to God. In 4 years of me living there I saw what real love and comfort felt like. I was 19 and I gave myself to Christ on my knees. I wanted a new life and felt safe more than ever when I did so.
I'm now 42 years old and since I gave myself to Jesus, I know I can always come to him as that lost scared child I was once before. I give him the trust and faith when things go bad and also give him the praise when things go good. God gave his only son to forever protect me, I only feel I owe him all of me. Being baptized in his ways, is the final seal of bringing all of me to him.
I’ve grown up in a religious family all my life. My mom and two aunts especially are very strong in their faith. When I was little I compared myself to them, but concluded that I would never be able to become that strong of a Christian and therefore I wasn’t good enough for baptism. I gave up on basing my value on faith and didn’t see that God didn’t base his love for me on how good of a Christian I was. I started basing myself worth on intelligence. I over achieved sophomore year and took Honors Chemistry and Honors Geometry. When I had to drop Honors Chemistry because it was too much stress and I was failing, I had to re-evaluate what my worth was. I had worked so hard- but I still failed. I had to learn that there was nothing wrong with me, and that basing my self worth on intelligence wasn’t healthy or what God wanted. God tells us that “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” in Ephesians 2:8-9. I’ve learned that baptism is not a statement of being worthy, but a statement that I can do nothing that would compare to God’s salvation in Jesus, and that we recognize that God sees us as more than enough. Now I try to live my life knowing that I am enough in Christ, and my value rests in him alone.
My parents taught me about loving Jesus since I was a baby. Last summer, I was teaching my foster sister about who the Bible says Jesus is and I knew I wanted to become a true Christ follower, so I prayed for God’s forgiveness and for Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.
I am choosing to get baptized now because I want to show the world that I believe in Him and want to be like Him.
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” -1 Samuel 12:24
When I was younger and went with my family to church, I didn’t want to go and rarely paid attention. Other things mattered more, like baseball and friends.
One day during worship, it felt like Jesus was singing specifically to me. That day, I realized what Jesus did for me and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin.
I attend Genesis to meet with friends and discuss God. God changed my life. I don't get mad at little things and try to read the Bible and pray daily. Now I put God first.
Romans 10:10 says, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
I have known Jesus for as long as I can remember. I have been going to Christ Community Church regularly since I was three years old and KidsWorld has been such a fun place to learn about Jesus. Teacher Alexis in KidsWorld has been so kind to me and has really encouraged me to develop my relationship with God. I love God and want to spend forever with him. So that’s why last year, while at Epic, I decided to surrender my life to Christ because I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I want to be baptized to show that I fully surrender my life to Christ.
I was baptized as an infant and grew up having faith in God. I didn’t understand a lot Scripture and my family didn’t go to church often, but I’ve trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior for as long as I can remember.
I went to a Christian college, hoping to learn more about God. I struggled there, but learned from the church and was shaped by serving in the community. Through those experiences, I was able to witness God’s grace and mercy.
I am still growing but I am ready to declare my faith by being baptized.
I grew up in the church, but when I turned 18, I chose a different path. I felt I didn't have to be in church to believe in God. I don't think I truly understood what it meant to be a Christ-follower. I spent many years lost, not sure what I was looking for when I met my now-husband, Michael. The moment we walked into the church together, I felt a weight lifted. All this time I now know it was Christ calling me. After attending a couple of services, I gave my life to Jesus and now I'm ready to take the next step to belong to Christ Community and serve God.
I was raised in a Christian home but drifted away from Jesus’ teachings. I still believed in Jesus but was not actively practicing my faith. When our children were born, I wanted them to be raised like I was, knowing Jesus. We began attending Christ Community Church. Though my faith has been tested over the years by seeing many tragedies at work, through all of these trials one thing has remained constant: Jesus’ love for me. Knowing that Jesus sacrificed himself so that our sins could be forgiven has given me the strength to persevere time and again.
I am grateful to reaffirm surrendering my life to Jesus through baptism.
I grew up knowing just some basics about Christianity but never attended church regularly. My husband was raised going to church and, once we had children, he wanted to teach our children about God.
We started coming to Christ Community and, right away, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and emphasis on teaching what the Bible says. Here, I learned the truth about Jesus dying for my sins and I surrendered my life to him. Since then, I have been volunteering at Epic, joined a community group, and I make an effort to bring Jesus into my life and the lives of my family every day.
Before 6th grade, I didn’t go to church. I didn’t think my parents would let me because they don’t. One day, a friend invited me to Genesis and I learned Jesus died for my sins to give me eternal life. I prayed to Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.
Since then, I’ve shared the Gospel with my mom, teaching her about Jesus. Even though I have lots of friends at school, I’m so loved by my friends at Genesis. I don’t feel judged. I’m welcomed by people who are the same as me.
I’m thankful for Jesus in my life and that I can share the Gospel with my family. I’m ready to devote myself to God.
I had religion but not a relationship! I followed and obeyed all the rules of religion because that is what I learned to do. In my 40s, I felt something was missing from my life. I was missing a close, personal, and intimate relationship with Jesus. It led me to allow Jesus to enter my heart and into a life-changing transformation.
Sin now had no more power over me. Jesus is now my constant companion, helping me through any of life’s challenges. I now place my trust and faith in him – completely!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Before trusting Christ, I did what I wanted, not what God wanted. My wife brought me to church and showed me how to start a relationship with Jesus. I confessed my sin to him, knowing he gave his life for my sin and forgave me for not listening to him for years. Since then, my life has changed. Now I enjoy praying and reading the Bible with my family.
Jesus has shown me he has a reason for everything he does, even though it can’t always be explained. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Before I put my faith in Jesus, I was not really focused on what life is and why it should be important to me. I had no clue what the future held for me.
After I put my faith in Jesus, and believed he died for me, to cleanse me of my sins, I now know that God has a plan for me and that I can do great things.
Having God in my life shows me that I am not alone, through anything. He is always right by my side guiding me along the way. I am happy everyday thinking how lucky I am to be alive and have the Holy Spirit in my life.
Trusting and following Jesus was a huge step and I am glad I took it. Growing in my faith in God at Christ Community Church, Silver Birch Ranch and Genesis has been a life changing experience for me.
I grew up in a Christian family, and we went to church every Sunday. I loved learning about Jesus, but as I grew older I stopped going. I went my way instead of God’s way. I always felt like something wasn’t right. I felt like I was missing something in my life.
My mother started bringing me to Christ community. We both loved Christ community right away because everyone is so kind and welcoming. It was eye opening to hear how much Jesus loves us and how he died for our sins. When I heard Lopez Lomong’s story during a service, I was really inspired. That day I decided to ask God to come into my life. I asked him to be my personal savior.
Since then I have been getting closer to the Lord. I am very excited to be taking the next step in my Christian journey by getting baptized. I am happy to be dying to my old self and becoming a new person in Him. The God sized hole in my heart is filled. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I do not remember the day I began to believe that Jesus Christ was my Lord and savior. I grew up with Christ in my life. I am blessed to have my mother in my life who dedicated me to church and always told me to turn to Christ. I went through depression and anxiety and I knew to turn to my faith and to pray. I have always received answers to prayers when the timing was right. There were times I didn’t attend church, and would sin, and focus more on myself than my faith, and I did not feel ready to get baptized. I know I’m still not a perfect Christian, but I now put my faith in Jesus Christ everyday.
During the hard times, and times I have been distant with God, he has shown me ways to improve my life and to live my life through Christ. I have loved God my whole life and now I am ready to show others my love for him by being baptised.
My life will be focused on following Jesus Christ my Savior. I know I wouldn’t have had the strength to get through hard times in my life without Christ. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Prayer gives me strength to get through each day with courage. Reading the Bible helps me to understand how to follow Christ everyday. Going to Christ Community Church helps me to serve Christ.
I grew up my whole life knowing of Jesus, but not truly putting my life in his hands. Jesus was someone that I relied on only in times of despair. Once I became a mother, I felt my entire perspective shift. I immediately felt this need to be an example to my family of what it meant to be a Christian. It was not enough to just know the stories of the Bible. I felt God tugging at my heart to do more.
My neighbor Sara Freeman, invited me to Christ Community. It only took one service, for me to realize this was my new “home.” I learned how to develop my personal relationship with Jesus, by putting God first in all things I do.
I joined a community group filled with other mom’s that are in a similar season of life. They have been encouraging, supportive, and my prayer warriors. In putting all my trust in the Lord, I’ve learned how to let things go, and stress less. I have been able to leave big decisions up to the Lord, and know that whatever he has in store for me will come to pass.
I’d like to mention a piece of Scripture that spoke to me as I made the decision to be baptized. “For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
I have wanted to become baptized for a few years now. My mom told me I needed to wait until I was in 4th grade so that I could decide on my own. I have been waiting a long time, and I believe I am ready now.
I would like to become baptized because it will bring me closer to God. I want to have a life fulfilled by Jesus. I have always loved God and I know he loves me too. He sent his only son, Jesus, to die for my sins. Wow! God must REALLY love me for all my sins to be forgiven!!!! I will feel proud to stand in front of the whole church and say that I am a Christian and that I have made the decision to follow Jesus.
I will try to do the very best I can. I know that my life won't always be easy. I will have tough times. I might feel overwhelmed at times or be afraid, but I know that I am not alone. Jesus will always be with me. Acts 2:38 says Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” I too, would like to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by becoming baptized.
I want to be baptized because I have Jesus in my heart. Also, Jesus was baptized. I want people to know that I put my faith and trust in God, fully and forever.
Since I have come to know Jesus I like to help people more, plus, I cannot remember life without Jesus. I don't know what life would be like without God because I've always believed in him. When I was three years old, I put my faith and trust in Jesus. I also got my very own Bible when I was three.
I know how important it is to believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I want to be one of God's messengers! I also really care about people and animals like Jesus did and I want to help them. For example, I am donating money to animal shelters and I have donated clothes and food to homeless people.
I once had a dream about Jesus making a whole new world. He looked like a king! Well, that's because he is a king. It was a really cool dream! I'm very excited to get baptized!
That's my story. Thanks for reading!
I met my current wife 5 years ago. She was a practicing Christian at Christ Community Church, and I was uninterested in Jesus and Church. I had a lot of difficulties in my life and thought life was meant to be an unhappy existence.
My wife often asked me to attend church with her, pray with her, and would read me daily devotions to help me be open to Jesus Christ. I slowly started to be more open to Jesus and saw that my life was getting better. I started to feel happier, I wanted to help others, and I truly had a positive feeling that had never existed before. I knew there was only one thing that I had done differently. I was giving praise to Jesus and am today forever grateful for all he has given me.
Although I was open to Jesus and my life was improving, I knew that was not enough. No positive feeling or anything I could do would result in a relationship with God. So, I made a commitment to Jesus where I confessed my sins before God, asked Jesus to forgive my sins, placed my trust in Him, and asked Him to be the One who controls my life.
I now get the honor of getting baptized with someone very special, my wife's wonderful son Michael, whom I consider my own son. God is good!
Galatians 3:27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
My journey of faith started as a child attending Sunday school at a Lutheran church in Chicago. There, I learned Bible stories about how Jesus died for my sins. It was a small church where families attended and parents taught the Sunday and mid-week classes. After graduating high school, as I was planning my wedding, I converted to Catholicism because my husband to be was Catholic.
After my husband passed away, I fell away from church. I still believed Jesus died for my sins, but something was missing in my life. After I remarried, I stopped going to church altogether. Years passed before I started attending church sporadically, yet, still something was missing. After my second husband passed away and I retired, I began watching my two youngest grandchildren while their parents worked. When they moved to Elgin they started looking for a church. Their neighbors suggested Christ Community. They attended several times before asking me if I wanted to go with them. From the first service I attended, I new I had found my church. I found what was missing.
It changed my life. The sermons have guided me in my daily life with Jesus. I believe God led me to Christ Community and to a renewal of my faith in Jesus. By attending Primetimers and a community group I have a new understanding of Jesus, the Bible and faith. All this has led me to this day of Baptism. Thank you Lord for leading me here.
I was first baptized as an infant and raised in a Christian home. My attendance in Sunday School, Bible School and church choir was mandatory. When I graduated from high school and struck out on my own, God, church, and faith were quickly forgotten. I now look back on my life and I feel like I have come full circle. I was a baby boomer growing up in the 70s, experiencing life and all its temptations, but I had no time for God.
As I matured and started thinking for myself, and thinking about real issues, and dealt with life-changing events, both good and bad, friends I trusted would ask me if I believed in God, or a higher power. I realized that the events or changes in my life, and with my family and friends, were because God has a plan.
Since accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I believe He is now guiding me through life. God has given me many second chances and I truly believe my faith in Him has made my relationship with my wife and children stronger. My decision to be baptized is my next step of obedience in my walk with Christ.
When I was a child, my family attended a church on a regular basis. I went to Sunday school, participated in summer Bible camp, and learned about praying to God. But, my parents divorced when I was 10. Religion was no longer an important family issue. Surviving the turmoil of a broken home was the emphasis. In college, I decided on my own that I needed to discover God again, and what it could mean in my life. I started sporadically attending a Lutheran church, but still did not make my life Christ-centered.
After I married Brad and had our daughter, I saw the importance of putting God first and accepting that Christ died for my sins. I knew that I had to share this with my daughter, so it was important to me to not only SAY it, but also to live it.
My faith grew stronger every year as Katie got older. Putting others first, attending Bible studies, praying at our daily meals, participating in Katie’s Christian school and with our church brought so much peace and inner joy to me. Brad and I started attending Christ Community about a year ago and knew this is where we want to stay. Learning the Bible and applying it has made my everyday life so much more meaningful, and our marriage stronger. I want to show everyone that I put my faith in Christ as my eternal savior!
I was raised in a Greek Orthodox family and was baptized as an infant. All I knew was that I believed in God, but it did not go any deeper.
At 13 years old, I met a new friend named Kristy. She introduced me to Christ, and later I asked Jesus into my heart. During the next few decades, I believed in God but didn’t follow Him. Several years ago, my friend Patty invited me to Christ Community Church. At first, I was taken aback by the service because it was different from the strict traditional Orthodox values I knew, which made me curious, so I wanted to keep attending. I loved the music and the sermons because they showed me what my life was missing… a true relationship with Christ.
The last few years have been amazing, as well as full of difficult situations. I hold this verse close to my heart every day, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” I have learned what it means to truly submit to the Lord and to allow Him to carry me through. Today as I take this step, I am showing God that I’m committed to Him and look forward to His plans for my future.
Before I surrendered my life to Christ, I was very insecure. I was very shy and not outgoing. I did not realize Christ was what I needed in my life. I went to another church for most of my childhood but never found the meaning I was looking for. By 5th grade, I had stopped going to church completely, I saw no point in it, and saw it as a waste of my time.
Then on February 28th, 2018, Bri Leon and Maggie King invited me to Genesis, and not knowing what to expect I went. I remember they had just started a lesson about anxiety, which is something I have fought with my whole life. As I came to Genesis more and more, I realized what God has done for me by dying on the cross to forgive my sins. I began to see the sins in my life of greed, hatred, self-centeredness, and at times not respecting my mother or father. I recognized my need for a Savior and put my faith in Christ. I became more involved with the church and began growing closer to God.
My life has changed drastically for the better. I have a great support group of friends and an amazing small group leader. My anxiety has subsided and I am so happy to have given my life to Christ.
Before I trusted Jesus, I felt extremely lost in life. I felt like I was walking through the woods on a moonless night. I also felt very, very depressed. I grew up catholic but never truly believed before now.
What made me finally trust in God and Jesus was hearing Lopez Lomong’s story. I thought “if Lopez got through the Sudanese civil war with nothing but faith, then I can trust in God to take away my troubles.” I knew that it would help.
Now, after trusting in God, I finally feel a sense of hope for my life. Like I can actually do some good.
Before I trusted in God, I thought I had to do everything and I thought I needed to control everything. Then, I was in chapel at my school and they showed us a video that showed us who God is, how God is always there, and that we can trust Him in all the things that we do. I saw then that I needed God and I put my faith in Him.
Since then, I have trusted Him to control my life. I started attending Genesis, I go to Silver Birch Ranch with Christ Community, and now I am choosing to be baptized to publicly announce that I am a child of God.
I have been a born again Christian since I was 10 or 11 years old. I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was at a Christian horseback riding camp and I decided to give my life to the Lord.
Since then, I've tried my best to walk in the path of the lord and obey his requests of us as followers. I asked my Mom a few years back when I was baptized because I didn't remember it. I figured it was when I was too young to remember. She told me she baptized me when I was a baby in our bathtub. While I love her and appreciate her doing it, it just did not sit right with me since I always read that it should be done by a Pastor.
So, this is my next step. I am choosing to get baptized again with my Church and proclaim it to my community, family and friends. It is my way to further obey the lord and what he asks of me. I couldn't be more happy to do so. Amen!
I grew up in a church parish, and believed in God, but did not understand what a “relationship with Jesus” meant. Faith felt like impersonal ritual. As an adult, I robotically participated in my local parish, and sent my kids to parochial school. I thought peace and happiness came from living for myself, and right standing came from ritual faith. I congratulated myself for being a “good” person by society’s standard. Yet when I was in control, I made a mess of life and constantly struggled with worry, relationships, and purpose.
Enter Christ Community Church. Rarely had I ever before seen a Bible in church, let alone heard a clear teaching of God’s word. My eyes were opened and I realized the bad news- I was NOT a good person by God’s standard. I saw why Jesus died and why I needed Him. Romans 5:8 really hit home, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we [me!] were still sinners, Christ died for us [me!].” I confessed and turned from my wrongs, and trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord of my life.
My life is changing! Although I still have big struggles, they fall into perspective now. I feel God’s overwhelming love and a peace, purpose, and strength like never before. My desires to serve myself are being replaced with desires to serve King Jesus. I want to share the Good News, and it is a blessing and joy to be baptized together with my son!
Growing up I knew there was a God but didn't know who He is. In college, my roommate brought me to a campus ministry and we joined a Bible study. I grew close to our leader, we met weekly, and she taught me what Jesus did for me. Junior year I started taking steps backward in my faith and realized my walk with God relied on those around me. Although I loved the feeling of being a Christian, I had committed to Jesus as King.
After graduation, I moved to Elgin and kept driving by Christ Community. One day I couldn’t stay away so I went for Sunday service. I attended Alpha and got to work through my faith with others doing the same thing. I surrendered my life to Christ. I joined a community group and am constantly encouraged, loved and shown God.
I was baptized as a baby and considered myself baptized, so kept looking to others to make this decision about baptism again for me. Eventually I acknowledged that God was the only one that could. Matthew 7:7 reads, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
I’ve now opened the door and I’m excited to publicly surrender my life to Jesus as Savior of my life.
I grew up with a born again grandmother who was born again around 1910 when the first missionaries came to our country Uganda in Africa. So, I got to hear about Jesus as I learned to talk, and we used to pray every morning and night before we go to bed.
When i grew up and started to understand, I went to church with my parents, and hearing the Word over and over it stuck into my heart. My grandma kept on praying for each one of us to accept Jesus Christ to be our savior.
God heard her prayers we all got saved one by one, and even our children too. I decided to get baptized at my age because I now know whose am and who I choose to follow. I value my relationship with Jesus. I have also learned the meaning of getting baptized.
I was raised in a Christian home and church was a priority in our life. I was fortunate to attend a Christian Youth Conference when in junior high. It was there I heard and understood the testimony of Jesus Christ and the realization that he died for my sin was astounding. During this conference, I accepted Jesus Christ and believed that he sacrificed his life and that God raised him from the dead. I have been redeemed and my sin was paid in full! I have new life here on earth by believing in Him and a spot waiting for me in heaven when Christ returns!
My husband I both stand firm on his promise and continue to keep Christ the focus in our family. We read the Beginner Bible with our son and have been working through the Bible Saavy readings with our daughter. They both hear the importance of believing in what God has done for us and how we should put our faith in Him. He will answer all our prayers big or small with his perfect solution.
My daughter and I have been blessed to volunteer together and I get to share God’s teachings with the little ones in KidsWorld.
Before I came to Christ, I was not as confident in myself, and many others things that were in my life were important to me. I worried what people thought of me, I was not that strong of a person, and sometimes may have not been the nicest person. Without Christ, I would not be the Bri people know me as today.
Throughout my life, I have grown up in the church. I remember the first time as a kid recognizing the cross, and finally starting to understanding who Christ was and what he had done for me and everyone who has faith in him. I remember the moment where it had all changed. It was at Christ Community Church on Easter in 5th grade. That day I confessed my sins to him, and began asking for forgiveness. I wanted to have him take control over my life. Right then and there I felt like I was cleansed of my sins, and everything that I had done wrong in my life had been forgiven. I had been saved.
Now that I have a relationship with Christ, my life has changed. I notice that I am not only a better person, but also a happier person inside and out. I have owned up and given it all to Jesus. I know I am still not a perfect person, nor will I ever be. He has changed my life.
My name is Isabel and I am 10 years old. I have been at Christ Community Church my whole life! My baby dedication was at Christ Community on this same stage. I put my faith in Jesus at KidsWorld when we prayed a prayer of forgiveness. After I prayed, my leaders also prayed for me and have helped me learn even more about Jesus. To me, praying that prayer meant that I could trust Jesus, follow him, and be able to live an eternal life with him.
My leaders at KidsWorld and Epic like Bailey, Teacher Heather, Teacher Stephanie, Pastor Courtney and Pastor Randy have all helped me learn about God and have encouraged me. My family, including my parents and grandparents, have encouraged me the most.
Being baptized will help me show other people that I have put my faith in Jesus and that I love him. My favorite thing about God is knowing that he loves me too and will always be there for me when I need Him. A verse from the Bible that encourages me is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son for whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Having Jesus when I am older will be great because whenever I need Him he will be there to help and guide me.
I was baptized as a baby in the Greek Orthodox church, but due to where my dad was stationed in the Army, we attended a Bible Church in El Paso, Texas. I attended church school there and really liked it. When we moved up to Illinois, my dad found Christ Community Church and we have been attending for three years now.
I have been attending and enjoying Genesis since I was in 6th grade. Last year, when I was in 7th grade, my leader Zach explained to me what it meant to surrender my life to Jesus and I did.
Since then, I have continued to attend Genesis and have grown more in my faith. Pastor Eli got me into serving on the tech team at Genesis last year and I enjoy that too. I have also been serving in the nursery for about a year now and I love it. I want to show the world my love for Jesus through baptism. As I grow up, so does my faith.
I went to Awana throughout elementary school and to Genesis in sixth grade. After sixth grade, I had stopped attending for a while and had separated from Christ. With everything that I was going through at the time, I began to doubt and ask myself if God was really there for me as everyone was saying.
Someone came into my life during my freshman year of high school and asked me to go to church with them. I felt God had opened up my heart through worship music and I saw God’s abounding grace. When this person left my life, I was devastated, but it didn’t stop me from following Christ. I had met some friends through Christ Community later and decided to go to half nighter with them. I really felt God’s presence, and I surrendered my life to Christ that night, and asked him to forgive my sins.
I started attending house group and have made amazing friendships with others who encourage me and my life with Christ. Andi Pryer and Savanna Albanese directed me more towards God's love and have shown me the amazing things he can do. I never knew how much love he had for me until I read a verse which is now one of my favorites, it is Jeremiah 29:11. I cannot wait to take my next step with Jesus and to fully trust in following the path he has made for me.
I was raised in a Catholic family and went to church every Sunday, but did not understand most of what was going on there. When I was a teenager, I stopped going to church all together.
I joined the Army at 18 and found myself in Iraq for the first time at 19. At 21, I was back in Iraq for the second time, and by this time I was married with an 8-month-old son. Before going out on missions, I would pray for the safety of my squad and myself. I was not sure God was listening until during a mission I found myself in a dangerous situation, and there is no question that I made it through because God protected me and my friends.
After a friend invited my family to a church similar to Christ Community in El Paso, Texas, I re-devoted my life to Christ. We found Christ Community church in 2016, and after a long internal battle with myself I feel it is time to show Christ I am his through Baptism.
As a child I was raised in the Greek Orthodox. We attended church almost every Sunday but I still did not feel a close relationship with God.
I chose to join the army after high school and became ill very early on in my career. At 19, I found myself in Iraq and my illness became life threatening four months into the deployment. I was sent back to the states and was released from my service just before my 2nd year anniversary. I know it was God who got me home safely. One month before I left the Army, I married a wonderful fellow soldier! We now have 2 beautiful children.
In 2013, I found myself with a new illness and very few answers. I questioned why God would allow me to be sick. Through working in Kids World, and attending a community group, I have come to the conclusion that God is pulling me through this. I have chosen to be baptized to show the world that I belong to Christ and that he dwells in me.
I have found that close personal relationship I was looking for as a child.
I decided to be baptized one day at school in chapel. The pastor was talking about being baptized and I thought in my head how I would get scared and have stage fright. Then, right after I thought that, the pastor said not to get scared or stage fright and that it is about making a public commitment. I thought that the Lord must have heard me and I knew that I wanted to be baptized.
I believe that God sent his one and only son to die on the cross for everyone’s sins and then rose. This proves that nobody can beat the LORD, not even death. Also that he will always answer our prayers. I believe this because when I pray...every time the LORD answers me. Not always how I want, but to teach me.
A verse to remind me to always stay faithful is Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through God who strengthens me."
I have been going to Christ Community church for a year and a half now. When my family moved to the area and found Christ Community, I was hesitant at first to jump into a new church, but when I started attending House Group I felt like I was part of the community of Christ followers. I have been going to church my whole life but when I started going to Christ Community Church, I found a new love of church and my relationship with God grew.
For years, I had been going to church and listing to the sermons. At an inspiring stories weekend, after hearing Kechi Okwuchi’s journey with Christ, I was moved by her life story and I made the decision to surrender my life to Christ. At that moment, I knew for certain that I wanted to take the next step but I wasn't sure when. So, when I heard Lopez Lomong’s inspiring story, I felt that God was calling me to seriously consider to get baptized.
In this past year, I have met the most amazing friends at house group that support me. My small group leader, Andi Pryer, has brought me closer to God with her constant encouragements and her caring for me. I am extremely excited to take the next step in Christ. Psalm 119:133.
My name is Evelyn and I'm almost 10 years old. I want to be baptized because I want to surrender my life to God and show that I am committed to him. I was born into a Christian family and went to a private school since the nursery to 3rd grade.
I believe that Jesus died on the cross and healed me when I was sick. I asked God to forgive me in church in a prayer. When I was at Christ Community Church, I prayed to God to forgive me for my sins. God is my father and healed me spiritually and in sickness. He helped me at gymnastics when I hit my head on the floor, and I felt very sick, but he helped me through the the last bit of gymnastics. I want to be saved. I want to encourage other people to surrender their lives to Jesus. Mommy, pastors, church, and Highland school chapel speakers have helped me take big steps spiritually in my life, to be born into the body of Christ, and to surrender and give my life to God.
When I am baptized, I will be a better person and encourage others to believe in God.
I was at school one day and in Bible class we were talking a lot about baptism. I just decided at the end of that class that I wanted to be baptized.
I believe that God the Father sent his one and only son to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can live eternally.
I believe this because I have all the proof from the Holy Bible. This verse makes me feel the way I do...
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Yes, I do.
Before Jesus, nothing really seemed to “gel”. I had no peace within myself. Anger, unrest, worry and commotion was everywhere. I needed something to right the ship.
My thoughts of church were “boring, uncomfortable wooden pews and fancy rituals”. Church seemed foreign to me. My wife, and my grandchildren Evelyn (also being baptized) and James, asking Papa to come to church was instrumental in getting me to finally “give in” on September 16, 2018. I felt very comfortable from the moment I walked in the door. But, the minute Pastor Jim began to speak - he had me. Also, attending an Inspiring Stories service and reading Gene McGuire’s book made me see the light. GENE McGUIRE: “It is not a coincidence that you’re holding this book in your hands, or that you’ve heard my story. God’s love is pursuing you, too! I believe He has given me the platform because He wants me to share a few, very specific messages with you.” The final line in that book reached me: “Turn to Jesus. Cling to Jesus. The best is yet to come!”
I have been reading the Bible every day. I have not missed a Christ Community Church sermon and look forward to Sundays. I now have daily devotionals in my life. I am in the Bible app everyday - growing. I see things differently now.
As I look back on my life before Christ, my life was chaotic even though I felt like I had control. The more I leaned on myself, the more chaotic things seemed to be.
After college and starting my professional career, I had a co-worker share with me his journey and faith walk. Even though I had grown up in a catholic family and went to church, I decided in the fall of 2004 to give my life to Jesus Christ and start a relationship with God.
Since fully welcoming Jesus into my life and heart, I feel more at ease and fulfilled with life. The void has been filled by my relationship with Jesus and I now know that I am under his care and watch. I now help other men strengthen their relationship through Christ more through organizations like The Crucible Project and Battle Cry.
From the age of 3, I knew who Christ was, as I grew up in a Christian household. I was taught prayers and to thank God for everything I have, but I had never actually committed my life to him.
One Sunday, I went to my former church and my parents dropped me off at Sunday school. While there, I was asked if I ever committed my life to Christ, and I thought about it for a while, and said, “I don’t think I have.” Then, my teacher walked me through the prayer and I committed the beautiful life he gave me to him. I felt so much happiness and excitement.
With Jesus in my life, I always have someone there for me. Before every test or any nervous event, I pray to him. Praying has helped me overcome so many hard things, and whenever I am fearful I always tell myself that God is with me and loves me very much.
Psalm 27:1 really helps to sum this up, “The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?”
God has even led me to help other people to come to him, and I think that is amazing. I truly believe God has given me a love of children. I serve in KidsWorld and I absolutely love it. I love knowing that I am helping them to know Jesus.
Before I had Jesus as my savior, I was selfish and enjoyed the sins I was committing. I did not feel the need to help others. Around the time of 6th grade, my best friend Faith asked me if I wanted to start going to church with her. Without her and her family’s love, I would not have my relationship with God! I am so grateful for them.
After going with her to Genesis every Wednesday, I knew that I loved Jesus and all He did! When I first surrendered, John 11:40 really spoke to me, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” We were worshiping at Genesis when I felt overwhelmed with God's presence. I made the decision to love him and live for only him. I learned about the sin in my life, and chose to be a new person that puts Christ over everything else.
I now serve here in KidsWorld and am so blessed to worship with the kids! I became happier the closer I got to God! “I will not die but live and proclaim what the Lord has done.” Psalm 118:17. Some of my other favorite verses are Psalms 46:5 and Psalms 62:6.
Before I truly knew who Jesus was and what exactly he did for me, I acted selfish, often made decisions only for myself, and cared about material possessions. Since I was a little girl, I can remember caring more about things like Barbies than the Bible.
At 7 years old, I walked into Sunday School and saw that the craft that day was a little circle with three words: admit (to my sins), believe (Jesus died as a payment for my sins), and commit (my life to God). To me, being saved from death forever through just 3 steps was an amazing, life changing deal. I truly believed Jesus died for me and prayed this prayer, along with the teacher guiding me, and officially accepted Jesus on that morning.
Since that day, I’ve truly been a different person. I pray when I’m happy, worried, scared, or sad. To me, it does not matter how I am feeling because I know it’s important to always be in contact with God so that I can live my life with him in mind. I serve in Kidsworld now and love helping kids come to Christ as I did. I’ll forever feel safe knowing God is with me and will never leave my side.
My name is Matthew Shaughnessy and I am 15 years old. I live in Saint Charles with my mother, father, and older brother. We have been attending Christ Community for 12 years. I have attended Awana, Genesis, and went to Silver Birch Ranch the last two summers. I love how everyone at Christ Community is so friendly when you greet the people around you every service. Usually, I do not like doing things like this that would get me out of my comfort zone, but it just felt right and easy for me to do.
I decided I wanted to get baptized on Sunday, January 13th. I wanted to surrender my life to Jesus. I was in church that day and pastor Jim was talking about how we can't just say we will do things later and just do them now. I was thinking about being baptized prior to this and I would just say in my head I will do it another time.
I want to be baptized and let everyone know that I have surrendered my life to Jesus.
I realize that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. What I am hoping for and want to get out of being baptized is for me to feel like a new person.
I want to start reading the Bible more and put God before everything else. I am excited to be a part of God's Kingdom and pray to him.
I grew up going to Christ Community Church basically my whole life. But not until I was about 8 did I start realizing who my Lord and Savior actually was. It started to make a lot more sense because before I had no idea.
When I was about 8, I felt a strong connection with God. Around that time, I felt like I truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I walked down stairs to my kitchen and told my mom that I committed my life to Christ. I always knew he was there for me and that just made me want to get even closer to him. This past couple months, I have felt a great connection and I knew this is a time for me to get baptized.
I grew up in a Christian home and we have been going to church for as long as I can remember.
I put my faith in Jesus around age 5. I prayed with my dad, and I remember feeling hopeful about going to Heaven that night. My mom, my dad, and Epic leader, Teacher Heather, have all been supportive of me taking these steps to becoming a Christian.
My parents have always been Christian and talked about Heaven. I told my parents I wanted to go to Heaven so my parents helped me put my faith in Jesus when I was 5.
In 4th grade, I wanted to be baptized, but never asked my parents. Finally, about a month ago, I told my parents that I wanted to be baptized and be more like God.
Before I trusted in Jesus, I was self-conscious about myself and did not spend much time in the Bible. I saw how much sin was in my life, like how I cared more about things than about friends and family, and decided to let God take control and turn my life around.
The first year I went to Silver Birch Ranch, we were in chapel and there was an option to surrender your life to Jesus. I jumped at the opportunity and surrendered along with my friend Kate.
After I gave my life to Jesus, I began knowing who I was and found happiness in serving others. My family does Bible Savvy most nights and makes sure we are ready to take on the world the next day with grateful hearts and loving spirits.
Before I came to Christ, I believed that my needs were greater than others and I favored myself over others. I was always sad because I was always thinking about my life rather than believing how lucky I am compared to others.
I started fully believing that Jesus died for me when I helped volunteer at a summer day camp called High Five. My coworker, Jack, really impacted my life and I began to see my flaws of pride and apathy. Later in the week, I surrendered my life to Christ and I have been changed ever since.
Now that I am saved, I try my best to think of others, and to please others with my actions. I try to ask people good questions and try to feel how they are feeling. I must say that it does feel truly liberating to know that God loves you so much to die for everything awful you have done and will still love you forever and ever.
I grew up in a Christian home and I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 5 years old. When I was young, I only really knew random facts about God. I was oblivious to how a relationship with Him could change my life. In middle school and high school, I was introduced to Bible studies and to Christian friends that helped me grow in my faith. In high school, I made some poor choices and chose my own path instead of what God had planned for me. Thankfully, God helped me escape my sin and set me on the right track. Since recommitting my life to Christ, God has provided me with mentors and new opportunities to help me learn and grow in Him. He has given me new ways to explore and use the gifts and talents He has blessed me with. He changed my life for the better. God has been calling me to get baptized for a long time now, and I’m finally ready to say yes. This symbol of my commitment to following Jesus represents my sinful past being washed away. In the past few years, God has used Proverbs 3:5-6 to inspire me, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I grew up in a Christian family and at the age of 10, I made the decision to surrender my life to Christ and start following him. Fast forward a few years. It was clearly God’s plan for me to attend Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. While I was there, God surrounded me with the right people to keep me spiritually grounded, including my girlfriend and now wife, Lauren.
After college, I got a job back home in Virginia and proposed to Lauren the following spring. We were married the next year in April 2013. In the meantime, God helped me find an amazing young men's’ Bible study that helped me start a discipline of regular prayer to seek God’s direction. God blessed my obedience. I created a successful iPhone app that which led my wife and I to California for an exciting new job.
While in California, God helped us find a wonderful church community and showed us a million times over the miraculous ways he can work. In 2016, we were led back to Chicagoland, where we settled in Bartlett. In 2018, God blessed Lauren and I with our son Carl. To me, getting baptized today represents a renewed commitment to Christ and His plans for my life as I’m now a husband and a dad. I want to show Christ’s love and set an example for my children in the same way my dad does for me.