Posted: January 23, 2008 in Family and Friends
Tom & Laura Tonight

So my friend, Tom, whom some of you may remember from the legendary building of my deck, calls me yesterday and invites me out for a cup of coffee at Coffee Fusion. Hillary was out of school for the holiday, so Hillary and I turn it into lunch while Tom enjoys his coffee. After just a little time for casual pleasantries, Tom says he has something to tell me that, although good, may shock me. This is usually where my heart momentarily stops beating (my preacher friends will understand). Then Tom tells me that he wants me to baptize him.

The rest of the lunch conversation was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had as a preacher. Tom’s wife, Laura (who also happens to be my secretary), has been praying for Tom to make this decision for fourteen years now, and over the course of lunch, he told me how piece by piece the wall fell during his time in Ocean Springs.

He told of how past churches seemed to be filled with people who had it all together, and he thought you had to have it all together like that to be baptized. We, on the other hand, are an obvious bunch of losers. (LOL! He didn’t say that at all! But it is the truth, and my saying so just provides dramatic effect!)

He told of understanding baptism as the final step in a process, but coming to see it here as the first step instead.

He told of a past preacher who cornered him every week to pressure him about being baptized, and how each time led him further away from making that decision.

He told of how church had just been something he went to in the past, but that our men’s group going to baseball games and out to eat wings for fun led him to have real relationships and see people as “people” – not “church folks.”

He told of how he struggled with the reality of his job in the military – ultimately training to kill people – and how one of our teachers (Keith) helped him come to terms with his job.

He told of how our elders impacted him by seeing him as someone that behaved like a Christian leader, and how that helped convince him that he really can be part of this Christian group.

It was a wonderful conversation.

I thought it was cool that he said he kind of wanted to wait until summer so he could be the last person I baptized here, but he knew the time was right now. I told him at the rate I go, he very well could be the last person I baptize here anyway. 🙂

So Tom emailed several people, specifically those that have helped him come to this decision, and invited them to our church building tonight to share this occasion with him. And I had the honor of baptizing my friend.

What a terrific way to spend an evening.

  1. JD says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  2. Al Sturgeon says:

    Thanks, John!

  3. Danny says:

    It was a wonderful conversation Al. Glad I got to be in on it.

  4. Al Sturgeon says:

    My pleasure, Danny!

  5. ROD says:

    uplifting story!

  6. Al Sturgeon says:

    Thanks, Rod!

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