Sun | May 28, 2017

'Unspeakable joy' - Elder elated after baptising his 82-year-old mother

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Elder Michael Vernal prepares to baptise his mother, Citrian Smith, during the special Lord Transform Me baptismal service held at the Regent Street Seventh-day Adventist.

For Elder Michael Vernal and the members of the Regent Street Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Kingston, March 11, 2017 will long be remembered.

History will record that this was the first time that Elder Vernal was given the opportunity to do baptism, and, to top it off, his first candidate was his 82-year-old mother with whom he has been studying the Bible and sharing the Word of God for more than 30 years.

"I was more than overjoyed," said Vernal, who has been the first elder of the Regent Street SDA Church for more than 15 years.

"Today has been a tremendous day for me. The opportunity that was afforded me to do the baptism was a tremendous joy. It was joy, unspeakable joy!" a delighted Vernal told The Gleaner.

Being an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for so many years, Vernal would have attended numerous baptismal services, participated and assisted the pastor in sharing the emblems of the broken body of Christ through the communion service on numerous occasions, and even played a lead role in evangelistic campaigns and outreach events where he was the preacher.

His vast experience, however, never included baptising anyone, which made the Lord Transform Me baptismal service for elders who had worked with candidates extra special for him.

Vernal's mom, Citrian Smith, was just as happy to be part of the historic baptism with her son.

"I am feeling happy and I am feeling light. This was a day that I longed for," said Smith, who was previously baptised in another denomination.

She said she was now convinced of the importance of observing and worshipping God on the Sabbath.

Vernal thanked the leadership of the SDA Church for the initiative to allow elders to baptise persons they had worked with on this special baptism day.