Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
A YEAR ago, he almost drowned while attending a beach trip, and that experience has taught him to trust more in God.
So when the Bible workers began preparing candidates for baptism, André Williamson never hesitated. He was among 21 persons who surrendered their lives to the Lord, during a mass baptism, under the big tent at Maverley Park, St Andrew, last Saturday.
"The last two years of my life has been very challenging and the Lord stood up for me, so it is time to take a stand for Him," Williamson told The Gleaner shortly after he was dipped into the pool.
Encouraged by more than 300 Seventh-day Adventists congregants, some of the new converts got emotional. Among them were two little girls, seven-year-old Ashanti Richards and nine-year-old Tavia James, who were observed with tears running down their cheeks.
Before she was called up to be baptised, Marcia Montague sat in her seat, worshipped and sang her heart out. Then when it was her turn, she took the microphone and gave a testimony in the form of song 'Mercy rewrote my life'.
"I felt like I am healed," said Montague after emerging from the pool. "I have been hurting for years and never knew that I would do it (baptised) again," she further said.
Dr Merrick-Dale Walker, pastor of the Washington Gardens and Balmoral Seventh-day Adventist Church, was the man behind the baptism.
"Since the crusade began two weeks ago, we have baptised 23 persons and we are having another mass baptism on Sabbath," said Walker.
Walker stressed that in the hearts of many residents, there is a dominant lack of hope. "Hopelessness easily leads to desperation. Desperation leads to disorder, which is bad for every society," he told the gathering.
"As a church community, we, therefore, launched a public campaign of hope at Maverley Park. We will not only be proclaiming about the coming Kingdom of Heaven, we will be interfacing and counselling about the state and possibilities of our existence here on earth," said Walker.