As they progressed to becoming full-fledged members of the Church Of Christ, “they have become more positive, hopeful in their life, and happy despite the various personal situations they are in.” Thus Brother Ryan Docena, resident minister, observed about the recent “fruits” of his current assignment, the Lakeland Local Congregation’s propagational efforts. Even as doctrinal instructees, “they were eager to invite their friends to also listen to the words of God,” he added.
Finally, on July 17, 2021, these would-be members from Lakeland, together with many more from other local congregations in the Ecclesiastical District of Florida, received baptism, contributing to the notable increase of Church membership in this American state for this quarter alone.
From the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Orlando, which served as the host site for the baptismal service, the preaching of the district supervising minister, Brother Marlone Balason, was livestreamed to various local congregations in the district where other baptismal candidates also gathered. The baptismal venues implemented health and safety protocols.
The other venues for the baptism included the places of worship of the Cocoa Beach, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and Mt. Dora congregations.
Grateful foremost to the Lord, Justine Ford, described his journey towards receiving the true Christian baptism: “It’s like a weight [was] lifted off my shoulders, it felt nice … and really worth it.” He further thanked the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, for “leading [the Church] and making sure that we [members] are taught with [God’s words] that we need to learn.”
Also one of the newly baptized, Brendon Douglas Alexander II encouraged those still in the process of joining the Church to “Just keep going [because] it is going to be worth it and they will receive the hope of receiving salvation.” — With reports from INC News Section and Jonathan Emil Galang