The Only Church He Knows

February 1, 2024

In February 2024, we had to move the STEP LR mentoring club session to the church’s sanctuary for one night so that the gym could be set up for an upcoming retirement celebration for Dr. W.W. Walker after 52 years of pastoring First Baptist Church Highland Park.

That night, as one 12-year-old young man walked in the front door to the foyer, he looked into the sanctuary and immediately began repeating to me, “I don’t want to go in there. I don’t want to go in there.” This young man has had some obvious struggles during his time with us, and we have been seeking the right mentor – and God has provided one.

His mentor came to the entrance and comforted him and walked him to the pew where they were going to have their bible lesson and mentoring session.

Then, in the middle of the club session, this young man came to the front to speak to us and said, “I want to be baptized!” He had been talking with his mentor about his feeling of an evil presence in his life, and our lesson and his mentor both focused on the forgiveness and freedom that comes through Jesus. After he expressed his desire to follow Jesus, his mentor further explained what it meant to be saved – that we accept Jesus as our Savior, believe that He died for our sins, and commit to follow Him and His ways. The boy responded by saying, “I want to get baptized!”

After he came forward, we spoke with him to find out more about what he understood about salvation and this most important decision. We committed to continue to talk with him, ensure this is a genuine decision, and plan a baptism, if so.

As a part of that conversation, we asked him, “Where do you go to church?” He said, “Here.” We realized, and his mentor had already discovered, that STEP was the only “church” this boy knew. That explained why he was so intimidated to come into the formal sanctuary – he had never been in one!

So, he now has lots of options! His mentor will be inviting him to start coming to church with him, or he could come to First Baptist Highland Park, or Pastor Cory Wiley has also invited him to come to Holy Cross Baptist Church nearby. How beautiful! STEP will be following up to ensure he is able to take those next steps of faith!

Thank you for partnering with STEP LR and STEP NLR in answering the Great Commission!

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

 Matthew 28:18-20

Ready to get involved?

Will YOU join the story of a child’s life? Are you willing to give a bit of your time and love to a child who desperately needs it? If God is calling you to say yes, contact us!


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