The following stories are from baptism classes at Vineyard Cincinnati Church.
I didn't grow up in church...
I didn’t grow up in church and thought if I was a good person I was okay. I didn’t realize until after I knew God, I was incomplete.
I experienced anxiety in a way I never have. I had nowhere else to turn; I just started asking people to pray for me.
It didn’t change overnight but I felt different. The more I started praying and going to church, things turned around. I hope to get my whole family into church one day. I hope to spread the word and share my story. I hope people can see the change in me.
I felt as though there wasn't a purpose...
I felt as though there wasn't a purpose in anything really. What’s the point—we all live then die and it’s all meaningless. I enjoyed the present and what my life was but would always get super down and depressed because I thought it was all for nothing and would end in nothingness eventually.
A friend invited me to an all men's camp retreat and I figured I'd tried everything on my own and it’s not working, so why not? I was always a happy positive person, I just always felt like something was missing.
When she passed I became angry...
When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer — being a nurse, I thought I knew what to expect. I thought with my studies I was prepared for everything from diagnosis to her unfortunate early death. When she passed I became angry. I couldn't grasp why God would put her through this and now leave me here without her.
Fast forward a few months and I met my husband. His faith is inspiring. He asked me to go to church with him. We went to a few local ones and then he told me of his love for this church. We came, at first overwhelmed, but once I heard the first sermon I finally felt peace.
Now I know my purpose and I understand God’s love and plan.
My life was very chaotic...
My life was very chaotic. I was very selfish and self-seeking. Nothing I did could fulfill a very big hole that was in my heart. I was addicted to drugs and anything worldly that made me feel good.
I was beaten down by drugs and alcohol. My heart yearned for something real to fill it. I saw God working in other people’s lives and was re-introduced to church. I wanted what other people had. A sense of complete joy and happiness with life.
I hope for a sense of peace and serenity outside the chaos that is here on earth. A life of serving and growing with Jesus.
Something clicked in my head...
As a teenager I accepted Jesus into my life but it wasn’t until my 20’s that I really started reading the Bible everyday. Until that time I was very empty and felt lonely, unloved.
In December 2016 something clicked in my head that reminded me that my relationship with the Lord is between the Lord and I. And I needed to stop making excuses or blaming others for not fully committing myself to the Lord. So on that day I decided I am not putting it off any longer. I am committing to being baptized and I want to fully love my Lord out loud in public. I want to be all in and committed.
I hope after being baptized I don’t let myself make excuses anymore. I want to live my life as a reflection of Jesus and what He has done for our sins. I want to “walk the walk, and talk the talk” and not be afraid to share my faith with others. I also want to bring others to the Lord.
I’ve been apart from Jesus at times...
I’ve been apart from Jesus at times in my life, selfish, and feeling like I was in charge. But AA taught me I had little “control” and I needed to humble myself to God to gain sobriety.
25 years ago I prayed for strength to be sober after 20 years of heavy drinking. It took years to feel some measure of comfort in sobriety and improving my relationship with my wife and family. I felt God was behind me and gave me the strength to be sober after so many tries.
Jesus has always been there for me. I want to be like him, more patient, more giving, more accepting, less judgemental.
I grew up in another church...
I grew up in another church with a very different style than the Vineyard. When my parents went through a divorce when I was an early teen, I had a very long draught. Christ was no longer a part of my life and neither was prayer.
During my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to a group called Young Life. They helped me to refocus my life on Christ, and after an amazing camp experience I decided to give my life to Christ.
I hope my baptism will be the outward symbol of my surrender to Christ’s will. I want to walk with Him in the trials of my life. I am committed to a life with Him.
My parents were going through a divorce...
At 15 years old, my parents were going through a divorce and I had a horrible time with it. I acted out, declared myself an atheist, cursed God and turned away from all things good.
I got pregnant at 18 and became a single mother. While pregnant, I didn't feel like I even belonged in a church again with my sin staring everyone in the face (meaning my giant belly!) Around the time I turned 21, I started drinking heavily, staying out late, and dropping off my son every chance I got. I lived on my own in a place I didn’t take care of.
My turning point was when my habits and lifestyle caught up to me and made me incapable of holding a job or taking care of the wonderful son that God had blessed me with. So I just gave it all to Him.
Since I decided to give my life to God, I have been blessed BEYOND my imagination.