Baptized into New Beginnings

Posted: April 7, 2023

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in newness of life.” —Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

Easter is a joyous time here at Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County! For Christians, it’s the season when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His victory over sin and death. Easter is a celebration of the new life we enjoy through Jesus Christ!

Baptism is the Christian rite that makes real this deep spiritual truth of dying to sin and rising to eternal life. That is why baptisms are often performed in churches on Easter Sunday. During the rite of baptism, a person is “buried” under the waters of baptism, and then rises up out of the water to new life in Jesus Christ. At UGM-TC, we perform baptisms at the ALPHA Celebration, usually in May and December. These are joy-filled occasions, where the Spirit of God is powerfully present, and where the residents, staff and volunteers together witness God at work raising people up to newness of life.

At our last ALPHA Celebration I was privileged to baptize nine people into new life in Jesus Christ. What is so special about this is not simply the joy they experience, but the transformation into newness of life that is taking place in their lives.

Consider Thomas, one of our single fathers. Thomas and his four children, Nevaeh, Aria, Lucas and Reuben, came to us needing help because they literally had no place else to go. He told me he didn’t have much faith at all, since God had allowed him and his family to experience so much suffering. But when Thomas started attending ALPHA, he began to learn about the God who is real, the God who made him and loves him and his family.

Thomas started growing spiritually. He began to read the Bible to his children and bring them to our weekly Communion service. At our ALPHA Celebration, Thomas and his four children were all baptized together! Thomas and his family have died to their old life and have been raised to new life in Jesus Christ. Each day brings the opportunity for Thomas and his family to experience the joy and the possibilities that new life brings. Thomas says he plans to go back to school and learn a trade so he can get a better job to support his family.

Thomas' water baptism

Then there is Gustavo, a former resident. Gustavo was a veteran who lost his way and came to UGM-TC for help. He discovered that UGM-TC offered a great deal more than simply three meals a day and a place to sleep. Gustavo described his experience at the Mission as “a ten out of ten” and “transformative.” Through the ALPHA Course, Gustavo rediscovered his Christian faith. He said, “I learned in ALPHA what I never learned in Sunday school. I learned more about what I believe as a Christian and how to follow Jesus Christ.” Today, Gustavo attends Mercy Culture Church in Fort Worth and is a part of a small group. He’s growing in his faith and he has big plans for his life. He wants to finish school and start a career in finance. He is so grateful for what the Lord has done in his life through UGM-TC.

Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County is a local, united Christian organization and ministry dedicated to providing love, hope, respect and a new beginning to everyone who comes through our doors seeking help. That’s what the joy of Easter is all about: a new beginning in Jesus Christ! Your generous support makes it all possible. Happy Easter!

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