Baptism in South Shields

28th June 2018

A baptism is always an event to rejoice over, more so when the event has a wider impact on the local community.

Gabriela Machicado, had requested baptism earlier in the year; the lack of a baptistry in the South Shields Adventist church meant that another source of much water was needed for a baptism. The North Sea is just around the corner from the church, the event was therefore set when the water might be slightly warmer than the frigid waters of winter.

The Bible studies for Gabriela, a budding artist and craftsperson, included baptisa number of homework items. A lighthouse was created to show how God is light while pictures illustrated the Great Controversy. Displayed in the church for the indoor element of the baptism service the church's young people sang a chorus they had largely composed as a part of their Pathfinder work. The church listened attentively as the baptismal vows were read by church elder George Simpson.

The event all were waiting for took place at high tide, witnessed by Pathfinders and parents from Newcastle church, along with South Shields church members, friends and onlookers on the beach. Wearing an alb, a ceremonial garment worn in church services and donated by a friend, Gabriela was carefully led to deeper water. The sound of the waves were too loud for the viewers on the beach to hear the 'in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit' so former church pastor Sandy Pairman, loudly pronounced these words for the congregation to hear. Timed well from her immersion, Gabriela emerged from the water with a smile on her face.

The smile is Gabriela's imagetrademark, now to be seen in newspapers of the north-east of England. Ralph Jackson, a church member had arranged for local newspaper reporters to be in attendance. The story of the baptism as well as video of the event can now be seen as a great witness of the faith of a young lady and as a symbol of the revival of a once faltering church.

For the newspaper report and video see here

[Pastor Peter Jeynes]

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