By Brian Blackwell, Message staff writer
HARRISONBURG, La. (LBM) – Mistin McGuffee’s eight-year-old twins had just returned from Kids Camp at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center, Woodworth, when they boldly proclaimed to their friends and family their respective decisions to follow Christ and their desires to share their testimony through public baptism.
LIKE SON, DAUGHTER, LIKE MOTHER
McGuffee, who previously had surrendered to Jesus but had not been baptized, felt compelled to join Briley and Braylon in baptism, Oct. 3, at First Baptist Church, Harrisonburg.
“I knew from previous conversations at home and then church camp that the Holy Spirit was beginning to convict my twins,” McGuffee, who attended camp with them, told the Baptist Message. “When I saw them raise their hands to indicate they had made a decision during one of the worship sessions, tears filled my eyes.
“As we walked outside to talk as leaders and children, I remember them looking up at me and saying, ‘Momma, why are you crying,’” she continued. “I kept telling them these were happy tears, knowing I’d spend eternity with them.”
AS LITTLE CHILDREN
Pastor Philip Caples said the decisions by seven children, who accepted Christ at camp in late July, have sparked a revival in the church. Since Aug. 1, five of the campers and five other church members have stirred the baptistery waters, surpassing the total number of baptisms (two) that took place during the first seven months of the year.
“To see the kids come back and talk about how God moved in their heart to the point of being saved really became an exciting time for our church,” Caples said. “It threw our church into a mini revival. Since that happened it created a big excitement across the whole church.”
The excitement over the baptisms also has led to increased Sunday school and worship attendance. Since July, the church has seen a rise in Sunday worshipers (from 100 in July to 150-175 in mid-October) and Bible study attendees (75 in July to 100 in mid-October).
“Exciting things are happening in our church, and we are excited about what God is doing,” Caples said. “And we are humbled about what God is doing.”
Louisiana Baptist Children’s Ministry Specialist David Anderson emphasized that summer camps point children to a relationship with Christ through an extended week of Bible studies, music and fellowship. He said 107 children, during three Kids Camp sessions at Tall Timbers in 2021, made decisions for Christ, and campers raised $4,400 for missions (City Life NOLA in New Orleans and the Well Church in Monroe). “Children don’t come to Christ from a vacuum and rarely from a one-time exposure to the Gospel,” Anderson said. “There are many opportunities that work together in a child’s life to bring them to salvation. Camp is one of those vital opportunities. Camp gives kids a chance to get away and focus like no other moment. With no outside influences and a pure focus on the Word, the kids are practically in a bubble where we can help them see the truth of the Gospel in a fresh way. This piece of the puzzle in a kid’s life is indispensable in my opinion and makes camp a unique chance that all churches should strive to be a part of.”