The Central Adventist Church in Colorado Springs ended 2020 with a Sabbath afternoon celebration of five baptisms, including a community member who attends the local Baptist church.

How does an Adventist pastor get the opportunity to baptize an individual who attends the Baptist church? By being active in the community and fostering fraternal relationships with fellow clergy.

Mike Maldonado, pastor of Colorado Springs Central Adventist Church, has spent the last three years building a relationship with John Harris, the local Baptist pastor. The friends visit and worship in each other’s churches.

When Harris learned that Maldonado would be baptizing four individuals on Dec. 26, he asked Maldonado to baptize one his congregants, as his age and frail health made it difficult for him to do so, Maldonado said.

On Sabbath afternoon Dec. 26, the Baptist church attendee stood alongside four other individuals who were publicly declaring their love for Jesus Christ. Some 30 individuals joined in the celebration held at Central Church, including many from the Baptist church.

Harris took part in the service by offering prayer and remarks prior to the baptisms, saying, “This is one of the most meaningful and beautiful baptismal services I have ever attended!”

The baptisms conclude a year of blessing for the congregation, but one that was also very tiring and stressful for many members. It also caps a year in which Central had the opportunity to celebrate 44 decisions for baptism, people who declared Jesus as their Savior.

“It goes without saying that 2020 was a difficult year for all of us,” said Pastor Maldonado.

“Yet, despite the pandemic and other disruptions, 2020 proved to be one of the most fruitful years for growth at Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Colorado Springs. The Holy Spirit blessed Central with 44 baptisms, each representing a precious person won for the kingdom of God”