We have a couple in our church that has been coming for a couple months, I think. Joe, who accepted Christ about a month or so ago, lives just across the street and down a house and was living with his girlfriend, Hope. Well, he started bringing her with him, and I guess they were attending the Thursday night meetings that a group called Mercy Heart also holds at the same location.
Just a little back story, here. Mercy Heart is an organization founded at Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth. It is a support/ministry group that focuses on ex-offenders and families with inmates. It's a prison ministry that ministers to those who have been released or those whose wives/husbands or mothers/fathers are in prison.
About 7 or 8 years ago (can't remember exactly), Glenview purchased an abandoned church building in south Haltom City and cleaned it up for Mercy Heart to use each Thursday night. I was involved pretty regularly leading worship at their meetings.
Finally, about 7 years ago, they started having church services there on Sunday morning. They wanted to church to be sort of separate from the prison ministry, so they made it a "mission" church and called it South Haltom Community Church. It's basically Baptist, just doesn't say that in the name.
So anyway, back to today. Joe and Hope started bringing Hope's sister, Bridget, along with them. Hope got saved two weeks ago. This morning, we had a very unusual ceremony in our church. Immediately after our music portion, Hope and Joe got in the baptistry with Mel, who leads our Family Relief Outreach and is heavily involved with Mercy Heart. Mel then presided over a wedding ceremony in the baptistry for Hope and Joe! They had decided to make their union a proper marriage. Immediately after the wedding, they were both baptized together, husband and wife!
The pastor, Bill, had a brief message which was, essentially, the gospel. Who could believe it, but right after that, during the invitation time, Bridget, Hope's sister, came up and gave her life to Christ, as well! Talk about an emotional time! It was awesome.
During the worship time, I used a rather unorthodox song. I'm sure someone has done this before, I have just never heard it. Last Monday afternoon, I awoke (I work nights remember? Not just being lazy!) with the song "You Are So Beautiful" running through my head. You know...the old Joe Cocker love song. Actually written by Billy Preston and some other guy I can't remember. As I was laying there comtemplating this Sunday's service, I thought, "What is keeping us from singing this love song to Jesus??" So...I learned it and put it in the service this morning, and segued straight into Chris Tomlin's "Enough." It was very effective. And when Joe and Hope heard me practicing the song before church, they asked me if I would sing it again after they got in the water. Of course, I did that for them.
It was a good time. God is good, all the time.