Following His Example

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With help and guidance from the Lord, her parents, and leaders in Watermark Kids, Vivi Gaultney (age 10) made the decision to be baptized last September. Vivi was excited to share her story with our church, and we hope her faith is an encouragement to you.

“Hi, my name is Vivi Gaultney. I am a fifth grader at Coram Deo Academy. Last year, I decided I wanted to be baptized at Watermark. Today I get to share with you part of the testimony that I gave at my baptism.

“I was raised in a Christian family and went to a Christian school all my life, but those things didn’t automatically make me a Christian. I have heard a lot of Bible verses at home, at church, and at school. One verse that helped me become a Christian is Romans 10:9. It says, ‘If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, and if you confess with your mouth that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.’

“When I heard that verse, I realized that I believed that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. This helped me be sure that I am a Christian and make the decision to be baptized.

“I didn’t want to get baptized just because my friends or my brother did it – it was because I felt like God wanted me to. My parents helped me make this decision, and they helped me understand that I don't have to be baptized to be saved. Being baptized is publicly announcing that I am a Christian and that I have received the free gift of salvation God has given me.

“I was baptized in the pond here at Watermark on September 25, 2022, with family and friends there to celebrate with me.

“Being baptized that day didn’t make me perfect. I still struggle with being prideful, thinking too much of myself instead of thinking of others. But God is helping me with that part of my life. Sometimes I lose my temper with my brothers and sister, but through the Holy Spirit, I've been having more patience. I try to be a helpful daughter, sister, student, and friend, not because I want others to think well of me, but because God has served me first, and I want to follow His example.

“I am so thankful to know Jesus as my Savior, and now I want to follow Him as my Lord. If you haven’t believed in Jesus, I hope my testimony encourages you to trust in Him. Thank you so much for listening to my testimony.”

Through Vivi’s decision to get baptized, she has had faithful and intentional parents to walk her through this process and guide her to living a life that honors and obeys Christ. Her mom, Katie, shared a little about how she and her husband, Brad, teach, encourage, and disciple their children.

“At first, when Vivi told us that she wanted to be baptized, we kind of ignored her at first because we didn’t want her to make this decision lightly, out of peer pressure, or because she had seen kids around her be baptized. We waited for her to come back a second time and ask again. Her dad took her out to breakfast a few times to ask her questions and really talk about what this decision signifies. We believed this was a decision that was truly coming from her and her desire to show Christ’s likeness. After we were confident that she rightly understood baptism and what it means to become a Christian, we let her talk with Watermark Kids staff about the next steps.

“We know that baptism doesn't lead to salvation. But my kids, like me, have the blessing of having grown up in a Christian home and hearing God's truth from infancy. My husband, Brad, has one of those more ‘dramatic’ conversion testimonies, where there was a clear ‘before Christ’ and ‘after Christ’ shift in early adulthood. I didn't have that, and in all likelihood, neither will my kids. So, I've encouraged them, when times of doubt come (and I'm sure they will!), to look to this process of considering baptism, how assured they were of their salvation, and how they responded in obedience to God's calling, as a moment when they knew that they were a child of God. The day of their baptism can serve as an Ebenezer in what we pray will be a long line of faithfulness that they have committed to following the Lord.”

We believe that by being baptized with water, a believer publicly identifies with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). This is a concrete way for believers to demonstrate their obedience to Jesus’ command to profess faith in Him publicly (Matthew 10:32, Matthew 28:18-20). Almost every week at Watermark, individuals who have been changed by a relationship with Christ are baptized. Learn more about taking this next step of obedience.