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Group baptism study under way

February 9, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Three local pastors have joined forced to conduct a baptism at the YMCA Davis branch at 7 p.m. April 7. Pastors Jim Leone, Kenneth Donaldson, and John Sprankle will perform the baptisms, but they want the people taking part to understand the full extent of what they will be doing, so they are holding free classes on baptism.

"It's about Jesus, his death, burial and resurrection," said the Rev. Sprankle. "People are baptized into this."

Sprankle and his fellow pastors aren't new to the YMCA. The trio of pastors have been holding a special Bible class every Friday morning. They call the group "Bible Only." What makes it different than many other study groups is the way the pastors approach it.

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Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Local Pastors John Sprankle and Kenneth Donaldson will be performing a baptism on April 7 at the YMCA Davis branch, along with the Rev. Jim Leone. They want to prepare those wishing to take part by offering free study programs.

"Some of us have been in the group for over 10 years," Sprankle said. "We were always in a rush and so many questions went unanswered. Now we are in a system of study that takes it one verse at a time."

He said the method of study has been successful and the group now has expanded to two classes, one at 7 a.m. and the other at 9:30 a.m. The group study is open to anyone and is free.

The pastors recently scheduled a baptism in the pool at the YMCA for Passover Saturday. Like the Bible study group, they felt there would be questions that would go unanswered, so they decided to offer classes on just what getting baptized means.

"We are currently conducting preparatory discussions for persons who either have never been baptized, or anyone whose previous understanding of baptism's meaning had not prepared them for a Christian life," Donaldson said.

All three pastors not only offer answers to questions on baptism, but also on its history. Sprankle said in the first century, baptism was the mark of someone who wanted to become a Christian. He said at that time, the Romans would go after those people and put them to death.

While no one is put to death while seeking Christianity today, the pastors still believe the commitment needs to be entered with the knowledge of what one is doing. To take part in the free baptism classes, simply contact Leone at 330-540-1043; Donaldson at 330-727-3783; or Sprankle at 330-549-2814.



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