On March 25, three local pastors will be conducting a baptism at the Boardman YMCA. Pastors Jim Leone, Kenneth Donaldson, and John Sprankle will perform the baptisms, but they want the people who want to take part to understand the full extent of what they will be doing. This month, they are holding free classes on baptism at the Boardman facility.
Rev. Sprankle said, "Christianity is not complicated. Baptism is a symbol of your death from your former life and your birth into a new life in Christ."
Sprankle and his fellow pastors aren't new to the YMCA. The trio of pastors have been holding a special Bible class there every Friday morning. They call the group "Bible Only" and is geared to permit open discussion on just what the Bible says and means by it. That class is expanded for those seeking baptism.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Local pastors John Sprankle and Kenneth Donaldson will be performing a baptism on Monday, March 25 at the Boardman YMCA, along with the Rev. Jim Leone. They want to prepare those wishing to take part by offering free study programs to offer information to prepare those who are planning to take part.
"We arrange to meet with each person seeking baptism in a private setting," Sprankle said. "We want to make sure they personally understand what they are about to do. In a group setting, many are reluctant to participate."
Sprankle said baptism is not to be taken lightly. 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.
This is the third year for the baptisms and Sprankle said it has proven to be a success. One fellow who took part last year was suffering with a terminal illness.
"He read about it in the Town Crier and came in for baptism before he died," Sprankle said. "That makes it highly successful in my book."
He said the March 25 date was set because it corresponds to Nisan 14, the date in the Jewish calendar for Christ's Last Supper. He said that makes it a special time for the commitment of baptism.
To take part in the free baptism classes, simply contact Rev. Leone at 330-540-1043, Rev. Donaldson at 330-727-3783, or Rev. Sprankle at 330-549-2814.