It is a high day in Zion,” echoed Willie Walker, principal, as he announced the upcoming baptism of the Ephesus Junior Academy (EJA) students at the Ephesus Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. After daily Bible study at school, the four young individuals made the life- altering decision to give their lives to the Lord forever, and were supported by their parents. Gathered to witness the occasion were their families, the EJA faculty and staff, the Ephesus Church family, and Barbara Davis, Ed.D., Southeastern Conference superintendent of education, accompanied by her husband.
The baptismal ceremony began after divine worship, and the students were anxious to make their calling and election sure. Keith Albury, pastor, read the modified vows and the students happily accepted.
The members and visiting congregants witnessed the revival taking place at EJA. They were affirmed and reaffirmed of the impact of the home-school-church connection. The newly baptized students returned to the embrace of their families, the school administration and staff, and other parishioners. When asked why they were baptized, the students’ responses were indicative of their convictions. Jayla stated that she wanted to “give her heart to Jesus and follow Him to the end;” Bryan said that he wants to “stop sinning and be good at home;” Jeremiah wanted to be baptized so that he could “be more holy;” and Kody likewise shared in all of the affirming statements.
The baptismal service was a perfect example of the wholistic approach taken at Seventh-day Adventist Christian educational institutions. One of EJA’s teachers, Joel Louis Jeune, stated that this is an “appeal and encouragement to church/school administrators, teachers, and parents to uphold and support Seventh- day Adventist education.” This is why Christian education is the heartbeat of the mission.
Southeastern | June 2019