Revival sweeps through Maplewood students

By Brian Blackwell, editor of the Baptist Message

SULPHUR, La. (LBM) — For several months, Addisyn Brattain had been a faithful helper at Maplewood First Baptist Church when her student pastor, Nathan Yates, challenged the youth group to truly follow Christ.

Brattain knew Jesus, but it wasn’t until that summer Wednesday night that she finally understood what it meant to commit to Him. At a service on September 26, she shared her decision in front of friends and family through baptism.

“It was like a breath of fresh air to be reborn,” Brattain told The Baptist Message.

She also said she was thrilled “to be surrounded by family and friends” to celebrate her baptism.

“I can’t wait to see what plans God has for me in the future,” Brattain added.

YOUTH MOVEMENT

Brattain was one of 62 students who made the decision to follow Christ in 2021. Twenty-five of them were baptized last year, 22 are awaiting baptism and the remaining 15 are in the process of being baptized. disciples on baptism.

Most of the decisions took place during summer camp and a “Disciple Now” weekend, but student ministry also reaped spiritual rewards at a Wednesday night event in October featuring the former contestant. of American Ninja Warrior Jared Greer. Despite an unexpected storm and loss of power, the Holy Spirit moved 21 of the 170 students in the crowd to accept Christ.

“God worked in such an amazing way,” Yates said. “We had been praying for a harvest for so long. It was a joy to see God at work.

Yates said the spiritual renewal was reflected in students’ newfound passion for reaching friends for Christ at school.

“Some of our children were saved and then the excitement exploded until they shared Christ with their friends and saw them accept Christ,” Yates said. “It is my prayer that the children will be saved and that they will reach their families with the testimony of their changed lives.”

The movement among students comes as Maplewood First Baptist continues to weather multiple calamities from the coronavirus pandemic and two hurricanes.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta flattened a two-story building that also housed classrooms for Sunday School and a Christian school. The back wall of the worship center was also destroyed, but the congregation continued to meet in the facility during repairs.

Weekday school and Sunday school classes are meeting in other buildings on campus, and construction on a new facility is expected to begin in the spring.

Pastor Jeremy Blocker said he was grateful for his congregation’s unwavering faith in disaster after disaster and for God’s supernatural ways.

“An interesting thing is that we can trace this movement in the youth group to a couple of young people inviting their friends to a Wednesday night rally in our student ministry,” Blocker said. “Their friends were rescued and invited other friends. Many of them were rescued and the cycle has continued to this day.

“What Laura and Delta took away we consider a gift,” continued Blocker, “because we were able to plan for the future instead of rebuilding for the past.”

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