Thirty baptized during first Blessing of the Souls

HERSEY — During the hot weekend, dozens of people gathered along the cool banks of the Hersey River to witness 30 baptisms during the first Blessing of the Souls.

Several area churches participated in the event, which took place at Albright Park Camp and Retreat Center in Hersey.

Pastors Jeff Cole and Timothy Fagan, from Church of the First Born, baptized 12 people. (Star photo/Shanna Avery)

“This weekend went wonderful,” said David Johnson, a worship leader at Hersey United Methodist Church. “More than 30 people were baptized and four different denominations worked together to help bring awareness back to Albright Camp. This was everything we anticipated and more. It was great bringing God’s people together.”

Baptisms took place on Saturday, and on Sunday morning people gathered for a unity service, a picnic, more baptisms and a jam session.

“This was the first time I was baptized, and it felt wonderful,” said Baldwin resident Kristina Long.

The scriptural theme for the event was Ephesians 4:4-5, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

“This weekend was like heaven on earth,” said the Rev. Kathy Cadarette, of the Reed City United Methodist Church. “There were no divisions by denominations and no squabbling over doctrines. This was a blessing for all souls. Five people who attend our church were baptized and three reaffirmed their baptism.”

People gathered along the Hersey River to witness baptisms. (Star photo/Shanna Avery)

The Rev. Timothy Fagan, of the Church of the First Born in Reed City, baptized 12 people along with assistant pastor Jeff Cole.

“Next year is going to be even better, with more churches and pastors involved and more souls to baptized. This event is the first ripple which will send out a ripple effect. This is all about saving souls and bringing them out of the dark into the light.”

The event was planned beginning in June, Cole said, adding how smoothly everything came together.

“Two people without church affiliation walked up to be baptized,” said Lem Granada Jr., pastor of Hersey United Methodist Church. “I am helping them find a church to fit their needs where they can be nurtured best.


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