If you’ve been to the Waterford campus, there’s a chance you’ve interacted with a member of the Dickens family. Dave and Nancy Dickens and their four children, Bethany (25), Brianna (24), Drew (21), and Will (9), have been attending Summit since 2005. “We were looking for a new church home,” explains Nancy. “Our family dynamics are a little different with such a gap in the ages of our kids. We were invited by friends to a service and loved it. In fact, it was the first time our whole family couldn’t wait for Sunday mornings and loved the services. Everyone felt at home at Summit. Our first impression was that Summit Church was a place where the Bible was taught clearly and passionately, people mattered to God, and there was a place for us to serve.”
When the Waterford campus opened, they immediately jumped in and started serving since they lived in the area. Dave is on the coffee team and serves with First Impressions. When Bethany and Brianna lived in Orlando, they served in Base Camp, where Nancy still serves regularly. Whenever Drew is home from school, he hops right back in to volunteering at Summit, too. Through the bonds built by serving, the family feels their fellow volunteers have become family as well.
That’s why the April 2014 Beach Baptism was so special for the Dickens family—both Drew and Will were baptized that day, surrounded by a sea of their loving, supportive Waterford family. When Will remembers that day, he remembers his family, friends, and his Base Camp leaders being there to support him.
Following his dad’s suggestion, Will had decided to attend the Why Believe? gospel presentation and baptism class even though he was still a little nervous about deciding to be baptized.
“I was a little scared because I wasn’t sure if I was ready,” Will recalls. “The classes helped me to have more confidence in my faith in Jesus and gave me the assurance this was a right step for me.”
That day, the entire Dickens family was there to cheer on the boys from the shore. Dave and two Waterford Base Camp volunteers, Matt Moore and Austin Hill, walked out with Will into the water.
“They are two of my favorite leaders and they have taught me so much about Jesus,” Will explains. “I love having them as leaders and wanted them to share the day with me. I also wanted my dad to come with me, especially since Drew was getting baptized as well.”
Memories from the day have remained fresh in Nancy’s mind as well. “Our whole family was there, as well as a lot of Base Camp leaders and families from Waterford,” she says. “I think the biggest impression is one of celebration and rejoicing on the beach, as well as the sense of community and care.”
Would you like to be baptized? Beach Baptism is this Sunday, October 19th. Read more about the day and register to be baptized at summitconnect.org.
Guest blogger Sarah Joseph is a contributor to the Summit blog, SUMMIT MAGAZINE, and our Sermon Study Guides.