Perfect Start to an Ongoing Story


Lake Mary Children's Ministry Coordinator, Brooke Shoopman, had just finished explaining to the group of elementary school children the process of Summit Church's Beach Baptism. When she had finished, the kids were given the opportunity to write down any questions or fears they might have about their upcoming baptism. Most kids were worried about things like how long they would be under the water, or if they would see any sharks.

As several kids started filling in their answers, Brooke walked around the room to talk with the kids about their questions. One boy, however, sat quietly, his pencil still on the table. Brooke walked over to see if 6-year-old Rayden was having trouble with the question. As she sat down next to him, however, he simply smiled his signature toothy grin and asked, "What if I'm not nervous about anything? I'm just ready to get baptized!" Rayden's question, true to his personality, reflected an exciting culmination of people pouring into his life and his understanding of the vital role Jesus wanted to play in it. Rayden has spent years hearing core truths from his Base Camp leaders, learning about how he can trust God no matter what. But, an even bigger influence in his life has been his family; his parents, Randy and Susan, living out examples at home of how Jesus has changed their lives and his sisters learning by his side in Base Camp and then becoming leaders themselves as they entered middle school. So, when Rayden announced that he was ready to be baptized, his mom, Susan, was so excited to attend the Why Believe? Class with him in preparation for that day.

What if I’m not nervous about anything? I’m just ready to get baptized!

But what is Why Believe? As Brooke puts it, "Why Believe? promotes an environment for families to come together and talk about what it means to follow Christ and gives parents tools to talk to their children about their faith." This is a class that is designed specifically for parents and kids who are preparing to take a next step towards their child's baptism. The goal of Summit's Family Ministry department has always been to support parents as they reach their child's heart for Christ, and the Why Believe? Class is a great example of one of the resources aimed at helping parents facilitate that next step with their children.

After taking the Why Believe? Class, Rayden's next step was more than clear to both his parents and Brooke. As the day of his baptism arrived, Rayden's mom and sisters were front and center to cheer him on, Brooke looking on happily in the crowd. The smile on Rayden's face as his father, Randy, and Lake Mary Campus Minister, O.J. Aldrich, pulled him out of the water that day was the perfect end to the story of Rayden's baptism, and, simultaneously, the perfect start to the ongoing story of his walk with Jesus.



Why Believe? is two classes that are designed to be taken in order. The first class on September 21st is a gospel presentation designed for all ages, followed by a Baptism Class on September 28th created especially for kids and their parents. Both classes take place at the Herndon campus at 6:30 p.m. Parents, if your child would like to be baptized at this Fall's Beach Baptism on October 9th, be sure to attend both of these special sessions! Click here to register for the classes.

As the Communications Coordinator, Kari Freeman coordinates with the Lake Mary staff to meet their communication needs. Outside of work, Kari enjoys traveling, photography, hiking, and running. You can reach her at

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