CrossRoads Christian Fellowship, the GCI church that meets and ministers in Tipp City, Ohio, is pastored by a team of elders led by senior pastor Jim Valekis. The team includes associate pastor Becky Valekis (Jim’s wife), who coordinates discipleship programs. For over 10 years, CrossRoads has emphasized evangelism as the win segment of its win-build-equip-multiply disciple-making pathway. Their evangelistic efforts have been of two types: person-to-person connection, and community outreach and engagement events.
CrossRoads’ faithful, persistent and creative efforts to share in what Jesus is doing in the community have born significant fruit, seen in a “Down to the River to Pray” baptism service held on August 24 at which 17 people of various ages were baptized—15 are residents from the surrounding community who are new to GCI, and 2 are children of long-time GCI members. The service was packed with family and guests, with one deciding at the event to come forward for baptism. Another person who was moved by the service has been baptized since.
Reflecting on the day, pastor Jim commented:
We have a lot of work ahead to help these new converts learn to live out their new transformed lives in Christ. Many are from badly broken situations, so it will be a challenge to help them learn to follow the Spirit into the true freedom that is theirs in Christ. This weekend is the culmination of years of hard work in which “sweet inspiration” often was followed by “sweet exhaustion.” But it’s been worth it—we’ve been shown that even though Jesus does it all for us, he wants us to do it with him. His grace “works!” And what a joy it has been to see so many lives transformed by Christ! It’s such a blessing to be enabled by the Spirit to enter with our Lord into the joy of his harvest.
Here are comments from others concerning the baptism service:
- It was more than amazing! Being led by God and by every person at CrossRoads has made my life so fulfilled! I hope we all touched someone at the service so that they may let God lead them too!
- I shed more than a few tears at the service. I have been so, so blessed to be part of an amazing movement at CrossRoads of bringing people to Jesus Christ. I had no idea that when my wife and I walked through the church doors that Halloween night several years ago, just how much our lives would change. Yesterday, almost my entire family was there. My wife, my mother, father, sister, all four of my children and all four grandchildren. A grandson and two of my children, who have struggled to resist God and have struggled through so many things in their lives, accepted Christ as their Savior and were baptized. Now they will begin to see what wonderful changes are about to occur in their lives.
- I want to thank each of you for your prayer and, of course, your service that made for a wonderful Celebration Sunday! I thank God for you all! It was truly a wonderful, joyous and humbling day! Glory to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!
- The thought that struck me at the service was that even though God sends the message, the message doesn’t always get received, or if the message is received, the feet are sometimes too timid to move. What I saw on display this weekend, however, was something far different. The message WAS received and the feet took off running. You can lead followers and help them grow, however you can develop leaders and grow explosively. What I am seeing at CrossRoads Church are leaders developing leaders through Christ and the results speak for themselves!
- Big things are upon us—I pray that we stay close to God and to each other so we can take this movement where God wants it to go!
Below is a short video that recaps pastor Jim’s sermon of introduction to the baptism service (given at church) followed by scenes from the baptism service itself, held at a nearby river. We welcome these new believers into the body of Christ and celebrate with CrossRoads this fruit of their faithful labor in the Lord.