Zach Carrico—Every Story Matters
Shortly after I was born, I was baptized in another Christian faith. Although my family attended church and I attended religious schools, I never felt a close connection with God. Then, one Sunday while visiting my Grandpa in Florida, we visited his Baptist church. My grandpa’s church was a new and refreshing religious experience for me, even though I was somewhat confused by the service when members would randomly call out “Praise the Lord” and “Amen” in the middle of the sermon. A spark was lit inside of me that day because, unlike our church, there was passion in their worship. On the way home, I told my mom and dad that I thought I might want to be a Baptist when I grew up, and I asked if that would that be ok. They assured me that finding God was a personal journey that I, alone, would make and that no one had the right to dictate to me where or how I should worship.
That experience motivated my parents to begin a search for a church where we could feel the power of the Holy Spirit at work. We tried different services but, still, there was not a connection. Finally, one Sunday, we entered Broadway Baptist. I still remember that incredibly awkward feeling of being “the visitors” and not knowing what to do. Then, a South Korean children’s choir filed in and began singing. To say I was confused would be a massive understatement. Once I figured out that we had not inadvertently walked into a special South Korean church service, I relaxed and enjoyed the experience. After church that day, we all agreed that our search for a church home was over. Broadway Baptist was a church unlike any I had ever been to. Church members made me feel welcome. The sermons made me think. The music made me feel the power of God. The prayers showed me that I could talk with God anytime and about anything. For two and a half years, I came to Broadway to listen and learn. Whereas before I always thought of God as a distant authority, here I learned that God was all around me, loving me, and that all I had to do was seek him.
I am here because I asked God to come into my life. I choose to be a Christian and to follow Him. I don’t want to travel through life alone or without a higher purpose. It seems to me that life can get pretty challenging. If I am to be the best person I can be, then I need faith to guide me. I have never been surer of a decision in my life nor has my faith ever been stronger. I asked to be baptized today to wash away the past so that I can start anew. Then, when hard times come, as I know they will, I will remember this day and know that God is with me and he will see me through.