Fair Haven Church

One Church Family. Where you live.

2900 Baldwin Street
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Sundays 9am & 10:45am

Vision 2020 | We will baptize an increasing number of people

March 8, 2018


My favorite baptism is usually the one I am doing. I love them all because all of them are about life and transformation. However, the one that stands out among the many is pictured outside our worship center. Jake was a skeptic. He was also a good friend of my son, David. They delivered pizza together. They lifted weights together. They hung out at Jake’s house and our house together. Jake was close enough to our family that when he had a birthday we bought him a gift and on Easter he got a basket.

I laughed the day David told me about he invited Jake to attend worship at Fair Haven. For over a year David and he read the Bible together because Jake was curious. I loved David’s approach. He wasn’t trying to make Jake anything. Jake was his friend.  As a family, we were not trying to make Jake anything. Jake was David’s friend and therefore he was welcome in our home. David said, “I asked Jake to come to church and he said yes.” What I thought was coming next was, “Don’t mess it up, Dad.” Rather, David said, “I told him you think you know something about how to speak to people who are questioning the validity of following Christ. I suggested you might be wrong and he might be able to poke a few holes in what you do.” As I already wrote, I laughed pretty hard. Jake came to Fair Haven and Jake poked some holes in what we do. His fresh perspective was super helpful.

After years of friendship, attending worship, and talking about Jesus, Jake told David he wanted to be baptized. What a moment.  A few weeks later we stood side by side with Jake in the water. It took years of watching David. It took years of wondering. It took years to become convinced God deeply loved him. It took years. It took a few moments. That moment in the waters of Lake Michigan is etched in me and stirs me to pray for more stories just like that. It is what compels me to want to join you in living into one of our vision 2020 statements: We will baptize an increasing number of people!


Greg VanderMeer