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Bartlett

Demitrius Castro

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Demitrius Castro

My life before I found Christ was a sinful one. I felt a void and tried to fill it with drugs, alcohol, work, and relationships, never filling it. I was raised to believe Christ was my Lord and Savior, but denied him and got lost somewhere along the way.

I was always in search of something and didn't find it until I was introduced to Christ Community by Olivia Aguirre and the Aguirre family. My mom Linda Castro was also influential in her continued effort to steer my back to my faith. I remember the first time I came back to church, I fell in love with it, and I remembered the truth that I had forgotten. Jesus died for my sins. He suffered so that I may be forgiven.

I began to see the sin in my life and I immediately confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my lord and savior. I asked for guidance and forgiveness of my sins and wrong doing, all the hurt and pain I had caused. I asked that he take control of my life and direct me onto the path he had laid for me. I had strayed and asked to be forgiven. And at that moment I felt an immense weight lifted from me, I felt I was complete and had purpose.

I feel Christ has made me grateful for the things I have and appreciate the things I took for granted. I pray every day seeking a closer relationship with God. I have joined a prayer group and am learning that through Christ, I am deserving of love and forgiveness. There are many obstacles still to overcome and its a difficult path, but Jesus is leading me. Jesus said unto me, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh into the Father, but by me. John 14:6.

Isabel G.

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Isabel G.

I put my faith and trust in Jesus when I was three. I prayed a prayer like this, “Lord, forgive me of my sins. Amen.” I wanted to begin a relationship with Jesus because I just felt like God was telling me to do that. I did this at my house with my mom and my dad. Getting baptized means a lot to me. I have always wanted to be baptized.

Abby H.

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Abby H.

Before I completely let Christ in my life, I used to tell little lies and embellished my stories. On top of that, God definitely wasn’t my main focus.

My mom and dad  showed me what it was to be a Christ follower and I am forever thankful for that. I was reminded Jesus died on the cross for me and that he would forgive my sins and let me into his arms. So I confessed and asked Jesus into my life and asked for that forgiveness. After I let Christ take control of my life, my life has changed for the better and I try to never lie and I’m very open. I joined Genesis and feel so thankful to be a part of Gods journey with all the amazing things he’s already done for me. I believe that I truly will love and grow in God and continue on a godly path for the rest of my life.

Alayna H.

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Alayna H.

I’ve always gone to church and Awana but was never quite connected. I wanted that connection with Christ. I wanted to feel wanted at my church and I wanted to feel that I could be loved by God. I knew I needed more of Christ in my life. I started looking around and saw people serving and giving. They all looked so joyful. I saw that Jesus gave them joy.

I started serving and learned a lot in the Middle School program Genesis. I felt God and gave my life to him. I hope I can inspire many people the way others inspired me with their love and serving. Now every day I know that Jesus is there for me. I always feel encouraged to do more and do better in everything I do. Now every time I go to church I know that this place is where I belong because Christ has influenced me and made me new.

Becca Ladendorf

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Becca Ladendorf

Before I trusted in Jesus, self-hatred overtook my life and led me to addictions and self-abuse. My sister, Emily, convinced me to go with her to a Good Friday service where God became to seem more real to me. I heard the story of Jesus and how he died on the cross for our sins. I heard about his unconditional love. And how he laid down his life for us.

That amazed me and I needed to know more. So, I started following my sister to a college group. There, I heard other people’s testimony’s. There were other people just like me there who let self-hatred and addictions take over their life. They found love and strength through Jesus Christ. I felt so much comfort in knowing that there is a way to get stronger through trusting in Jesus.

Over time, I have learned more about the truth of Jesus and have confessed my sins and asked for his forgiveness. I have asked Jesus to take control over my life and I now have faith in his plan for me.

Since then, I can truly say my life has changed. I have gone down such a long road to find Jesus and learn about His love for me. He has worked in my life in such amazing ways. I am now aware that Jesus loves me and accepts me no matter my flaws. I have learned to love myself because Jesus created me. I now have such a deeper understanding of love. John writes, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16). God’s love is SO REAL. His love has given me hope and strength every single day.

John M.

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John M.

Before putting my faith in Christ I was rude to people and sarcastic, and didn’t care how others viewed me as a person. Then I started attending Streamwood Schools’ High School House Group run by Christ Community Church, and it was in this group that I got serious about finding my faith.

I have always been in a Christian church since I was born, but I had never put my faith into action until my sophomore year in high school, where I realized I really can’t do life on my own. Since then I have been getting involved in as many ways as possible, I helped start a chapter of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at my school. There I was leading some discussions and helping create bonds with others seeking for a relationship with Christ. Lastly, this inward decision to put my faith and trust in Jesus has impacted my life as I have realized I can share my faith and the good news of Jesus with others.

Matt M.

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Matt M.

Before my trust in Jesus was truly shown, I had many other things in my life that had more meaning than my faith, like friends and other activities that would make my life more entertaining. 

I had been introduced to Christ as a kid but I hadn’t made much of it. In 2013, my friend John introduced me to a HouseGroup that was made up of several people I knew, but who also had a faith in Christ. In this community I realized that I had been wasting my life on other things besides Christ, like sports, special events, and laziness.

Since recommitting to Christ my life has changed in many ways. I’ve met many new people who’ve had a positive impact on me. I’ve had several new experiences in church like taking communion, praying to a large group of people, and today, baptism. I now pray on a daily basis and I use skills from my church and HouseGroup that i've learned. i was taught the bible verse Romans 10:9 “if you declare with your mouth,”Jesus is the Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is true for me, and I have been changed in an extremely positive way.

Connor S.

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Connor S.

Growing up, I always felt like I knew Jesus, and what he did for me, but I didn’t have him as a prominent part of my life. I went to church on Sundays and Vacation Bible School during the summers with my grandma. I knew all the Bible stories and songs.

Although I was learning more and more, I still lacked the personal connection with my Savior. However, that changed in the summer of 2010, when I was in middle school. I attended a Bible camp that my cousin worked at in Wisconsin. There, in an environment solely focused on Jesus, with the help of my cousin I found the personal relationship I was looking for all along. I learned that being a Christ follower is more than just knowing Jesus. It is living your life as a disciple of Christ.

The verse that impacted me the most was John 14:6, “Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” Knowing what Jesus did and how it impacts my life, led me to receiving him as my Lord and Savior.

Ever since those experiences, Jesus has been the focus of my life. In times of trouble I find myself remembering what Jesus did for us and it helps me through it. In 2011, when the Bartlett Campus opened, I was excited that there was a place closer to my home. After meeting the youth pastor, I found that God has gifted me with a passion for serving. Today I run the lights for the service, work in Kids World, help with ushering and greeting, and most importantly, I am a part of the Youth Ministries.

Galatians 5:13 says “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Matt S.

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Matt S.

I realized that I needed Jesus when I thought I could handle all my life problems by myself. Problems with school, my parent’s divorce, a good friend’s death. It started to build up, and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I knew I needed help.

My old student pastor, Lonn Obee, introduced me to Jesus. He told me how great it was to put your faith in Jesus. I remember him telling me it was the best decision he has ever made in his life. I then confessed to him that I was wrong about how I thought I could handle my problems on my own. 

Jesus has changed my life in many ways, growing my faith and learning to put my trust in him more and mroe. This also helped me become part of the Christ Community church family. I have created many close relationships that I wouldn’t change for all the money in the world. I pray every night before I go to sleep, and I can see Jesus answering them, and showing me he is in my life each day. 

Blackberry Creek

James Anderson

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James Anderson

Before I surrendered to God, my day to day life felt tired and rundown. The colors and joys of life were dull and lifeless.

Shortly after my wife, Brittany, and I got married she said that we should get back into the church. At first I was apprehensive after having a falling out with Christ in high school and college. Our friends Ryan and Amy Kastel invited us to Christ Community in the Summer of 2014 and we really enjoyed it.

After a few sermons I made the decision to make an effort to get closer to God. Since then we joined a married couple’s community group here at Christ Community and I have made up my mind to be a Christ follower.

After letting Christ take over the throne of my heart, life is filled with more hope and promise for the future. With help from my small group, counsel from my father-in-law, and my wife I am becoming a better man and husband. I look forward to knowing God more personally through Jesus and the Bible. I also look forward to being a confident Christ follower who shares God's word with anyone who will hear it.

 

Jaclynn Davey

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Jaclynn Davey

Before I began my walk with Jesus, the most important thing to me was a relationship that was causing a lot of issues for me and with my family and friends.

My sister, Alyssa, would always talk to me, and tell me how God has done such huge things in her life. She introduced me to Jon Culver and we had great conversations that really made me start thinking. I started going to Christ Community with her, but I hadn’t started walking with Jesus. Until, one morning, when I asked God to get me out of the difficult situation I was in. He did so immediately and I remember saying thank you over and over again. It was at that point, that I made the decision to put my full trust and faith in Jesus alone as Lord and Savior of my life.

Ever since that day, my life has changed in so many ways! I feel less alone then I ever did in my past relationship, and I am starting to have better relationships with my family and friends. I started giving without hesitating and trusting the Lord to take care of me, and he has. I joined a community group that I love and I’m getting to know more people at the church every day. I am so thankful that my sister invited me in, Christ Community warmly welcomed me and the Lord opened my heart.

 

Mark Hoeft

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Mark Hoeft

Before Jesus Christ my life was about struggle, judgment, greed, & self-centeredness. I had created a life that had devolved into a battle at a career I hated, chasing the emptiness of financial success, and the hollowness of personal accomplishment.

Over the course of several years I experienced the personal loss of our daughter, my dad, and financial security. It was those painful losses that lead me to surrender to Jesus. I have found His truth in Matthew 11:29-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. And since surrendering to His plan for me, I am truly learning the peace found in His forgiveness, grace, humility, and patience.

Our family came to Christ Community 18 months ago. In that time my wife, Stacey, and I have plugged into community groups, I’m reading the bible daily, as a family we’ve served in a variety of volunteer opportunities, and our kids are being poured into through children’s ministry. I can truly attest to the fullness God has brought to my life as I work to grow in my relationship with Him. I am blessed! My heartfelt gratitude to my community group for their wisdom and accountability; to Ryan Delahanty for “the nudges”; and MOST especially to my wife, Stacey, the epitome of grace. Each of you has spoken into my life in profound ways.

 

Stacey Hoeft

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Stacey Hoeft

I was brought up in a religious home, even went to a private school for 12 years and prayed often, but my spiritual walk was very habitual and stagnant. Before I fully trusted in Jesus; life was good, but I had many distractions, would look at things negatively and felt like something was missing.
In 2001 my husband and I had a stillborn baby girl and were faced with other big challenges and life became very overwhelming for me and I became depressed. In 2007, Dan Taylor, a Christian friend I met at the health club could see my broken spirit and asked me to come to a healing service through his church, even though this was out of my comfort zone, I felt compelled to attend. At the service I was prayed over and immediately felt a burden lifted from me, I surrendered to Christ and decided to let God be in control of my life. This verse from Ephesians 2:8 resonates with me "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Looking back, I now see how God brought people and opportunities into my life to help me grow in my faith and mold me into the person He created me to be.
Since then, I can truly say my life has changed. My outlook on life is very optimistic, my marriage is fantastic, we have a stronger family life, we give of our time and finances without resistance and my confidence has grown. Coming to Christ Community 18 months ago has been a true blessing, my faith has grown exponentially through the weekly teachings! Jon Culver, Andy Klenke, Burke and Lee have made my family and I feel so welcome. I have gained so much knowledge from a wonderful women's bible study lead by Jeanette Shamis, I love getting together with these women on Tuesday's to learn God's word! For the first time in my life I am at peace and my heart is full. Thank you to everyone who has touched my life and to Ryan Delahanty and Kevin Kull for recommending we try Christ Community and to my husband, Mark, for stepping in as the spiritual leader of our family!

 

Tracy Hubble

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Tracy Hubble

When I was growing up my family did not attend Church. I did however, always feel that I believed in God and tried to live my life with purpose and integrity and always felt that that was enough.

It was not until I was invited to Christ Community Church, by my very dear friend Laura Weir, that my view changed. From the first visit I felt as if there was a void being filled. I realized that I had not truly been living my life with Christ as my savior. I let my own personal trials and tribulations be the factors of how I lived day to day.

Reading the Bible helps me to put things into perspective. While contemplating baptism, I felt led by 1 Peter 3:21. to embrace the significance of baptism as a symbol of cleansing that happens in your heart and soul. It reads: "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Since I have decided to give my life to Christ I have seen great change. I have a better relationship with my husband and children and the peace and love that I feel through Christ has carried over into every aspect of my life. It has made me a better wife, mother, daughter, sibling, friend and teacher. I feel God's presence and appreciate everything that he has given me so much more than I ever have before.

 

Christopher P.

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Christopher P.

I'm 13 years old; I accepted Jesus Christ on January 11, 2015 while talking to pastor Jon Culver. I love coming to Christ Community Church and I'm thankful to my uncle Mark Willmann for inviting us. I'm always reminding my parents that on Sunday we are going to Christ Community Church. And even though I have Autism, I know Jesus Loves me and I Love him.

Annaliese R.

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Annaliese R.

Before I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I was talking back to my parents. Yes, I still do it but when I do, I try to apologize. I was baptized at our other church when I was 8 but I was jealous of my brother and sister [who were baptized 2 years before]. I also wanted the attention. Now, I realize what baptism is about.

We came to Christ Community because my dad didn’t feel a connection to God at our other church. I feel a bigger connection to God here. I thought that if you believe in God, you go to heaven. Now I know that you have to tell God, “I want you to be my Savior.”

After a bike ride last year, I told my mom I had this feeling that I wanted to ask Jesus to be my Savior but I didn’t know what words to say. She helped me pray in our garage. Now that God is in my life, my mom sees a huge change in my behavior and I see, too.

J.D. R.

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J.D. R.

A few years ago, I got baptized; I wanted to do it because I wanted to get in a pool and swim. This year, I surrendered my life to Christ and let Jesus into my heart. The first time, baptism didn’t mean anything to me. Now it means a lot.

This church has really helped me understand more about Christ and has made me feel welcomed.. Christ has helped me to stop lying and stealing. I don’t do that anymore. Christ also helped me get my first Bible. One Sunday morning, I asked Andy Klenke what kind of Bible I should get. He said he would help me get a Bible. The next Wednesday at Genesis, my leader Evan Wise, gave me a Bible! Now every night, I read a few verses. Christ has impacted me a lot.

Jacob R.

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Jacob R.

Before I put my faith in Jesus, I made things like possessions my own little gods. But those little gods didn’t help me. They did the exact opposite of help, they made me self centered, angry and selfish, turning me from my self to a selfish version of myself. I also struggled to find the purpose in having everything I wanted.

One day my dad told me about Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Camp in Michigan. While I was there, I experienced the closeness of God and what a true friend He is and can be. Then I knew I needed a one true God to take me out of the hole I dug myself. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior after seeing how he cared for me far from home and the joy that comes from being with Him.

Since then, I have felt a lot closer to God and more joyful because he is the focus of my life. Andy has been very helpful in demonstrating that God just wants me to be comfortable being myself. Pete Sutton and Deb Lukazewski have also been great encouragements to me. I have also started volunteering in Kid’s World.

Christina Roberson

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Christina Roberson

I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus at the young age of 4 years old. I remember kneeling in my room with my parents and saying the prayer with them. From that point until high school I never knew life without Jesus.

In high school I began to rebel and push God out of my life. I had an attitude of self sufficiency. and viewed Jesus as an option, not a necessity. This mentality lasted until about five years ago when I had my twin daughters. Jesus reminded me that as much I love them, his love for me is even greater. He had been waiting for me to return to his love.

I began attending Christ Community in 2011 and recommitted my life to Christ in 2012. Even after this I struggled with guilt from the selfish life I lead for many years. Through prayer and support of 3 close friends and also some family who are believers, God reminded me once again that he accepts me as I am, even with my flaws. Ephesians 2:4-5: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved."

Nancy Romans

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Nancy Romans

Growing up I went to Sunday School and church with my family occasionally. I learned Bible Stories and was raised with Biblical morals. I would sometimes pray when I was going through hard things but I didn’t really have a relationship with Jesus. He was very much in the background of my life. I lived my life how I thought I wanted to but I often felt very disconnected and knew something was missing. I searched and turned to a variety of things to fill the void. When I had children I felt more purposeful and started having conversation with God because my love for them was so overwhelming I knew I needed to lean on something other than myself to look over them. Still, the conversation was centered around my fears and desires and wasn’t the true relationship that Jesus wanted with me. There were some very difficult years to follow and my feeling of knowing I was missing something essential increased.

We began looking for a new church and after trying several, we came to Christ Community. It was different than any other church I had ever been to. We quickly began meeting people and my husband and I were welcomed into a Couple’s Community Group. Talking with and listening to the people there and attending every Sunday and hearing God’s Word revealed to me in a way I hadn’t before, began the true relationship I feel with Him now.

Growing my faith and becoming more aware of God in my life began to strengthen and comfort me everyday. I took a walk by myself on my last birthday, I won’t say which one, and I was struggling with some anger and resentment with a situation and the feeling that I had to get control of it. Although I wasn’t at the moment upset, I was just out for a walk, tears came and wouldn’t stop. My thoughts began streaming very powerfully that I didn’t need to control the situation or worry about it because it wasn’t up to me but to God. Awareness of my own sin, past and present was strong and it was spoken to me that nothing and no one in my life is God, except God and the only way to get to Him truly was to give it to Him through accepting Jesus as my Savior and the truth of that just flowed right through me as I walked and prayed. I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking into me and I asked Him to please stay with me.

As I look back at who I was, I see all the ways that God blessed and watched over me even when, especially when, my back was turned on Him. He sent His Son to the cross to pay for my sin and then sent Him to reel me in like the most patient fisherman there ever was, steadily pulling me toward him though I swam this way and that way, He waited for me to be ready and finally lifted me into His boat. The searching has ended and although there are still plenty of frustrations and difficult situations, I know I’m not alone. Knowing Jesus will always be with me, has given me the peace and joy that only knowing Him can provide.

 

Joshua S.

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Joshua S.

I grew up in a Christian family and I knew of Jesus ever since I was little. I grew up believing God loved and cared about me and I accepted Him as my Savior at age 6.

Because I grew up in a Christian home, I always attended church, prayed, and even attend a Christian school. At this point, though, I was really just going through the motions. When I was a junior in high school, I started to take my faith more seriously. I had (and still have) a teacher at my school that really encourages my faith and teaches me a lot about God and who I am in God.

I can’t say I have too much recognition of the life I had before Christ but I can say without a doubt that I have matured greatly over the past few years in my faith. I have been studying the Bible and really diving into the deeper meanings passages instead of just scratching the surface. My relationship with Christ has made me want to love the way God loves and live out a Christ-like life.

Tom Whitney

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Tom Whitney

Before I trusted in Jesus, I knew about Him, but nobody took me to church to learn more about it. When I got married, my wife took me to Catholic church, but not because I wanted to. I went to support her. About 2 years ago, I was asked to attend a men’s breakfast with the special guest Keni Thomas. His story made me think about trust. Two weeks later, I asked my neighbor if my wife and I could come to Church. We did. We came back the next week and I found myself wanting to know more and more about Jesus. I knew I was missing something and I wanted to learn more.

We signed up to do the next steps class and it made who Jesus was more clear. i learned that he sacrificed himself for my sins and I needed Him. I attended my first Ignite event. I have never prayed out loud or worshiped like that before but God brought me there. I met Rick Roberts that night and he explained who Jesus was so I could understand it. that led me to pray with Rick and ask Jesus into my heart.

Since that day, I have not been perfect, but He has changed me. I am wanting to learn more about him. i am more patient with my children but continuing to work on it. i look forward to what he is going to do because I know he will lead me in the right direction.

 

 

DeKalb

Ben Anderson

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Ben Anderson

I was raised in a God-believing home, but never had a personal relationship with Christ. I now know there is a huge difference between believing and having a personal relationship. After marrying my wife, our family attended the church she grew up in, but I felt I wasn’t growing in my faith. My sister-in-law told us about Christ Community Church and we started attending the DeKalb Campus on their one-year anniversary. I knew then this was my new home.

Since coming to Christ Community my faith has grown, my marriage is so much stronger with Christ in the center and I have been involved in a Community Group. I can’t express how important it is being in a Community Group. It helps me stay connected until the next Sunday. My prayer life has gotten stronger. I never realized how powerful prayer is.

After watching many baptisms here, I always wanted to do this, but felt I wasn’t worthy enough. While I now realize I will always struggle with sin, I want to publicly proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Michele Anderson

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Michele Anderson

I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. That was my foundation and where I learned who Jesus is. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a personal relationship with God. Through the years, as I have seen God work through my life in many ways, my faith and relationship with Him has deepened.

I was baptized as an infant and didn’t feel the need to be baptized again until recently. Ever since I went on a mission trip to Brazil a few years ago, Matthew 28:19-20 has resonated with me. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I want to be obedient and proclaim that I have given Jesus Christ control of my life and that He is my eternal Savior!

Julie Beatty

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Julie Beatty

I have been very blessed in life, but I also felt very lost, alone and incomplete. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

One day, I saw a neighbor pulling out dandelions in his front yard while his dog was excitedly digging up the dirt around his tree. I went over and introduced myself. That’s how I met Pastor Paul. He asked if I belonged to a Church and told me about Christ Community. I surrendered myself to God and Jesus Christ the day we walked through the door of Christ Community Church. "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," Jeremiah 29:11

Since attending Christ Community with Ben and Claire, I feel that we all three have experienced more peace and calmness in our lives. The members of Christ Community are so lovely and welcoming. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me,” Psalm 51:10

I am grateful and humbled that I get to be the mother of Ben and Claire with the understanding that every day is a blessing and a gift. I am excited as we continue to grow in our relationship with God and Jesus Christ. It is well with my soul.

Alicia Bouchee

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Alicia Bouchee

Before I accepted Jesus into my life, I was a whirlwind. I couldn’t figure out who I thought I should be and just continually kept repeating the same path over again.

Then my boyfriend’s mother, Laura Gilbert, encouraged me to come to Christ Community. It took me a while to see the way, the truth, and the life but, it finally came to me. I knew that what I had to do was much more than just going to church on Sunday.

I am getting baptized to show my sins are cleansed and washed away by the sacrifice Jesus made for me. Since I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my life has drastically changed. I am involved in the 20s group, Exxcentric, I serve at 2nd Saturday whenever I can, and I pray every day. I not only pray for the blessings that the Lord continues to give me, but I thank him for the blessings and hardships that he has yet to give me. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

Megan C.

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Megan C.

Before I believed in Jesus, I thought other things were more important--like friends and popularity.

Then one of my best friends, Kiely, introduced me to House Group through Christ Community. I learned what Jesus has done, not only for me, but for everyone. I confessed I was wrong about what was important in life and I asked Christ to forgive my sins and take control of my life.

Since I started to go to House Group, I can honestly say my life has changed so much. My friends and I pray together almost every day. I’m proud that Jesus Christ has changed me. I'm also happy to say that House Group at the Dosier’s is the best thing that ever could have happened. And the leaders, Dawn, Lauren, and Doty helped make House Group so welcoming.

Jane Dargatz

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Jane Dargatz

I don’t ever remember not being part of God’s family in faith. I was baptized as an infant and raised in a Christian home, where prayer, faith, and involvement in church were a constant.

While I don’t remember a certain moment when I surrendered to Christ, I‘ve had many times when I felt God’s presence with me. My father modeled total trust in God. He died too young, yet he was faithful and positive as he faced his last weeks. When our daughter was born critically ill, my husband and I put our trust in God. We believed God did what was best for her when he called her to him just two days later. What comfort John 10:14 brings: “I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

I chose to be baptized today because I have surrendered my life to God. While I have always had faith, I know I am a sinner, and I need Jesus to be the center of my life. I look forward to developing a deeper faith through my community group, seeking new ways to serve, and drawing closer to God!

Ken Dargatz

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Ken Dargatz

I was blessed to be born into a loving, Christian family and was baptized as an infant. I learned that church was not a building, but people who believed in Jesus, and knowing God was more than just attending church.
I was confirmed in 8th grade. That was the day that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Romans 2:8 says: “For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith—and this is not from yourselves; it is a gift of God.”

At times, I have strayed from the true path because I am a sinner. Yet I have always believed Jesus is my Savior. Jesus has always been by my side through good or trying times. When we had our first child, Brittany, she was born with complications and died unexpectedly. We were glad to have God to comfort us. Our pastor assured us that Jesus’ death saved her. One of our goals was to strengthen the faith of those who were not true believers or who could fall away from God’s grace. Now I spend more time in devotion, in a men’s Community Group, growing closer to my wife in prayer, and encouraging my grown children in their walk in faith.

Today, I want to be an instrument in God’s orchestra, letting him fine-tune me and conduct me as he chooses.

Bianca G.

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Bianca G.

Ever since I could remember, my family wasn't big on spirituality. We considered ourselves Catholics, but that was more based on religion than relationship. Life at home was rough. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom would always look out for what was best for us. Life seemed like a hectic mess.

When we moved, we tried to start fresh. My dad stopped drinking. I noticed my mom reading the Bible more, so, I would too. I'd ask about God and she'd tell me beautiful things about him. I grew to love him, but didn’t understand him. As the years went by, God slowly faded out of my life and mind. I made poor decisions and did whatever I wanted. I felt cool, but at the same time my life never felt so empty. Then, I spent a whole week at church camp. Everyone was so nice. They all had their struggles, but I heard stories of how they overcame them with the help of God.

On the last day, it finally hit me. I wasn't put on this earth to live a life of mine. I’m here as a child of God to serve him and love him and be loved by him. I realized he still loves me after all the times I’ve disappointed him. I put my trust in him alone.

Kiely G.

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Kiely G.

I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, and attended church every Sunday. I knew John 3:16, ‘’For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’’ I knew Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead three days later.

Then, I truly started understanding what Jesus did for me when I went to Genesis in sixth grade. I had fantastic leaders who helped me in my walk with the Lord, but I still felt like I was going through the motions.

Now, I attend HouseGroup and have great leaders who have taught me a lot about the Bible and God. They helped me to understand. I finally feel complete and closer to God than ever before.

 

Palmer G.

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Palmer G.

I grew up in a Christian family, went to a Christian school, and always went to church. I’ve known about Jesus and who he was since I was very young.

When I was five years old I asked my mom why Jesus died for me. That night my mom prayed with me before bed and I accepted Jesus into my life because I wanted to live with Jesus forever.

My parents and grandparents have been a huge part in my continuously growing faith in Jesus. My Grandma is the strongest Christian I know, she is my Christian role model. I hope my faith gets as strong as hers. Even though there have been times I put other things before God, I can look to Matthew 6:24, which says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I realize that God gave me everything I have and that he is more important to me than any of my worldly possessions and he should always come first.

Greg Gerard

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Greg Gerard

Before coming back to Jesus, I was suffering from depression and battling with the disease of alcoholism. After losing my job of almost twenty years and destroying my relationship with my sons, I decided to drink myself to death. After six weeks of drinking, not eating, and losing fifty pounds, I called my son and told him to take me to the hospital. I found I wanted to live after all. While I was there, doctors told me if I drank again I would die. I had cirrhosis of the liver. I needed a miracle. That’s when Jesus came back in my life. I believe Jesus saved me because he had more for me to do.

I now have been sober for five years and seven months. I also volunteer at the hospital and at church on the traffic team. I joined a Men’s Community Group. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”

Shane Hjelmberg

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Shane Hjelmberg

My life before Christ was full of drugs, stealing, partying and other unmentionables. There were moments I felt possessed by the devil....and the control he had over myself and my life was astounding.

I met a man named Robert and my life changed. He had also lived a similar life to mine and he knew exactly what I needed. I needed Christ. After talking to Robert about his life journey and the work Christ did in his life, I also knew what I needed, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior on my 30th birthday. There hasn't been a moment since that I felt the kind of evil possession I had felt previously.

Since I accepted Christ, my whole life has changed. I stopped the drugs, all illegal activities, and I moved out of my old home to resist temptation. I pray every day and I can see all of the blessings that God has bestowed upon my life. I see Christ in all that I do and I tell everyone I can about how great our Savior is and how it's never too late to make a change and get on the right path.

Robert Hunyard

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Robert Hunyard

As a child, I went to church regularly with my mom, but our attendance began to drop off the older I got. I felt I was fairly free of any big sin so I saw no need to pursue God.

Several years ago, I met Rebecca. She was the woman of my dreams and we developed a deep and rich friendship. Four years ago, Rebecca got sick and died. I was confused why God would take her away. My life became unbalanced and I was overcome by grief. During this time, I became acquainted with John Taylor from work. He and his wife, Bonnie made me feel welcome in their home and a friendship began. Bonnie invited me to church with her, but I kept putting it off. Eventually, I came. It didn’t take me long to make church a regular part of my weekend. When the announcement was made about baptism class, I felt drawn to check it out and explore the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this would help my life get back in balance.

At baptism class, we talked about what it means to be separated from God by our sin, no matter how small. And, that Christ is the bridge to God. I then met with the church staff to talk about my spiritual journey and on February 25, 2015, I prayed to ask Christ to be in the driver’s seat of my life. That is why I am here today: Getting baptized to show that I am putting Christ first.

Kelli Oros

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Kelli Oros

Before I came to Christ Community, I was going to a different church that didn't follow the Bible.

Then my boyfriend, Travis Burns, and his mom, Colleen, brought me here. It was baptism weekend. Seeing the baptisms made me emotional and I felt confused. After service I went and got a Next Steps packet and talked with Carol. She calmed me down and prayed for me. I remember sitting and going through the Next Steps packet with Travis. I prayed hard for the next couple weeks and finally got my answer. I stopped going to church with my family and was scared about how they would take it.

Since I made my choice to follow Christ, I have been coming to Christ Community every weekend. I have put my trust in Jesus and follow him. He has done many things in my life in the past few months. I’ve been sleeping better, am less depressed, and more joyful in all that I do. I am getting baptized today because I want God to be the king of my life and want to shine his light through me in everything I do.

Haley P.

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Haley P.

I grew up in a Christian home. I always thought that since I accepted Jesus when I was young, that I was set and never needed to change. I told myself that as long as I’m a Christian, I don’t need to pray every day or go deeper in my relationship with God. I’m “good” right where I am.

Then, I went to a week-long Christian camp where I felt very alone and far from God. I knew something needed to change and didn’t know what to do. But of course, I still had hope because, as Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” I had clarity that week and was determined to grow in my relationship with Christ.

After that, I slowly, but surely grew closer to Christ. I don’t feel alone anymore. One day, the idea of baptism popped into my head. The very next Sunday at church, announcements about baptism started! I try to pray every day and I’m filled with joy and peace every time. I’m so excited to see what else God has in store for my life!

Hannah Pinkston

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Hannah Pinkston

Since birth, I’ve attended Christ Community. My parents, Dan and Rose, dedicated me as an infant. Keeping their promise to raise a God-honoring young woman, I was sent to Cornerstone Christian Academy where I continued to be fed from God’s Word daily. I quickly learned that faith is being sure of things hoped for and certain of what I cannot see and, the only way to heaven was to have faith.

Soon, I went to the school principal, Tom Olmstead. With him, I asked Jesus to be the ruler of my life. As I grew older, my love for God grew as well. However, in middle school, I turned my attention to other things and lost focus on what was truly important. The summer after 7th grade it was brought to my attention how much I needed to change. At Silver Birch Ranch, I rededicated my life to Christ and chose to live for God’s glory not my own.

As I walked with Christ, I was attacked with friendship troubles along with tough questions of identity and worth. Despite the struggles, I feel closer to God. I love going to Silver Birch Ranch every summer. I also love that I can talk to God throughout the day and know He is listening every single time. “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Janesse Taylor

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Janesse Taylor

Before I had truly accepted Christ into my life, I was an angry, empty person. I had endured sexual and mental abuse as a child. That abuse followed me and affected any relationship or friendship I had.

My mother had taken me to Christ Community when I was a teenager and I even went to youth group and worked in the nursery, but I never grasped the importance of being saved until I had children of my own. Even then, I still had issues believing and asked God for a sign that he was there. I received two signs that he was working in my life. The first was being given the honor of not only being the mother to my birth children, but also to two children who had lost their mom to cancer. And second, I was in an accident with my Harley and was not wearing a helmet or protective clothing and I walked away with no severe injuries. I felt God calling me to him. I reaffirmed the acceptance of Christ into my life last fall.

I now feel at peace. There is no anger or emptiness. I know that God has a plan for everyone’s life including mine. Whatever I have experienced has only made me a better, stronger person and molded me into who I am today in order for me to be the best Christian I can be.

St. Charles

Caroline Adamczyk

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Caroline Adamczyk

I grew up in a Catholic home, and my family made our way to church every Sunday morning. I always knew about God and his love for me. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop me from living the life I wanted. I cared too much about what others thought of me, and was blinded by my own sin. It wasn’t until my best friend asked me to start attending Genesis with her that I understood God’s Good News.

During 7th grade in the Christ Community Church chapel, is where I gave my life to God. That Good Friday service was when I knew I needed Christ as my Savior, that with him by my side I had everlasting life. Since I’ve had God in my life I have the desire to serve him. I continued to attend youth group and spread his words to others. I have the desire to pray with him and learn his word. There are still days when life hits hard, but I know I am changed. I have my Savior by my side and he will be there to provide.

Carter B.

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Carter B.

I started to follow Christ when I reached a period in my life with many hardships. I started to pray and felt that worshiping Jesus helped me get through those times. I felt better as the weeks passed when we went to Sunday service every week.

I understand that nobody is perfect and that we all sin. Everybody does, even if we declare with our hearts that we don't want to. I also understand that Jesus is our salvation and that He died to pay for our sins. After I am baptized I will still be a sinner, but I will walk in Jesus’s footsteps, even though I am not perfect.

My decision to be baptized represents my growing faith in Christ and my desire to publicly exclaim my Christian intentions to the community and, hopefully someday, the world.

Nicole B.

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Nicole B.

When I was at Camp Commotion, the leaders handed out little pamphlets about who God is. A camp counselor named Alana helped me make my decision to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. I prayed, I know God would help me through the hardest times and that I wanted to live an eternal life with Him in heaven.

Being baptized means showing the Lord that I truly want to be part of his family and showing the world the commitment that I have made to Him.

I know that my life will be different since this decision. When I am scared I know that I can pray to God. He calls us to help other people and I am excited to follow His ways. I look forward to going to church each Sunday and I know that He will continue to forgive all my sins.

Donald Blust

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Donald Blust

I met my soon to be wife when I was embroiled in very difficult business circumstance. I told her there were but two outcomes. On the one hand I may successfully sell the company I founded to a Fortune 500 concern and reap the financial benefit. On the other hand, I may be sued by my current investors and lose all that I built and potentially much more. She responded by telling me that she would love me in either event. Her considerate, unconditional pledge changed me. My parents, meanwhile, have encouraged my Christian walk for decades. They are singularly the most gracious, most wonderful people I know. I began looking more deeply at their remarkable faith.

Then I met my soon to be brother-in-law Paul who happened to be a pastor. Over lunch he simply asked, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?” I answered yes, but only halfheartedly. Like so many of us, I wanted to believe but wasn’t ready to make my walk with Christ a high priority. After my daughter was born I realized that my life was no longer about me. I was now a father of three including my stepdaughter Riley, son Jake and daughter Calla; a husband to Lisette; a son; and most importantly a Christ follower.

I now recognize that I am a tool for Christ. I have been blessed so remarkably. Per Luke 12:48 “…and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” A few months ago I was struck by the importance of living one’s faith out loud. Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my father in heaven.” I feel as though my faith will ultimately manifest in the expression to others and find now that I’m professing my faith to neighbors, friends, and business colleagues…sometimes in the most unlikely settings and quite spontaneously. Matthew 10:28 “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” While this baptism is an important public proclamation of my faith, it won’t be my last.

Lisette Blust

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Lisette Blust

My brother is the pastor of a Bible church and I’m certain I wasn’t his quickest convert. Raised Catholic, I innately believed in God. What I lacked was a relationship with Christ, or the faintest knowledge of the Bible. I was certain that being a straight-A student, weekly mass attender, and religious teacher would get me into heaven. Unfortunately, I never learned to lean on Christ, even when my first marriage failed, and even as I struggled as a single mom. I tried many different ways to fill the emptiness in my soul. On rare occasions I would attend my brother-in-laws’ church to support my sister but it was always uncomfortable for me because I did not understand the message of Christianity.

By the grace of God, I met my wonderful husband Don in 2007. Don quickly bonded with my brother-in-law and soon was playing drums for his worship team. I began attending church more frequently. The uncomfortable feeling slowly wore off, I would find myself captivated by the pastor’s message and the practical application of God’s word. I was moved so deeply tears would run down my face. The façade cracked and the void began to fill, I had discovered Jesus.

My oldest daughter, Riley, began attending Awana at Christ Community Church and simply loved it. Don and I wanted to find a church in our area and we felt immediately home at Christ Community Church. Every time we would leave service we would remark how Pastor Jim was uncannily talking directly to us. We are immensely blessed to be part of such an amazing church. My life is so much better, richer, and I am so much stronger with Christ at the center of my life. “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). I’ve joined a fabulous Community Group with women I truly connect with. Our family cherishes the numerous opportunities to serve others through Christ Community and the invaluable friendships we’ve gained.

Collin C.

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Collin C.

Around six years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer, then passed away. I wondered why something so unfortunate could happen to someone so kind, and started to lose faith. When I asked God for help, He did and now I want to have eternal life with the one who can help in such hard times. .

I know that I am not perfect in any way, but I can strive to be like Jesus and I can make disciples in his name. Jesus is the only way to eternal life and I accept him as my Savior. I want to become more like him.

My father met an outstanding women, Carol, (with three kids) and everyone got along, then eventually had a closer relationship. When they got married and we formed a family of nine. I’m now blessed to have the amazing family today, and can tell that God heard me. So I want to get closer to him because, he is God Almighty. I attempt every day to become closer to Christ. One of the steps that Christ commands is getting baptized.

Kimberly Carlyle

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Kimberly Carlyle

I was baptized as an infant and grew up in the Episcopal Church. I always attended church, even serving as an altar girl, but was constantly just going through the motions. I didn’t know how anything I learned on Sundays could be applied to my daily life.
As soon as I was old enough to decide to not attend church, I chose not to.

After a difficult period in time, I was blessed with my beautiful son, Aidan, who is my pride and joy. Throughout a time of broken relationships, trauma, and hardship, I felt like I nosed dived into a pool and was drowning. I realized how angry I was at God and so many others for the brokenness in my life. My concerned friend, Tracy, invited me to Care Night at Christ Community Church in February 2012. It was a defining moment for me. It was here that I found a Christian community to walk with me and encourage me to grow in Christ.

Throughout the many difficulties in my life, I’ve discovered that God is present in our brokenness. He did not cause the pain, but was there with us through it. I’ve learned to surrender situations to God, because He is ultimately in control. I’ve always thought that it is how you respond to the low times in life that defines you as a person. Thus, I have learned to find peace, joy, hope and laughter in the midst of brokenness.

After accepting Christ, I know there are still many people in my life that I need to forgive, but I am focusing on God and His ultimate plan for my life.

Angelina Costabile

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Angelina Costabile

I realized that I needed Christ when I identified that I couldn’t do everything on my own. I was tired and saw that I could not control everything. I was desperately looking for some guidance.

Awhile later, a friend touched my heart deeply. His pure love for Jesus Christ brought me on a journey of faith that I knew I needed badly. My friend set an example for me and it was with his example that I accepted Jesus Christ.

I am becoming new from the inside out with Christ. Putting Jesus first makes me feel peace and love that I haven’t felt in years. I am grateful for my new beginnings and having my children finally being able to see me as I was always meant to be, a Christian in love with my Creator.

Aidan D.

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Aidan D.

I accepted Jesus Christ when I was four years old. It was when my parents were sharing about who God is and how He created the world. They asked if I wanted to be saved, and I did. I prayed that Jesus would come and live in my heart.

I asked God to forgive me and to lead me because I wanted to have life with him and be forgiven. Getting baptized means I'm showing others that I have accepted Jesus. I will live my life differently in the future by showing others how to accept him and, later, tell my own kids about him.

Annalise D.

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Annalise D.

Hi. My name is Annalise Daniels, and I am twelve years old. I have been going to Christ Community my entire life, and it was just a few years ago when I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and be my Savior. I was six, and in my bedroom with my parents. I said the prayer because I wanted Jesus to live in my heart. I am being baptized today because I want to show that I love God. I want to do this because I feel that it will help build my relationship with God too.

It is awesome to be on the same team with your creator! Whenever I am lonely, and need someone to talk to, I have God. When I need to confess my sins to someone, I have God. When I need someone to love me know matter what, I have God. He never leaves my side, and even when I ignore him, he still loves me. It is a friendship that will never end, and he wants me to be baptized, so I will do what he wants me to do.

Karin DeMarais

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Karin DeMarais

I’ve known that Jesus loves me my whole life; that He died on the cross for our sins; and that the church is where we have community. I thank my family for that foundation. I’ve always felt very lucky….great family, happy childhood, good in school, wonderful friends, awesome kids, nice home, good job. I was either lucky or making great decisions, until I made a few bad decisions and I hurt my kids.

About that time, my cousin, Mary Dahms, asked me a difficult question, by her tone I knew the answer, but I didn’t know what she was talking about. Her question stuck with me for years. At the same time, I left my small church for Christ Community Church. It was big and I could hide from poor decisions there, except the pastor seemed to be looking at me and talking about my sin. He would go on and talk about forgiveness.

I realized that Jesus still loves me. I learned how to read the Bible, pray, and worship. I’m growing with Community Groups, Bible reading schedules, regular time with God, and serving. I appreciate my cousin’s courage to ask me that question 15 years ago. Because of that and what I’ve learned here, I’m making better decisions by listening to God. I don’t feel lucky anymore, I feel blessed.

Corey Dougherty

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Corey Dougherty

During my earlier years, I made the wrong choices with drugs and alcohol. I was constantly finding myself in the wrong crowds of people and unfortunately ended up spending some time in jail. Sadly, my life was on the fast track to prison.

During all this chaos, I met my wife. She got pregnant with our son shortly after, on November 19, 2010, my son was born. Everything changed. I didn't want that hectic life anymore. I quit hanging around those people, got a job, and got married. I started thanking God for all of these things and wondering why He has been so good to me with all the bad that I have done.

I surrender and commit my life to Christ, not just for me but for my wife, my son, and my daughter. Since I have accepted Christ into my life, I now focus less on me and more on God and my family. We now attend church regularly. At night, I sit and listen as my wife reads to our son his children's Bible and then we all pray together. Accepting Christ has brought my family closer as we share in this experience together.

Lindsey Dougherty

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Lindsey Dougherty

When I was younger, my parents and grandma always took me to church and taught me about the Lord. In high school, I would go to a Christian youth group, but I would always find myself finding other things to do.

After that, I became pregnant with my son and it wasn’t until I got married and had another child that I knew it was time to make a commitment to God. I know that I need Jesus to help me raise my kids. Proverbs 22:6 says, “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I want my children and I to enjoy an eternal life in heaven which is why I have asked Jesus into my heart.

Since then, I have been making time in my day to talk to God. At night I now read my son his children's bible and say his prayers with him. My husband and I share in reading our bible together and have become closer in taking this journey together.

Cierra Engel

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Cierra Engel

Before I trusted in Jesus to guide me through life, I often resorted to poor choices for help. Sometimes, I even thought I was only hurting myself, but many times I was also hurting those around me through the process. People around me tried to help, but unfortunately didn’t know what to do. This made my self-esteem plummet. I have always worried what other people thought of me and what they will say.

One day, my friend introduced me to House Groups at Christ Community Church. It was at House Groups that they taught me the truth about who Jesus is and what he has done for us. I started going every Wednesday night and from that day on, I started to read the Bible and praying for myself and for others. My self-esteem improved because I learned that he made us the way we are and we should love and accept the person that we are. I learned how to confess my sins and that God will forgive me.

I truly see that my life has changed greatly. I feel confident and more accepting of myself and others. I love talking to other people about Jesus and the walk that I have with Him. Sharing his word is something that I love to do. My favorite verse that I live by is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Heather Ford

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Heather Ford

I grew up in a Catholic home and have enjoyed knowing who God is for as long as I can remember. I was baptized into the Catholic Church forty two years ago and raised to understand this life is not forever, it is eternal life that is most important. I clung to this message dearly and became completely obedient to the Catholic message, following all of the rules to the letter. All in all, I was a really good Catholic. The only lingering problem was thatI was somewhat empty, always working so hard to fulfill my Catholic obligations but completely missing the message and truth of the Bible.

It wasn't until I enrolled my oldest child in Catholic School that I realized I was striving for acceptance among Catholic teachings and not living for Christ. It was a painful process of breaking away from the only tradition I knew and slowly taking brave steps towards God's plan. The last five years of my life have proven to be the most powerful in my spiritual growth. I have stopped reaching out to an intangible deity in time of great need only to slowly forget my God relationship when my life was calm and in control. I have begun a process of absolute surrender, releasing all feeling of control so I can live a life for Christ both in my heart and in my actions. I have come to fully understand how broken I am, how short I fall for God's love and how unworthy I am for a life of eternity in Heaven however Christ so loved me and the world that he took on my sin and paid my penalty by dying a very painful death. I have come to the realization that to live a life for Christ is to be an ambassador for him in my daily activities, and that everything I am and everything I have is because of his love for me.

Everything is a gift. I am incredibly moved by Christ's love for me. I am so grateful Christ never gave up on me and continued to carry me in my life so that I may come to understand his sacrifice and love. I am blessed to have the opportunity to proclaim my faith in Christ as my savior by being baptized. It is cleansing a life I knew and becoming who I was meant to be in this life: a follower of Jesus.

Ben G.

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Ben G.

I have been raised in a Christian home and have known God all of my life. I surrendered my life to Christ when I was 7 years old. As I got older, I still felt like I was missing something.  

After going to Genesis in middle school, I decided to take the next step and really own up to my faith and make it my own.  Pastor Pete inspired me to share my faith publicly and show others what it means to be a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that His word is true and that He died on the cross for our sins.  

Now I understand that I can be 100 percent fully confident in my salvation because of Christ. I am excited to grow in my faith and be more like Jesus.  I am also excited for the transformation that God promises in Romans 12:2… “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

Sydney G.

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Sydney G.

Ever since I was an infant, my parents have taken me to KidsWorld at Christ Community Church. I was raised knowing who Jesus was since I was very young. When I turned 7 years old, I started going to Awana on Wednesday nights. There I learned many new things including how Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I also learned many Bible verses as part of my classes at Awana. When I turned 9, I started going to the big church with my parents and older sister. One of the first times I went to big church, I noticed on the weekly handout that there was a baptism service coming up. I was familiar with the word, but at the time I didn’t really know what it meant to be baptized. So I started asking my mom and dad many questions. They said it meant letting everyone know that you are a Christ follower. I was a Christ follower already, but I wanted to let everyone know that I was one.


A year later I asked my mom and dad if I could be baptized the next time they had the service. They said yes, but it was too late for the fall service. I kept asking them over the winter and finally we got the packet for the spring baptism services. My mom and dad asked me again if I was ready for this commitment. I told them that I love Jesus a lot and want to be more like him. I want to tell everybody that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and as it says in Romans 3:23,”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I want to continue to grow as a Christ follower.

Mary Gober

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Mary Gober

Before accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, personal events in my life had left me broken with a heart heavy in sadness.

My dear friend Kathy Davis invited me to Christ Community Church. At one particular service, Jim requested anyone that was hurting or those that were going through a difficult time in their lives to sit down. I sat down crying uncontrollably. Jim asked for people to lay hands and pray for those that had sat down. I felt the loving, caring hands of those around me placed on my shoulders. It was so very peaceful. It was at that very moment that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and confessed my sins and troubled soul.

Since that day my life has truly changed. I pray in thanksgiving to Jesus daily for his guidance, love, and mercy. I attend Christ Community Church faithfully each weekend. I am growing as Christ’s ambassador by inviting family and friends to join me at Christ Community to learn and feel the love of Jesus Christ. I am growing and so excited to see what Jesus has in store for me next!

Don Inman

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Don Inman

Before I knew Christ, my safe and secure world was torn from me, my anquished prayers went unanswered. I knew there was no God. A few years later, I managed to get my life back where I wanted and my tragedy had turned to revelry. I did as I pleased, lived brazenly and without boundaries. I had more than I needed and valued only immediate and disposable pleasure. In my mid forties, I realized I didn’t need anything else.

Soon after this epiphany, I was seduced by a chance encounter with a stranger to read Romans 13. Those words resonated in me. Throughout the summer, I read more and prayed. Eventually, I let the light enter me. I acknowledged my sinful life, and my need for God. States away, and from the distant past, a girl I’d been head over heels for contacted me. She was a Christian. The past painful days, and healing, were simply God’s way of cleansing me for the woman that became my wife. Together we joined a Community Group where we continue our journey to be closer to God.

I still struggle with my human traits, and look forward to becoming more and more Christ-like, and sharing my learnings with others, especially my children. My passion is to serve, mostly the older people who have so much to share. I love serving those that have endured hard times because through my testimony, they can see that difficult paths can lead to much greater things with Jesus in control.

Brandon Jacoby

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Brandon Jacoby

I have always cared for others, but before I knew Christ, I was living life for myself and trying to control every aspect I could. My priorities were not where they needed to be.

In my late twenties, everything started to hit me. I was changing jobs and my girlfriend and I ended our three-year relationship and I felt like everything was falling apart. I began to attend Christ Community’s Sunday services with my parents again, something I had fallen away from about five years prior. Immediately I began to notice that it was as if the pastors were speaking directly to my heart and how I was feeling. I knew I needed to make a change.

Since then, I have been searching to renew my relationship with God. The messages and people he has sent into my life have been overwhelmingly wonderful. Truly, God knows all things before they happen and always has a plan for everything, down to the smallest detail. With prayer and guidance, he has helped me drop many of my bad habits in exchange for more appropriate thoughts and actions. I still have a long way to go but I will continue to give him thanks and hope for a brighter future in Christ as He continues to light my path with his signs.

Alana K.

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Alana K.

Growing up, my family and I always went to church. This is our sixth year at Christ Community Church. When I was at Springhill Camp on July 25, 2013, I accepted Christ’s gift of salvation with my counselor Megan. I had finally understood what Jesus had done for me. I have been growing by reading my Bible and going to Genesis and weekend services where I listen to Pastor Pete Sutton and Pastor Jim speak about Christ.

I want to get baptized for three reasons. First, I want to let everyone know that I am a true Christ follower and have surrendered my life to Him. Secondly, I want people to know that Jesus has given me a fresh start in life and I plan to serve Him with all that I have. Lastly, I know that since I have accepted God’s free gift of salvation, I need to get baptized and show to everyone that I am a believer. 

God is using me now to share my faith with friends and family. I also serve in honor of him by doing his work. I have served in the younger preschool at church and have volunteered to help in the community. I know that God will guide me through my life and always be there for me through thick and thin. 

Katelyn K.

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Katelyn K.

I have been attending Christ Community Church with my family since I was born. I am thankful that my parents have taught me the importance of having Christ in my life. Still I find it difficult sometimes to appreciate the things that I have and often struggle with wanting what that I can’t get.

In the summer of 2012 at Christ Community’s summer camp, I was lead to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior by one of the camp leaders. As I continue to learn more about what God has to say to me through the Bible, I find myself more content with the things God has blessed me with and focus more on what I can do for others.

Maggie K.

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Maggie K.

Although my story is different, it will continue to make a big impact in my life. It all started when I was six years old. It was one of those nights when you feel good inside, I hopped in bed ready to tell my mom what I felt about Jesus. Right before I was about to pray, I had asked my mom how can I ask to accept Jesus’s gift of love and salvation. And she said, “You have to pray.” Then she told me to accept Jesus’s gift, I have to believe that I’m a sinner. So I said “I’m a sinner.” Then I said that Jesus died on the cross to forgive me from my sins. No matter what, I’m a sinner because everybody has done something bad in their life. Then I had told her that I want to be like Jesus and follow the good things He has done.

I think that getting baptized shows that I am a sinner and I want Jesus to wash all my sins away and start a new life with a better me. After that, I have helped serve at Feed My Starving Children, helped by being a leader at my church, telling people about Jesus, and I read the Bible with my family. I still go to church every weekend. God has made a big impact on my life and I want continue to serve and grow.

Christie Konopinski

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Christie Konopinski

My life always seemed incomplete and filled with a feeling that I needed something, but I didn’t know exactly what. I looked for things to make me happy. I set self-centered goals thinking once accomplished, it would bring me the happiness I was looking for. However, once completed, I still was feeling like something was missing.

My husband introduced me to Christ Community Church and we attended occasional weekend services since 2010, but never felt like I belonged. Often times, I just felt like an outsider looking in. Then it all changed when we attended Christ Community’s Christmas Eve service. The opening prayer and closing message by Pastor Jim was touching and during the sermon my heart was opened and I remember hearing myself think “yes, I don’t want to continue living my life in sin, I want a relationship with God through Jesus and this…this is where I want to be.”

I raised my hand proudly that I wanted to get off the throne of my life and surrender my life to Jesus as my Savior and King. My 11-year-old daughter also accepted Jesus into her heart around this same time.

My daughter is spreading the news of Jesus to kids and teachers at school and brought a guest with her to Awana. Something happened inside of me and it has changed my life from the inside out once I put my trust in Jesus. Since focusing on God as the center of my life, I can feel him present and working with me every day.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

Mike Konopinski

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Mike Konopinski

Before giving my life to Jesus Christ, I felt very alone. After reaching a breaking point in my life back in 2006, a Christian counselor who I was seeing recommended that I try attending Christ Community Church. I immediately felt accepted and started attending regularly. However, I kept my participation to only attending weekend services which eventually dwindled to the point of only attending on Christmas.

My life slowly became lonely and sin began to separate me from God once again. However, after attending Christmas services this past year, my wife encouraged us to start attending regularly in 2015. We both started reading the Bible and really putting an effort in making Jesus a larger part of our lives. I never felt like I was “good enough” to be baptized and that I still had to make more progress in my faith before taking the next step. The Holy Spirit made me realize that even though I’m still a work in progress, Jesus loves me unconditionally and wants me to make Him the center of my life, not just a part of it as I had been doing.

I feel like I was lost and now I’m found. Luke 15:31-32, “My son”, the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” I’m looking forward to growing with Jesus and will do my best to carry His message to others whenever and however He calls me to.

Melissa L.

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Melissa L.

Before I gave my life to Christ, I was at a point where it felt like I was fighting an endless battle with no one on my side. Then, I came to Christ Community one Sunday and suddenly realized that I was never truly alone, that actually the Lord and His love constantly surrounded me.

I remember coming home and breaking down in tears because of the sheer love I felt overwhelm me. Immediately, I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me for my wrongdoings. I gave Him control of my life.

Since then, my life has taken a drastic turn for the better. I have joined a youth group that consistently shows me the way of the Lord. I have become extremely involved in the church, and have loved every second of it. A close friend of mine once showed me a Bible verse that I am quite fond of. Proverbs 21:35 states “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.”

Zachary L.

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Zachary L.

Ever since I was little I knew Jesus died for me because I grew up in a Christian family. I’ve been going to church forever and I’ve been to Awana for the past eight years.

Last year at Awana, my leader, Mr. Greg, was talking about accepting Jesus into your heart. I thought it was a good idea because I did before, but I never understood why I was doing it. So, I asked him if I could do it again. We said a prayer together that said I had to confess I’m a sinner, believe that Jesus died for me, and decide if I was ready to have a relationship with Jesus. I did all of those things and we ended with an “amen”.

I want to get baptized because that is God’s plan, and we are supposed to obey God. I also want to show others that I am no longer living for myself, but I am now living for God. I will live for God, but I don’t know what I’m doing. I will do whatever the Lord calls me to do and right now that’s getting baptized.

Danielle Lightfoot

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Danielle Lightfoot

About 9 years ago, my life was a mess. I didn’t trust in Jesus, I was making selfish choices and turning my back on Him. My family had disowned me due to some poor choices. I was unforgivable. Sadly, that’s how I felt, unforgivable, a sinner. I was miserable.

Our very good friends Jaime and Devin Westhause, told us about Christ Community Church. They invited us to a Christmas show, a holiday party and their community group. Soon, we were attending regularly and had the kids signed up for Awana and Genesis. It was here that I heard the message that Jesus died for me and how important it is to have a relationship with Him. He can forgive me even if my family cannot. I really needed to hear that. It was at Christ Community that I made a decision to follow Him wholeheartedly and live my life differently.

Honestly, everything has changed for me since then. It’s amazing how God can turn your life around when you have faith in Jesus Christ. Since surrendering my life to Christ, I have reconnected with my family and we are speaking to each other again. I’m excited to be baptized. I am forgivable and I know I can receive God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. I truly feel like the Holy Spirit has enlightened me and is now a force in my life and I’ve never been happier. I’m trying to live my life according to God’s Word. I enjoy attending church and finding new areas to serve. I’ve never felt so connected to Jesus and I have found peace in my heart with God.

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Addison M.

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Addison M.

At first I didn't have any faith and trust in Jesus because I didn’t know who he was. As years started passing by, my parents took me to church every week. I learned that Jesus died on the cross for me and forgives me for my sins.

One Easter morning, I found a Bible in my Easter basket. It said "Action Bible" on the front and my name was on it: Addison A. McCormick. I knew this book was for me; I started reading the Bible to learn more about Jesus and I accepted him into my heart.

I am thankful for my parents for getting me to know about Jesus. I am thankful for the KidsWorld teachers and pastors because they helped me give my life to Jesus and helped me get to know Him better. I want to continue praying and reading the Bible. I also want to keep going to church to make Jesus happy. My God is everything to me!

Amber M.

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Amber M.

Approximately two years ago, I was invited to go to a Christian camp by my friend Kassandra Darrus. I went with her for two years in a row and it was one of the best things I have ever done. It has opened my eyes and heart to Christ, and I accepted him as Savior in my life. I immediately knew, I wanted to be baptized and follow the Lord.

Since then there has been ups and downs in my life. I have watched the poor decisions of others and desperately want to avoid some of those pitfalls. I do not want to make those same types of choices and I am certain with God leading my life, He will guide me down the right path. I feel that God has some big plans for me. So far, this process has already given me the courage to talk to my friends about God and they are planning on attending church with me and my family. I am proud to accept Christ into my heart and my life and look forward to God’s ultimate plan for me.

Gracie M.

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Gracie M.

I prayed to God to forgive me and that he would be with me always. I asked him to help me through my day and work with me through problems that I have. I like having a relationship with God and I can talk with him daily.

I want to be baptized to show the world that I'm a follower of Christ. My mom and I are going to be baptized together because we love worshiping together and talking about faith together. In my life I feel like I need Jesus with me and I'm proud to be called a child of God.

Pam M.

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Pam M.

I have been struggling with forgiveness, not of others, but of myself. I have always known Christ but I have come to realize that I have been trying to fight this battle all alone. I’m here today, at Christ Community Church declaring that I have put my trust, faith and love in the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the truth, the way and the light. God has presented me with a precious gift, and that gift is His son. Jesus has died for my sins and forgiven me so I must do the same and forgive myself. God has been presenting himself to me through my daughters, Andrea and Amber. I have just been too blind to see. I now see with my heart, mind, and soul all the beautiful gifts He has for us and how we can share His gift with others. Thank you Lord for always being there for me with open arms.

Zachary M.

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Zachary M.

Before I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, I was the king of the throne. I made my own decisions, and only focused on my friends, and the sports I played.

About six months ago, I started worshipping Jesus in the auditorium at Christ Community Church. Pastor Jim’s messages really started to make sense to me. Now, I realize that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. I also realized that ignoring Christ is also sinning. That is why I want Jesus to take over in my life. I want Jesus to be the king, and not me.

After I found Jesus, I discovered amazing improvements in my life. Now, when I pray every night, I ask Jesus to help me through difficult times that are taking place in my life. Also, when I found Jesus, I sang in church more too. It really feels awesome to open up my heart to Jesus, and let Him know that I love Him so much. I was surprised at how much of an impact He has made in my life!

Elyn Martinez

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Elyn Martinez

Before I let Jesus into my life, I felt like nothing would go right for me. I always felt like I was missing something. Growing up I was constantly curious about religion and would often go to my friend’s churches. Some Mormon or sometimes Catholic, it didn’t really matter to me. I just wanted to see how the prayed and interacted with God.

A few years later, I was married and had kids. I would still constantly find myself studying religion. Coming to church allowed my wife, Jami, and I to start talking about a relationship with Christ. Shortly after, I knew it was time for me to commit my life to the Lord. I devoted myself to Jesus Christ.

Then my wife's friend, Tamara, talked to us about Christ Community Church and how great it is. We decided to come to church and it felt amazing. I felt like belonged right away. That is when I knew in my heart that this is the place for us.

Jami Martinez

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Jami Martinez

Before I trusted in God's plan for me, I felt I could come up with any solution needed. I was raised to have faith in myself, first. I trusted very few people and never asked for help.

One day, after a month and a half of my husband being unemployed, I had a moment. A bad moment and had to walk out of the house to calm down. I realized in the moment, that I needed God. I prayed and told Him that I would surrender my life to Him. I knew in that moment, I was not in control and God would help us through our difficulty. The next day, a client mentioned a job opening. My husband applied and was hired the next day. 

Since that moment, I tried to find a place where we belonged and God again lead me to hear my friend, Tamara, when she spoke about Christ Community and I finally listened. I joined her and never looked back. My husband and kids now come regularly as well. We pray together and talk about God as we all learn more about the blessings Jesus has for us as His followers. I now serve in Kids World and love being a part of something greater than myself. God is good!

Jessica McCormick

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Jessica McCormick

Faith has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a Lutheran home, was baptized as a baby, and attended church regularly. I graduated college, began my career, and became consumed by my work. I attended church two times a year: Christmas and Easter.

In 2002, my husband and I got married. The next year, our son was born. There were some complications during this pregnancy and our son was born prematurely. Both my husband and I found ourselves praying and turning to God as we worked through this scary time in our lives.

Our children were baptized as babies and we attended church a few times before each baptism so that we were not complete strangers to the congregation.

In 2008, as we were driving home from a Christmas Eve service, we discussed the need to find a “church home,” one with a relevant and meaningful message that we could understand.

A few years later, our family moved to South Elgin. Our first priority was to find a church home and we attended Christ Community Church. Our children loved Kids World, my husband and I left discussing and applying the message, reading Bible passages, and praying as a family. We began serving and now, we are no longer just going through the motions.

I am excited to proclaim my faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and demonstrate obedience to God through baptism. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I pray to continue to grow in my faith and continue to get to know Jesus and become more like Him.

Matt McCormick

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Matt McCormick

I grew up in a Lutheran home and believed in God. I left home for college and left God behind. During my time at college, my life did not reflect Christ. After college, I began my career and started a family. After 6 years my wife and I felt like we were still missing something.

My wife was the driving force for us to look for a church that spoke to us in a way we could understand. We attended and served at a church that was very similar to Christ Community Church. The message was straight from the bible and yet applicable to our lives. I realized that God should be a daily part of our lives for our family and marriage to be stronger.

We have since moved and found a home at Christ Community Church. This church has provided us with the answers in guiding our kids and in saving our marriage. I recognize that Jesus is always nearby in good and bad times. I find strength in the Lord whenever I ask it of Him. I realize how close God is and that, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1.

Graham McDonald

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Graham McDonald

God has always been in my life, there was never a time that He was not present. When I was in 2nd grade, my brother was diagnosed with epilepsy. The diagnosis took a toll on my whole family. At that time, I took to prayer and relied on God to make sure everything would be alright with my brother.

Nana, Mom, Dad, Zack, Aunt Cheryl, Uncle Brian and so many more people really got me to think about who I was as a person and why God is so important. When I was 10 years old, I accepted Jesus into my life and then I recommitted my life to Him when I was 15. I accepted Christ into my heart because I know I would be nowhere without Him. He brings positivity into my life every day.

Christ has played a huge role in my life including giving me will power with everything I do, giving me hope when things are difficult, and has kept me safe, even when I chose to do the wrong thing. I’m sure that there are thousands of other things I don’t even know about that He has done for me, which is why I can’t wait for what the future holds. Only God knows what He has in store for us in the days to come. My favorite verse is Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Daniela Mejia

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Daniela Mejia

Before I accepted Christ, my life was revolving around things that are not important. I thought school and possessions were more important than my relationship with God. Some days I would ignore Him so I could worry about other things.

When I was older, I slowly started to realize that God died for my sins and He loves me more than I can even understand. Then I understood that I was living my life for myself; not for God. This helped me comprehend that I had to completely give myself to Him and I asked God to forgive me for my sins.

Now, I do everything I can to please and learn more about God. I enjoy going to Genesis and have found out that it is a fun, great place to learn about God and make good relationships. In my church I have found a place to belong. Psalms 133:1 says “How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for Gods people to live together in harmony.”

Sara Mertens

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Sara Mertens

For at least half of my life, I have believed in God. However, it was never more than that. For many years I spent my free time delving into different ‘religious’ practices, trying to find more meaning in life. Although, some of what I learned was interesting, it never filled what I felt I was missing. Being married and later having children has filled my life with so much love and gratitude. I would do everything and anything for my children. Even with my family, something was still missing that I could not quite put my finger on. I needed more out of life.

For me, the change started as an intellectual process, studying the facts of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. After I understood that His life was more than a myth, I decided to take one large step of faith by surrendering all of myself to Jesus. I asked Jesus to take control of my life and through that step of faith, I have experienced an overwhelming feeling of acceptance, admiration and love.

I am excited to continue on my path of faith and to strive and be all that God wants me to be. I pray that each day I can grow to be more and more like Jesus by showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Cynthia Meshenky

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Cynthia Meshenky

In my early thirties, I was living life at a hurried and frantic pace. Busy at work, busy at home with a toddler, and in it all just completely going through the motions. I felt like I was always racing to catch up and could never be in the moment.

In 2007, my husband went to Afghanistan for 16 months. I was raising our 2-1/2 year old at home by myself during that season and was very overwhelmed. I started reading Purpose Driven Life and listening to K-Love. Slowly during those months, I redevoted my life to Christ. I remember sitting in the day care parking lot with a new peace and strength that could only be the Holy Spirit.

Our family - Aunt Coni and Uncle Bob - really brought church life into being a priority for me. I started bringing my daughter to church with them and serving in the children’s ministry. We were involved in a Bible study and I loved the positive difference those practices have made in my life.

I saw both big and little changes from renewed patience in driving situations and grocery store encounters to a renewed attitude at work. I now focus on a relationship over a task at work. I am daily working to be more present and patient with my kids and I believe my marriage has never been stronger. We recently moved and started attending Christ Community and after long last, I’m ready to make that relationship with Jesus public by being baptized. I love the difference that Christ has made in my life and am so grateful for his grace and patience with me.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

Lisa Michaels

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Lisa Michaels

I was raised in a church and with Christian parents and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age 13. I don’t really remember a time when God was not present in my life. In 1998, I went through a divorce and drifted away from God for many years. I raised three sons that all joined the U.S. Army. I re-married and I started coming to Christ Community 8 years ago. Five years into that marriage, it all came crashing down. My sons were deployed fighting wars on foreign lands and I felt so incredibly alone – more alone and frightened than I had ever been. I cried out to God and He was faithful to answer my prayers and heal my hurts. God sustained me and carried me, comforted me and alleviated my worry through verses like Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” He also gave me a Community Group made up of wonderful women who prayed for me, prayed over me and prayed for the safety of my sons. Since then, I continue to grow in Christ and my walk with Him

Jaden N.

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Jaden N.

I’ve grown up knowing about Jesus from my family. From a very early age, I knew about who Jesus was. I can remember my parents introducing me to Christ Community church from a young age. They have always been a part of Bible studies and shared a lot of what they learn with me. My grandparents were also always very open in sharing Jesus with me.

I have chosen to get baptized because I am ready to share with the church about my decision to follow Christ. I know that there is nothing that I can do to make up for the sins in my life by myself, but that only through Jesus’ resurrection am I completely forgiven of my sins. From this day forward I will try to pray more, be part of church groups more often and remember to have Jesus be part of my everyday life.

Louis P.

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Louis P.

I thought that I had essentially been a Christian my entire life because I was baptized as an infant. One day, I realized I didn't really make that decision when I was an infant, and chose to accept Christ for myself.

I saw that Christ Community was having baptisms, and I seized the opportunity. In my thinking, I remembered how a public declaration of faith is a major part in a relationship with God. My mom, Betsy, also helped me with this decision, as today she is deciding to get baptized as well. This decision has been an idea of mine for quite a while, but I have just recently remembered how big of a change it has made in other people's lives, and how Jesus has made a big difference in mine.

With Jesus in my life, I have been blessed with a fantastic family, whom I love very much, and great opportunities in life, as well as a fantastic church in which I can go and grow in the one and only Savior, Jesus. I hope that my relationship with God can continue to grow after this baptism, and that my life will continue to be great through him.

Betsy Petrie

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Betsy Petrie

I’m one of those Christians who was baptized as an infant and confirmed at the age of 14. I was very blessed to have a father who took me to church every weekend, and I’ve been an active member of each church I attended. Throughout the years, I have never considered adult baptism, until now.

Today, I have decided to follow Jesus by getting into the water and professing publicly my desire for an earnest pursuit of a life filled with him. Even though I have felt God’s presence in my life for a long time, this is my first-ever adult proclamation of gratitude and a re-dedication of my life into His control.

The love that Jesus has for us is “a love that surpasses all knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). I can’t begin to know all the ways God has already shaped my life or what He will do moving forward, but I can trust in the process. I give thanks for this wonderful church to support us in our faith journey.

George Pilcher

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George Pilcher

I was raised in a loving, Christian home and our family went to church regularly. During my teen years in the 1960s, I rebelled and questioned what I regarded as old-fashioned principles and ideas. Those were rough years, living like it was all about me.

I came back to the church in my twenties, but I didn’t fully understand what it meant to surrender to Jesus Christ, or to have a close relationship with him. When I married my wife, Sharon, life really changed for us and for our children, as we formed a new, blended family. We started to have a better understanding about a Christ-focused life and a purpose driven life. Our careers involved relocation to different cities, where we always found great churches, gifted pastors, and many Christian friends in our small groups.

Fast forward to our discovery of Christ Community Church in 2013. Pastor Jim explained that we’re supposed to have a sense of urgency in our Christian walk, and make it the primary focus of our lives. He said, “Get it?” And yes, we got it. We came to understand that baptism is an important affirmation of our obedience to Jesus Christ and His teaching. No more putting it off. Jesus was baptized, and we’re supposed to follow His example. My Bible life-verse is Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Sharon Pilcher

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Sharon Pilcher

While growing up in Chicago, I went to church and I learned about God and Jesus Christ. In my teen years and into my 20’s, church became less important to me. However, as I matured and experienced some difficult times, my need for God and Jesus Christ grew stronger.

After I married my husband George, we shared a growing need for Christ in our lives and in our marriage. As a couple we regularly attended church, read the Bible, and learned the value of prayer.

We lived in Florida for several years, where our community group friends and our pastors became our closest friends. With the help of our Christian family members and church friends, we gradually understood what it was like to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a married couple we have helped each other and many loved ones through serious medical situations. There is no way we could have faced those crises without the answered prayers and inner strength that came only from Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jim Nicodem’s biblical teaching has made it clear that baptism is an important affirmation of our obedience to Jesus Christ and His teaching. Jesus was baptized, and as Christians we are called to follow His example. One of my favorite Bible verses is Jesus’ promise given to us in John 14:3:

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Karen Rediger

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Karen Rediger

I grew up Catholic so there was always plenty of religion in my life but not a personal relationship with God. All the Bible study I had been exposed to had been through a third party – priests, sisters, teachers, etc. I can truly say I did not own or read through a Bible until I was 30.

When I married, my husband, Ron, was not Catholic nor had the desire to convert. By this time, I was not that involved in Catholicism and wanted our family to all go to one church. At that time in our life we joined a Lutheran Church and there is where my journey began in reading the Bible and strengthening my relationship with our Savior.

My husband had wanted to come to Christ Community for quite a while but I held back due to the size and the unfamiliarity of the church’s setting – I was used to altars and pews and a more traditional atmosphere. However, once our children graduated from college and were back in the St. Charles area, they began to come here and we decided to once again worship as a family. I found that I can continue my journey here and have done so. My belief in God has become stronger through worship, sharing with other believers and serving others. My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I believe being baptized is an outward sign of my faith which I want to share with all. It makes it even more special because my daughter, Katy, is being baptized with me.

Katy Rediger

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Katy Rediger

I have been going to church since birth, and I have been a Christian my entire life. For me it has been more about growing in Christ through the years. My parents started taking me to church at a very young age. I learned through them that church is an important part of life. Jesus gave his life for us, and each day I continue to learn and grow through Him.

I have gone to church my entire life but I would say that when I truly accepted him was when I was at a Camp Timberlee retreat with my confirmation class. We had just looked at some passages of the Bible and sang songs and spent time together in worship. We were then asked if anyone who wanted to accept Christ and knew what it meant to accept him to come to the front. I made the decision to go up front. Over the years I have found ways of growing, which have been through Sunday school, confirmation, bible studies, and volunteering. It has brought me closer to God and gives me a purpose.

Over the years I have seen how much better it is with Christ in my life. It keeps my family close and gives me boundaries to live by. I continue to grow in Christ, and although some days are challenging, I know that by being a believer and trusting in Christ, I am being guided in the direction that I need to go.

Gregory Reigel

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Gregory Reigel

My wife, Pamela, started coming to Christ Community in 1999 and soon had me helping with different events including numerous volunteer projects and setting up the chairs for service in the old gym. I liked the people and the church but was reluctant to commit to Christ having been brought up without religion. This went on for several years, but then some events happened to change my mind.

A prayer group from Christ Community came over to Delnor Hospital to help my wife in her prayers for our son Garrett, who was being overwhelmed by an auto-immune disease. Within a few hours after that session all the right people were in all then right places to quickly get Garrett transferred to Northwestern Hospital that made it so he would survive. Shortly after that Pamela gave me the book “The Case for Christ”, by Lee Strobel, which also, started to change my agnostic up-bringing. This book helped me see Christ in a different light.

Since then I have become a regular worshiper at Christ Community Church. My wife and I frequently pray together, as well as with our Bible group, and are always surprised with how God answers prayer. In fact, three other members of our group are also being baptized this time.

Laney S.

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Laney S.

I’m growing up in a Christian family. I’ve been going to church since I was an infant, but I started to understand who Jesus was around the age of 5. That was the same year my family started to go to Christ Community Church. Later that same year, my mom and I said a special prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to be my Lord and Savior. I also told Him that I believed that He died on the cross. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, and I had to make that decision for myself when I was ready. I prayed the prayer again later in my life, when I was 9 years old when I knew what I was doing. I did that because I knew I wanted Jesus in my life. I wanted to live as a happier, kinder person. I would no longer have to fear spiritual death. I devoted my whole self to Jesus. Since then, He has comforted me through hard times, like when my friend died. He answers my prayers. I have an easier time making the right choice and letting God take control of my life. I have faith in Him.
I’m getting baptized because I want to tell the world that I have died to sin and am living my life to follow Jesus’ will. I’m going to live the way Jesus intends me to.

Danielle Stewart

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Danielle Stewart

When I was a baby, I was dedicated at Christ Community Church. I went to KidsWorld until middle school and have attended Sunday services since then. I also attended Awana on a regular basis and I was fortunate to have one of the most God-loving Awana Leaders ever, Marianna Stillwell. She was a great influence in my life. When I reached Middle School and High School, school work and stress stopped me from attending weeknight groups and Sunday services on a regular basis.

My junior and senior year of high school, things started to fall into place. Instead of letting stress keep me from going to weekend services or HouseGroup, I started attending both week after week. The truth that Jesus died on the cross for my sins because he loved me began making an impact on my life. I have confessed my sins to Jesus and I know that he has forgiven me. I now want to live in obedience to his word and to share his love and truth with others.

Since then, my life has changed. This year I have became a Fellowship of Christian Students leader at my high school and I volunteer regularly at the church. Both have been an amazing way for me to grow in my faith while being a part of a Christian community. I know that life will not always be easy, but God has promised to me in Proverbs 3:5 -6, “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge, him and he will make your paths straight.”

Jarin T.

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Jarin T.

I was born into the Catholic faith and was baptized as an infant. We moved here eight years ago and since have attended two churches in the area, one in Batavia and then Christ Community Church.

It was at Christ Community Church that I met a lot of new friends through Genesis and Sunday morning services. Periodically after services, my family and I attend a Bible study that is led by my grandma. I occasionally read the Bible and do homework that goes along with it. My mom and grandma have helped me grow closer to God and become more committed to His teachings.

Christ has been persistently working in my life since my choice of following in His footsteps. My mom prays with us every night before bed and I talk to Jesus many times throughout the day. Before I do something that I shouldn't really be doing, I think about what Jesus would do if he were me. That usually sways me into doing the right thing. Christ is helping to change my life and forever will.

 

Jinae T.

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Jinae T.

What caused me to see that I needed Christ in my life was mainly my grandma. When I was younger and would stay over at her house, she would always talk about God and would do Bible studies with my siblings and me. I realized how important it was to follow Him. That is when I saw that I needed Jesus in my life.

We moved here when I was seven years old and started going to a little church in Batavia. I was not getting much out of going there, but my mom had us continue to go. I was really obsessed with Justin Bieber at the time so my grandma invited my cousin and I to the WOW weekend with Justin Bieber's mom. I have been going to Christ Community ever since. I am getting much more out of going to this church then I was at the other church.

My life has truly changed since I have been more devoted to Christ. Ever since we have switched to Christ Community, I have been more excited to come to church and learn about the Word. As a student in high school, Jesus has helped me make the right decisions when it comes to certain situations. Even though I am not perfect, I am trying to become more like Christ.

Joah T.

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Joah T.

My mom and siblings moved here when I was three years old. We started going to church in Batavia with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I didn't mind going to church on Sundays, but when we were in service, I would usually fall asleep in the chair.

A year or so ago, my grandma introduced us to Christ Community Church. My younger brother and I go to Kidsworld and it is so much more fun than sitting in a chair. My grandma got us each our own Bibles and now I am much more interested to learn about Jesus, our Lord and Savior, then I was years ago.

I want to be more like Jesus as he helps me choose to do the right things.

Vince Tartalia

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Vince Tartalia

Before I surrendered my life to Christ, I felt I was missing something very tangible; a real sense of peace, balance, deep meaning and understanding were simply devoid of existence in my life. Naturally there was also an immense emptiness of any spirituality in my being, and I was longing to be fulfilled. I knew there is more to life after our last breath is taken here on this earth. I was feeling empty and incomplete, there was definitely a huge “missing piece” waiting to finish me if I would just open up my heart.

Years ago, a friend witnessed to me and I accepted Christ. Once I moved to another state though, I had no support group to help me as young Christian. I withered away and unplugged from the Giver of Life, and soldiered on without Christ being at the center of my world. Through a job transfer to the Midwest, we found a church family in Christ Community Church in August 2012. I thirsted for knowing who Jesus was, what His teachings were, what being saved was all about, and learning what the Christian life looked like. Through the teachings of Pastor Jim, I knew I was ready for a true commitment to Christ, and fully opened my heart to Jesus, confessed my sins, acknowledged Jesus died for these sins, and finally made him the King of my life!

With Christ at the center of my existence, I feel I can now lead a real purpose driven life, be a spiritual leader to my family and others in my life. I have much to learn and experience in this walk with Christ, but I feel there is now a solid foundation in which to grow. I am now praying consistently every day, and learning to do so more effectively. I want to sincerely thank Rich Knox for inviting me into his Community Group, and the fellowship and guidance given to me by these brothers in Christ is a true blessing indeed! I look forward to reading and studying the word and applying it to my life in the years ahead. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4

Raelene Thielk

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Raelene Thielk

I have always known about and believed in Jesus. I was baptized in the Catholic faith as an infant, went to Sunday school, and attended mass every Sunday and holiday. I never really understood what I was there for and found it boring.

My mother has sent me countless bits of encouragement, scripture, and prayer books throughout my adult life hoping I would become closer to and allow Jesus into my life. A year ago in October, my mom invited daughter, niece, and I to Christ Community on the WOW weekend with Patty Mallette. Her message made quite and impact on me and we have been coming ever since with all four of my children.

Kidsworld, Genesis and Bible studies after service have been amazing. I also have started a scripture reading schedule, reading Prayer Coach by Jim Nicodem, tried out a small group, want to get my three year old dedicated in May and hope to one day go on a mission trip. I can clearly see how God is working on me in my life.

Arie V.

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Arie V.

I go to Awana and church here at Christ Community Church. I have heard and learned about God for years now and on Easter day, I put my faith in God and accepted Jesus into my heart. I was very proud of myself. Jeremy Mejdrich was my Awana leader and my Sunday leader. I prayed with Jeremy and asked God to forgive me.

To be baptized means knowing God lives in your heart and trying your best to follow His rules. This can change my life forever - God can help me do good things and make good choices.

Maggie W.

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Maggie W.

When I asked God to forgive me I said, "God, I am really sorry for what I did in the past. Today I want to be able to resist sin and I can only do that if I have your power in me. Please come into my life and forgive me." I asked God to forgive me because He is awesome and loving, and I want Him to be with me when I have to go through easy and hard things.

This happened when I had a really hard day at school and I really needed help and comfort. I really have to thank my KidsWorld teachers, Awana leaders, and my family for guiding me through this and helping me understand what it means to follow Jesus. To me, being baptized is a symbol of my life being dirty with sin being washed clean through Jesus' forgiveness. Now that I am following Jesus and letting Him be the boss of my life, I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me that can help me do what He says, like when I obey my mom and dad.

Teddy W.

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Teddy W.

I first came to know God when I was four years old. When I learned about God and Jesus, I thought about what Jesus did on the cross and I was very thankful that Jesus did that for me and that I am forgiven.

One time, I was having a hard time reading the Bible when my parents said it was time for me to read the Bible. When I did, I read about how Jesus didn’t listen to the temptations of Satan. From that, I learned that no one should ever listen to Satan.

I am getting baptized today because I have surrendered my life to Christ and have Jesus as my boss and Savior for the rest of my life. When I was a little boy, I prayed to God for one of my dad’s friends who had cancer. I prayed to God for him to be cancer free and God healed him. I thank God for helping my dad’s friend.

I know that following Jesus isn’t easy because it is hard to follow what he says. I pray every day to help me not to be tempted to sin. I am so glad I have surrendered my life to Christ as my boss for the rest of my life.