How do you baptize 500 people in the span of a few hours? NorthRidge Church in Plymouth did it by holding the ceremony outdoors with as many as five baptismal fonts or pools.
The ceremony took place in the amphitheater between the church and M-14 freeway last week. More than two thousand people gathered with lawn chairs and blankets, showing support for family and friends being baptized.
The night included music, food and beach balls bouncing in the air.
“Seeing so many families, couples and hundreds of young people taking such a step of obedience marks an important time in their life and faith journey” Senior Pastor Brad Powell said in a news release. "NorthRidge’s mission of waking the world up to Jesus took a huge step forward in the life of each person who participated in baptism this night. So many claim to have faith, but they never take that next step in faith. God honors obedience.”
Powell said that thousands of people worshipping and proclaiming faith on a hillside while hundreds were baptized is not something new.
“But it doesn’t happen that often," he said. "We are honored that God could use NorthRidge to change so many lives and proclaim His glory.”
NorthRidge usually holds three to four baptisms a year at its main campus in Plymouth, according to Pamela Heaton, Powell's executive assistant. This year, they just decided to move the scheduled August event outdoors in order to accommodate more people.
NorthRidge Church is nondenominational and serves approximately 20,000 southeastern Michigan residents. Powell has led the congregation for the past 23 years.
NorthRidge offers six services each weekend; four at the Plymouth location and one at each of their satellite locations.