300 Baptized: Calvary Chapel Downey, CA

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Washed Clean at Pirate’s Cove Beach

Story by Trinity Grau
Photos courtesy Calvary Chapel Downey, CA

Leonor Rincon cried tears of relief as she came up out of the water. After years of gang life and drug abuse, the Lord drew her to baptism on Pirate's Cove Beach in Newport Beach, CA. This June, she was one of 300 attendees who made a public consecration of faith at this baptismal event by Calvary Chapel Downey, CA.

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Pastor Art Reyes of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA, gives a baptismal and Gospel message on Pirate’s Cove Beach in Newport Beach, CA, where 300 people gathered in June to make public statements of faith. Many donned the same black T-shirts for the celebration.

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Over the past 10 years, the pastoral staff at CC Downey has performed baptisms at the church, usually at the beginning and end of summer; but this year the Lord called them to go back to the beach to make a public declaration for the world to see. “It was a huge blessing to be back on the [Pirate's Cove] site,” said Pastor Art Reyes. “It has been such a long time and the turnout surprised us. But we know that it’s all by the Lord’s hand: He has drawn people to Himself.”

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Pastors Scott Lasch (left) and Cris Reyes (right) baptize congregant Terye Brown. The CC Downey pastoral staff perform baptisms twice a year at the church, but felt the Lord wanted them to return to the beach this year and make a public declaration for the world to see.

One of the most radical baptisms of the day took place for Leonor, a former gang associate. Previously, she had only interacted with CC Downey by attending their Second Chance Recovery Group. As she participated in the group sessions, she found herself wanting to know more about Jesus. She volunteered to enter the House of Esther, a more structured ministry of CC Downey. During her time there, Leonor decided to give her life to God. She explained, “I wanted to be baptized and leave my past behind. I know I have a lot to work on and that this is the beginning of a new start. I am so excited. Now that my life is right, I can work on getting my kids back from DCFS (the Department of Children and Family Services).”

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20

                  

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It was a beautiful sight—15 CC Downey pastors and staff members gathered in the water that day to baptize the crowd. Many passersby who heard the salvation message from Pastor Art Reyes also came down to be baptized: a true testament of God’s goodness and the overwhelming nature of salvation.

There were 15 pastors in the water that day baptizing all those who, like Leonor, came to new life in Christ. While CC Downey does not require a formal baptism class, they do proclaim the Gospel message afresh before candidates enter the water, ensuring their commitment to follow Jesus. As a result, many passersby also came down to be baptized: a true testament of God’s goodness and the overwhelming nature of salvation. Many experienced a newfound sense of courage. As Leonor put it, “Having Jesus in my life can change all that I’ve been through.”

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Pastor Scott Lasch (left) and CC Downey ministry leader Jonathan Nunez baptize a youth.

Click to learn more about Calvary Chapel Downey, CA

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Pastors Jace Amperse (left) and Art (right) await the next congregant to be baptized as she hands off a child. “It has been such a long time [since being at Pirate’s Cove], and the turnout surprised us. But we know that it’s all by the Lord’s hand: He has drawn people to Himself,” Art joyfully stated.

                  

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.