All together now: Family of seven baptized simultaneously

Meredith Flynn —  October 6, 2014
The Tennyson family was baptized in June by Pastors Bryan Henderson and Jacob Gray (left) of Ten Mile Baptist Church.

The Tennysons were baptized in June by Pastors Bryan Henderson and Jacob Gray (left) of Ten Mile Baptist Church.

HEARTLAND | On a summer Saturday evening, more than 200 people from Ten Mile Baptist Church gathered at the Tennyson family’s home for a cookout and baptism celebration. A pond on the property provided plenty of space to baptize
seven people at once—Bob and Lisa Tennyson and their kids, April, Alec, Austen, Alijah and Anthony.

“The Lord started dealing with them,” Pastor Jacob Gray said of the family, and “they started asking around” about churches. After five or six months at Ten Mile, the Tennysons made professions of faith and wanted to be baptized.

They are part of a wave of growth the church has experienced over the past two years, on a foundation built by former pastor
John Smith, Gray said. He estimated close to 80 people have been baptized over the past two-and-a-half years, and around 270 families have visited.

“It has been all the Lord, absolutely,” said Gray, who, at 29, is in his first pastorate. A native of Hamilton County, he served as associate pastor under Smith before assuming the lead pastor role in 2012. His family started attending the church before he was called to preach.

“They licensed me, ordained me, helped me pay for my college,” Gray said. “They’ve been a fine group of people.”

And a growing group, too.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.