There’s no expiration date on this child of God
92-year old Louise Haskins of Avon was baptized two weeks ago at Church on the Rise.
The Water Baptism ceremony took place during a 20th anniversary celebration service at the Westlake church, located at 3550 Crocker Road.
Pastor Paul Endrei hosted several special events as part of the anniversary observance two week’s ago. Louise’s baptism was a highlight..
She represents the mission of COR – welcoming folks into the family of Christian faith by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Louise and her late husband, Robert, began attending COR when Pastor Ricardo Johnson (now of Contagious Faith Church in Alabama) was an Associate to Pastor Paul. He developed a relationship with Louise and Robert that stuck.
“We took a class in the Holy Spirit with him and we were planning to be baptized,” said Louise. “Pastor Ricardo was just wonderful to us. He would come to our house. He would look after us. He would stop in to see if we needed anything. I can’t say enough about him.”
But Pastor Ricardo’s calling took him to Alabama a year and a half ago. The Haskins hadn’t been baptized yet.
Pastor Paul’s parents, Pastor Frank and Ardelis Endrei, stepped up their friendship with Robert and Louise. They pick her up for church, run errands for her and take communion to her home.
Robert, a retired lawyer and CPA, and Louise made a generous gift to COR last year – a new children’s playground and all-member gathering place.
But a week after those projects were finished, Robert passed away. “It was a tremendously generous gift,” said Pastor Paul. “But Robert did get to see it finished.”
Then came plans for the 20th anniversary celebration. Pastor Paul knew of Pastor Ricardo’s connection with Louise. So he asked Pastor Ricardo to preside over all the water baptisms (there were about 10) the night of the 20th anniversary service on Sept. 11.
“When I heard that Pastor Ricardo was coming back, this was something I just was not going to miss,” said Louise. “I just think the world of him and what he did for my husband and me.
“We all know there is only one perfect being, and that is God. But Pastor Ricardo comes pretty close!” she added with a loving smile.
Pastor Ricardo was taken aback by the comment. “No, it wasn’t me,” he said. “It was the Holy Spirit. Louise and Robert took our class, and the Holy Spirit just came all over them. I counted it as a privilege that Pastor Paul allowed me to perform these baptisms tonight. It is always an honor and a privilege to perform a baptism.”
The 20th anniversary celebration was special in many other ways. Pastor Paul welcomed former and current COR pastors who played important roles in its first two decades. Included were many other ministry partners, volunteers and church members who will continue to play instrumental roles as Church on the Rise plans for the next 20 years.