After 17 years, a baptism
By Jeff Campbell
Don’t you love a comeback story? I do. Here’s a good one.
Colome, South Dakota, is a tiny town in the Southwest District with a population of around 300. The average worship attendance at Colome United Methodist Church hovers around 12. Rev. Ron Snethen has faithfully served them since 1992. This congregation had not had a baptism since 2002.
That changed this past year. Two years ago, Pastor Ron officiated at a wedding at the Colome United Methodist Church. After getting married, the couple started attending the church regularly. This past year they welcomed into the world a beautiful baby boy. This baby, at three months old, was baptized in the Colome Church—the first baptism in 17 years! It was a day of tremendous celebration. Members of the Colome UMC say it is wonderful, after all these years, to have a little one again in their midst.
Colome, South Dakota, is a tiny town in the Southwest District with a population of around 300. The average worship attendance at Colome United Methodist Church hovers around 12.
Colome UMC was the Dakotas Annual Conference’s recipient of the One Matters Award from Discipleship Ministries this year.
The One Matters Discipleship Award was created in 2015 to lift up churches which have in recent years moved from zero baptisms and zero professions of faith into positive numbers as they began to focus on intentional discipleship. In addition to the One Matters Discipleship plaque, Colome UMC was awarded $1,000 to encourage the continuation of their work in discipleship.
The church received the One Matters Award, not because they had a tremendous number of new members or a thousand baptisms, but because the mostly older congregation welcomed a young couple into their congregation, loved them, and celebrated with them on the arrival of their son. New joy and enthusiasm were birthed into that small congregation.
I won’t be surprised if I hear more good news from Colome UMC.
Wishing you joy,
Rev. Jeff Campbell is the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries. He comes to this role having led Discipleship Ministries as the Associate General Secretary for Strategic Programming, where he coordinated the work of the agency around three strategic priorities: an Intentional Discipleship System in every church; equipping local churches to engage their communities; and lifting up and creating local, contextual resources globally. Rev. Campbell joined Discipleship Ministries in 2013 as Executive Director of Conference Relationships.