- Rachel Beaver
The Cold Never Bothered Him: Nicholas’ Story
Nicholas had been attending the Henderson, NC, church for about a year and a half. There are many members at Henderson who are immigrants from Jamaica, having come to the U.S. to teach in the public schools. Nicholas was one of them. He admired the Adventist lifestyle
he witnessed in the lives of some church members. He decided to make some changes in his own life.
“It was very subtle,” says Joe Pieretti, pastor of the Henderson Church. “No one really knew about it. He didn’t want any of his friends to publicize the fact that he was trying to make these changes. But he naturally fell in love with healthy eating habits, more Bible study, more prayer time. He was very intentional in making sure what he watched was healthy for him in an emotional and mental way.”
Several months later, Nicholas expressed interest in being baptized. This was great news, and the ball started rolling to get things ready. The church had a baptistry, but there was no water heater. Being winter, the water from the hose outside was going to be very cold.
Pieretti reached out to Ministerial Director Haskell Williams, asking for a water heater. Williams
found and ordered one, but it didn’t arrive in time. In fact, the severe cold weather froze the water pipes, preventing them from filling up the baptistry at all. The baptism had to be postponed.
But Nicholas had such a genuine desire for baptism that he didn’t mind waiting a couple of weeks. Pieretti also warned him several times that the water was going to be very cold, but again, it didn’t matter to Nicholas. He was just so excited to be baptized.
The day comes and, sure enough, the water is frigid. Pieretti warned him one more time that the water was icy cold, but Nicholas did not want to wait even another week.
“While he’s shivering, I can see the happiness on his face that it’s about to happen. As I say ‘Amen,’ I feel his body dip down and I think ‘no no not yet!’ I think I even got the order wrong because he was going down so fast. I baptized him and he comes up and he stops shivering
for like three seconds. He’s like ‘Amen’. He got out, and this man was so happy.”
To Nicholas, baptism meant more than just a process to join a church. For him, it was about expressing his immense love for Jesus. And he didn’t care how cold the water was.
—by Rachel Beaver