"And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved..." (Acts 2:47)
We rejoice with those who have made Jesus Lord of their life! If you’re interested in learning more about God’s call for repentance and baptism, contact us.
Christine (center) was baptized on October 30th. God moves in mysterious ways! From Hawaii to the island of Guam to Atlanta God worked to instill His message of salvation and love for His Word into Christine's heart. By reading the Bible on her own, the Spirit moved to show her Gods plan for salvation. Through the prayers of her uncle Brian McMillan in Guam and the outreach of the North River church - she was able to study with Debbie Mackintosh and Michelle Wright. Christine is now your sister in Christ.
Raven (center) and I met two weeks before the end of the spring semester and we decided to become study buddies. Who decides to become study buddies two weeks before the end of the semester? God was orchestrating something bigger than we even knew. A year and half later, the way He has transformed Raven’s heart and mind is so evident and inspiring! Raven made Jesus the Lord of her life on October 15th; her heart for God and people is admirable. We are so grateful she is our sister in Christ!
- Tawina McNeely
Joshua Julian Puram, “Josh”, was baptized on Sunday, August 14th. Josh is originally from Hyderabad, India, and is currently getting his Master’s at Georgia State in Data Science and Analytics. His cousin, Cherub Israel, is a disciple in Milwaukee and hooked Josh up with several brothers from the East Community back in January. Josh has been attending services and studying the bible ever since. His passion for God and heart for people were immediately apparent. He quickly volunteered to join the choir in preparation for last April’s Easter Service. He’s greatly impressed and endeared himself to the brothers with his love for God and soft heart towards His Word. Clearly, God has amazing things in store for him. You’ve got to get to know this wonderful new brother-in-Christ!
Garett is the eldest son of Michael & Kerling Eldred, longtime members of the church in New York City & here at North River. He graduated from Walton High School where he started on the Varsity football team. He played college ball in California and Mississippi before landing at Georgia State, where he graduated. Afterwards, Garett received a full scholarship to Georgetown Law School where he recently received the honor of being accepted as a staff member of the Georgetown Law Journal. Over the years, Garett was poured into by numerous brothers and families and is grateful that God showed him “immense patience (1 Timothy 1:16) and love. We’re all excited that so many prayers were answered as Garett chose to submit to Jesus and enter the waters of baptism!
Marco Cabrera was baptized on Sunday, August 14th! Marco is an awesome athlete that just won the State Baseball Championship but he also has a soft heart and strong desire to please God. He didn’t want to start his freshman year at Berry College without making the decision to follow Jesus! Congratulations Marco!
Born on October 15, 1957 to the late JW and Joann Smith, Lovola Smith was the youngest girl of 7 children. She is the mother of Debora (Louis) Childs and grandmother of Desereé Childs. Despite being raised in church, Lovola decided when she was on her own that it was not for her. After years and years of experiencing tragic events, God was the only one responsible and therefore must not love her (because He wouldn’t let these things happen if He did). Since getting baptized in 1994, Debora has been praying for her momma to see just how much God loves her and was there during the darkest moments of her life. Not only did she remain blind, but actually did not care too much for the “church” and made it very clear to the Childs family. After moving here in 2019 and being diagnosed with vascular dementia, God has been working on her heart and she finally demanded to study the Bible! With the help of Adrian Keen, Desereé Childs, Sharon Cooper (Memphis Church of Christ) and Debora, God gently showed just how much He loves her and waited patiently as she accept that fact. So on July 29, 2022, Lovola made Jesus Lord! She holds Psalm 23 dear and near to her heart as her goes back and forth with lucidity!!
Stan was baptized on July 23rd, the last day of Camp Swamp! Stan has grown up in the North River Church virtually his whole life. His parents, Andrew and Shea, are long-time members. Stan studied the bible throughout his time in the Youth and Family ministry as a high school student, and he recently graduated this past May. This summer, Camp Swamp had a huge impact on his spiritual walk. He really felt like God really made things click for him, and he didn't want to face another day without being fully connected to HIM.
On Saturday, July 2, rising 10th grader Rebekah De Leon (second from left) made the faithful decision to follow Jesus for life and be baptized! Bekah is the youngest daughter of Mike and Cheri De Leon, who, along with rising 12th grader Jake, moved here just over a year ago from a sister church in Los Angeles. The De Leons have quickly become great encouragements to the Youth & Family ministry! Bekah is a genuine friend to many, and her belief in God’s love and growing relationship with Jesus are inspiring. We are excited for her as she starts this incredible journey of faith!
The angels are rejoicing as Sharon Coolidge (left) was baptized in Ellicottville, New York! Sharon is a mother of three and a grandmother to eleven, but everyone who knows her calls her Nana. Sharon’s granddaughter, Bre, was the first to be baptized in their family, followed by Sharon’s son, Bre’s father, Bill Coolidge. God is moving powerfully in their family! Sharon’s faith and desire to know God and understand the Bible is inspiring. She continued studying during her hospital stay for back surgery and shared her faith each day with the medical staff and other patients. Suzanne Carmen, Kate Weber, and Peggy Beaman along with Roxanne Spengler in New York have been studying with Sharon for months via Zoom. Though we’ve not yet met Sharon in person it’s been amazing to watch God knit our hearts together despite the distance and watch God transform Sharon’s heart and life into a new creation!
John and Pam Durkota became disciples nearly 40 years ago as young college students. In 2014, Pam’s parents moved from Illinois to Georgia. Since that time they have experienced God’s love first hand through so many of our North River family. And God’s love works miracles! A few months ago, Larry and Bobbie decided to examine their own relationship with God. Harold and Suzanne drove each week from Duluth for their Monday night Bible study. Ed and Janice Youmans also joined in. On May 31, Larry and Bobbie, ages 80 and 81, made the decision to be baptized! What a testament to the power of God and his word, and to the love of Jesus lived out by his disciples. Welcome Bobbie and Larry!
We are excited to celebrate that our brother, Sterling Boyd, who had strayed away from God and the church for about 15 years is now ready to continue to follow Jesus and be committed to His church! Restoration is spiritual strengthening, bringing refreshment and deeper appreciation of God. When a sheep wanders from the flock, it needs to be brought back -- the shepherd needs to care and go after it. So it is with people (James 5:19-20). For the several months Sterling spent time with the brothers in the Bible to help restore his heart back to God. This past Wednesday night (5/25), Sterling shared his story at the West/Cobb Smyrna Community midweek.
Ethan Pallas was baptized on May 18, 2022! Ethan has an incredibly vulnerable and honest heart that has impacted all who have met him. Dozens gathered for his late night last minute baptism - Ethan couldn’t wait another day and had the heart of the “Look here is water…” Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. Ethan has grown up at North River and is a part of the Kennesaw State campus ministry. We can’t wait to see how Jesus uses him!
Elijah Hawkins (left) was baptized on Sunday, May 15. This 18 year old is one of the most friendly, soft-hearted teenagers you will ever meet. He has persevered through challenging circumstances with a spirit of faith and joy and we are so inspired by his love for God. Elijah has grown up among us at North River and we can’t wait to watch him continue to soar. We are so excited for Elijah and the Hawkins family and can’t wait to see how God uses Elijah.
Joe Markowski (center back) was baptized in Ellicottville, NY last Sunday. He is a retired US Air Force Senior Master Sergeant with a total of 26 years of military service between the US Marines and the US Air Force. He is married to his beautiful bride Denise; they have been married for 42 years and have 2 children, Joseph and Julia, 7 grandchildren, and a great granddaughter. Joseph is a Lt. Colonel and F-16 fighter pilot and Julia is a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force and she has been assigned to the Pentagon. Joe has a great heart for God and His Word. He has read and studied every scripture we have ever given him. He loves being a disciple and he really understands commitment, dedication, and loyalty to God. He wept at his baptism, loves being in the Band of Brothers, and has already been called one of the “Sons of Thunder”.
Aaron Channer was baptized on Wednesday, May 11! Aaron is an extraordinary young man who’s commitment, focus, determination, and perseverance inspires everyone around him. He’s a record holder in the discus throw, has won academic awards, worked as a coder, and has so many other other talents but his greatest one is his humility and willingness to surrender to Jesus. It’s always amazing to see one of our own grow up and fall in love with Jesus. We know Aaron is going to impact so many people throughout his life and we are grateful to have a front row seat!
On May 11th Sedrick Page (white towel) was baptized into Christ! Sedrick was resolute and eager in going after his relationship with God. He looks forward to continuing to grow in his relationship with God and doing his part to build up the body of Christ. Sedrick is in West Cobb/Smyrna Community.
Aryiana Weatherspoon (Middle) was baptized into Christ on May 4th, 2022. She is a student at Kenesaw State University. Aryiana got reached out to during the spring semester of 2022 by Sparticus Griffin during a Bible talk. It took a campus student speaking with a loud voice for her to come join the Bible talk and that was the start of God’s transformation in her life. From there she attended the Spring Ridgecrest retreat and started studying the Bible soon after. Now she has made the decision to make Jesus lord and be baptized into God’s kingdom.
Tori Jackson (second from right) was baptized on April 26. She is a freshman at Kennesaw State University and is such a joy to be around! She first was connected at a ‘Shazam’ Bible Talk event in August. Unfortunately, her dad passed away suddenly in September which left her angry at God but also looking for peace and answers. In January, she was reconnected with some campus sisters and started studying the scriptures for herself for the first time. God has transformed her heart and given her a spiritual family that she can lean on. Glory to God for Tori being reconciled through repentance and baptism to her Maker!
Dalia Ottley is a hard working student who is graduating early with a degree in Exercise Science. She plans to peruse her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Hampton University. Between Dalia’s classes, presidential role in the honors council, and her clinical job, she has kept Jesus at the forefront of her life. Dalia deeply cares about her relationships with those around her. She constantly seeks to hear what God is saying to her every step of the way. On Tuesday, April 19th 2022 Dalia knew she was ready to make Jesus Lord of her life.
Dani Shamoun (bottom middle) is a Freshman from KSU that made Jesus her Lord on Tuesday night, April 12! She has been studying the scriptures for the past few months. Dani expresses that she has already tried to do life her way and it did not lead her to good places. She is so excited to live life with Jesus and learn from Him everyday. Dani has become such an amazing part of our campus ministry family and we are so excited to see how God will continue to grow and use her!
Alexus Jones (Middle) was baptized into Christ on April 4th, 2022. She is a student at Kenesaw State University. Alexus got reached to during the fall semester of 2021 by Xergio Aguilar, that same day she ran into Lizzy Carrico and Ashley Oputa who invited her out to a campus event called Tuesday Night Live (TNL) and she started studying the Bible last year and decide to make Jesus Lord her spring semester.
In October 2021 Dominic Banks (Center) was invited to come to church just a mile away from his home, so sure enough he came! After studying the Bible for the last few months Dom’s heart has been radically changed by the Scriptures! Watching him humbly respond to God’s Word is always so inspiring and it’s been a long time since I’ve watched someone’s indignance for sin lead them to repentance. Dom was baptized on March 27th.
On March 6th Maria Reopke (middle left) is was baptized into Christ. Maria has gone after her relationship with God with a zeal and love that has grown each and every day. Her heart is so pure and soft. Maria is a young single in the Marietta Square Community.
Carlton Burke (middle) was baptized on March 4, 2022. He is a graduate student who studies at Kennesaw State University. His childhood friend, Corey Fields, would bring him around the Body of Christ on different occasions but at the time he wasn’t fully interested. It wasn’t until 2021 when his life was making drastic changes that he saw his need for God. As he studied the Bible, he really discovered who Jesus was and desired to follow him wholeheartedly.