On Sunday, July 7, Southside Community Church in Wooster, OH, baptized six people. What makes this particular baptism unique is that it marked their first baptisms after launching the new church in November 2018. Pastor Greg Grimwood and his wife, Cara, have seen steady church growth in their community, but they know that kingdom growth isn’t based on numbers but on changed lives.

Each of the six people baptized told his or her story to the crowd that had gathered. Three of them came to Southside with a family member who has helped launch or serve the new church. Greg also baptized his two daughters, Abby and McKenzie.

The sixth person, Donald, had recently decided to follow Jesus after building a relationship with Alex Kacere, Southside’s associate pastor. The two men met on a hiking trail near Wooster and struck up a friendship. Since Donald was curious about God, he and Alex began meeting to talk and to read the Bible together.

Greg Grimwood and his team are committed to a steady faithfulness as Southside approaches its one-year anniversary. “There’s nothing dramatic in it. We want to keep seeing this kind of fruit. It’s exciting. We keep showing up, and God continues to be faithful.” Eugene Peterson’s words, “A long obedience in the same direction,” inspire him to persevere.