By Bonnie Brown, Special to ASSIST News Service
CORONA DEL MAR, CA (ANS – September 10, 2017) – It was 45 years ago yesterday (Saturday, September 9th) that I was baptized in the same spot where I was now standing.
The beach was Pirate’s Cove in Corona de Mar, California, and I was a teenager and had been saved for just one month.
I had been raised an atheist, but found Jesus at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in the “Big Tent”, where an amazing move of God called the “Jesus People Revival” was taking place led by Pastor Chuck Smith. Thousands were coming to Christ and I was one of them.
When they announced a baptism at the beach, I jumped in with both feet, so to speak. This new faith was so strange that I wanted to learn everything and do everything the Bible said. I was starving for God.
As I looked around the scene yesterday, the beach and the cliffs were once again filled with people. It looked just the same as in the Jesus Movement of the early 70s, except back then everyone looked like hippies.
People were praising God and singing with lifted hands and smiling faces, and you could feel the love around you.
The group baptism this time was being held by Pastor Greg Laurie, who was himself once a hippie, found the Lord in the “Big Tent”, and was baptized at Pirate’s Cove. Greg now leads Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in America, as well as heading up Harvest Ministries, who recently held the 2017 So-Cal Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium in Anaheim where more than 10,000 gave their lives to Christ.
I am sure that many of them who were baptized yesterday were among those who made their commitment to Christ at Angel Stadium.
In the midst of all the tragedy and fear today, it was so encouraging to see hundreds of people professing their faith in Jesus.
I talked to Lee who had just got baptized. He recommitted his life to Jesus twelve years ago. I congratulated him after he came out of the water with a big smile on his face.
Peter came to Jesus four years ago. He was raised Catholic but he said “I didn’t know anything about Jesus with all that Latin stuff.” His two sisters were born-again and praying for him. At his brothers funeral he felt the Holy Spirit of God come to him with power and he gave over his life in that instant. He was searching for a certain church, but said he just couldn’t find it.
Driving along, he was telling God he was about to give up when he looked at the car in front of him and saw a Harvest sticker. He followed the car and it led him straight to Greg Laurie’s church in Orange County and that’s where many of the people who were baptized yesterday came from.
To see a moving video of a Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pirate’s Cover baptism in 2009, just go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn7O3hOkfQ0
Note from Dan Wooding. Bonnie’s story also brought back wonderful memories to my wife Norma and myself, as both of our sons, Andrew and Peter, were baptized at Pirate’s Cove, and are now serving the Lord back in the UK.
Photo captions: 1) Wonderful memories: Bonnie (left) being baptized by Pastor Tom Stipes in 1972. 2) Greg Laurie speaking at yesterday’s event at Pirate’s Cover. 3) Lee after his baptism. 4) The cliff overlooking Pirate’s Cove. 5) Bonnie Brown with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, at KWVE following an interview there.
About the writer: Bonnie Brown is the author of “Giigle,” a humorous account of massaging Google into a fortune. She runs a private foundation dedicated to loving those that Jesus died for. She travels on adventures with the real “Indiana Jones”, Bob Cornuke, helping him uncover Biblical artifacts. She has lived a long, meaningful 45 years of serving God. She has started a Christian School, spoken on the occult, children’s toys, and the school voucher system. She worked at a winery, ran a messenger service and was a masseuse. She is a businesswoman, mom and grandmother and is currently waiting on God to give her the next adventure. But it all began for her on that day in the Big Tent at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and her baptism at Pirate’s Cover.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can get a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the website and signing up there.