Join us this Saturday and Sunday to celebrate God’s mission of transforming lives through what Jesus did for us on the cross.  Many believers, like Samantha, will make their public declaration of faith through baptism, and you won’t want to miss them get #dunked!  Check out her story below:

Hello! My name is Samantha Hartness. I am 27, living in Canton in Baltimore. I currently work as a legal assistant in Towson for a personal injury attorney. I recently received my Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Anne Arundel Community College. I have been coming to Grace since December 2016.

When I was growing up, my grandma went to church every Sunday and always wanted me to go with her, but I never wanted to and was never forced to do so by my parents. Over time, I grew to not believe in anything and I hit a low point in my teenage years. I didn’t know where I was going or what I wanted to do with my future. I felt lost and out of place.

I was unable to maintain and keep lasting friendships and relationships because I didn’t treat people with the respect they deserved. I had multiple dysfunctional relationships that brought my sense of self-worth down even more. I always felt like I didn’t have a safe place to turn for help.

When I first met my friend Nicole, I noticed that she was so comfortable in her own skin and she had such grace. Two things I never had much of when I was growing up. She told me about a horrific car accident she was in and her story changed my mindset from that day forward. Someone was looking out for her that day and it was amazing.

The first time I attended Grace was on December 4, 2016 with Nicole and her parents. The message was one about shame. It couldn’t have been a more perfect message for me to hear at that time in my life because I could relate to it more than anything.

After a couple of weeks going to Grace every Sunday, I noticed a change in myself and the way I was viewing the world around me. Everything began to fall into place in my life, and I finally realized that something – really Someone – was guiding me on this path.

I look at the world around me with a deeper meaning because I now know God is to thank for everything I have. I know that my grandma is looking down on me with that beautiful smile of hers because she sees how much God has impacted my life. It brings joy to my soul that I can continue to make her happy and proud of who I have become.

The same goes for my dad. Since the start of my new life, my dad and I have become so much closer. I have never seen so much pride in his eyes as I do when we talk about how much my life has turned around for the better. I have never felt more at peace with who I am and how far I have come.

I have already seen so many of my dreams come true by believing in myself more often and allowing myself to live the life God has planned for me. Through the Holy Spirit, I have finally been given the ability to treat people kindly and with the respect they deserve. Because of that, I have strong, lasting relationships with some of the most amazing people I have ever known.

I feel like I can finally be an inspiration to others going through tough times in their lives because I have been there and God has helped me overcome the negativity and despair. Everything is falling into place and I couldn’t be happier.

After attending Grace for the past couple of months and going to the Starting Point classes, I have accepted Christ into my life and I am ready to announce that to the world and make a physical demonstration of my decision. I believe it is something I was born to do. I am ready to have a relationship with Him and experience that unconditional love I have learned so much about.

Baptism at Grace

During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!

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