GATLINBURG — On Sunday, March 9, Bill Black celebrated God’s work through two Harvest Fields groups with a baptism in a water feature dug into the snow of Ober Gatlinburg’s ski slopes!
Harvest Plants is a small group/church planting effort of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
The group that meets for worship on the slopes at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays includes Ober Gatlinburg visitors and members of the National Ski Patrol and employees of the Gatlinburg Snow Sports School.
Black of the Tennessee Baptist Convention staff leads this worship group with help from members of First Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, and First Baptist Church, Pigeon Forge. Over the past several weeks two instructors from the Gatlinburg Snow Sports School had professed their faith in Christ and requested baptism — in the snow at Ober Gatlinburg!
Ober Gatlinburg was hosting its Spring Fling on March 9. Spring Fling activities include folks trying to ski or snowboard across a trench dug into the snow and filled with water and snow. Ober Gatlinburg’s owners gave permission that day for worship and the baptisms to be held before the mountain opened.
About 30 friends gathered to worship with Scripture readings, prayers, testimonies, and hymns. The water was icy as Black and two women waded in. “God’s joy and laughter joined everyone else’s as these baptisms were quickly done,” reported Black, who also operates Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries.
As a result two other Ober Gatlinburg employees who participate in a second Harvest Fields group, a “Donut Devotional,” witnessed the baptism and also made professions of faith and have requested baptism. Further, their witness into their families have led to two more decisions for Christ.
“These baptisms are planned for slightly warmer weather and locations,” said Black.