It started with enthusiastic cheering, transitioned to raucous applause and ended with a standing ovation. This kind of response—normally reserved for touchdowns and troop homecomings—instead was directed toward the baptistry at Green Acres Baptist Church last October, when after 33,855 days of living (that’s 92 years, if you’re doing the math), Jack Peaslee was baptized.
Needless to say, the folks at Green Acres were pretty pumped.
“We obviously celebrated like crazy with him,” Pastor Michael Gossett said. “It was such a special moment.”
Peaslee began attending Green Acres in early 2021 at the invitation of a friend. After several months, in response to one of Gossett’s sermons, Peaslee expressed a desire to join the church. Staff were more than happy to talk to him about making that decision, but first, they talked to him about the decision that matters most: “Have you ever trusted Jesus as Lord?”
No, Peaslee said, he had not.
A staff pastor then spent the next 45 minutes using the 3 Circles method of evangelism to share the gospel with Peaslee and explain to him what it means to follow Jesus.
“He said he had never heard that before,” Gossett said.
The staff pastor then invited him to follow Jesus, but Peaslee said he needed more time to think about what he had been told. As Peaslee spent the coming days thinking it over, the Green Acres staff took their pleas to the Lord.
“We prayed for Jack Peaslee by name for three weeks,” Gossett said. “He came back three weeks later and said, ‘I’m ready to give my life to Jesus.’”
Peaslee was baptized by Jeremy Jones, Green Acres’ minister to adults. Jones said the congregation began cheering the moment he introduced his new brother in Christ from the baptistry the morning of Oct. 3. “I turned to Jack and said, ‘There is a whole church out there full of people that are proud of you and who love you.’ … It was an awesome moment in the life of our church and one that we will not soon forget.”
For his part, Peaslee said he was surprised at how the church responded to his baptism. “The standing ovation really blew my mind,” he said. “I had no idea what to do. It felt wonderful. … I had never received anything like that.”
Gossett said the moment was meaningful for the church for many reasons, including the fact that they have been talking a lot about how God is a God of all generations. Over a span of months, the church saw tangible proof of that as a young child, a median-age adult and then Peaslee decided to trust Christ and be baptized.
“Our church loves to see life change no matter who it is, and to see a life transformed at the age of 92—that was really big for our church” Gossett said. “God is always pursuing us. He is never finished with us.”