California Church Plant Baptizes 84 People In 18 Months

Rick (left) and Antoinette Hynes, are two of the 84 members of New Song Parkside that have accepted Christ and followed up with baptism since the church launched in September 2014. They Hynes and their two sons are part of the New Song community. Photo courtesy New Song Parkside
Rick (left) and Antoinette Hynes, are two of the 84 members of New Song Parkside that have accepted Christ and followed up with baptism since the church launched in September 2014. They Hynes and their two sons are part of the New Song community.
Photo courtesy New Song Parkside

While everyone else at New Song Parkside Church stood to sing — including Rick Hynes’ wife Antoinette, — Rick stayed in his seat with his arms crossed.

Later, when pastor Jim Britts was able to spend some time with Hynes, the veteran of nine Marine deployments told him, “There’s no way God could forgive me for some of the things I’ve done overseas.” When Britts asked Hynes how he dealt with the guilt, Hynes replied, “Well, I play video games and try not to lash out at my kids.”

“You need a new strategy,” Britts said. He explained the forgiveness of Jesus and the Gospel, and Hynes gave his life to Christ. The next Sunday, Hynes told him after the service, “Hey, Jim, don’t tell anybody, but I cried in church for the first time in my life.”

Hynes is not the only one at New Song Parkside whose life has changed. In the San Diego church’s first 18 months, they have baptized 84 people.

The Parkside Three-Week Challenge

Rick and Antoinette — and dozens of couples like them — connected with congregation through Kids Unleashed, a church program that offers free lessons to children in their North County, Calif., neighborhood. The wide variety of options — basketball, soccer, dance, cheer, drum line, magic, guitar, piano, sign language and more — draws young families to the church on Sunday mornings. Hundreds of kids join the activities on the playground and in classrooms of Temple Heights Elementary School, while New Song Parkside is holding its second worship service of the day in the school’s cafetorium.

Planted in September 2014 as a fourth campus of the original New Song Community Church in Oceanside, about 130 of New Song Parkside’s 250 adults will be engaged with Kids Unleashed for its seven-week run this spring. During the program’s closing ceremonies, Britts presents what he calls “the Parkside Three-Week Challenge.”

“I say, ‘Hey, would you check out Parkside for three weeks? You’ve come once. There’s only two more to go. At the end of three weeks, if this doesn’t feel like something good for your family, let me know and I will personally help you find a church that would be. It’s not about Parkside, it’s about finding a place where you can see all God has in store for your life.'”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Mark Kelly