Joys & Memories of Yester Years
by Madge Burns
It was the most beautiful baptismal gown I had ever seen. It was a long white garment with lots of lace and ribbon. It had a wide hem with weights sewn in it so that when I was baptized in the baptistery, the gown would not come up. And the most wonderful thing about this gown was that my mother had made it for me. It was mine.
I was nine years old and attending the First Baptist Church in Bernice, La. with my brother, Brodie, and my sisters, Eula and Aunean. Our church would usually have two revivals a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. During one of these revivals, the pastor delivered a very powerful message that stirred up everyone. At the end of the sermon, the pastor invited people to join the church and come to know Jesus. Ten of my friends stood up and proceeded to go down the aisle to talk to the pastor. I was afraid, but I followed them. Giving my heart to Jesus had been on my mind for some time, but I hadn’t had the nerve to step out and make that decision on my own. When my friends made the first step, it helped me to realize that I needed to take Jesus for my savior right then and there.
Mama was trilled to death. When we got home that night, she said, “I am going to make you a very special gown for this very special occasion in your life. And she did. I thought it was the greatest garment that anyone had ever worn. It made me feel like an angel.
On the night of the baptismal service. Mama helped me get dressed. All the children getting baptized were lined up in one of the Sunday school classrooms. The pastor called us one at a time. After watching several other children being baptized, fear left me.
When the pastor called my name, I was ready. I walked down into the water. The pastor held my nose and lowered me into the water, as he said, “I baptize thee, Madge Green, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” He raised me up out of the water as he said, “Amen”. Mama was so proud of me.
All my love for the church started when I took Jesus for my Savior and was baptized in His name. I know He was watching me from Heaven in my beautiful lace gown that my mama made me.