Rising to new life

Edwin Alacron, center, celebrates his baptism Sunday morning at Mukwonago Park. Baptizing Alacron were Mark Lynch, left, pastor of students, and Jason Webb, lead pastor, both of Brooklife Church, Mukwonago. Alacron was part of a group of 86 believers who were baptized. (Photo by John Koski)

86 people baptized in Mukwonago park Sunday

By John Koski


Baptism by immersion is a deeply spiritual and highly symbolic tradition. For many Christians it symbolizes a new beginning and a new way of life.

“Baptism is a celebration,” said Jason Webb, lead pastor of Brooklife Church, Mukwonago. “It is an affirmation and a proclamation.”

The 86 believers who were baptized Sunday morning at the church’s annual Baptism Celebration, held at Mukwonago Park, echoed Webb’s thoughts.

“Baptism to me means that you’re putting the life that you had before behind you and you’re starting a new life believing in Jesus Christ,” said Edwin Alarcon, who was baptized along with sons Austin and Cody. “It means a lot to me that my sons were baptized with me. My faith is something that I definitely wanted to share with them.”

“We hold this event every year,” Webb said. “It’s an opportunity for people to come forward who want to publically profess their faith. Afterward, we have a great picnic and play some softball and other games.”

The celebration began with an outdoor worship service, during which the testimonies of those about to be baptized were shared with a Brooklife congregation numbering in the hundreds.

“So many things are happening in people’s lives,” said Jeremy Carlin, pastor of worship arts “That’s what you hear when you listen to the testimonies of the people being baptized. It’s evidence of lives changed because of what Jesus is doing in their hearts and lives. This is really a celebration of family and of what God has being doing in our midst during the past year.”

To tie in with the event being a celebration, Webb said he wanted to hear “a lot of hootin’ and hollerin” as he urged congregants to “whoop it up.”

As each person was baptized, those doing the baptizing said, “Dead to sin,” as they immersed the person, and “Alive to Christ” as each person was raised out of the water, which is when joyful hoots, hollers and whoops filled the air.

The event clearly was joyous, but also solemn. For Jeff Fons, being baptized symbolized a rebirth. “It gives me a second chance to live my life,” he said.

Heather Cera’s response was similar, “No matter how far down the wrong path you go, there is always hope.”

Afterward, there was a joy-filled atmosphere at the picnic as congregants shared the day with one another and enjoyed each other’s company. The weather was pleasant, the worship uplifting and the food good. It was indeed a fitting way for 86 believers to begin a new life.

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