It’s become one of the summer’s most noted and well-attended events in the area, as churchgoers and non-believers alike go swimming for their Savior.
The Mendham Hills Community Church of Chester Township will hold its annual Baptism at the Lake on Sunday, June 22 on the property of the late Jack Borgenicht on Fairvew Avenue.
The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. The Borgenicht property is located at 392 Fairview Avenue.
Breakfast will be served at the event to go along with games and entertainment, which seems to grow with each year. But when the time comes for the actual baptizing, the church gets down to business.
“Baptism for us as followers of Jesus follows a profession of faith. We believe once someone has made a decision to become a follower of Jesus that they should make this profession publicly through this ceremony,” said Mendham Hills Community Church Pastor John Isemann, who stays in the lake during the ceremony and conducts the baptism. “We believe that baptism is an outward sign of an inward truth. In being baptized we are aligning with Jesus in His death as we go into the water and rising to new life as we emerge.”
Each year, dozens of men, women and children are "dunked" in the lake to publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ.
Mendham Hills has become known for its engaging and often theatrical Christmas Eve ceremonies, and recently had comedian and Chester resident Jim Breuer speak during a month’s worth of sermons on the subject of marriage.
Despite the event not being held inside the church walls, Isemann believes the June service is the pinnacle of the calendar year for Mendham Hills.
"For our church these baptism celebrations are an annual highlight. Sure, we love Easter and Christmas services but this is our holiest moment,” Isemann said. “In this incredibly beautiful setting surrounded by families, friends and even folks that happen to join us from the community, we have had the privilege of baptizing hundreds of people.”
The community at large is invited to attend the event, but large groups are requested to inform the church by calling 908-879-2880.