Pastor Jeff baptizes Cory St. Esprit on Easter Sunday.

Pastor Jeff baptizes Cory St. Esprit on Easter Sunday.


(Testimony Tuesday: This is the first in a weekly series of stories on Pathway Church attenders who entered the waters of baptism spontaneously during Easter weekend. Today: Meet Cory St. Esprit, our Director of Outreach.)

The hand.

To this day, Cory St. Esprit still doesn’t know whose hand was on his shoulder the night he gave his life to Christ.

That was September 12, 2001.

“It was the day after 9/11 and the church I had been attending had a candlelight service. I had gone up to the prayer rail, and a stranger had put his hand on my shoulder. We had been singing ‘Shout to the Lord,’ and I knew at that point I couldn’t do life alone anymore.”

Fast-forward to April 1, 2018. Easter Sunday. 

Pastor Jeff had extended an invitation for anyone to come up and be baptized. Cory knew it was time.

“I had become a Christian when I was 15. My church back then really didn’t push baptism, so I hadn’t given it much thought.”

Yet after Cory had witnessed his twin bother be baptized a few years ago, he began to pray about the act of obedience in his own life.

But he would always find a reason to avoid it.

“With each passing year, it became more awkward. I would think, ‘It’s already been 16 years. I’m on staff at the church. That would look pretty weird.’ ”

Even after Pastor Jeff had made the announcement from the stage, Cory admitted that his first thought was, “I don’t have the clothes for it.’ ”

Pastor Jeff’s next sentence sealed the deal.

“Then he said, ‘And we even have clothes for you.’ ”

Cory laid his cell phone in his wife’s lap and made his way backstage.

“I saw Jeff and he embraced me. He said, ‘My brother.’ ”

Afterward, Cory said he felt calm and refreshed.

“I’ve been at three other churches, and this one feels like home.”
In 2001, a stranger was with Cory when he gave his life to Christ. This time, he knew exactly whose hand was guiding him.
“It felt like the exact right point to be baptized,” Cory explained. “I’ve really seen God’s hand at work in my life.”