(Testimony Tuesday: This is another in a series of stories on Pathway attenders who were baptized spontaneously on Easter Sunday.)
Brandon Fowler was just getting comfortable.
Maybe a little too comfortable.
“I was actually at home the morning of Easter Sunday. I was watching the live service of Elevation Church,” he recalled.
Brandon explained that his wife, Dawn, is a respiratory therapist and works 12-hour shifts every other weekend at McGuire Memorial Home in New Brighton. On those weekends, it can be difficult for Brandon to pack up his boys — Joshua, 3, and Owen, 2 — and head to church, so he’ll occasionally watch services online.
But not this day.
“I’m sitting there and I thought, ‘There’s no reason why I can’t get myself and the boys out the door and to church.’ ”
So he corralled them and left their Brighton Township home. Little did Brandon know that God had something special in store for him at Pathway.
“The boys usually struggle with us leaving them in the children’s wing,” he continued. “But on Easter they went straight in. It was quite surprising.”
Or just part of a bigger plan.
A SENSE OF PEACE
Fast-forward an hour or so and Brandon Fowler is getting uncomfortable.
“I’m sitting in my seat at the service and Pastor Jeff starts talking about baptism. I could barely sit still. I kept tapping my foot and squirming. There were visitors sitting next to me and they probably thought I was crazy,” he said, laughing. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to go up there. I’ve got to go and make this happen.’ ”
So he did.
And with each step he took toward the backstage area, the more peace he felt.
“When I got back there, I was so much more at ease,” he explained. “It all made sense at the moment.”
Brandon, 32, revealed that he had been a Christian for “as long as I can remember.” His grandfather had been a deacon, and his family attended services together at Bible Baptist Church in New Sewickley.
“My faith has always been a very sure thing for me. I don’t have a dramatic reckoning story.”
He had considered being baptized in the past, but the timing had never felt right.
Until it did.
OUT OF CONTROL
After Brandon dried off and picked up his kids, he couldn’t wait to share the news with his family and friends.
“I was very excited to tell my grandfather — he’s the best man I know,” Brandon said. “My mom had tears in her eyes. My grandfather had tears in his eyes.”
And then there was his wife.
Brandon chuckled before explaining how that conversation went down.
“She was like, ‘What? You got baptized? I wasn’t there.’ ”
But once Brandon relayed the entire story, she was thrilled for him.
“I had no plans to do it that day,” he added, “but it was long past due.”
Brandon is a project manager for Horizon Information Services and he is used to discovering solutions in the tiniest details. Yet that doesn’t always translate when the workday ends, he admitted.
“I struggle with control, and I feel like that’s my approach to my relationship with God,” he said. “I need to give it up.”
And for one very special day, he did.
“It was not of me and it wasn’t my timing,” Brandon said of his baptism. “It was pretty wild and amazing.”