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I didn’t grow up in a church or with any particular
religious affiliation. At the request of my mother, I begrudgingly went to my
small town Baptist church occasionally in high school.  Yes, I sang the songs, I read the
verses, I listened (mostly) to the Pastor and I smiled polite smiles at the
people next to me….but my heart couldn’t have been further away from where it
appeared to be. 

 

After graduation, I traveled six hours south to attend
college at a university that was near my then boyfriend of three years.  My boyfriend that I had no doubt I
would someday marry.  You can
imagine my complete devastation when he broke up with me about a month of being
there.  Although,”complete devastation” doesn’t even bring life to the reality that my heart was facing.  To my 18 year old self, my life may as
well have been over.  He was my
everything; my core.  My heart was
broken into a million pieces and remained that way for years. 


It wasn’t until second semester of my junior year of college
while studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland that I found a glimmer of
hope.  I met Whitney.  Kentucky raised Whitney – she was as
southern as they came.  We were in
the same program and soon became a very dear friend to me.  One day, in casual conversation likely
related to my inability to get over that same boyfriend, Whitney told me of a
relationship that she had – a relationship in which she had never been let
down.  One that had she had never
been hurt by; one that was a constant in her life.  It was her relationship with God.  I wanted that.  I
needed that.  I craved that.  Life had beaten me down and I often
felt utterly alone and hopeless.  From there,
I made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and my life was forever changed.

Truth be told, I was pretty nervous to return to school for
my senior year of college for fear that my newfound faith wouldn’t be accepted
by my friends.  Once back in
Southern California I began going to church, attending a bible study and telling
my friends – my closest friends – about my experience.  And sure enough, they thought I was
crazy.   Some of them made fun
of me – some to my face and some behind my back.  I don’t think they knew how much it hurt me, but man…it
did. 


In time, it became terribly hard to “be me” – the “new” me.  A protective shell soon formed – a
shell that shielded me from persecution and hurt; a shell that made it hard for
me to share with others that I was a believer in Christ.  A shell that has thinned considerably over
the years as I’ve matured, but that still creeps up on me and reminds me that
it is still there….even here in the South…where you almost weird if you don’t at least call yourself a Christian.  But today, I’m
cracking that shell open and sharing something that happened in our church this
past weekend. 


This past weekend I had the privilege of shooting 135 people
at our uptown campus who chose to make a public declaration of their faith in
Christ through baptism.   In
total, there were 1426 baptisms over the course of 2 days.  And we’re doing it again this
weekend.  J


The video below is an absolute must-see….Christian or
not.  As I tweeted the other day –
our church video team is ridiculous. 
The talent that they possess is off the charts.  They put together this edit on Sunday
night after baptisms had concluded and had it up by Monday morning.  And it’s incredible.  I am moved to tears at the sight of
these people making this public statement of their faith…that they have decided
to follow Jesus. 


Cheyenne Schultz

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  1. Drea says:

    that video was such an awesome video, saw it on holly’s blog. posted it on mine 🙂

  2. Heather Greer says:

    Your most significant post yet, Cheyenne…I’m proud to be your sister in Christ 🙂

  3. great story, cheyenne! what a great reminder of God’s faithfulness. I love whitney’s boldness in telling you about her relationship with Him and the strength you had to pursue a relationship with God even if it wouldn’t be popular. I find this really encouraging.

  4. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! This is the most powerful video I’ve seen in a LONG time. God is SO GOOD and it’s so refreshing to see baptism portrayed in a way that the 21st century can relate to! My husband is a youth pastor and we took our kids to elevation last year during our mission trip in Charlotte and they loved it. What amazing things the Lord is doing there!! Praise Jesus for your friend Whitney and her boldness. Gosh. Isn’t it crazy how one act of boldness can change the course of one girl’s ENTIRE life?! This post completely made my day. I’m rejoicing with you and all of those 1426 new believers that have decided to make a huge life change and follow Christ. i could go on and on but I’ll refrain:) Amazing post girl!

  5. Matt Keener says:

    That’s such a beautiful story Cheyenne! It’s so great to hear about your path to Christ. The video is incredible. I hate that we missed it.

  6. Karen / Mom / Grandmom / Friend says:

    Amen. I am excited for everyone! It could not happen at a more significant time and I hope more are drawn to the public declaration or their faith and request of their community to hold them accountable and responsible to walk as a Christian. Very moving.

  7. Praising God with you and thankful for your friends boldness. I pray to always be that bold when God opens the door for me to share my faith in Him. He has changed our lives in ways I never dreamed possible or imagined. We have adopted 7 children in 5 yrs from two different countries. We have moved from our home state to a new one to follow Christ’s leading in our lives. Saying Yes!!! to following Him has been the most amazing, hard and yet awesome thing we have ever done! So thankful you church filmed this so many could be blessed! I was and all I could say after watching it is WOW – GOD YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!

  8. logan says:

    beautiful video. so emotional, and a great message. thanks!

  9. I’ll never get tired of watching this. SO blessed to be a part of what God is doing through this church.

  10. amy craparo says:

    I have decided too! Many years ago, changed my life forever, who I am and will be! Jesus is King of Kings! Thank you Cheyenne for sharing your experience. We all need to be more vocal.

  11. Kay Compton says:

    Powerful!!! I have watched and shared the video and then listened to the sermon – Praise God for how He is moving at Elevation and the lives changed. Thanks for being so transparent in your blog. Look forward to spending eternity with you guys!

  12. WOW. It was beautiful to see the Kingdom of God advancing, not just Christians moving from one church to another. Inspiring. Amazingly well done video too.

  13. casey says:

    this post was forwarded to me by a friend and I just have to say AWESOME!! God was glorified through you today and I know you will encourage many through this post. The video gave me chills and now I hope to share a link to your post if you don’t mind. I’d love for others to be encoruaged by your words and this video!! God is worthy of our praise because He really is AWESOME!!

  14. Sara says:

    This was AMAZING!! It gave me chills watching it!! Great job capturing this moment for all those people!! LOVE it!!

  15. kia says:

    I am rejoicing for them, for me, for us all!!

  16. Michelle says:

    wow! I’ve never seen something like that — how amazing to see! Praying God keeps working in their lives!

  17. Annie says:

    Beautiful. So incredibly beautiful.

  18. April McEwen says:

    sitting at work watching this…tears just running down my face, dont even care if anyone see’s me. this is amazing. God is so good. Thanks for sharing Cheyenne!

  19. Our church did something similar to this last year and it was incredible…several hundred were baptized in one weekend. It doesn’t matter if I know the person or not, I am brought to tears at the incredible hope, peace and love that has been given to us. And, when we can confidently/publicly share our faith through baptism, I can’t help but be moved. Thanks for sharing your heart and for letting us capture a glimpse of God’s hands at work in your church…amazing!

  20. clarivel.ann says:

    SO incredible! ALL of those people… they will never be the same again!! Man, GOD IS AMAZING!!

  21. Nancy Ray says:

    Melted into tears while watching this. So beautiful. Nothing like those first sweet moments after really choosing Jesus for yourself. Thanks for sharing – so, so beautiful.

  22. I just go major goose bumps.

  23. Love it!!!! Great testimony and video! God bless!

  24. Laura Fulmer says:

    Absolutely. incredible.
    not other words could encapsulate how this video made me feel. Thank you so much for sharing. i wish i lived in Charlotte so I could be a member! your personal post about going into your shell hit home incredibly much with me as well.
    sharing this video. spreading the word. thank you.

  25. Aaron says:

    Awesome video. Such good news to hear of so many making such a bold declaration of their faith. Praise the Lord!!

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