The event was held on Founders’ Green on June 5, in a baptismal pool built into an outdoor stage area. Dozens of family members and friends of those baptized sat on lawn chairs and blankets to witness the occasion. University chaplain Sam Leonor, along with assistant chaplains Martin Corona and Linda Biswas, performed the baptisms. Kendra Haloviak Valentine, associate professor of New Testament studies and an ordained minister, also baptized one candidate.
Adrian Cortez, a security officer at La Sierra University aiming for a career in criminal justice, was among those who made public their commitment to Christ. He said he found Jesus irresistible because of “His never-ending love” for the world and His sacrifice to save humanity. If I had to choose one thing, I would say how He truly leads by example, and how He is truly a hero. . . . You have Jesus, who in this case is the boss or higher-up, who came down to Earth as the God to save us.”
“I find Jesus’ love and forgiveness irresistible to not accept,” said Summer Nichole Johnson. She plans to be a nutritionist and registered dietician working with children. “I love the fact that I talk to Him anytime and anywhere. It’s like having a best friend who is there for you 24/7 and you don’t even have to call Him.”
Alejandra Najarro, senior class president and health science/healthcare management major, was also baptized, with about 15 friends present, including some who were also baptized. Her family watched a broadcast of the event online and traveled to Riverside a few days later for her graduation.
In addition to several short-term overseas mission trips, Alejandra served for a year as a student missionary and head nurse in Pucallpa, Peru. There, she provided medical care to local communities, and even assisted with childbirth.
“I had decided in my heart years ago that I want to follow God wherever He will take me—Perú, Nicaragua, or here. And I want to now share it with those I love,” she said of her decision for baptism. “I have decided to follow God.”