Meet The Baratta Family
August 4, 2007
The latest edition of From The Pastor's Desk:
Growing up, I always knew there was a God and that the Bible was His book, but nothing more than that. I always thought that doing good things was how I was going to get to heaven and that is what I wanted to do.
In the Fall of 1999, when I was 13 years old, I started attending church with grandparents. There was one service, about a month into my church going experience, where the pastor preached from Isaiah 53 and explained how that prophecy related to Jesus. When the invitation was given to trust in Jesus Christ, I did not hesitate to call on Him to be saved. At that point, I believed Jesus took the punishment for my sins and that He is my Savior.
Starting my freshman year of high school, I attended West Endicott Baptist Church after being invited by a friend to their youth group. The group was full of awesome leaders who loved Jesus and taught me the Word of God. Though I still made some poor decisions in high school, the time that the youth group leaders spent pouring into my life helped keep me on the path of following Jesus. As a result, I confessed Jesus in the waters of baptism in August 2002.
Not long after that, I dedicated my life to serving the Lord at a youth conference that focused on being a disciple and giving everything for Jesus. This dedication turned into a commitment to spend one year of my life studying the Word of God at Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, NY. That one year turned into two, and it was clear that the Lord was leading me into ministry. During my time at Word of Life, I met the woman who would become my beloved bride and wonderful mother to our five beautiful children.
I completed my undergraduate work at Appalachian Bible College in 2010, earning a Bachelors in Bible and Theology while majoring in pastoral studies and minoring in Biblical Greek.
Upon graduating, God made it clear that He was leading us to the state of Maine to serve in ministry. Since arriving here, we have been part of numerous ministry endeavors. From a pastoral internship to AWANA to youth group to teaching Sunday school to a variety of leadership positions. God has used many avenues to shape our family to serve Him and love others.
Beginning in April 2014, I served in the pastorate of Hilltop Baptist Church in Cornish, ME until September 2017. God used that experience to teach me a lot about pastoral ministry and how to serve people well. From September 2018 to June 2021, I was a full-time history/science/Bible teacher at Ossipee Valley Christian School. In February 2021, while still serving with OVCS, I was called to be the pastor at First Baptist Shapleigh and commenced my full-time position after the school year concluded.
It has been over 15 years since I committed my life to serve the Lord and it has taken many forms. I have learned that ultimately, as my wife likes to say, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
The Bible has taught me a lot of truth and wisdom. But there is none more important and convicting to me than Romans 1:16:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.