A reception was held for Rachael Artanzia Thornton and Jhalyn Vigil, “cousins by blood and special friends by choice,” after their Aug. 18 baptisms by Dr. Serenus T. Churn Sr. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
The 10-year-olds made the decision to dedicate their lives to Christ on separate days in separate cities, but they vowed to enter the baptism waters at the same time. Rachael and Jhalyn were dedicated as babies at Mount Zion and took part in various activities together at the church. Their bond did not weaken when Rachael’s family relocated to Philadelphia.
The reception – themed “From the Kiddie Pool to the Baptism Waters” – was given by Deacon Warren Renwick and Deaconess Patricia Renwick, godparents to the cousins.
Everything from music from “The Lion King” (a favorite of Rachael’s) to Nina Simone’s “Take Me to the Water” was played during the reception.
Marjorie Plowden, director of the Children’s Choir at Mount Zion, was the mistress of ceremonies. A parody, “A Tale of Two Cuzns,” was read by Cleopatra Solomon, co-director of the Child Day Care Center at Mount Zion; special remarks were given by Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke; the food was prepared by Chef Tony Lindsay.
Souvenir gifts for all of those in attendance were prepared by Derry George, who also printed the special invitations and the programs. Decorations were done by Daisy Walker. Danny Imes managed the audio/video for the reception. CRFagin Productions coordinated the overall celebration event.
Rachael is the daughter of Greg and Michelle Thornton. Gregg Sr. and Theresa Thornton are her grandparents. Sylvia Ervin and Sandy Vigil are the parents of Jhalyn. “Gramma” Marlene Jones and the late Evaristo Vigil are her grandparents. Artanzia R. Jones is the family matriarch.