Apr 272012
 
Excerpt from “Pastoral Incidents” By B. Carradine

Our greatest embarrassment was realized once in administering baptism by immersion for the first time. There were many things against us that day. First, the candidates were of goodly size. Second, the rite [sic] took place in a Baptist church whose corridors, rooms, inclined planes, and steps under the water, and baptismal suits we knew nothing of. Third, an immersionist [sic] preacher stood in the audience before the pool evidently noticing our great ignorance and awkwardness in the whole matter from beginning to end. And, fourth, we were completely in the dark as to the best method of dipping and raising the subject.

A Baptist or Christian minister thoroughly understanding the business will take his position somewhat back of the candidate, and letting him sink gradually and gently into the water will create no shock or strangling; and from that same place in the rear he will have leverage power to raise the immersed person quickly and with little trouble from the water.

Ignorant of these facts we took our position in front of the lady, and thinking that the main thing was to get her under the water, that she might be “buried,” we gave her an unmistakable “chug” or “douse” in the fluid and then pushed her down deep.

To lift her now was the duty of the hour, and the trouble; for we were in front of her and had no leverage. Besides this a great deal of water was resting upon her, adding thereby to the weight of her body, and forming a resisting medium when it came to lifting. The result was a protracted stay under the water by the lady, the thorough immersion of the candidate as well as nineteen-twentieths of the preacher, and a lively effort upon the part of the lady to come to our help and rise to the air again. When she did appear above to the surface it was amazing to see how much water she had swallowed, and now returned to the pool. She was immersed both outside and inside.

We gave a deprecating glance at the immersionist preacher, who tried to look solemn, while there appeared in his eyes and lines of his mouth another look as if he wanted to get off somewhere and roll for ten minutes. When we recovered our breath, we said in a voice that had a decided quaver of anxiety about it,

“Next.”

We have always wondered at the faith of those who came to us in the water after witnessing the above-narrated performance.

Well, we are an expert now, and can immerse with the grace, ease, and confidence of one raised in the Church where the rite is practiced all the time. But the memory of that baptismal incident has never faded and will never fade from our mind. We have a suspicion that the lady herself retains a recollection of the hour that is equally vivid and lasting.

Source: Ages Software V7
 Posted by on 04/27/2012 Illustrations, Ministry ,  Add comments