Friday, February 15, 2008

A Baptism Friday Five

REVHROD over at Rev. Gals & Pals gives us baptism questions this week;

For today's five, tell us about your baptismal experiences.

1. When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?

I was baptized at First Baptist Church, Pacoima, California by my beloved pastor Rev. L. Stanley Polk.

I was six years old, but I remember it vividly. A week or so before, "Brother Polk" was preaching about baptism, and I was sitting between my parents listening intently. We always had an "invitation" at the close of the service in those days at First Baptist--a time to come forward and pray with someone, to tell the pastor of a decision, etc. I recall tugging at my dad's sleeve and saying "I am getting baptized! I am a Christian and Jesus is my Savior. Why am I not baptized?" My dad said something about my young age, and I said, "I am a Christian!" And out the row I went and straight up to the pastor, where I shook his hand and whispered "I am here to tell you I am a Christian and I want to be baptized." Remembering this, and knowing what a timid little thing I was, I must have really felt it all quite strongly! Makes me smile to recall it.

About a month later, I was baptized in the baptismal pool, one of those kind that is raised above the congregation on the wall. I wore a white robe, as did Bro. Polk, and I had to stand on a couple of cinder block bricks because I was so short. I had a moment of panic as I looked out at the people, but it was short lived. My dad later told me that the congregation could see my little feet as I paddled back to the steps to exit after I was immersed.

2. What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?

Top half, pierced nipples. Bottom half: orange swimming trunks with palm trees on them. No, we don't usually baptize folks half nekkid. Don't ask.

3. Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?

Not so much. Sometimes in summer we do them out at a lake not far from church. Those are my favorite kinds of baptism services. We always sing "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." And usually I do not pray for the baptismal candidate, but someone who knows them well or has had a significant role in their spiritual life does the honors.

4. Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor?

Well we don't baptise infants, but we do dedicate them, and odly enough, no, never been a godparent. Phooey!

5. Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?

See number three. :-) Not my favorite, but what sticks in my mind because we always sing it.


Sally said...

Love that half Nekkid story...must have been wierd!!! As for the lake and the singing etc, wonderful, just wonderful.

rev h-d said...

Interesting about the 1/2 naked folks. You really should share that whole story sometime!
Great play!

nightmare said...

pierced nipples? If it was a she, you church might have had a new member.

Diane M. Roth said...

I like your thoughts about baptizing at the lake. I do wish we baptized more adults. Because there are unchurched people out there, and we aren't reaching them.

much2ponder said...

I think I remember the nekkid story. Ha! It was a he, maybe you need to clarify. lol. I love your persistence as a child, and it is something I love about you even now. Can just picture you telling your dad, "I'm a Christian! Why am I not baptized?"

RevHRod said...

What a strong brave thing you were at 6! And boy, the things we infant baptizers miss out on. Pierced nipples and palm trees!

Anonymous said...

Great story...our previous church used to hold baptisms at one of the local lakes. The last one was a swimming pool in the church back yard.

Auntie Knickers said...

I'm so grateful that you are a part of this group, it broadens my "mainline" horizons so much! And the half-nekkid baptism -- OOH!

zorra said...

In the Baptist church where the Scientist and I met and married, children under ten or so would occasionally walk the aisle and ask to be baptized. Our wonderful pastor took them very seriously but insisted on meeting with them in his study first, to be sure they understood what they were asking. And at every baptism, we sang "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus."Good memories.

Anonymous said...

I know I was baptized twice. I can't remember the first time, though I'm sure I thought I was old enough. I remember the 2nd one. I was in 5th grade and Dad was the pastor and I wanted to do it so that I would remember it.
The only thing I didn't like was that picture that was taken afterwards showed my that my hair looked CRAZY coming up from the water. LOL

Mary Beth said...

Your choice in #1 makes me cry! What a wonderful story.