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