I was pastoring my first church in the mountain town of Oakridge, Oregon in the Cascade Mountains. Our small Baptist church did not have a baptistery, so that left finding another wet location. There were rivers and lakes all around, but the one with which I was experienced was icy cold. The Middle Fork of the Willamette coursed through Oakridge and was easily accessed through the city’s Green Waters Park. The water was indeed green and swift and icy cold. I didn’t want my first baptism to die while getting baptized, so I began looking around.
I was pleased we found Hills Creek Lake, a reservoir a short distance from Oakridge. And it was WARM! It turns out the cold water of the Middle Fork of the Willamette came from the reservoir, but it came from the icy deeper levels of the lake. So there we were – our congregation standing on the bank of the lake to witness this act of commitment by our newest member.
The two deacons, the vict – I mean, the person to be baptized – and I inched out into the lake. I’m thinking it would have been good to scout out the bottom ahead of time, but it’s too late now. Suddenly, one deacon lurched and dipped and said, “I think we’re out far enough, Brother John.” We carried out our act of worship in the warm lake on a beautiful sunny warm day. Then we headed back in to shore. The water felt so good . . . I had to fight the urge to just swim back in. Fortunately, I conquered my base desires and just walked in with the rest of them.
[This is my very first blog post ever in my life. If you have a similar story, please let me know in the comments (if I have the page set up correctly). If you liked reading about this incident, let me know that as well along with any suggestions to make this better. Have a great day today!]