Pastor Disciplined for Holding Baptismal Candidates Underwater Too Long

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Pastor Jeb was known for his long-winded baptismal services at the Dry Gulch Adventist Church. Whenever he baptized someone, Jeb liked to add his own personal flair by delivering an extended benediction while the candidates were submerged in the “water grave.”

“Praise be to the Almighty who has called this soul from the depths,” Jeb would intone as the baptismal candidate’s legs kicked frantically. “May the waters of rebirth cleanse and purify their earthly vessel this Sabbath morning…”

By the time he got to “and deliver them into the loving embrace of the heavenly kingdom,” most candidates were making frantic underwater gestures that suggested the loving embrace of oxygen might be more welcome.

It was little surprise when the local conference president called Jeb into his office. “Brother Jeb, we’ve had some…concerns about your baptismal technique.”

Jeb frowned, but the president held up a hand. “Just stick to saying ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.’ Then submerge them, and the only word you can utter is ‘Amen.’ That’s it.”

“But…” Jeb started to protest about wanting to bless the “water grave” portion.

“Amen, Jeb. Just ‘Amen.'”

From then on, Jeb’s baptisms were among the shortest in the conference, though he couldn’t resist holding candidates under just a few extra micro seconds while mouthing “cleanse…purify…heavenly kingdom…”


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