My Obedience to Immersion

The first step of my obedience to Christ didn't come right away after salvation. I was deprived of this immediate opportunity; I was not taught to follow. When I accepted Jesus in my childhood, no one shared to me that I should be water baptized. No one challenged me to publicly declare my faith.

In my early teens, my youth group had a summer outing. There may have been 30+ teenagers and leaders then. Like most early adolescent boys, my mind wandered - I have no recollection where we went. I also don't remember the youth pastor's name who gathered us, but that he was chubby, dark-skinned, he wore a white undershirt with black pants, and that he wore glasses. Later, he baptized us in this outfit.

I was an accidental baptizee. I didn't join that social gathering with the conviction of following Jesus in water baptism. But I knew those youth leaders did their best. Water baptism was the first part of the program. They started asking, "Have you been water baptized?" Sheepishly I said no. I was too embarrassed to ask what it was.

We were rounded up, about 5 of us - maybe only the willing ones. The pastor explained what water baptism was. And because I love the Lord, and a valid challenge to show my love to the Lord was presented, I consented right away.

The next thing I remembered we were in the swimming pool, there could have been someone playing the guitar and a chorus of "I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back." The pastor recited a simple prayer, and while I pinched my nose and held my other arm, he gently pushed me backward. As I rose out of the water, all the others cheered. When we were all baptized, all the other young people jumped in and swam their hearts out.

Years on, I would know (with my eyes closed!) the teaching behind my simple obedience. This accidental baptize has become an intentional baptizer.

How about you? How were you water baptized?