Anyone who has ever attended a past Warner University chapel could agree that Tuesday’s was uniquely different from any other when 72 were baptized by Senior Pastor of South Lake Wales Church of God Bob Beckler.
Dr. Cathy Brim was chosen in early January to speak on Feb. 26 and was quick to find a replacement. “I am an introvert,” said Brim. Brim knew God wanted her to speak after what had been happening on campus over the last two weeks with speakers Dr. Joseph Jennings and Chad Varga.
Brim addressed the chapel and offered an opportunity to be submerged and baptized in front of peers, administrators, faculty, and staff. A few students were quick to stand up and go forward, but it was what happened over the following 45 minutes that left many like Director of Resident Life Rodney Dallas amazed. “Warner has never had a chapel where something like that has happened since I’ve been a student or staff here,” said Dallas.
Pastor Bob Beckler baptized all 72 during Tuesday’s chapel service, and was sure to speak to each individual about what was happening. “I saw tears streaming down face after face,” said Beckler. “It was something I had never experienced before.”
Freshman Jordan Jenkins entered chapel as if it were going to be a regular service. Jenkins recalls being baptized when he was 12-years-old, but after he saw several others go forward he felt moved to go as well.
Seven beach towels were brought to chapel Tuesday morning to dry off the expected few students to go forward to be baptized. After the stage filled with teary-eyed students, church staff began climbing into the attic and searching the church for towels. The service came to an end and 71 students and one faculty member stood along the sides of the sanctuary wet, but renewed.
You can watch the baptism ceremony on YouTube by clicking here.
photo by Warner University professor Philip Maschke.