Dave Treybig  

(Editor's Note: Mr. Cole asked that we include the following experience of Dave Treybig for the interest of our readers.)

Not too long ago, I experienced an interesting and humorous situation in performing a baptism ceremony. I mentioned the story to Mr. Ed Smith who suggested that I write it up and send it in for possible use in the PASTOR'S REPORT. I hope my fellow ministers will find it interesting.

I began visiting an inmate in one of the three prisons located in my visiting territory and had no difficulty in counseling with him as he progressed toward baptism. When the time came for him to be baptized, I called the Protestant chaplain to ask permission to come into the prison chapel and perform the baptism by immersion. In talking with him, I was told that there were no facilities for baptism by immersion. He suggested that perhaps I would want to change my theology.

Exploring another line of reasoning, I asked about the possibility of bringing in a portable baptism tank. The chaplain was unsure of this, but agreed to ask the warden if it could be done. The warden agreed and I took the tank into the prison with all the accompanying jokes, questions, etc. asked by officers and inmates alike about what was going on.

After getting the tank to the chapel and the process of filling the tank with water had begun, the chaplain explained to me that two other inmates had been "saved" over the weekend and would like to be baptized by immersion also. He asked if I would mind performing the ceremony for them too. I declined suggesting that it would be better for him to perform the ceremony since he had worked with them.

Upon coming to this agreement, he asked if I had my ritual book with me because he had forgotten to bring his with him that morning. I told him that I had the ceremony we used memorized, but would be happy to briefly outline it for him if he would like. He said he would appreciate it, so I went over the ceremony in a minute or so explaining just very briefly how and why we performed the ceremony as we do. Upon concluding, his reply was, "That sounds good to me!" So after I baptized the inmate I had counseled, the chaplain baptized the other two inmates in the same fashion as I had, even including the laying on of hands after immersion.

As I thought about it later, that chaplain was on the spot in front of the other inmates. With the entire group present, I had explained in an opening prayer and during the prayer with the laying on of hands the scriptural texts for what I was doing and had the chaplain omitted part of the ceremony, the other two would have felt like they had been cheated and only gotten a second-rate baptism! By the way, after all was said and done, the chaplain asked where we had gotten the portable tank as he intended to purchase one for use at the prison.

— Dave Treybig, Portsmouth, Ohio

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Pastor General's ReportOctober 03, 1978Vol 2 No. 39