Asking a Baptist preacher to baptize is like asking Colonel Sanders if he wants a bucket of chicken. Somebody’s going to get dunked. So when a football coach in Villa Rica, Georgia asked to be baptized on the high school football field—the local First Baptist Church obliged. At the end of the school day somebody hauled out an old feeding trough, plopped it in the end zone near the field house and filled it with water. A crowd of about 75 folks, black and white, young and old, gathered in the sweltering August heat to watch the coach take the Baptist plunge.
It’s an outward symbol of being washed anew. Perhaps inspired by their coach’s public display of his faith, some of the players also asked to be baptized. One by one the teenage boys stepped into the trough—as onlookers prayed and rejoiced and applauded. Oh, it was quite a moment in Villa Rica—all captured on video by a staff member of the First Baptist Church. Little did anyone know a rite of Christian passage would soon spark national outrage. FULL REPORT