My mother told me that when I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church, I did not at all like the salt that was put in my mouth. When I became a born again Christian in my 40s, I learned about baptism by immersion, and I felt I didn’t need to do that because I had already been baptized as a baby.
I began to attend an Assembly of God church that the Lord had directed me to go. During a service, the pastor called people up front who wanted the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Later I found out what that was and I wanted that baptism. I waited several weeks for another call for it, but the pastor didn’t mention it. So one Sunday when I came back from the morning service, I called the church and asked the secretary when the next baptism in the Holy Spirit was going to be.
She said, “Oh, we are going to have it today in the evening service. You had better come right away, because there is going to be a meeting for those receiving the baptism pretty soon!”
I drove to the church in a hurry, praying that my baptism would be very private with no spotlights. I had seen some people giving testimonies where the church lowered the lights and put the spotlight on the speaker.
When I got to the church, it took me a while to find the office since I was a new member. I told the secretary, “I am the lady who called….” “Oh, yes, the meeting is starting—see that gentleman walking that way? Follow him!
I followed the man, who was an associate pastor. He opened the door to the meeting and asked me to come in. The room happened to be the conference room, and it was already full of people sitting around the table with towels and clothing in their arms.
I realized right away that I was in the wrong place—this meeting was for a water baptism—not what I wanted. I was sitting in an extra chair near the door, but the pastor was between me and the door, so there was no easy escape.
The pastor pointed at the nearest person at the table and asked him to say why he wanted to be baptized. He went around the table asking everyone the same question, until it was my turn. I said, “Uh, I am in the wrong place, I was baptized when I was a baby!”
The pastor looked sternly at me, pointed his finger and opened his mouth to speak, but I did not hear him because the Lord’s voice boomed in my head: “THAT’S WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!”
I immediately replied, “Yes, yes, I will do it!!” I interrupted the pastor, and he looked at me as if I were crazy. That was only the first time someone gave me that look.
I said I had not brought a change of clothing or towel. The secretary, who had come in at some point, told me she would give me a towel and a cover-up. I was taken to the women’s locker room. The secretary gave me two white robes. I stripped of all my clothes. Who wants to drive home with wet underwear?
I trusted the two robes were enough as a cover-up when wet. I felt so embarrassed. Then I found out I had to go down some steps to the baptismal pool. I had not seen it before. It was up and in the center of the back wall of the altar. They had dimmed all the lights in the sanctuary and the spotlights were on baptismal!! I was even more embarrassed.
I was in a hurry to get this over with, so when it was my turn, I wanted to get in the water right away, but the pastor, now convinced I was a problem, stopped me. He wanted to do a little speech before lowering me in the water. I came up the stairs dripping wet and hoping the robes did not become transparent, remembering the spotlights were on me now. So much for that prayer!
When I reached the lockers, I felt faint. I had to grab the sink counter to steady myself. I noticed in the mirror my false eyelashes were hanging down my eyes. I figured the Lord did not want me to wear them, so I threw them in the trash. And I also figured out that my baby baptism did not count for anything. I guess the Lord prefers the immersion as He clearly states in His Word. (Luke 3:21)