'It's a heartfelt, genuine experience': Eastman Pastor baptizes in humble farm pond
The River at Eastman Church has also used a cow trough to deliver the sacrament.
'The holy spirit led me to offer my home for baptisms at the pond': A sacred and special time
Thousands of years ago, the Bible tells us Jesus was baptized in humble waters.
Today most congregations have some sort of an indoor pool or basin where followers dunk their heads and pledge their faith to God.
It's a sacred and special time.
One church in Eastman has gone back to a simple setup.
Jennifer Green-Sullivan's picturesque home is the backdrop for service on a Sunday night for The River at Eastman Church.
"One day, I happened to be singing, and the holy spirit led me to offer my home for baptisms at the pond," she recalled.
Green-Sullivan is the praise leader and got that idea in church.
They worship without a lot of frills added to the service.
In fact, they dunk many heads in the name of Jesus in a cow trough.
"Haha, well, my children, all but one were baptized in the cow trough at the church, so those were good days, but I think out here is better," Green-Sullivan said.
Pastor Gerald Conley says some might folks may raise their eyebrows.
"We don't have a baptism pool, yea, we're a little bit off on the strange side to some folks, I guess," he chuckled.
It doesn't seem strange to offer a replica of what Jesus did so long ago when he was baptized in the River Jordan.
It's in these red Georgia clay-tinted waters where worshipers come to be born again as Christ-followers.
Pastor Conley will tell you he's a far cry from John the Baptist.
"I was wicked," he admitted.
And the man who says Jesus called him to start the church 20 years ago hands out the sacrament in this pretty biblically authentic setting.
It does come with some logistical challenges.
"Last time I was on a ledge, and it was cold, and I like to fall over backwards," Conley said.
At first, they feel weird because you've got to wade out in the muck, Green-Sullivan said.
Sometimes city folks don't like soft dirt and moss, just ask Andrea Chauncey and her husband Bruce, but they eventually did make it out into the calm waters and received the sacrament.
"To be a follower of Christ it's the best thing in my life," Andrea said emotionally.
"It's awesome due to the fact that a lot of folks get baptized in regular pools. This right here is getting what he created," Bruce said, pointing at the sky.
It's a heartfelt, genuine experience, a symbol of faith less formal than a sanctuary, yet meant to walk in the way of Jesus.