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Radcliff church to baptize in the street on Sunday

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water trough will be set up for ceremony

By Sarah Berkshire

Baptism is an act that should be seen and cheered, said the Rev. Gary Summers. It’s the kind of thing that should be done in the open, in the street, even.

“The thing about baptism is it’s a celebration,” Summers said. “There should be cheering, there should be praising and hallelujahs with a baptism.”

Summers, pastor at Crossroads Christian Center in Radcliff, and others plan to do just that at 3 p.m. Sunday when five or six people are baptized on the road in front of Summers’ home at 1786 Rodney St. off Blackjack Road in Radcliff.

The plan started as a dilemma.

Crossroads Christian Church used to rent a larger space along U.S. 31W. The property changed ownership about four years ago and that’s when the congregation started filling Summers’ living room with folding chairs to meet.

The Foursquare church shares a portable baptistery with two other churches. It’s huge, though it might have fit in Summers’ carport, and the cost to fill it is significant, he said. This is the first time the church planned baptisms since the move and Summers wasn’t sure what to do.

In the last three-and-a-half months, there have been six “salvations,” a high number for a small church, Summers said. At any given Sunday afternoon or Wednesday night service, there are about a dozen people in attendance.

The street baptism idea came to Summers through prayer, he said.

He recited bits of the Bible’s story about Philip baptizing a eunuch in water they happened to pass along the road they were traveling.

“There’s water, why not do it here? Right in the middle of the street,” Summers said.

A water trough — about 7 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep — will be placed at the foot of the driveway, positioned on flat ground but not blocking traffic. Summers, who uses crutches because his left leg was amputated below the knee, will kneel beside the trough.

Church members and guests will be seated in the yard. Anyone who wants to witness the baptisms is welcome.

“Nothing would thrill me more than our yard being full of people,” he said.

Sarah Berkshire can be reached at 270-505-1745 or sberkshire@thenewsenterprise.com.