IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1998 | baptism.html

Baptism by fire hose

Charlotte, North Carolina On October 11, volunteer firefighters baptized a crowd of about 2000 with fire hoses. Apostle C.B. Gibson, of the United House of Prayer for All People, organized the event. He said the fire hoses have "no connection whatsoever with demonstrations when Blacks were hosed down by Whites in Mississippi and Alabama." He described the event as "A hallelujah, salvation, spiritual, Holy Ghost time," with people "shouting, speaking in tongues, thanking God, thanking Jesus."

City firefighters were originally scheduled to aim the hoses at the celebrants, but backed out at the last minute, citing the separation of church and state. Volunteer firefighters then took over.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.