Regular attenders of Elevation Church reported being surprised Sunday morning when they were directed to the “new balcony entrance” for seating.
We normally get there early so we can sit as close to pastor Steven as possible,” Marie Dotwiler told reporters. “We were all like, ‘What’s going on?’” They did not have to wonder for long.
Pastor Steven Furtick took the stage under a single spotlight, and after some coy banter, he reportedly announced that it was “Baptism Sunday,” but that this was “not your Mama’s Baptism Sunday.” At this cue, a giant water slide, stretching from the balcony down to a small pool of water, was unveiled from behind a large curtain as the worship band began performing TLC’s 1994 hit “Waterfalls.”
Those, like Marie Dotwiler, who had been ushered to the new entrance were directed one-by-one into the orange contraption and, with a push, sent hurtling toward the waters of baptism in screaming identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church had hired auctioneers to stand along the sides of the slide and speedily utter the phrase, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” as the unsuspecting congregants whooshed by into the pool below.
“Otherwise we can’t count it,” Larry Hubatka told reporters
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