Pastor Conducts Socially Distant Baptism With Squirt Gun

August 22, 2020

    An Illinois pastor is breaking new theological ground with an unorthodox baptism - one that few will never forget.

    After a four month delay, Rev. Derek Rogers of the Flowing Forth United Methodist Church in Aurora finally baptized 7-month-old Jackson Walters last Sunday during a socially-distant ceremony held in the parking lot of the Aurora Christian School, while surrounded by family. 

    To remain socially distant, Rev. Rogers applied the holy water with a squirt gun.

    Rev. Rogers said the squirt gun baptism has been an ongoing joke in religious circles. 

    "We have seen, probably like most people, a lot of the memes on social media of a priest baptizing a child with a squirt gun, and we kind of joked about that," he said.

    But he said this was the first time he decided to take someone up on the offer.

    "The dad wanted to go with a Super Soaker, but I think mom made him compromise.  So it was just a little two or three inch squirt gun. A baby toy from the bathtub," Rev. Rogers said.

    Rev. Rogers said he was glad he was able to provide a fun memory during a tough time, but he is not sure if he will be known as the "squirt gun pastor."

    "I guess I hadn't thought about it that way. We'll just have to see. But I would say that anyone who wants to get baptized by squirt gun, they can come to me," Rev. Rogers said.

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