Vol. 3, No. 7
While living in Hanoverton, Ohio, there was a man who was terminally ill with cancer who decided to obey the gospel. We were thrilled with his decision to say the least. But, there were problems with baptizing him. He had tubes through his body that the doctors said could not get wet. Finally, I convinced the doctor that we would do all that we could to keep the openings from getting wet. How to do that was another problem.
A fellow gospel preacher by the name of Glen Logston was preaching in Lisbon, Ohio at the time and I asked him if he could come over and assist me with the baptism. I had given this a great deal of thought and came up with the idea of using a Hefty garbage bag to put over him and tying it at both ends to keep the water from getting in. Well, we all got into the water very carefully, making sure that the bag did not leak. As we were about to baptize him, lowering him into the water, the bag filled up with air and did not permit us to completely immerse him. So, I quickly raised one leg on to the inflated bag and pushed with all my might to get him under. It worked!!! Glen could hardly keep from laughing as he watched me trying to push this man in a HEFTY bag down into the water. After baptizing him, we noticed that his head and feet were wet, but, the parts of the body that were not to get wet were completely dry. This man was so thankful to us for being able to baptize him into Christ for the remission of sins. But, no one would have believed what we did to bring it all about. This is one time that I'm glad it did not occur during the regular services. The moral of the story is that if someone wants to be baptized, it can be done regardless of the condition of the physical body. The lesson in all of this would be for preachers to "expect the unexpected."
During a gospel meeting in Chillicothe, Ohio several years ago, I had set up a Home Bible Study with a family that didn't have much of life's necessities and lived in the country. Bill Craddock was the visiting preacher, so, I asked him to go with me on the study. We arrived on time and I had taken my record player, filmstrips, projector and screen to show the Jule Miller Filmstrips.
I had everything set up, or so I thought, but could not get the record player to work. I thought maybe the electric was bad in the receptacle, so, I decided to check it out. The family told me that all the electrical outlets worked. I decided to move my electric cord to another outlet beside one of the ladies who was sitting in a big easy chair and smoking one cigarette after another. When I plugged in the equipment this lady raised up from her chair and said, "Boy, you sure smell good!" Needless to say, Bill Craddock died laughing and could hardly control himself during the showing of the film. I came to find out that it wasn't the electric at all--the record player was set on the neutral position. What an embarrassing moment -- but, Bill had a big laugh all the way back home. Every chance I get, I ask Bill if he would like to go with me on a study! He never fails to say that he will.
[Editor's Note: Preachers are invited to submit amusing incidents that have occurred over the years during their ministries for possible inclusion in the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. Someday, these stories may also be converted to book format.]