School Baptizes More Than 100 Kids Without Permission

NC school says the 'Spirit of the Lord moved'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2022 2:57 PM CDT
School Baptizes More Than 100 Kids Without Permission
"Truly, the Lord began to move this morning and we were so excited about what the Lord was doing," McLamb told parents.   (Getty Images/Anastasiia Stiahailo)

A Christian school in North Carolina has apologized after it baptized more than 100 middle and high school students without their parents' knowledge. Renee McLamb, head of Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, told parents that only three students were supposed to be baptized in a ceremony Thursday, but "the Spirit of the Lord moved and the invitation to accept the Lord and be baptized was given and the students just began to respond to the presence of the Lord," the Fayetteville Observer reports.

In a Facebook post Thursday, the school, which is affiliated with the Northwood Temple Pentecostal Holiness Church, said it had students "spontaneously declare their faith and get baptized today," per the Hill. McLamb said parents are usually invited to attend baptisms and "it was not the intention of any faculty member to do anything behind a parent’s back or in any kind of secret way. ... I do understand that parents would desire to be a part of something so wonderful happening in the lives of their children, and so I apologize that we did not take that into consideration in that moment."

The mother of an 11-year-old girl, who declined to give her name because she was worried her daughter might be removed from the school, tells the Observer that she didn't find out about the baptism until her daughter called her at work. "[She] says, ‘Mama, can you bring me some dry clothes? I got baptized today.' I said, 'WHAT?'" She says she wishes the school had handed out permission slips or invitations. McLamb says that while a few parents were upset or angry, most were happy. She says some students were being baptized for a second time and they wanted it to happen in front of their classmates. (More baptism stories.)

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