Church holds baptism ceremony despite flooding condition

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

High water in the Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church could not keep away roughly 400 members on Easter Sunday morning. Pastor Ron Webb even took advantage of the flooded parking lot to turn the planned indoor baptismal service into an outdoor service.

"It was really a miracle that we were able to have service," Webb said. "We were pretty determined to get in there because of Easter."

With the parking lot mostly flooded by the morning service time, parishioners began parking along Highway B near the church. A church bus was used to shuttle people from their vehicles to the sanctuary, and several also assisted with their personal vehicles.

At one point, as the bus shuttled people back to their cars from the church, the current caught the bus and pulled a wheel off the roadway.

"The bus lifted and the current was moving it," Webb said. "He [the bus driver] asked all the people to get on one side."

The shift in weight pulled the bus back into position.

"It was just like the hand of God literally pushed it back," he said.

Webb is still unsure if flood waters will reach the sanctuary itself.

"In 2008 it got within inches of the church," Webb said. "It looked like an ocean all around."

In spring 2008 he was told water would get into the church but it was spared. On March 22, 2008, the night before Easter, water was too high to hold church services, according to Webb.

"The next morning we got up and the waters were receding," he said.

On Easter Sunday 2011, the waters were rising rather than receding. Webb said the water rose considerably between the start of Sunday school and the conclusion of the regular service.

When it was time for the baptism portion of the service, Webb decided to take advantage of the natural pool in the church's parking lot.

"It was one of the best services we've ever had," Webb said. "It turned out wonderful."

Webb said he wanted to "have wisdom and not put people in harm's way," but was determined to hold services if possible.

He said since Sunday morning he's received numerous calls from people surprised the church held services at all.

"God made a way," Webb said.

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