First Baptist Church baptizes 102 at Cocoa Beach
Jun 4, 2008

First Baptist Church in Orlando Senior Pastor David Uth (red shirt) and other First Baptist pastors baptize William Liles, 78, one of 102 people who stepped into the Atlantic Ocean May 18. Courtesy photo

ORLANDO (FBCO)—First Baptist Church in Orlando baptized 102 people during an outdoor ceremony recently at nearby Cocoa Beach. From oldest to youngest, that number included a couple ages 82 and 75 and a six year old girl.

First Baptist Orlando began doing baptisms in the Atlantic Ocean October 2006. That first event saw 38 people make public professions for Christ. Just a year and half later, that number has almost tripled.

The outdoor baptism celebrations were initiated by Pastor David Uth and have become a passion of his over the years.

“One of my favorite things to do in life is baptize,” he said. “When God stirred my heart to go to the Atlantic Ocean, I was thrilled. Standing in the ocean during that first baptism was just unbelievable. It’s something I will never forget.”

And he will certainly not forget the most recent ceremony May 18.

“There was so much joy and so many great stories that came out of it,” Pastor Uth said. “It was amazing the number of people who joined us and wanted to confess baptism. It was one of those high-water marks for me as a pastor and us as a church. I’m looking forward to doing it again soon.”

For First Baptist Orlando member Teresa Dennison, 38, the baptism held particular meaning.

“I was trembling when I went in the water,” said Dennison, who had given her life to Christ years earlier but had never been baptized. “The excitement was overwhelming and so was the support of everyone around. When I came out of the water, there was all kinds of cheering and applause.”

It was a moment she will never forget.

“What a feeling,” she said. “I had always been a child of God, but today I made it official. No words could describe the most amazing feeling a person could have at that very moment.”

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