Monday, May 08, 2006

Confusion over the Fire Truck Baptistery

There was some confusion over the existence of the fire-truck baptistery at First Baptist Springdale, Arkansas over on the Founder's Blog. One gentleman wrote in the comments that he attends the church and has never seen the alleged fire truck. Then others pointed out the the fire truck was merely an IDEA that they had but never actually realized. Some pointed out that kids are "baptized" only in a metaphorical way, not as an official ordinance of the church.

Tony Kummer, a children's minister in Hanover, Indiana, then did a little research and came up with this information:

Two witness confirmation?

Baptist Standard reports this is a fire truck baptismal.

A quote from the Houston Chronicle

Second Baptist is not the only church that is adapting amusement attractions, said Bruce Barry, president and CEO of Wacky World. His first church work came two years ago with an Arkansas congregation.

He acknowledges, though, that he was stunned when First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark., asked him to design a "Toon Town" children's sanctuary.

But he took the challenge and created characters that yell and scream as clocks spin crazily and water towers explode with water spouts. He designed a fire truck that holds a baptistry for kids. Once a child is baptized, a bell rings and he or she is sprayed with confetti.

"It is a pretty big deal to get baptized in Springdale, Ark.," Barry said.

The Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the 12,000-member congregation, said Toon Town, geared for first- through third-graders, and a space-theme Planet 45 for fourth- and fifth-graders have led to an increase in children's attendance from more than 400 children to 500.

More than 150 children have been baptized since the opening of the new children's worship center. Floyd said the majority of children are baptized in the main sanctuary's baptistry while some prefer the firetruck christening.

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