Ramey family

Eddyville’s Justin Ramey, pastor of Crider Baptist Church in Caldwell County, is pictured with his family.

The coronavirus has required pastors and churches to get creative. For a rural Baptist church in Caldwell County, that creativity involved a baptism that is reminiscent of those performed in bygone eras.

Crider Baptist Church does not have a baptistry. The church was built by Presbyterians in the early 1920s, so no baptistry was included in the layout. Not long after it was built, Baptists bought the building to form Crider Baptist Church.

For the eight years that Justin Ramey has been bivocational pastor of the church, it has utilized the baptistry of other churches in the Caldwell-Lyon Baptist Association as converts followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. But with the COVID-19 situation, Ramey — who is also an attorney — wasn’t comfortable asking other churches to use their baptistries, so he moved the service to Cannon Spring in Lyon County.

On July 11 the water was crystal clear, but 2 1/2 inches of rain by the next morning resulted in a muddy water baptism. Even though the skies didn’t clear, the service wasn’t postponed.

“It was a blessing to baptize my daughter,” Ramey said on the church’s Facebook page. “Thanks to all for a good turnout, despite the raindrops.” Those raindrops are evident on a video showing the baptism on the Facebook page.

Baptizing in rivers, creeks and ponds was the common practice for Baptists before indoor baptistries. Those bodies of water provided a practical means for immersion baptism.