With her sister and friends as witnesses, Welsh baptized Schwartz on January 19 in the swollen pond beside the baseball field.
“For the last three years, I have been telling my classes that I could baptize them wherever and whenever if they were ready to obey the commandment of baptism,” said Welsh.
Call it spontaneity or God’s supreme prodding, but Schwartz had been feeling like she wanted to get baptized ever since she became a Christian 13 months ago. After her Survey of Biblical Literature class on Thursday, she wanted to talk to Welsh about it, but fear got the best of her. Later that day, she happened to see him walking, and mustered the courage to ask if he would baptize her. Welsh agreed, but he did not realize that she meant immediately.
“I caught him off-guard,” Schwartz said.” “But then he was really excited to do it, especially in the floodwater.”
They originally drove to the butcher house off of Deer Park Drive and Turner Road, but the pond there was inaccessible. After surveying the flood waters at Corban, they decided on the pond near the baseball field. Schwartz shared her testimony with Welsh, and then he dunked her in the cold water.
“Imagine an ice bath, and then times it by 10,” Schwartz said. The dirty, nutria-infested water was in prime condition for a spur-of-the-moment baptism, which Welsh performed in his work slacks.
“This was by far the most awe-filled with God I have ever been,” said Welsh. “Her testimony is an amazing example of God’s providential hand in our lives.”
Many who heard about Schwartz’s baptism were so excited that something good happened because of the disastrous flood that caused so much damage and pain. Schwartz did not think anything special about being baptized on Thursday until she received many emails about the encouragement it brought to people.
“I almost felt selfish,” she said. “But when I realized that it gave them hope and made them happy, it made me happy.”
Schwartz is a sophomore Psychology major at Corban, who also is a member of the track and cross country teams. Her baptism has changed her life for the better, while also bringing a glimpse of glory to Corban on an otherwise disastrous day.