Northwood Temple Academy, a private Christian school in Fayetteville, posted on Facebook on Thursday, “I feel it in my bones, You’re about to move! Today we had over 100 middle and high school students spontaneously declare their faith and get baptized today. We will have more pictures of these powerful moments posted over the next couple of days!”
That morning, three students had their scheduled baptisms at the school as part of Spiritual Emphasis Week. The offer was then extended to other students who had not been scheduled. More than 100 students in total were baptized.
Renee McLamb, the head of the school, sent families a letter to explain. “The Spirit of the Lord moved and the invitation to accept the Lord and be baptized was given and the students just began to respond to the presence of the Lord,” McLamb said in the letter, which was obtained by the Observer.
The school says it typically notifies and invites parents to be present for any baptisms that happen on campus, and “it was not the intention of any faculty member to do anything behind a parent’s back or in any kind of secret way.”
“I do understand that parents would desire to be a part of something so wonderful happening in the lives of their children, and so I apologize that we did not take that into consideration in that moment,” McLamb said. “I pray that at the end of the day we will all rejoice because God truly did a work in the lives of our students.”
McLamb told the paper that the school should have given students a chance to contact parents and ask permission. “We were not expecting such an overwhelming response to the message that was spoken, but as a mother, I certainly can empathize with why some parents were upset,” she said.
McLamb said that most of the parents that contacted her were glad, but some were unhappy with the move. Some of the children had already been baptized, and at least one family was concerned that a second baptism could undo the first.