Holy Spirit sweeps U.S. prison in mass baptism: Convicts come out of the water ‘weeping, glorifying the Lord’
They were murderers, rapists and other sorts of convicted criminals. But they came out of the water as newly baptised Christians, casting off their sinful selves and beginning new lives as followers of Christ.
Thirty men and nine women at the Durham County jail in North Carolina were baptised last Sunday, some of them crying uncontrollably after feeling the power of the Holy Spirit inside them, CBN News reports.
The baptism of Christian converts has been going in the detention facility for years, involving about 30 church ministries.
But last Sunday’s mass baptism was special, according to the two chaplains who administered the rites – jail chaplain Major Julian Couch and Chaplain Vinny Abbruscato of Trinity Outreach Inc.
Two days earlier, the two chaplains went to the correctional facility for women and saw “the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Abbruscato said they saw many of the women inmates crying uncontrollably, saying they wanted to get saved.
“They were touched in a mighty way. It was kind of like a Pentecostal experience,” he told CBN News. “I believe that that was setting the stage for what really happened on Sunday.”
That Sunday, Abbruscato and Couch baptised 39 inmates in one of two small wading pools set up in a secure parking lot of the detention facility.
“Some of the inmates came out of the water weeping, glorifying the Lord. I’ve seen a lot of changes in them,” said Abbruscato. “[Now] they conduct Bible Studies in the pods. They are just so gracious.”
“Baptism in water is basically they’re going down and dying to the old self and rising up the new person they are in Christ,” Abbruscato explained.
Couch said the baptism and other activities being conducted by church ministries at the Durham County jail have yielded positive results.
“It has ushered in a new atmosphere. Things are a little more tempered,” he said. “We don’t have as much going on as we use to. I can definitely see a change in the atmosphere and the facility,” he added.
The two chaplains are planning to conduct more baptismal rites inside the facility, which they believe would uplift the lives of more inmates.
“We started praying regularly years ago that God would just give us wisdom and give us direction onto how we can go about causing change in this facility,” Couch said. “And now we see that coming into fruition.”
The newly baptised inmates felt blessed that they now have Jesus Christ to show them the way to lead upright Christian lives.
“It’s my faith,” inmate Reginald Minor told Durham’s News and Observer. “I’m a Christian. Like all Christians, we believe Jesus is the way.”