Man’s Moving Baptism

Robert Bancroft and the church elders.

Robert Bancroft and the church elders.

The topic of adult baptism is a can of worms. Talk about it and watch the sparks fly. But for Robert Bancroft it was a no brainer. He felt he had to be baptised, and he wanted it to take place at Slabber se Klippe, his favourite place in the whole wide world.

Robert came dressed for the occasion in a black and yellow wetsuit. He bought it that afternoon, against the chill of the water. He only recently moved here from Durban, he explained. He bounced up and down on his feet, as if willing events along.

An intimate affair
Robert had brought his mom and staffie Brutus along. I had heard about his baptism from a friend in town and approached him tentatively on the beach. Would it be all right if I wrote about it? “I am so happy you are here!” he beamed. At six o’ clock the elders of the Joshua Generation Church arrived.

Prayers are said for Robert.

Prayers are said.

One, who looks like a surfer, sat down next to Robert’s mom and translated the English ceremony for her into Afrikaans. There was mention of compunction and of Robert having to die in the water of the Atlantic in order to be reborn.

The big moment
As the sky turned a gritty grey hue Robert was dunked in the ocean, and handed a towel. Back on the beach, more prayers were said.

Robert takes time out momentarily.

Robert takes time out momentarily.

And then things became too much for the newly baptised man, and he collapsed. It lasted only a moment before he got up somewhat uncertainly. His movements seemed to indicate that he was still finding his feet in a world he was only getting to know. A new world.

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