A North Carolina Christian School administrator says parents are "extending grace" after more than 100 students were baptized without their consent.
Administrators at Northwood Temple Academy (NTA) in Fayetteville, NC, said students spontaneously volunteered to be baptized after attending the school's "Spiritual Emphasis" event, but they were not expecting the controversy that followed.
"We certainly weren't expecting the firestorm to come from this," Renee McLamb, Northwood Head of School told CBN News. "Honestly, the whole faculty and staff of middle school and high school were overwhelmed. We've had great outpouring of the Lord on our students before, but never where it seemed like the line would never stop. They just kept coming to the stage."
Only two middle school students and one high school student were scheduled to take part in a baptism on September 1, but at the end of the chapel service, many others joined.
School officials celebrated the decisions on Facebook.
"I feel it in my bones, You're about to move," they said quoting "Spirit Move", a song by Bethel Music and Kalley Heiligenthal. "Today we had over 100 middle and high school students spontaneously declare their faith and get baptized today."
But a small group of parents hit back at the school saying administrators were out of line for allowing kids to get baptized without them being present.
"My daughter calls me from the school and says, 'Mama, can you bring me some dry clothes? I got baptized today,'" one parent told The Fayetteville Observer. "I said, 'What?'"
Another parent complained to the outlet that they missed not being allowed to witness their child's baptism, while another parent said the school's baptism felt like it "undid the baptism that had already taken place at their church."
"I would be happy for my child if she chose to be baptized. HOWEVER ...I would want to be present for this event in my child's life. ALSO, I would've wanted to make sure that they are understanding exactly what baptism is, why people do it, that is not a requirement and that is THEIR CHOICE to do so, and that they're not just following friends or feeling pressured to do something [they're] not ready to do," said Amber Rose Barnhill on Facebook.
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