Thursday, March 9, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Baptized
Every religion has rights of passage. In most religions, it's a formal event for family and friends. But one South Florida mother is saying That's Just Wrong after her son was baptized during a concert without her consent.
WSVN--As a busy mother of two, Ayesha Williams never thought she'd have to pray for her son's safety when he went to a church concert with neighbors.
Ayesha Williams: "The neighbors kids are a little bit older. So they were dropped off."
Ayesha's attitude was what could happen. It's church.
Ayesha Williams: "During the concert they asked the kids if there was anyone who wanted to be baptized to come up."
Well it's what did happen that has this mother saying that's just wrong.
Being 14 years old, her son Shakim got caught up in the moment and went up.
But never did the minister or any member of the church ask if a parent was present... Let alone if he had parental consent.
Ayesha Williams: "They had him change his clothes and put on a robe and they then proceeded to baptize him in a lake a small lake."
Ayesha was even more upset when she learned part of the ceremoney included making her son disrobe.
Ayesha Williams: "That just seems weird that a church can have a child change his clothes and put on something else without the parent being there."
Now, we've all heard of baptism by fire.
But Ayesha never thought she'd be challenging the church.
She argues a mother has a right to know before her son's baptized.
Ayesha Williams: "It's a big step in the person's life. It's something you need to be prepared for and you need your family to support you."
When she called to complain... The church told her she had no reason to be upset.
Ayesha Williams: "They've helped people out of gangs. Helped people off of drugs. Automatically in my mind. I'm thinking that they're looking at my child and automatically assuming that he needs to be saved from those types of things."
Bottom line, the church told her it will baptize anyone, any time.
Ayesha Williams: "If a person wants to be baptized, they will baptize them. That's what they told me. And, that's wrong."
Craig Stevens: "When we contacted the pastor who baptized Shakim, he insisted on recording our conversation. When we drove to meet him for an interview, he backed out but did leave this phone message."
"I'm calling you to let you know that we will not be able to give you the interview. Whenever we are ready for an interview we will inform you. Thank you and God Bless you!"
So far, we haven't heard from the minister again.
Ayesha says all she wants is an apology.
While every church and every religion has its own rules, she knows she can't take back her son's baptism. But she hopes other parents will take notice and other children will learn this sacrament is not meant to be spontaneous
Ayesha Williams: "I believe that it is something that should be taken seriously. Not something that is just done at the spur of the moment."
PLEASE SEND STORY IDEAS TO: