Easter Baptism Savannah

I’ve always been fascinated by outdoor baptisms, and when I learned there’d be an Easter celebration with an ocean baptism I decided to attend. I spoke with Pastor Samuel Rodgriguez early Easter morning and he agreed that I could join them and make a few photographs. The group from the Pirmera Igulesia Baptist Hispana de Savannah gathered while it was still dark, sang some songs, heard a brief sermon, and headed to the waters edge.

Then Pastor Rodgriguez headed out to the water with one of the members of his congregation who’d recently come to faith.

He baptized him. Baptism is a symbol of one’s coming to faith. Baptism is a symbol that one shares in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

Nearby, on the Tybee Island Pier, all the churches from Tybee Island were gathered for an Easter Sunrise service. The place was packed out.

Immediately after the service tourists began to fill in the beaches.

I’d shot that morning with my old Nikon D200 as my D700 needs to visit the repair shop. Three solid years of photographing in over ten countries and two brutal drops has taken its toll. The D200 did fairly well, but it struggles comparatively in such low light conditions. After the morning I switched to the iPhone 4s. I made the switch in part due to it’s unobtrusiveness. It’s discreet nature seems to put people at ease and every once in a while I simply like to shoot a project with the iPhone. The rest of my time in Savannah would be spent with it. The remaining photos on this post are from that morning. The first one shows two girls huddled against the cold of that Easter morning.

Purple was a sign of royalty in Biblical days. It was a tedious and expensive process to make purple thread so it was only worn by royalty. When Jesus was mocked by the Roman soldiers, “…they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head…” (Mark 15:17) During that time they began to call out to him, “Hail! King of the Jews!” While originally said in mockery, it proved to be true. It is used during the Easter season to symbolize penitence. This cross was found on the outside of a church in downtown Savannah.

A young man dressed for Easter Service passes along a street in front of a Greek Orthodox Church.

A post on Easter morning showed Ms. Henrietta on her way to an Easter service. Later that morning I visited her church, Saint Paul Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and sat in for the sermon. Reverend Thurman delivered a lively message.

So on one Easter Sunday morning I spent time with an Hispanic congregation conducting a Baptism, the mainly white churches from Tybee Island gathered on the pier, and a black congregation in downtown Savannah. It couldn’t have gotten much richer than that, and will only be exceeded when people from every tongue, tribe and nation are gathered as one.


13 thoughts on “Easter Baptism Savannah

  1. Those baptism photos are incredible! What a beautiful series to see the sun rising as new life comes to someone’s heart…

  2. Dear NomadRuss, this post is sooooo cool. The lighting at the Baptism really gave you a chance to show your photo skills. I especially liked how you summed up your post with every Tribe, tongue and nation at the throne. I can’t wait for that day. From your brother nomad, Alex

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