This past weekend was a powerful one. Vineyard Westside held an annual outdoor baptism service as we have done for the past 3 years now. We typically meet inside the movie theater, but for this service, we call everyone together all at once and meet outside in the parking lot.

We set up tents and chairs and expect that hundreds of people will show up. And they do. Five hundred or so show up hungry for hamburgers and hotdogs, drinks and sides, but most importantly they show up hungry for God.

Our worship team cranks everything up a few notches and they play until their fingers are numb.




They rock out a few songs and get everyone excited to be there.


At this point, Jim, our children's pastor comes up to do baby dedications. This is an opportunity to have parents and their kids prayed over to devote themselves to a life of following God.


And now it's time for the waterworks. Emotions quickly begin flying all over the place as people line up to get into a horse trough. We don't have a fancy baptismal or anything like that. We've got a 300 gallon Rubbermaid container...and it's holy. It's holy because people step into it who are announcing to the world that they're willing to die to themselves to be raised to life in Christ.

Music continues to play as friends and family join around loved ones for prayer and support.


And then it happens. People surrender themselves and become so vulnerable that everyone can see it. And we have baptism. My sister goes first. Those of you who know me personally are aware of the insane crap that's gone down with Amie...here's to a step in the right direction.




One after another, people line up and get ready for the big splash.




I even got the opportunity to baptize people who are very close to me.

This is my father-in-law Ted. He wrote a letter that stated he doesn't want to do it all on his own anymore.


Ryan and Carrie, our beloved house mates were baptized.


My friend Jon baptized his son Jonah.



My wife's sister Andrea came out of the crowd as she was overwhelmed by the Spirit...she just had to do it. Her husband Chris was given the honor.


Lo and behold my beautiful bride Allison made the decision to be baptized as well. She was baptized as a baby and she wanted this one to be up to her.



I'm still reeling from everything that happened yesterday. It was all a bit surreal. I took about 400 pictures and this is less than 20 of them. At least 35 people were baptized yesterday and some serious damage was done to the kingdom of darkness.

Praise be to Jesus.

28 waggish utterances thus far...:

Anonymous said...

I found your site from PW's and I just wanted to thank you for sharing the baptism photos. My heart is full of joy!

I pray that someone out there that is reading your site and can relate to not wanting to do it on their own anymore can be lead to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise God!

yours truly said...

Yay! Praise be, indeed :) I found your blog via Pioneer Woman also and I've been checking in every so often. Wonderful pictures!

Helen Ann said...

LOL! This looks alot like what my next blog will look like!

It was indeed an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's better than Thanksgiving and Christmas and 4th of July and Riverfest!

Praise be to Jesus!!

Mollie said...

I found you from PW too and I just have to say that this post moved me to tears. Something I needed to see/feel/hear today.

thesciencegirl said...

Also found your blog via PW, also moved to tears. Beautiful!

melanie said...

Oddly enough, I found your site through PW today - what a shock! Way to go!!!
I am still getting butterflies when I think about yesterday. I can't recall ever being so touched by baptisms. Hey, I had no idea that was your sister. How in the world did you get through that one? Wild, wild stuff. It just felt right.
thanks for the pix

Heather L. said...

Ok, I found you from Pioneer Woman too...

I just wanted to let you know how awesome it is to see those baptism pics! My husband and I (with our kids) have just really embarked on a journey to Christ and it is a beautiful thing to see others doing the same thing. I will definetly be checking back to read your past and follow your future!


Anonymous said...

very cool Ryan, thank god for you,I love you, your dad in law

dlyn said...

Such a wonderful post - nothing like seeing people get all clean and sparkly!

Holly said...

Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I read this and look at the photos.

You are priviledged to be part of such a spirit-filled group of believers.

Thanks for sharing this precious time with those of us that only know you through cyberspace.

Chris said...

Awesome! It truly is a great experience seeing that kind of love expressed in such a large fashion.

Have favorite-ed your blog, and will be coming back.

Weather Moose

Kat said...

I also found your blog through Ree's. I must say, I browsed through it at work yesterday for a while and really like it.

I especially like today's post. They are beautiful pictures of a beautiful thing.

I myself am very confused about religion and my faith in general, but I still find baptism to be a very beautiful thing. It truly shows the love people have for God.

DanThoms said...

This was such an awesome service. I loved seeing everyone from new believers to seasoned Christians from little kids to seniors all taking the plunge.

barefootnikki said...

I'm here from P-dub's site too and i'm so thankful you got a nice plug there. You and your church are what God's love is about to me and i'm soooo happy to see so many people opening up and accepting Him!
Thank you so much for sharing this with me... i have tears of joy in my eyes for everyone.

April said...

So very touching, and I am ecstatic that you guys do this in public where everyone can see the true greatness of God being witnessed. I was baptized in May in a river close to my home. Our church does it two times a year, or more if someone wants to be baptized and just can't wait. It is wonderfully refreshing and there is simply nothing that can make you feel as great as God does. He IS the almighty, the creator, the judge and the destroyer, but his way is always the best way. He loves us more than we could ever imagine.

God bless you and your congregation!

Kylerzmom said...

I found you from PW and I had to blink a little, the man in the first photo playing guitar looks very very much like someone I knew over 10 years ago. The similarity is so striking I had to leave this message, is his name Matt?

Ryan Detzel said...

Sorry...that man is named Jon.

Jenny said...

I, too found your site through PW's. Praise God for the hurtin' y'all put on the Evil One that day! My husband , our families and I dedicated our now 7 month old daughter right at a month ago now at the Clemson Vineyard. Keep on "doin' the stuff" and God bless you!

ash said...

these pictures are so amazing. thanks for sharing them.


tunz4jesus said...

Hello from the Vineyard at Manhattan KS. How beautiful, thank you for sharing.
Shari Brown

jesse phillips said...

PICTURES ARE FREAKING AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Dude, please, please, please email me and tell me how I can take such awesome pictures (I'm new to photography, just bought a canon dslr): jesse DOT phillips AAT catalystspace DOTTcom

Like what kind of lens do you use? How do you do that thing where the depth of field is so narrow that a lot of the picture is out of focus, and it just looks beautiful? Is that a photoshop trick or is that the lens or ... what? AMAZING!

jack said...

I didn't even know you were putting any pictures of Jonah being baptized and you did. Oh, that's just so great.

landa said...

I came here through Pioneer Woman and this post spoke to me. Thank you for sharing your photos. I cannot stop crying.

Stamp Your Art Out said...

AWESOME! God just amazes me all the time.

Anonymous said...

Amazing photographs!
I'm not a religious person and I am in tears reading this post and looking at your photos.
Faith is a powerful thing.

David Guion said...

Hi Ryan,



Great pictures.

No other words.


Encouraging the daily praise and worship of Jesus Christ because worship is a daily lifestyle, not just a weekly event!

Cheri said...

Awesome! We will move into our modest church building next Sunday after 11 years in a middle school....your pictures remind me a lot of our church baptisms. Interestingly....our daughter just graduated from The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences there in Cincy. She is now living there....far away from her family in MN. I'd love to visit your church when we visit her.

Crazy Mama said...

how awesome. I really wish I had a church such as this nearby.

brought here by pw too :)