MACON, Ga. (BNG) — A Georgia school district is investigating whether any laws were broken after a Southern Baptist church posted online video showing football players being immersed in a makeshift baptistery before practice on a high school football field.
Television stations in Macon, Georgia, aired video Sept. 1 showing excerpts of video reportedly taken Aug. 17 of a mass baptism (18 players and one coach) posted on YouTube by First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, an 1,100-member congregation affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, Georgia Baptist Convention and Carrollton Baptist Association.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote the Carroll County School District on Sept. 1 describing the baptism video as “an egregious constitutional violation.”
“When baptisms and prayer take place directly before a team football practice, on school property, with coaches’ participation, any reasonable student would perceive these activities to be unequivocally endorsed by their school,” the letter stated.
“The District is currently looking into the specifics of this situation and will take appropriate steps to ensure all state and federal laws are followed,” a statement from the Carroll County school system said.