Below, Patton recounts the memory of his baptism by Walter White.
If I wasn’t the last one to be baptized, I was awfully close. I think it was March/April/May 1968 when Walter White decided that one particular evening would be the last time he would baptize. At some time in 1967, we were living in Oklahoma City and my mother had received a letter from her brothers telling her about a vision or dream Walter had and that the time was short so in early 1968 she moved my brother and me out to Oregon City to join the FOC there. I remember being taken to the bathroom for a talk about being baptized, first by my mother (I really didn’t want to do it) and then by my uncle. I think they were very kind and understanding about how I felt, but it was something that had to be done and I needed to do it. I think I was anxious for some approval so I went along with it. It was never my idea. I was 7-1/2 years old.
That evening I remember being relieved that the baptism part was over, but there was more. After being baptized in the baptismal as the old church building, we gathered in the newer building for the Lord’s Supper, then Walter laid hands on those just baptized, and then there was feet washing. Another thing I remember: when they did have the Lord’s Supper, it was always in the evening. If it were to be done earlier in the day – that would be the Devil’s Dinner.
As I got older, my baptism experience bothered me. Eventually, we moved back to Oklahoma and when I was 19 or so I left the FOC. There were so many questions and those questions could not be answered and things just didn’t make any sense. I was later really baptized (my idea) and that has made quite a difference.
I believe baptism is a door you step through to begin your walk with the Christ. It is only the beginning, but it is an important step on the path that leads to an abundant life. It is a pledge to be a faithful apprentice, a disciple of Jesus. Baptism isn’t owned by anyone. It is free to all given by a God that loves us more than we can possibly comprehend and wants us to know that He is big enough, strong enough and wants so very much to rescue us and weave us into His life.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.