Members of the United House of Prayer For All People are baptized by fire hose, a church tradition since 1926, at the end of the church's annual convocation in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 22 August 2010. Unlike others Christians who look at baptism as a one-time event, members of the United House of Prayer believe in being re-baptized every year. One of the American South's most symbolic religious traditions is making a comeback. Outdoor baptisms, popularized in the 18th century by African slaves, had all but disappeared by the 1950s with the rise of indoor baptismal pools. Yet an increasing number of Baptist churches are forsaking the safety and convenience of these pools for nearby rivers, lakes, oceans, and even fire hoses. 'It's a re-discovery,' says Gregory Hughes, Pastor of True Life Ministries, which holds an annual ocean baptism in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. 'It's a way to embrace tradition while renewing our spirit.' EPA/JIM LO SCALZO


White House News Photographer Association (WHNPA)
2012 The Eyes of History

Feature - Second Place

Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo