By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
TATTNALL COUNTY, USA (Worthy News) — A high school football coach in the U.S. state of Georgia weighed his options Saturday after he was fired amid outrage over a mass baptism he organized for players on school grounds.
The leadership of Tattnall County High School in eastern Georgia’s Tattnall County confirmed that Isaac Ferrell was dismissed from coaching to create “safety and security” for students.
Coach Ferrell had come under criticismm after a video emerged of him bringing in a pastor to conduct baptisms after practice on October 23, Worthy News learned.
A video shared on the football team’s Facebook website page showed the pastor telling players to sit in a large tub full of water. “I baptize you now, my brother, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” the pastor said before dunking the player underwater.
The post stated that 20 players in total stepped forward to be baptized, angering opponents of Christian conversions.
Tattnall County School District Superintendent Kristen Waters announced in a statement monitored by Worthy News that Ferrell was terminated from his coaching position but will remain a teacher at the school. “The safety and security of our students is paramount to Tattnall County Board of Education,” Waters said.
The superintendent did not mention the baptism, claiming that based on “an investigation into an incident that occurred Friday night, November 3rd, while traveling after the football game, the District decided that it would seek a Head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students of Tattnall County for the 2024-2025 school year. As to any other allegations, the District does not comment during ongoing investigations.”
Yet the Freedom From Religion Foundation had said the baptisms go against the students’ First Amendment rights in a widely published letter sent to the school district.
However, last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of a high school football coach who prayed with players on the field.
“Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks…Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s. Nor does a proper understanding of the Amendment’s Establishment Clause require the government to single out private religious speech for special disfavor,” Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a majority opinion at the time.
Supporters of the coach were quick to condemn his dismissal, including Latifa Johnson, the mother of a sophomore on the football team. “What about the ones who do believe? Why should they miss out on a spiritual leader because someone doesn’t agree? It takes a village to raise children,” Johnson said.
Several social media users shared that opinion. “Georgia, Are we stopping revival? Are we stopping students from washing away their sins and becoming new in Jesus Christ? Do you remember the coach who prayed with his team that the [Supreme Court of the United States] SCOTUS upheld? He was vindicated!” recalled user @KandissTaylor on platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Tattnall County, if this is true, shame on you for succumbing to the pressure of a group of radicals who want to trample on our Christian values. America was founded on Jesus Christ. We should be celebrating! A generation addicted to THC vapes, confused with gender propaganda, and riddled with an unstable society…they need Jesus! We all do! Taylor added.
It comes at a time when spontaneous baptisms and related “revival meetings” have been reported at several schools, universities, churches and within the army across the United States.
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