An article by Wheaton College grad Ruth Graham (no relation to the famous evangelical family of Grahams) titled “Horse Troughs, Hot Tubs and Hashtags: Baptism Is Getting Wild” highlighted churches that have replaced their traditional baptistry with new and easier methods to perform baptisms within their buildings.
Graham featured the comparison of Russell Moore’s baptism and Moore’s 14-year-old son who recently got baptized. Moore is Christianity Today’s public theologian and director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project
Moore also currently serves alongside lead pastor TJ Tims, Ray Ortlund, Sam Allberry, Scott Thomas, John Farmer, and Barnabas Piper at Immanuel Nashville as minister in residence. On October 31, 2021, Moore baptized his son, Jonah, and posted a caption on his Instagram page, saying, “What a joy this morning at @immanuelnash to baptize my son Jonah as my brother in Christ.”
By contrast, Moore’s baptism in 1983 involved organ music playing in the background and a picture of the Jordan River hanging behind the baptistry. The elder Moore donned a long white robe during his baptism, while his son wore a t-shirt and professed his faith in a farmer’s watering trough. Jonah’s baptism didn’t have soft organ music playing in the background; it had a full worship band rejoicing in song when he came up out of the water as the congregation joined in with applause.
Immanuel Nashville featured two troughs, one on each side of the stage, to minimize the time between each person’s baptism.