After reading about Elevation Church’s supposed mass baptism engineering I recalled how Augustine conducted baptism:
Men and women would typically be separated for the ceremony because they would be baptized naked. The ceremony would be held during the great Easter vigil. At some point prior to the disrobing, the candidates would face the west, extend their hands, and renounce the devil and all his works. Then, facing the east, they would repeat their profession of the faith….Before entering the font, candidates would strip off their old clothes—goatskin sackcloth, which they trampled under their feet. There were three immersions, each one preceded by a question about faith in the persons of the Trinity to which the candidate would respond, “credo”—“I believe.”
—Packer and Parrett, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, p. 57.
I read this to my wife, who quickly responded, “We’re not doing that in our church plant!” followed by asking,”So did the women baptize one another?” I have no idea, but I wonder. Fascinating stuff.