The Hospice of Wichita Falls has gone viral after posting a video of a full immersion hospice baptism done as a dying man’s final wish.
Hospice Baptism Made Possible for Dying Man
Tommy Dale Reid had been a churchgoer at Burkburnett Church of Christ in Burkburnett, Texas for years, but he had never made the choice to accept Jesus as his personal savior.
Reid had grown up in Wichita Falls and had served in the Army and worked as a machine technician later in life, after he earned a Computer Science degree at Vernon Regional College. He retired just months before he became ill with what he thought was pneumonia.
However, when the 67-year-old retiree went to the doctor for the pneumonia symptoms, he learned he had lung, liver, and pancreas cancer.
This diagnosis was an awakening for him, and after he entered the Hospice of Wichita Falls, Tommy Reid said his dying wish was to be baptized.
Watch the baptism here:
His pastor, Tom Box, said that even though Tommy Reid had been a faithful church-goer, “He had just never been baptized. He had never accepted Christ as his personal savior.”
With Reid’s wish for a hospice baptism, many in the community went to work, looking for a way for the hospice baptism to be full immersion.
Tom Box explained, “We practice immersion. No sprinkling or pouring. We believe you are devoting your entire self, not just your head or your hands, to Jesus Christ. So you’re completely immersed.”
Thankfully, the hospice staff was on board with the plan, if a means could be found for performing the hospice baptism.
Angela Culley, a communication director at Hospice of Wichita Falls shared of her staff, “The emotional connection the nurses, the staff, the volunteers have with the patients that cannot be taught. Hospice is definitely a special environment.”
Eventually, Burkburnett Church of Christ church members found a solution to make the hospice baptism take place. They borrowed a cattle watering trough at Tractor Supply in Wichita Falls and brought it to Tommy Reid. The store had let them borrow it for free!
The hospice staff also had to remove Tommy Reid’s oxygen tube and he had to hold his breath, but Tommy complied with every step, because it was his dying wish to be baptized.
“He wanted to do it,” his pastor, Tom Box said. “He wanted to do it right.”
As the video shows, Tommy Reid accepted Jesus as his personal savior, and he was baptized.
So how did the community and other viewers react to this beautiful profession of faith?