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‘It’s Just Insane’: Hundreds Embrace Christ, Get Spontaneously Baptized in Backs of Pickup Trucks




‘It’s Just Insane’: Hundreds Embrace Christ, Get Spontaneously Baptized in Backs of Pickup Trucks


BILLY HALLOWELL


04-05-2024


One year after the stunning, 16-day, non-stop worship service at Asbury University, an outpouring of sorts still appears to be striking various schools and student bodies across America.


Case-in-point: well-known ministry leaders Jennie Allen, Jonathan Pokluda, and others baptized hundreds of University of Georgia students Wednesday night.

Rather than immersions in traditional baptismal pools, many of the students professed their faith in the backs of pickup trucks outside a fraternity — a truly unique setting.

Online videos showed large crowds of students gathered around these trucks, watching their classmates openly embrace Christ.


“Insane night at University of Georgia!” Allen wrote  in an Instagram caption. “Once again! He is moving!!!!”


Allen, who called these happenings “so powerful,” explained in the video that the baptisms followed an evangelistic event at Stegeman Coliseum led by Allen and Pokluda.

“We preached Jesus, worship’s incredible,” she said in an Instagram video, noting there were as many as 7,000 or 8,000 students assembled at the stadium.


“And, so, we are preaching Jesus, confessing sin — all these students, and it’s just so beautiful.” Allen said a call from the stage asking who wanted to embrace Jesus led young people all over the venue to stand up. Then, the baptisms unfolded in a parking lot in front of the fraternity.


“We found a public parking lot, and we got four pickup trucks,” Allen said. “And we were baptizing kids in four pickup trucks … all these fraternity guys are watching from their decks. … It’s just insane.”


Allen is the founder of IF: Gathering, a women’s ministry and a New York Times bestselling author. Pokluda is the lead pastor of Harris Creek Baptist church in Waco, Texas, and a best-selling author. In the last six months, Allen has led a series of campus evangelistic events in the South. It all started when she helped hundred of young people get spontaneously baptized at Auburn University in Alabama last September — something she recently spoke about with CBN News.


“It was a pretty incredible night, and we didn’t plan it,” she said of the September event, noting she had a “sense of the Spirit…moving” after speaking. “I get off the stage, and [a pastor] walked up to me and said … ‘This girl just texted me and said, ‘I want to be baptized tonight.’”


Allen said she asked where they could go nearby to find a place to offer that baptism. At first, they considered a pool, but they wanted to “think bigger.”

“He said, ‘There’s a lake down the street, but it’s like a half-mile away, a mile away,’” she recalled. I said, ‘Do you think they would come?’ And he said, ‘Well, we can try.’”

As worship was going, Allen got on the stage again and asked the crowd if anyone wanted to be baptized. As dozens of hands went up, Allen told everyone they would head down to the lake to do the baptisms. And that moment sparked a massive response.


“Everybody came,” she said. “They picked up people on their way. There were 6,000 people on there, and I mean, it was just wrapping the entire lake, and it’s a pretty big lake. It was wild.”


Baptisms continued until midnight, with the young people sharing their passion for the Lord. The Auburn event seemed to spark something truly unique at Allen’s events. Since then, her team has begun planning “Unite” gatherings to share the Gospel and encourage discipleship communities on campuses, endeavors offering young people opportunities to grow and flourish. Last week, Allen baptized hundreds of students in a campus fountain at the University of Alabama, and, in February, she baptized students in the Westcott Fountain at Florida State University. Allen is headed to the Thompson-Boling Arena at the University of Tennessee May 1st for her next event.

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