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January 21, 2014 at 8:57 PM

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Beacon Hill Baptist Church renews lives through baptism


ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

The Rev. David McFerrin, left, and Pastor Calvin B. May, right, baptize Janice Thomas during early morning services at Beacon Hill Baptist Church Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. On the third Sunday of the month, the church hosts a special service at its basement pool where individuals who accept Christ in their life are baptized. Those who are baptized are fully submerged under the water to symbolize the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thomas said she wanted to forge a new direction for herself and her 13-year-old son, who was also baptized. "I wanted to be closer to God and I know a good way to start is to cleanse your body with the baptism," she said. "Jesus got our back now."

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

An usher tends the door at Beacon Hill Baptist Church Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Janice Thomas and her son Jaden Williams, 13, front, worship before their baptism at Beacon Hill Baptist Church Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013. Once a month, Pastor Calvin B. May hosts a special baptism service. The basement pool, which is around 40 years old, is unheated. "Even though it is an outward ceremony, it is an awesome inward spiritual experience," said May. Ulavor Lewis, president of the Deaconess Ministry, is behind.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Deacons Dwayne McCraney, left, and Fredrick Green sing during an early-morning baptism service at Beacon Hill Baptist Church Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Ulavor Lewis, president of the Deaconess Ministry, left, dries off Delilah Hernandez, 39, after her baptism October 2013.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

LEFT: The Beacon Hill Baptist Church is housed in a turquoise building that was designated by the Seattle City Council as a Seattle landmark. Torrance Davis poses for a portrait outside the church Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013. RIGHT: Pastor Calvin B. May describes his church as diverse and family-oriented.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Clara Houston shakes hands during upstairs services at the Beacon Hill Baptist Church after the baptisms in October. More than 40 years ago, Houston's husband Dr. Robert Houston founded the church.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Members of the congregation begin worship in the main sanctuary at Beacon Hill Baptist Church in October. Once a month, a special early-morning baptism ceremony is held in the church's basement before regularly scheduled services.

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