A private Christian school in North Carolina is apologizing after it baptized more than 100 children without notifying parents.
Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, N.C., announced on its Facebook page Thursday that it had "over 100 middle and high school students spontaneously declare their faith and get baptized" earlier that day.
Although most comments on the Facebook page were positive, the school acknowledged that parents may have wanted to attend.
Renee McLamb, head of school at Northwood Temple, said in a letter to parents that the baptism ceremony had already been scheduled with a specific number of children set to be baptized, with parents in attendance. Several more children, though, felt moved by God and requested to be baptized, McLamb said. The Fayetteville Observer quoted the letter.
The baptisms took place during the school's Spiritual Emphasis Week.
"Please believe that it was not the intention of any faculty member to do anything behind a parent's back or in any kind of secret way," McLamb wrote in the letter. "We have always notified and invited parents to be a part of the baptisms that happen on the campus."
"Truly, the Lord began to move this morning, and we were so excited about what the Lord was doing," McLamb wrote. "Several students had given their lives to the Lord during Spiritual Emphasis Week, and they were scheduled to be baptized this morning. But the Spirit of the Lord moved, and the invitation to accept the Lord and be baptized was given, and the students just began to respond to the presence of the Lord."
McLamb added that she understands parents "would desire to be a part of something so wonderful happening in the lives of their children."
"I apologize that we did not take that into consideration in that moment," McLamb said. "I pray that at the end of the day, we will all rejoice because God truly did a work in the lives of our students."
Most commenters on the school's Facebook page applauded the baptisms.
"So glad to hear that you didn't stop what the Lord was doing in those little ones' hearts!!" one woman wrote.
Photo courtesy: ©Unsplash/Josue Michel
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.