Skip to comments.Pastor electrocuted during baptism [Texas]
Posted on 10/30/2005 5:51:37 PM PST by aculeus
click here to read article
Posting "condolences for the family, to me just means a sign of respect and that someone cares.
Uh, I had Electricity 101 but I can't read your mind. Please explain.
I read somewhere, decades ago that the smallest voltage for which an accidental electrocution has been encountered, is somewhere around 24 volts. If the mike was fed with a 48 volt source having sufficient current capability, and maybe water dribbling off the man's hand trickled down to touch such an energized conductor, that could lead to a heart stopping zap.
It is very possible that the 120vac got onto the mike, but yes, 48vdc can kill under the right circumstances. OTOH, one can hold onto 120vac and not be hurt if one is careful.
Foul play? More like demonic possession. Satan did not want this woman baptized!
There isn't any supernatural component to Maxwell's equations.
As a live sound engineer, I thought I should try to clear a few things up. First of all, a microphone is typically wired directly to the input of a mixing console, via a snake (bundled microphone cables) or in-wall microphone cables. The microphone goes to the console, not to a wall outlet. The current that electrocuted the pastor was almost certainly 48-volt "phantom power". Phantom power is sent from the mixing console to power certain types of microphones (condensers). This is typically switchable on mixers - you can turn phantom power on or off. Most handheld vocal microphones are "dynamic" microphones and do not have any need for phantom power. But most low- and mid-cost mixers only allow switching of phantom power "globally" - meaning for all channels (microphones) at the same time, rather than the more expensive option of switching "per channel". So if -any- of the church's microphones require phantom power, it would have been turned on, and likely turned on to -all- microphones. Normally this is not a problem, as dynamic microphones simply ignore the phantom power. It can, however, be a danger in certain situations.
For example, if the sound system had a 60 hertz "ground loop" hum problem, one (unsafe) solution is to put "ground lift" devices on power cables at the wall outlet. These are the little grey plugs which take a three-prong (grounded) plug and turn it into a two-prong (ungrounded) plug. It sometimes fixes a hum problem, but it removes the chassis (safety) ground from the equipment to which it is attached. Combine a missing ground, 48V phantom power, and a pastor holding a microphone while standing in water, and you can end up with a problem.
Or someone just randomly had the switch turned to that setting - if as you say it's harmless to mikes that don't need the power.
If the ground of the system actually wasn't connected to ground at all as you suggest possible, whence would the current loop be completed?
Mine wears ordinary washable pants.
Well , a lot of them will probably be wearing waders now.
If the ground of the system actually wasn't connected to ground at all as you suggest possible, whence would the current loop be completed?
I'm no electrician, just a sound guy, but I'll give it a crack...
I -think- that if the mixer's ground is properly connected, that safety ground also protects the microphone. Like a power cord, a microphone cord contains three conductors, and they are hot, neutral, and ground. So normally the unused phantom power returns to the mixer via the ground wire, and this would be a shorter path to ground than through a person. If this path is removed, it's looking for a path to ground, and a person holding the microphone and standing in water, complete with metal drains and/or lights, heaters, etc., may become the shortest path to ground.
As for having phantom power on without needing it, that is entirely possible. If they run a "contemporary" service (full band), though, it is likely that they are using at least one or two condenser microphones that require phantom power.
This young pastor was performing a most sacred act, that which even Jesus did to please his father, baptism.
For you to invoke the trite Darwin nominee phrase is beyond the pale.
God will not be mocked. I, for your sake, hope that you will reflect upon your post.
Great catch. Have we ever done a Twilight Zone thread here? That guy was so far ahead of his time, it's incredible.
To make sure my meaning is perfectly clear, highlight the above line (between the ... ...s)
Some wear hip waders like duck hunters use.
While looking for their web site, I did see a listing for the church which showed it with a contemporary service.
You are absolutely right; he was performing a sacred right...
...not giving a performance.
Lose the microphone, and speak up; either the crowd will, in their solemn silence, hear; if not, then they also mistake it for a social event.
What is next, spot lights? Stage lighting?
No, God does not appreciate being mocked.
There really is a University Baptist Church in Waco and there are many references to Kyle Lake being a pastor there. One of the most interesting is a 1998 article about "post-modern fundamentalists" in the uber-left propaganda rag Mother Jones. It has this to say about Pastor Lake:
In Waco, after Seay's sermon, Kyle Lake, a University Baptist pastor, leads an orientation meeting for prospective new members. He talks about how during the Enlightenment, God was held suspect because he was invisible, then continues on to discuss Descartes, science and reason, and the failings of "progress." "Mankind," he concludes, "has gone to hell."
Kyle Lake was apparently the author of several books, btw, including Understanding Prayer: A fresh approach to conversation with God.
There's no microphone near my church's baptismal font.
"A Republican will tell you that you shouldn't make fun of disabled people, and he's right. A Democrat will tell you that you can't make fun of disabled people - which is untrue, as anyone who's ever heard the joke about Helen Keller falling down a well and breaking three fingers calling for help will tell you." - P.J. O'Rourke
I really care what you have to say, you know?
That was sarcasm, too, you humorless tightass.
I don't see why so many people find the death of a good Christian to be something worth joking about.
how is using a microphone mocking God?
Post 33 - most informative link on musician electrical safety.
This is so tragic. The article said over 800 people in attendance. I'm sure many would have been children. I see nothing "funny" in this at all.
But your pastor doesn't get in the water, does he (or she)? As I recall you are PCUSA, and dunking, while permitted, is exceedingly rare in most Presbyterian churches. Does the preacher use a wireless mike?
Most churches I've seen with a baptismal pool have either had the mike aimed in from the front or dropped from above. That being said, neither arrangement should require the preacher to adjust it. If the signal isn't loud enough, the sound guy should be able to provide sufficient boost.
How big is the room where your services are held? Does your preacher do 3 back to back services (with sermons in excess of 30 minutes). Can he yell loud enough to be heard in an overflow room or two on another floor?
And it's clear that your church doesn't have a tape ministry, or web streaming. Either of those would require a microphone. What is next, spot lights? Stage lighting?
It can help with the quality of the video feed to the overflow room, but I agree with modern equipment, it is not entirely necessary.
Neither did the pastor.
I have to wonder though, who is now more worried about the future, the pastor's flock, or the person being baptized at the moment of the event?
Oh spit. Having a disaster occur at a baptism does not equate to divine displeasure. Someone could give a baptism in the ocean and find the event visited by a man eating shark or lose the celebrant to a rip tide; does that mean God frowned upon that baptism?
I got dunked under similar circumstances. I stepped up to the mike (a larger church lent our little church the use of the baptismal) and gave my testimony of conversion then the pastor said on mike "I now baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Amen." (Sploosh!) If this was show biz, it was DULL show biz. But it along with the others who joined at that occasion was inspiring in a different sense to those who heard.
0.1 amps is all it takes to have a fatal electric accident. The current flowing through the body at 0.1 amps is generally more of concern than the voltage, although if provided sufficient voltage differential, the current maybe implied.
FWIW, we are condemned before we are saved. If the person being baptized, wasn;t to be saved, it's not the physical baptism, but the regeneration of the spirit or baptism by the Holy SPirit that results in salvation. That's for God to discern anyway.
Every sin committed has already been paid for on the Cross. Those who continue to rebel in sin might suffer the sin unto death if they reject his discipline and are simply good for nothingness if they remain by His plan, but most probably this was a simple blunder resulting in manslaughter.
Of course we know that sin has resulted in death and suffering in the world that doesn't care whether the person who dies or suffers was saved or not. An equally possible scenario from our point of view is that, a la Job, Satan asked God for permission to wreak this disaster and for inscrutable reasons God said yes.
Not really. Darwin Award nominees have to have done something really stupid to initiate their death or as they say "by eliminating themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner." This was just a case of an ordinary accident. People get electrocuted all the time, often from things like hairdryers falling into the bathtub with them or touching a overhead power line with a metal ladder. Same here. Accidently touching a powered microphone while standing in water is not "extraordinarily idiotic."
This, on the other hand is a typical example of "extraordinarily idiotic."
I have to agree. That is a good way to go.
Deal with it.
This young pastor grabbed an electric implement (microphone) while standing in water. That is stupid, and makes him a nominee. Deal with it.
I wish everybody lived in such abundance as I do--abundance in all things from love to children to a fabulous, brilliant, loving wife who's nuts about me and even plays the piano to gorgeous surroundings to education to a keen mind to...well everything. (It hasn't always been so. I'm a self-made man, and I've endured some bad things.)
But I'm ready to go on to the next life any time.
God has constantly been with me (as He is with all of us, all the time, though some don't know it and some are in denial about it), even when I was a child, even when I was a suicidal teenager (my knowledge of His presence kept me from doing it), even...always...and I was always lucky enough to be aware of it.
When the time's right, I'll just slip right into the next dimension...and for those who love me, it'll be a time to feel good and be happy.
(I would hate to have to go through some painful ordeal though. To paraphrase Groucho Marx: I've felt great, and I've felt awful, and great is better.)
To follow your specious statement, Jesus left heaven knowing he would be reviled, spat upon, mocked, scourged and nailed to a cross to die an agonying death.
In your mind, that would be another Darwin nominee move.
I'm glad you sir did not create the universe.
I have nothing to deal with, certainly not your obsequious remark, your impertinent nature, or your stench of judgemental arrogance with nothing of consequence to gird your statement.
As a "dentist", perhaps you are accustomed only to people opening their mouths, when they should be shut.
If you don't like it, deal with it.
In that case, I might disagree with you, but I'll withdraw the other comments. As you could tell, I did not understand the limited nature of your comment when I responded.
In our church, the microphone is needed because the whole congregation participates in the baptism. They have to be able to hear the question asked of them so that they can respond at the appropriate time.
I can understand why that would not be needed in churches where the congregation has only a passive role.
As for the rest of your comments in this post, I fully agree. Nothing gets you in a reverent mood like a good German style pipe organ.
Here's the story behind the headline if you are interested. My sister-in-law's family new this family well.
She emailed the following:
I found out yesterday that a family friend had passed away on Sunday and I just wanted to ask you to be praying for his family. He was a pastor for 9 years at First Baptist Church in Waco and had a young wife, twin 3-yr old boys, and a 5 year old daugther. It was Baylor's homecoming and a former student and member of the church had asked him to baptize her. His wireless mic was acting up, so he grabbed a hand-held mic and was electricuted. He was taken to the hospital and died there. When my family went to First Baptist in Tyler he was a friend of my sister and she had many Bible studies over at his parent's house and his parents were friends with my parents. I haven't seen him probably in about 9 years, but it's just weird when things like this happen. My heart breaks for his family. His wife's name is Jennifer. His parents are David and Shirley Lake and he has 2 brothers, Jonah and Jody, and a sister, Kristi. They are all at a ranch in Waco that his parents own now and that they frequently visit all together. Also pray for that congregation. It's hard to find reason in all of it and it's truly a freaky circumstance but the Lord is in control.
There was a time when a powerful voice was required in this line of work.
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