WATCH: Pastor Dies While Baptizing Youth At Bog Walk ChurchDecember 21, 2022 0 By Horace Mills
The community of Bog Walk in St Catherine has been stunned by what is being described as the unusual and sudden death of a pastor.
Pastor Wilfred Willis died on Sunday, December 18, shortly after a bizarre incident that unfolded while he was baptizing a teenager who was visiting his church.
The baptism, which was aborted due to the incident, was being done at the Oneness Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ, located at Jew Pen in Bog Walk – not far from Enid Bennett High School.
The incident has left tongues wagging and speculations swirling.
One speculation is that the pastor may have been electrocuted. Some persons said it appears the microphone he was using in the church pool during the baptism may have had electrical issues.
The teen who was being baptized was also in the pool, but he’s still alive and well.
The church’s overseer, Yvonne Dixon, who is also a Justice of the Peace, said she is awaiting the result of a post mortem to find out what really killed Pastor Willis.
Overseer Dixon, however, described her colleague’s death as “sudden, unusual and sad”.
She told The Beacon that the young man, who was being baptized, does not usually attend the church. It was a church member who had invited him there for a youth service.
During the service, the young man reportedly stated that he wanted to be baptized. Pastor Willis did not turn down the request.
Overseer Dixon further explained: “He (Pastor Willis) was in the act of performing a baptism in the church’s pool when, at a certain point, he became very convulsive and had to be lifted from the pool in an unconscious state.
“Nurses and other trained persons, who were in attendance at the service, administered the CPR procedure and he (Pastor Willis) was rushed to the nearest hospital – Linstead Public Hospital. Sadly, within minutes of his arrival, he was pronounced dead,” Overseer Dixon added.
In a statement dispatched to members of the church, Overseer Dixon expressed condolences.
“I am sure you want to know what of the candidate!!!!” she wrote. “Thank God the young man, although he was in the pool, nothing happened to him. Naturally, the baptism was aborted. I thank you all so much for your prayers, condolences, and kind words at this very difficult time for his (Pastor Willis’)immediate family and the Oneness Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ. With your continued support, our Sovereign God will see us through.”
When The Beacon contacted the pastor’s relatives, his eldest son, Marlon Willis, said he would reserve certain comments until the autopsy is done.
“Based on the circumstances surrounding what happened, there is a private pathologist that has to do an autopsy, which is to be done within the next two to three weeks to ascertain what was the cause of death,” he said.
He further stated that his father’s death has left him with “the worst feeling in the world”.
The Beacon visited the church on Tuesday, but there was no one in sight.
A relatively short distance away from there, residents expressed shock. They also spoke highly of Pastor Willis.
A former member of the church, Kimani James, said the pastor’s death is a strong reminder of human’s mortality.
“It is a serious thing fi know seh the pastor lose him life a try to save a next soul… Mi heart goes out; mi a tell yuh tears come a mi eye fi him an him family and members [of the church]… Even the pastor in the church a dead; we need to take life more serious now,” he added.
Another resident, who gave her name as Sister James, commented: “Mi feel it (the death)to know how he lost his life trying to gain a life for God… He is my pastor who mi love very much. And he is a good man. Him have him nice kids and nice wife. Mi feel it fi dem.”
She also tried to debunk arguments that Pastor Willis should not have tried to baptize the young man in question.
“Once you are a pastor and a person comes to baptize, yuh haffi baptize him because, in the long run if anything happen to him [if he is not baptized], it seems like the sin would be left on your head [as the pastor]. Soh him did haffi baptize him,” Sister James argued.
For two days, The Beacon tried to get information through the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. However, that unit replied that the Bog Walk Police are saying that they are not aware of the incident.
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