Hundreds of people were baptized in Lake Erie Saturday afternoon by The Word Church

CLEVELAND - Around 300 members of  "THE WORD" Church conducted a citywide baptism at Edgewater Park Saturday afternoon.

The Church's pastor Dr. R.A. Vernon said, "We want to touch as many people as possible. We've seen so much violence in our community over the last year or so, particularly against women. For the first time in our city's history, we had three local serial killers revolving in and out of court at the same time; I see this baptism as an opportunity to do something civic, significant, and symbolic in the face of so much evil."

This is not the first time "THE WORD" Church has baptized at Lake Erie. A little over a decade ago, the church made front page news when it held a service and baptismal at the lake. This time around, however, they expect the crowd to be notably larger and according to church leaders, made all the necessary preparations to ensure a safe, well-organized, uplifting service.

"Safety is always a top priority whenever you're dealing with a lot of people, especially in or around water. We've enlisted the help of local authorities including rangers, lifeguards, security officials,and we'll have our own volunteer staff of leaders to accommodate the crowd and manage logistics," says CFO and Chief of Staff LaRese Purnell.

For more information on the church's events,  visit their website at:

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