High School Coach Fired Over Baptism Of 20 Football Players

Georgia high school football coach Isaac Ferrell was recently dismissed for arranging a baptism service for about 20 players at Tattnall County High School.

The school’s superintendent fired him after a video of the baptism surfaced, leading to accusations from The Freedom from Religion Foundation, citing a “constitutional violation.”

Football Coach Loses His Job Following Baptism Service For 20 Players

Ferrell was recently fired for organizing a baptism service on school premises for around 20 players.

According to reports, Ferrell, the coach at Tattnall County High School, was dismissed by the school’s superintendent after a video surfaced on the team’s official Facebook page showing players being baptized in a large tub by Pastor Gary Few.

The video showed the pastor guiding players through the baptismal ritual, encouraging them to sit in a black tub of water before saying, “I baptize you now, my brother, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation Alleged Isaac Ferrell ‘Abused His Position’

The video sparked controversy among certain community members, prompting one individual to report the matter to a group known as The Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Describing itself as a “state/church watchdog” advocating for the “constitutional separation of state and church,” the foundation accused Coach Ferrell of “abusing his position” and violating constitutional principles.

In a statement released on November 1, an attorney for the foundation, Chris Line, wrote to the district superintendent, Kristen Waters, and urged him to investigate the situation. 

The statement read, per NYP: “We write to request that the District investigate this situation and ensure that this school-sponsored religious coercion ends immediately. All coaches and staff should be instructed regarding their obligations as public school employees.”

Line emphasized the importance of instructing all coaches and staff about their responsibilities as public school employees, asserting: “The district must refrain from infusing its football program with religion, and Coach Ferrell cannot be allowed to preach to student-athletes or allow a local pastor to preach to and baptize students.”

School Superintendent Says Football Coach Was Fired Over A Separate Incident

After Coach Ferrell was dismissed, Superintendent Waters clarified that his termination was linked to a distinct incident following a November 3 football game, not the baptism event.

Waters stated, “Based on the outcome of an investigation into an incident that occurred Friday night, November 3, while traveling after the football game, the District decided that it would seek a Head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students.”

The statement added: “As to any other allegations, the District does not comment during ongoing investigations.”

However, while he is no longer a football coach, Ferrell retains his teaching position at Tattnall County amid an ongoing investigation into the baptism service.

Parents Voice Their Support For Football Coach: ‘I Was All For It’

After the baptism video became public, several parents of players coached by Ferrell voiced their support for him.

Speaking to News 3, one parent, Latifa Johnson, expressed immense pride in her son’s autonomous decision to be baptized, stating, “I was extremely proud of him because he made the decision on his own. I didn’t have to hold his hand, and he did it because he wanted to.”

She continued: “It was so sweet because you see the boys and they looked like they wanted it. You know, like everyone looked excited, from the ones I was able to see. So was cheering thank you, God. Yes, yes, yes. I was all for it.”

Others on social media echoed support for the coach, commending his positive impact on the players’ lives beyond sports.

One user wrote, “That coach is changing lives.. not just winning games!” Another added: “Now that’s what I am talking about!!! Congratulations young men! You just made the best decision of your lives! Hallelujah!!!! Glory to God!!!!!”

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