Pentecostal pastor to protest after Denver jail temporarily stops full-immersion baptisms

Jail officials say they're waiting on new chaplain

DENVER - A Pentecostal pastor is protesting after officials at the Denver County Jail temporarily stopped the baptism of inmates by total immersion in a bathtub-sized tank.

Maurice Gordon says the jail previously allowed him to perform the Christian ceremony, but canceled it after a baptism in March.

According to the Denver Post, jail officials told him to sprinkle prisoners with water, but jail officials say the ban is not permanent.

Diggins told the newspaper the jail’s chaplain retired recently, and they need a replacement before the baptisms can resume to ensure that internal procedures are followed. He said they will "absolutely" continue to allow the baptisms once the chaplain is replaced.

"We asked (Gordon) to give us some time to get our ducks in a row," Diggins told the newspaper. "He's been very obtuse about this."

Gordon says 12 inmates are waiting to be baptized and that he doesn’t need a chaplain, according to the newspaper.

"The problem is -- there is no problem," Gordon told the newspaper

Gordon said he plans to protest the issue from 10 a.m. to noon Friday on the steps of the jail at 10500 E. Smith Road, the newspaper reports.

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