The Immersion of George Washington

General Washington one day went to Rev. John Gano, chaplain in the Continental Army, and exclaimed: “I have been investigating the Scripture, and I believe immersion to be baptism taught in the Word of God, and I demand it at your hands. I do not wish any parade made or the army called out, but simply a quiet demonstration of the ordinance.” In the presence of 42 witnesses George Washington was immersed in the Potomac; but he did not give “personal testimony” which would have made him a member of the Baptist Church. In 1908 Rev. E. T. Sanford of Manhattan’s North Church commissioned a painting of Washington and Chaplain Gano waist-deep in the Potomac. The painting was taken to the Baptist Church at Asbury Park, N. J. where it hung until 1926. It was then presented by Chaplain Gano’s great-granddaughter to William Jewell College (Baptist) in Liberty, Mo. for the dedication of a John Gano Memorial Chapel. (Taken from “Time” Magazine – September 5, 1932)

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