Thursday, September 1, 2016

Susie Pruett Baptized at Age 105 and Entire Church Worships Sunday at Her Home, 1922

From the Rockingham Post-Dispatch, Richmond County, September 7, 1922

One of the most unique baptisms that every took place in America was that of a Cleveland county woman, Mrs. Susie Pruett, aged 105 years, who at the advanced age professed religion for the first time and although crippled and unable to walk as a result of a fall sustained four months ago, was baptized a few days ago by her friend, Rev. J.F. Weathers, who is pastor of the Pisgah and other Baptist churches.

Around a thousand people were present at the unique event, which took place in Cascar.
The baptizing itself was a most remarkable scene and required unusual preparations. The aged convert, having professed religion, stated that she wanted to be baptized by immersion. Her son, Mr. Joe Pruett, with whom she lives, and other relatives and friends protested that it might mean her death, as she was confined to her bed with a broken leg, badly swollen, following her fall of a few months ago.

Mrs. Pruitt said she wanted to be baptized, even if it meant her death and she should be taken from the pool a corpse. Rev. Weathers was in quandary at her request, but determined to carry out her wishes.

Workmen constructed a square wooden vat. This was placed on a truck and carried to Peeler’s mill pond, where the vat was filled with water. When the vat was brought to the front steps of the Pruett home, hot water was procured in pots and used to warm up the baptismal fount.

Then six strong men picked up Mrs. Pruitt in a sheet and slowly lowered her into the pool. When her head was almost submerged, Mr. Weathers performed the ceremony of baptism and the aged lady came out of the water smiling and rejoicing at her experience, and none the worse for her ordeal.
“Aunt” Susie Pruett was born in August, 1817. She is four years older than Mr. Enoch Parkey, the county’s oldest man. She was married at 18, lived with her husband, David Pruett, over 43 years, and he has been dead something over 43 years. Figure her age up for yourself.

She lived 105 years without joining any church, but after her conversion and baptism last week, she was on Sunday afternoon admitted to membership in Pisgah church, which adjourned to her home and admitted her into full fellowship there.

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