Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pastor electrocuted as he grabbed mike at baptism


PASTOR has been killed by an electric shock after grabbing a microphone while performing a baptism in water.
The Rev Kyle Lake (33), was partly submerged at University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas - only 14 miles from President Bush's Crawford ranch - while baptising a woman in front of 800 people. He reached out to adjust a microphone when he was killed.
The church, co-founded by David Crowder, one of the biggest "rock stars" of Christian music, is popular with students from nearby Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world.
"He was grabbing the microphone so everyone could hear," Jamie Dudley, a church business administrator, said. "It's the only way you can be loud enough."
Doctors in the congregation rushed to help Mr Lake, who collapsed after being struck by the fatal jolt of electricity.
An emergency medical crew tried to revive him.
Church colleagues described him as a charismatic religious leader. Blair Browning, a former church leadership team member, said: "I think we all gravitated to him because he looked cooler than all of us, but he was really smart. People that would never have darkened the doorstep of a church felt comfortable talking to Kyle."
"At first there was definitely confusion just because everyone was trying to figure out what was going on," the Rev Ben Dudley, the community pastor of the church, said after he saw his colleague die. "Everyone just immediately started praying."
In Waco in 1993, a stand-off between federal agents and a religious sect, the Branch Davidians, resulted in their compound being destroyed by fire, with the loss of 76 lives.
Chris Ayresin Los Angeles


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