Kyle Lake, pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, died Sunday after being electrocuted while performing a baptism. According to the Associated Press, UniversityBaptistChurch Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water up to his shoulder in a baptismal when electrocuted, said Jamie Dudley, wife of UBC community pastor Ben Dudley and a business adminstrator at the church. The woman Lake was baptising was not injured, Jamie Dudley said.
Lake had reached for a microphone when he was electrocuted as the congregation watched. Doctors present at the service attempted to revive the pastor, but were unsuccessful.
The church released this statement on its Web site:
This morning, Sunday October 30th, our pastor KyleLake was involved in an accident during a baptism and was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital. Kyle passed away around 11:30am. Not only did we lose a pastor but we’ve lost our friend. Funeral services are pending and we will update the website as soon as we have more information.
There will be a gathering tonight at 8pm at FirstBaptistChurchWaco which is located on the Corner of 5th and Clay. This is a chance for reflection, an opportunity to be with friends and to pray. There will be counselors available if anyone needs to talk to anyone.
We are confident that Kyle is in heaven today because of his trust in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. ” -1 John 5:11-13
Please continue to keep the Lake family in your prayers.
Kyle Lake has been a leader in the movement known as the emerging church. His death — electrocuted while performing a baptism — is a tragedy in human terms. A wife and family now grieve his loss, along with a hurting congregation. All Christians should pray for his family, his church, and all those who knew Kyle Lake as pastor and friend. [UPDATE: According to a writer's identification statement in Relevant magazine, Kyle Lake was the husband of Jen, with whom he had three children -- a daughter and twin sons. Just imagine the pain and grief this family is experiencing.]
The church got it just right in its brief statement: We are confident that Kyle is in heaven today because of his trust in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. ” -1 John 5:11-13.
To that Gospel word we would add this testimony from the Apostle Paul — a testimony that points to the picture of baptism: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his . . . . ” [Romans 6:3-5, English Standard Version].
SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATES: KCEN-TV (Temple, TX): Church leaders say Lake was about to baptize a young woman when he stepped into the water. Officials aren’t sure if a short in Lake’s microphone caused the deadly accident. The woman being baptized wasn’t harmed. Church members say he will be missed because he was both a great leader and friend.
“We are very thankful as a church, because we know of his deep belief in Jesus that he’s in heaven right now,” says Blair Browning. “But it doesn’t make things any easier, because we lost an incredible friend, and we’re thankful to have had him as a pastor.”
KWTX-TV (Waco, TX): Rev. Kyle Lake, the pastor of Waco’s University Baptist Church, died Sunday morning in a freak accident during a baptism as his congregation looked on in horror.
Lake was in the process of baptizing a woman at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the church at South 17th Street and Dutton Avenue when a microphone fell in the baptismal.