For the members of The Way Church, Nov. 25, 2023, is a day that will be remembered for years to come. It was a cold Sabbath day, especially for a lake baptism, as the temperature was only 28 degrees Fahrenheit! But that was not the biggest challenge of the day. Not only was the air frigid, but so was the water, as the church was soon to find out.


The previous Monday, Pastor Jared Little received a phone call from Allison McDonald, expressing her desire to be baptized. She had been attending the church for about three years and had studied the Bible extensively. Pastor Little was excited to see that, after asking several questions and reviewing biblical truth, it was clear that she had a deep love for Jesus and a thorough understanding of the Bible. Pastor Little asked her when she would like to be baptized.  “As soon as possible!” McDonald responded.

Naturally, the question of where the baptism would take place was next. To Pastor Little’s surprise, McDonald wanted to be baptized in a lake near the church.

He said, “I have never baptized someone in a lake this late in the year, but I’m willing to give it a try. If the lake is frozen over, what do you want me to do?”

McDonald responded, “Pastor, could we break the ice?”

Her love of Jesus and nature fueled her desire to be in creation for this special event. Pastor Little could not refuse such a sincere request.

That Sabbath afternoon, Pastor Little arrived at the lake early. Yes, it was indeed frozen over. Wearing chest waders and several layers, he walked halfway down the pier and broke through an inch or two of ice. He jumped in to test the depth and threw several chunks of ice out to clear the area, careful not to get wet.

McDonald arrived wearing several layers and some protective clothing. Church members stood nearby with blankets and towels and made sure a car was nearby. Another friend, wearing chest waders, got in as well in case of emergencies. As the bundled congregation watched, McDonald was buried in the icy waters of baptism. Later, she declared she barely felt the cold because she was so excited.

Allison McDonald’s commitment and desire to follow Jesus is inspiring and a challenge for each of us to follow Him no matter what.

Sarah Little is married to Pastor Jared Little, who is currently the pastor of the Rochester Seventh-day Adventist Church.