20 High School Football Players Baptized After Practice – Coach Fired Days Later

20 High School Football Players Baptized After Practice – Coach Fired Days Later

A Georgia high school has parted ways with its football coach in the aftermath of a social media video that showed 20 of his football players being baptized.

On Oct. 23, Isaac Ferrell — the head coach at Tattnall County High School in Reidsville, about 60 miles west of Savannah — held a baptism after practice.

“Yesterday after practice Coach Ferrell gave the guys the opportunity to be baptized by Pastor Few. 20 young men made the decision to go #ALLIN with Christ!! Show them some support#BiggerThanFootball,” an Oct. 24 post on the team’s Facebook page read.

Reaction to the video led the Freedom from Religion Foundation to put the school district on notice, saying the baptism was unconstitutional and that Ferrell should be told never to do it again.

“Student athletes have the First Amendment right to be free from religious indoctrination when participating in their public school’s athletics program,” the group said in a Nov. 6 news release. “It is illegal for public school athletic coaches to invite or instruct others, such as pastors, to lead their team in prayer or other religious activities, including proselytizing and baptisms.”

A few days later, Tattnall County Superintendent Kristen Waters said Ferrell had been yanked as coach, though he will retain his job as a teacher, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta.

“The safety and security of our students is paramount to the Tattnall County Board of Education,” the district said in a statement, according to WTGS-TV.


“Based on the outcome of an investigation into an incident that occurred Friday night, November 3, while traveling after the football game, the district decided that it would seek a head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students of Tattnall County for the 2024-2025 school year,” the district said.

Waters claimed that removing Ferrell had no connection to the baptism issue “at this time,” according to WTOC-TV in Savannah.

She said she could not comment on exactly what happened on Nov. 3.

The decision saddened Latifa Johnson, whose son was among the players baptized by the Rev. Gary Few, according to WSAV-TV.

“I was extremely proud of him because he made the decision on his own. I didn’t have to hold his hand, and he did it because he wanted to do it,” she said of her son, who is a sophomore.

She said she enjoyed seeing the Facebook video of the baptism.

“It was so sweet because you see the boys and they looked like they wanted it. You know, like everyone looked excited, from the ones I was able to see. So was cheering thank you, God. Yes, yes, yes. I was all for it,” Johnson said.

She said removing Ferrell was a loss for the students.

“What about the ones who do believe? Why should they miss out on a spiritual leader because someone doesn’t agree? It takes a village to raise children,” Johnson said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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