Moss Point sailor baptized at sea aboard the USS Truman
ATLANTIC OCEAN (WLOX) - A Moss Point native was baptized at sea aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman last week.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 2nd Class Senderrick Beverly, an air department divisional supervisor, is one of 12 sailors who were baptized April 22 during a gospel faith baptism service made possible by Truman’s isolated at-sea status and the absence of diagnosed COVID-19 cases aboard.
Beverly frequently attended gospel services while he and Truman’s nearly 5,000 crewmembers were deployed to the Middle East earlier this year.
“As an ABF, to be baptized by our fuels boatswain and to have the support of my shipmates and fellow believers, the experience is something that I’ll cherish throughout my naval career and for the rest of my life,” said Beverly.
Performing the baptism was Chief Warrant Officer Eric Allen from Elizabethtown, Ky., who is the Truman’s air department fuels boatswain and Gospel lay-ministry leader.
Allen said the event as an amazing opportunity that requires creative thinking.
“For a believer in Christ, baptism is an integral part of their faith," Allen said. "To be baptized at sea is something that most people in the Navy will never have the opportunity to do. We don’t have a baptistery like you do at most churches back home. Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department allowed us to use an aircraft engine case. We cleaned that out, filled it with water and used that as a baptistery.”
Truman’s Gospel lay ministry is one of several regularly practicing faith groups aboard the ship led by volunteer lay leaders. Lay services are overseen by the ship’s command religious ministries department, whose Navy chaplains also perform religious services according to their faiths.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group remains at sea in the Atlantic in order to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19, following their successful deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. Keeping HSTCSG at sea in U.S. 2nd Fleet, in the sustainment phase of OFRP, allows the ship to maintain a high level of readiness during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
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