How Safe Are the Microphones Used by Pastors During Baptisms?

October 31, 2005 -- Posted at 4:04 p.m. CST


JONESBORO -- A pastor in Waco, Texas is dead after being electrocuted while preparing for a baptism.   Pastor Kyle Lake was reaching for a microphone as he stepped into the water of the baptistery Sunday and was electrocuted.   Pastors in Region 8 conduct baptisms all the time, so we wanted to know what safety precautions they take to prevent something like electrocution from happening at their church.


Gene Bosche said using a handheld microphone is not common in churches around Region 8, most of the churches he works with use a lapel or drop-down microphone.

“For something like a baptistery where someone is going to be in the water either one would work properly the lapel microphone that's wireless is usually better.”  


Most of the pastors I spoke with said they use a wireless microphone with a transmitter safely inside the rubber waders worn during baptism.  If the transmitter or the microphone do get wet, does that pose any danger to the pastor or to the person getting baptized?    “The typical wireless microphone operates from a nine volt battery so there is absolutely no chance of electrocution,” said Bosche.  


What type of problem area's should pastors look for to make sure their sound system is properly wired?  “Commonly using something like this on any of the electrical connections to the wall is not proper because it breaks the ground and the ground is what protects you,” said Bosche.   Bosche said that the accident in Texas could have been caused by any number of things, but recommends churches get their sound system checked out by a professional to make sure it's safe.