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VILLA RICA, Ga. (AP) — Officials in west Georgia say a mass baptism before a high school football practice violated school district policy.

The Rev. Kevin Williams, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Villa Rica, said 18 students and one coach were baptized after school, before a football practice last month.

Carroll County Assistant Superintendent Terry Jones said in a Monday statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( that Villa Rica High School failed to follow district policies on groups using school facilities.

Jones said the district’s investigation found that the high school principal had approved what he thought was a church-sponsored activity and that the principal was unaware students were involved.

The baptisms drew criticism after the church posted video of players being dunked into a tub of water on the Internet.


Information from: WXIA-TV,