This annual summer gathering on the south shore of Lake Michigan brings together the Black Coptic believers from around the Midwest, who arrive at sunrise dressed in black tunics – garments considered both holy and royal.
The story of the Black Coptic Church and its founder Prophet Cicero Patterson intersects with the history of the Great Migration to the North and equally expands the boundaries of Christianity with an imaginative vision of blending African religious beliefs rooted in Egypt and Ethiopia with Hebrew Israelite, Black protestant traditions, and liberation theology.
The ritual of baptism is the process of immersion, submersion, and emergence and signifies birth into the divine life given by the Spirit. A new life out of the water signifies the power of connection with the Divine – “God who is God of all”.
The photographs document the beauty of this ancient ritual, a ritual of spiritual regeneration.