With little fanfare and only close friends and family in attendance, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was baptized in Little Rocky Creek, the same spring waters where the Lone Star State's iconic first governor, Sam Houston, was dunked 160 years ago.
The Texas Tribune
reported Tuesday the born-again Christian governor's re-baptism took place last month at the historic creek near Independence, Texas.
"Gov. Perry has a deep and abiding faith in God," Perry spokesman Felix Browne said in a statement to the Tribune. "Like many people of faith, the governor wished to reaffirm his commitment in a way that holds great personal meaning."
Pastor of the nearby church, Phil Hassell, said the volunteer fire department sprayed off thick algae and lily pads covering the creek so Perry would have a clear spot for the religious dunk.
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Presiding over the ceremony was Austin's Lake Hills Church pastor Mac Richard, the Tribune reported.
"He had his parents with him and his sister and a couple of guests, just a few. It was very low key," Hassell told the Tribune. "I never met him before, but he was personable, kind of down to earth."
Hassell said Perry asked that the religious event be kept hush-hush, though he stopped by Hassell's church to see the pew where Houston had carved his initials and those of his wife – and then offered an impromptu performance of a gospel hymn on the tiny church's 1874 pump organ.
"It’s not easy to play a pump organ. You’ve got to move your feet while you play," Hassell told the Tribune. "I thought he played well."
The quiet ceremony in the creek where Houston famously emerged from his 1854 baptism declaring, "I pity the fish downstream," was a far cry from the flashy 2011 prayer revival
Perry opened in Houston a week before he announced his bid for president.
But Perry has recently sounded like he's more than ready to turn a new leaf after the "humbling experience" of the failed 2012 run.
"I think how people respond when they've been knocked down is a better reflection of their character than if everything is all blue sky and the wind behind your back," he said in an interview with CBS This Morning
"I've had the wind in my face. I've been knocked down, and I'm ready to move on."
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