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Ocean baptisms: Believers make a fresh start in Venice

Disciples on the Move, an evangelical Christian organization made up of Los Angeles churches, brings hundreds of homeless people to Venice Beach for an annual charity event. The group provides food, clothing, music and prayer for attendees, and some choose to be baptized. Bishop Willie Pickens, who helped introduce ocean baptisms at the event 11 years ago, discusses the importance of the ceremony. (Robert Gourley /Los Angeles Times)

Disciples on the Move, an evangelical Christian organization made up of Los Angeles churches, brings hundreds of homeless people to Venice Beach for an annual charity event. The group provides food, clothing, music and prayer for attendees, some of whom choose to be baptized.

Disciples on the Move rally
Skid row residents wait on a bus to attend the Disciples on the Move rally on the Venice Beach boardwalk in August. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
Disciples on the Move rally
Bishop John Moore, left, and Bishop Willie Pickens baptize a man, who did want to be identified by name, during the Disciples on the Move rally. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
Disciples on the Move rally
Bishop Willie Pickens prepares to baptize people during the rally in August. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
Disciples on the Move rally
Elder Keelim Brooks pauses to pray before baptizing his daughter, Aundrea Brooks. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
Disciples on the Move rally
Bishop John Moore baptizes a woman during the rally in Venice. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
Disciples on the Move rally
The robe of elder Keelim Brooks is soaked in ocean water before a baptism. Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times
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