New Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said he quickly agreed Saturday to requests from inmates to be baptized.
He said 27 men were baptized by North Cleveland Church of God's Pastor Cy Harris inside a gymnasium at the jail.
Pastor Harris said he approached the sheriff with the idea and got his blessing.
Sheriff Watson said, "I wish to thank Captain Gabe Thomas, Lt. Anderson Sanders and correction staff who played a part in preparing for this life-changing event. I also want to thank North Cleveland Church of God Senior Pastor Mitch Maloney. Further thanks go to members of the Cleveland Fire Department, who filled the baptistry, a small rubber and plastic pool."
Longtime members of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office staff and community recall one other baptism in a former jail location years ago, it was stated.
Sheriff Watson said, "If inmates request a baptismal service, one will be provided at the jail. Saturday's baptismal service was a highly positive event for all involved, the inmates, staff and other onlookers."