In early February 2024, users on X shared three photos that appeared to show a man baptizing a woman in what appeared to be a metal tank — similar to a livestock trough for horses or a container for plants — beneath the banner of a large flag emblazoned with the name "Trump."
"Baptized,… in the name of Trump," one of the posts read.
The same photos of the baptism were previously shared on other social media websites, including Reddit. For example, one popular Reddit thread in 2022 claimed that the pictured woman was "baptized in the name of Trump."
These baptisms were not carried out with any mention of the name of former U.S. President Donald Trump, John Linnehan, the man who held the lease on the space pictured in the photos, told Snopes by phone. He said the presence of the Trump flag was unrelated to the baptisms and that it only happened to be in the background of the photos.
That said, it's unclear whether the presence of the Trump flag, the man standing in the background wearing a "Make America Godly Again" shirt or other political items had any influence over the inspiration for the sacrament that appeared in the pictures.
Snopes investigated and found details regarding exactly what was happening on the day when the baptism occurred. In our research, we came across quite a few additional claims concerning the people who are mentioned below. For the purposes of this article, we will be concentrating only on the baptism pictures that were posted online.
Constitution Hall in Ellsworth, Maine
The photos were captured during a "Deliverance Service/Revival" event led by pastor Greg Locke on Sept. 12, 2022. The setting was Linnehan's leased space named Constitution Hall, then located at the Maine Coast Mall in Ellsworth, Maine.
Upon opening the space in January 2022, Linnehan announced in a Facebook video: "Constitution Hall is the mecca of like-minded, Maine-first, America-first patriots, to gather freely, hold rallies, host conventions, live stream events, feature special speakers and hold any other pro-Constitutional events you could possibly dream of."
Photos of the space were also posted on Facebook. One of the pictures showed the very same flooring and brick wall visible in the photos of the baptism.
When it opened, Constitution Hall featured a large sign with images of an American flag, Jesus Christ, a bald eagle, a dove, a Bible, the Liberty Bell and the U.S. Constitution.
A Facebook user asks about the Constitution Hall sign in early 2022.
After Linnehan's lease ended at the end of 2023, he moved Constitution Hall out of the mall and into another space, according to the Bangor Daily News. The patriotic and religious imagery on the large mall sign has since been removed.
Pastor Greg Locke
Pastor Greg Locke is the founding and lead pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
One post on X from Sept. 19, 2022, read, "High priest of Trumpvangelivalism 'Pastor' Greg Locke was in Maine this weekend baptizing people beneath a Trump flag. Because of course he was."
In 2022, The Tennessean newspaper profiled Locke — an outspoken Trump supporter — in a story titled "The evolution of Greg Locke: How a controversial Tennessee pastor wants to save America from its demons."
The reporting noted, "His clearly defined and strongly held religious beliefs have led the pastor to split from the independent fundamental Baptists, attack local schools and retailers on social media to advocate for right-wing political positions, and stand outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as a mob stormed in. Twitter banned him for spreading COVID-19 misinformation."
Snopes' Phone Call with Linnehan
Still, despite Locke's political beliefs and the patriotic and political nature of the Constitution Hall establishment, Linnehan told Snopes by phone that the words spoken during the baptisms had nothing to do with Trump.
"There was a lady who called me and wanted to know if she could have Pastor Locke come to Maine and do a preaching for a deliverance service, to tell people how they could be saved and then how they could be delivered from some of the sins that were bothering them in their lives," Linnehan said.
"I called a local church here in town. They had this portable baptistry, like an aluminum tank that they used in their church to do baptisms. So I went and got that at her request so that Pastor Locke would have a place to baptize people."
Linnehan continued: "The Trump flag in the background, that just happened to be my flag that happened to be in the hallway that night. That was not put up specially for this activity with Pastor Locke."
Snopes then asked Linnehan whether Trump's name was mentioned during the baptisms. Linnehan said no.
"When Pastor Locke did the baptisms, he would say, 'We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.' And so, nothing to do with Trump was mentioned at all."
Before our call ended, Linnehan added, "I was at the baptisms. There was a huge crowd there that night. There were a lot of people baptized. And I felt it was a very effective spiritual meeting that was held there."