Benito Flores was helping perform a baptism for a small Santa Maria church named Luz de Cielo or “Jesus Christ Light in the Sky” when he was swept out to sea.
The church says they baptize members at rivers or beaches when the member wants to go to somewhere “beautiful.”
They hold baptisms at beaches up and down the coast and they've done it at Guadalupe Dunes since 1995.
The pastor says the church has never had a dangerous experience with baptisms at beaches until yesterday.
Despite the incident, the pastor says he'll continue to perform baptisms at beaches because he believes it's God's work, though he will look for beaches with less violent waves.
The pastor, Flores and the newly baptized member was standing in the water celebrating when a huge wave engulfed all three.
Flores has a wife and five children; his daughter says he's been a part of the church all his life.