While hardly an everyday occurrence, crocodile attacks are a known risk in Ethiopia - as in any region where they thrive.
Witnesses say a crocodile then launched itself from the water during one of the baptisms and attacked the pastor who died after receiving bite marks to his legs, back and hands.
A Protestant pastor was fatally attacked by a crocodile as he baptized followers at a lake in Ethiopia.
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It is believed the reptile that killed Pastor Docho was a Nile Crocodile which can grow up to six metres (20ft) long.
An Ethiopian online publication borkena.com said that members of his church watched helplessly in tears as the crocodile devoured him.
According to The Telegraph, fishermen used fishing nets to block the crocodile from taking the pastor's body into the water.
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Local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC's Amharic-language service that the Sunday afternoon ceremony had just begun when the incident occurred.
The crocodile is said to have escaped.
The Telegraph reported that lake and riverside baptisms are common in many African countries, notwithstanding the risk.
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Abaya Lake is located in southern Ethiopia and is reported to have a large crocodile population.