“One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5
Entrance into Christian
life is acknowledged in baptism. During baptism, members of the church claim God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal
life. As United Methodists, we believe in baptism at any age, infant through adult! If baptized as an infant, later we proclaim
our beliefs in confirmation and are renewed for a life of service to God.
Baptism is not the occasion when God’s Spirit enters your life. God is with you from the
beginning to the end of your life (and beyond). In the New Testament, Jesus himself is baptized and asks everyone to
turn to God and be baptized as an expression of this repentance. Baptism means becoming Christ’s and signifies the
intention to develop and grow as a follower of Christ.
Baptism is a sacrament — which means an outward sign of inward grace. The sign is the
water and the grace is what God gives in the relationship between himself and the person who is baptized.
Baptism replaces the Old Testament idea of circumcision as a sign of the covenant relationship
between God and his people. Since circumcision was principally an infant rite, it may be presumed that infant baptism was too.
Some people today say that baptism expresses personal commitment and must be reserved for
adulthood. Others say that, because you cannot tell when a person’s consciousness or faith exactly begins, baptism should take
place soon after birth. The New Testament supports both the baptism of adult believers and the baptism of infants from a
We hold clear beliefs regarding the sacramental nature of baptism as a means of grace.
Baptism is most commonly administered (and encouraged) in infancy, and is the beginning of a holy covenant relationship between
God, the parents, and the church, with clear promises made by each party. The child appropriates that covenant for him/herself
at the age of accountability when that child is confirmed into the adult membership of the church.
In baptism, we are declaring that our infants are children of God’s covenant of grace, begun
with Abraham. Like circumcision did not save, neither does baptism. Our baptized children will one day need to declare, profess,
or recognize their personal faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord. When that day comes, re–baptizing is not necessary. It is,
instead, a time of celebration of the working of God’s grace in a person’s life, through parents, through the church, and through
the Holy Spirit.
Everyone is to be baptized, including infants. If we say that babies are not to be included
in Christ’s Great Commission, then where will it stop? What other people will we exclude? It is true that there is no
example in Scripture of a baby being baptized. However, to conclude from this that babies are not to be baptized is absurd.
Neither are there any specific examples of the elderly being baptized, or teenagers, or little children. Instead we read about
men (Acts 2:41; 8:35) women (Acts 16:14–15), and entire households being baptized (Acts 10:24,47–48; 16:14–15; 16:30–33; 1
Co. 1:16). The authors of the New Testament documents didn't feel compelled to give examples of every age group or category
being baptized. Why should they have? Certainly they understood that “all nations“ is all-inclusive.
While we also affirm adult baptism such administration of the sacrament must also be accepted
and understood in its sacramental context, as a gift of grace by God in Christ to the church, not just as a faith expression of
the one being baptized. To see it solely in the context of a faith statement reduces it, we believe, from an act of God to an
act of the person, and thus negates its sacramental nature.
Following the orthodox biblical teaching of Ephesians 4:4-6
, “There is one body
and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father
of all who is over all and through all and in all.“ We do not rebaptize anyone.
It is our practice, to recognize a baptism from all Christian traditions. Persons wishing to
join our church must be baptized prior to being received, if they have not previously been baptized.
We baptize individuals in Sunday morning worship, so the Church family can embrace and promise
to support you, and so they can be reminded of the grace of God in their own Baptisms. Most Sundays are available for Baptisms,
although when we have Holy Communion, or on other special days we may not be able to have Baptisms. It is always our privilege to
participate in this beautiful, powerful Sacrament with you!