Becoming a Member
Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in this Church. All such candidates shall be presented to the Church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:
- By profession of faith and for baptism by immersion. Believing that biblical baptism was always of converts marking the beginning of their Christian pilgrimage and entry into the Body of Christ, and believing that the mode was immersion, our practice is believer’s baptism by immersion. This is the only kind of baptism we offer. We baptize all new converts by immersion since this was the New Testament mode and because it best portrays the meaning of baptism – death to an old life and resurrection to newness of life.
Note: At the discretion of the ministers and deacons, exceptions may be made in hardship cases involving advanced age, problems of health, or other unusual circumstances.
- By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church.
- By statement of a prior conversion experience and baptism by immersion, when no letter is obtainable.
- From other denominations. Recognizing the diversity of baptismal practices among Christian churches and believing that baptism is intended to reflect the unity of the People of God rather than their division, we will receive candidates for membership from other denominations who were baptized in other ways in the following manner.
- We will explain our belief in believer’s baptism by immersion and the biblical foundations for this practice.
- We will make clear that our primary concern is for the reality of the candidate’s experience of salvation and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- If the candidate believes that baptism by immersion would be a meaningful experience with integrity, we will gladly administer it.
- If the candidate affirms that he or she has already made a previous commitment of faith and has been baptized to symbolize his or her identification with Christian faith and the whole church as the Body of Christ, no additional baptism by immersion shall be required.
This guideline is intended to lead to a deeper appreciation of the historic and present meaning of baptism in the life of the believer and in the life of this Church, and to enable us better to take seriously the relationship of Baptists to the wider community of Christians.