Baptism is a public testimony of what Christ has done in your life as a Christ-follower. It is a symbolic picture of death, burial and resurrection— and new life! When you are baptized, you are obeying Christ’s command in the Bible for all believers, and you are telling the world that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life. No matter what your age or background, baptism is an important step in your journey as a Christ-follower.
At First Baptist we believe that biblical baptism is symbolic— it doesn’t “save” you— but is very important in the life of every believer. It is a symbol of both your commitment to Christ and to Christ’s church. We require that those desiring membership at First Baptist be baptized — either previously at the time of your commitment to Christ or prior to becoming a member of First Baptist.
The New Testament records that baptism always followed conversion, never preceded it, and was not necessary for salvation (Acts 2:1-41; 8:36-39; 16:30-33). Christ commanded believers to follow him in this ordinance. Baptism by immersion pictures what Christ did on the cross for us. It also pictures our old life being put away and putting on our new life in Christ (Romans 6:4).
We baptize new believers in Christ in a large baptistery, accessible by a flight of stairs, that we fill with warm water. Baptism usually takes place during Sunday morning worship services (though we have also baptized at other times) so those present can celebrate with the person being baptized. The person being baptized wears modest street clothes.
At the time of baptism, the pastor or other person performing the baptism step into the baptistery with the one being baptized and stand in the middle of the baptistery. The pastor asks the person being baptized, “Is it your testimony that Jesus Christ is Lord?” With an affirmative answer, the pastor will lower the new believer all the way under the water and then bring the person immediately back up to standing.
The one performing the baptism will then dip a finger in a bowl of salt and place the salt on the lips of the person being baptized and say, “You are the salt of the earth.” Then, the one performing the baptism will hand a lighted votive candle to the person being baptized and say, “You are the light of the world. Be the salt and light of Christ wherever you go.” This is taken from Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 5:13-16.
Then they step out of the baptistery and prepare to join the congregation for the remainder of the worship service.
Those being baptized are furnished with dressing rooms in order to change before and after baptism.
For more information about baptism or to schedule your baptism, please contact us.