We are excited about your interest in getting baptized!  Not only is this a great milestone in your faith journey, it’s also a celebration time for your church family!  We consider this event to be like a party which celebrates the greatest gift that any of us have ever received as believers in Jesus Christ: eternal life!

To sign up for the next Baptism Celebration:  complete the following sign-up application and submit.  

Additional information about baptism:  scroll to the bottom of this page. 

Any questions?  Contact the church office or Chris our secretary at 616.278.0095.

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Understanding Baptism

We are excited about your interest in being baptized!  Not only is this a great milestone in your faith journey, it’s also a celebration time for your church family!  We consider this event to be like a party which celebrates the greatest gift that any of us have ever received as believers in Jesus Christ: eternal life!

1. What does the Bible teach about Baptism?

A.  Jesus commanded baptism.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  --Matthew 28:19-20

B.  Jesus modeled baptism.

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” --Mark 1:9

C.  The first Christians were baptized.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” --Acts 2:41

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized..”.--Acts 8:12-13

“The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?"  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”-Acts 8:34-38

“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.”--Acts 16:29-34

D.  Baptism is a relationship picture of our new life and Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

“That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.--Romans 6:4-5 (MSG)

“For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.”--Colossians 2:12

E.  Baptism is a public way to show your identity with other believers.

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…”--1 Corinthians 12:12-13

2.  What does the Wesleyan Church believe about Baptism?

“We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith. They are tokens of our profession of Christian faith and signs of God's gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works within us to quicken, strengthen, and confirm our faith. We believe that water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord and administered to believers. It is a symbol of the new covenant of grace and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.” (Article 242 The Discipline of the Wesleyan Church)

3.  What is required to be baptized?

The only requirement of baptism is to believe in Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone for forgiveness of your sins and receiving His free gift of eternal life.

4.  Does Baptism save me from my sins or guarantee my destiny in heaven?

No.  The only way that we can be forgiven of our sins and assured of eternal life in heaven is by putting our trust in Jesus Christ.  That’s called faith and it’s a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9).  The act of baptism is merely an outward expression that takes place after someone puts their faith in Jesus Christ.  Baptism is not a requirement of becoming a Christian, it is an act of obedience to Christ and a public declaration of faith after you become a Christian.

5.  What if I was baptized as an infant or a child?  Is it ok to get baptized again?

Some faith traditions teach baptism of infants or small children.  In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus.  He held them, prayed for them and told us to welcome them.  But he did not baptize them.  Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.  This requires a cognitive understanding and a personal choice.

If you were baptized as a child, it was the likely intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Jesus Christ.  Your baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parent’s desires when you were a child. 

6.  What is infant dedication and how does this differ from believer’s baptism?

The Wesleyan Church believes that infant dedication is a way to celebrate the gift of a child to the parents and to the Church.  It expresses the desire of the parents to raise, teach and disciple that child with the hope that the child will one day place personal faith in Jesus Christ.  In essence, it’s a dedication ceremony for the parents as well.  The public ceremony also recognizes the role of the Church in this process.

The Wesleyan Church also teaches that “the prevenient grace of God provides for the redemption of children” during the period before they reach the age of accountability.  However, if parents so choose, they may “testify to their faith in God’s provision by presenting their small children for baptism” (Article 290 The Discipline of the Wesleyan Church).  But this ceremony is not considered believer’s baptism, which is reserved only for those who choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

7.  If I was baptized previously in another church, should I be baptized again?

As long as your baptism was based on your own personal decision to trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, this church will honor that believer’s baptism.  If you were previously baptized but that baptism was not the result of your own personal decision, you should consider a believer’s baptism.

8.  Is baptism “by immersion” the only way that I can be baptized?

No.  While the examples and the symbolism in scripture depict baptism “by immersion” (or dunking), the Wesleyan Church allows people to have a choice of baptism by immersion, pouring or sprinkling.  (Article 290 The Discipline of the Wesleyan Church)

9.  What do I wear?

We provide a blue baptism T-shirt.  (You can tell us the size when you submit the registration form).  We suggest shorts.   Modesty is the goal here.  You may go barefoot or wear flip-flops.

10.  What do I need to bring?

 Please bring a change of clothes, a towel (preferably a beach towel) and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.

11.  How and when will the baptism ceremony take place?

We have a baptism tank in the front of our auditorium (behind our guitarists).   The water will be heated and comfortable.  The baptism ceremony will take place near the end of the worship service.  At some point in the service, the pastor will dismiss you to change your clothes to prepare to be baptized.  You may do this in the restrooms.

Each person will be called up one at a time.  You will then proceed to step down into the baptistery, the pastor will baptize you, the congregation will celebrate, you will step out of the baptistery, and if the weather permits you will exit via the east door (the one that faces the north parking lot) to change clothes in the foyer restrooms.

12.  What will I have to say during the ceremony?

We realize that many people are hesitant or nervous to speak publicly. The pastors will do everything possible to help guide you through this time!

To make this easier on you and meaningful for the congregation, we would prefer to do a really short video interview with you in advance where we will simply ask you a little bit about your story.  Things like: 

What was your life like before you met Christ?
How did you come to meet Christ and who influenced you along the way?
How has life been since you’ve met Christ or What difference has Jesus made in your life?
Why have you decided to get baptized now? 

The cool thing about video is that you can't mess up.  We will edit this (and we won't allow you to look goofy!) 
We also do videos because baptism is meant to be a public profession, and it is an incredible opportunity to share God’s message of redemption with thousands of people. We have witnessed the life-changing effects these videos have had on people’s lives.

Another important reason we do the videos is that we as a congregation grow in our faith by watching these stories. They allow friends, family, and even those you don’t know to celebrate the amazing transformation Christ has worked in your life.

During the actual ceremony, after we play your video story, the pastor will ask you two simple questions regarding your faith:  ”Do you believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?”  “Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ and him alone as your Savior and the forgiver of your sins?” 

13.  Can I invite my friends or family to the baptism ceremony?

Absolutely!  In fact, you are encouraged to do so!  This is a joyful occasion and the more people to celebrate, the better!   Also, it’s completely acceptable to have friends or family bring cameras or camcorders to record the event.