As United Methodists, we believe Baptism is a sacrament (“an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”), the other sacrament being Holy Communion. In a sacrament, God uses common elements - in this case, water - as means or vehicle of divine grace. Baptism is administered by the church as the Body of Christ and is almost always in the context of worship. It is an act of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
What Is the Significance of Baptism?
In all forms of Christian baptism, God claims those being baptized, whatever their age or ability to profess their faith, with divine grace.
Who May Be Baptized?
United Methodists practice “infant baptism,” often within the first six months of birth. Clearly, an infant can do nothing to save himself or herself, but is totally dependent on God's grace, as we all are -- whatever our age. Baptism becomes our “rite of initiation.” Parents wishing to have their child baptized should schedule an appointment with one of the pastors.
When baptized children reach the age of accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and/or they participate in Confirmation, we provide them an opportunity to claim for themselves what was done for them earlier in their life, in our words they may “reaffirm their baptism.” We also offer this to anyone who has previously been baptized and are rededicating their life to Christ and desire in some way to “reaffirm their baptism.”
We offer baptism to people of all ages who have not previously received Christian baptism in any form.
Methods Of Baptism (“How much water do you use?”)
You can be baptized by water in one of three ways. One is the sprinkling of water on your head, a second is pouring, both of these are during a worship service, and the third is immersion. Many times, the immersions take place in the mountains and even sometimes in a nearby swimming pool. Baptism by immersion depends on the schedules of the family, the church and the pastor. Our first emphasis is upon the gracious action of God who establishes the covenant of baptism with us. Youth and adults desiring to be baptized for the first time should schedule an appointment with one of the pastors to discuss their decision.
Should I Be Baptized Again?
United Methodists recognize the baptism of "believers only" traditions for those transferring their membership, provided those traditions baptize people in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as generally understood in historic Christianity. We do not rebaptize those who have already received Christian baptism in any form (sprinkling, pouring or immersion).
Need more info?
Call the church main office at 865-983-2080 and request to speak with Pastor Mickey Rainwater, or Pastor Gilbert Harris.