Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Body of Christ, the Church, which joins a person with Christians everywhere. It is also the beginning of a lifelong process of growth in Christ. It is a sacrament ordained by Jesus Christ. It can be received only once, but its effects are lasting. Any Christian baptism is recognized by the United Methodist Church.
Like most denominations, we baptize older children and adults. Such baptism emphasizes one's personal acceptance of God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ and a serious commitment to Christian discipleship.
We also baptize infants, in the tradition of the earliest Church. Such baptism emphasizes God’s love, which is freely given, not earned by our actions. It also assumes the responsibility of the parents and church family to nurture this child and to bring the child up in the ways of the Lord. Infant dedication ceremonies are performed as well.
We do not insist on any one form of baptism, as do some denominations. We recognize three principal modes: sprinkling, pouring, and immersion. The mode chosen will often depend upon a combination of personal choice and venue.
Baptism is a requirement for membership within the church and is arranged through consultation with the pastor.