I’m New - Baptism
If you have committed your life to Jesus Christ and have never been baptized with water after your choice to follow Christ, we want to encourage you to be baptized at one of our upcoming baptism services. Water baptism is important in the life of a Christian because it is an outward expression and statement to family, friends and the church that a person has committed their life to Jesus Christ and desires to live their life in a way that pleases God. Baptism does not save us. (That is only done through the confession of our sins to God; our belief that Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross and rose again from the dead three days later; and our invitation to Jesus Christ to come into our life and take control of our life.) However, baptism does publicly say to those around us that we are followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the outward expression is important and should be done by all believers.
Understanding Water Baptism
Click here to listen to a message Pastor Mike shared about water baptism in 2010. (NOTE: The file is a MP3 file and may take a minute or two to load up in your browser due to the large size). In the message, he taught what the Bible says about baptism, what it symbolizes, and answered some of the most common questions we are asked about baptism. He also addressed the issue of children being baptized and whether a person should be baptized again if they were baptized as an infant.
You should also take a few minutes and review the Frequently Asked Question section below prior to completing your application.
Filling out the application online
If you are ready to complete the application after reviewing the information, please click here. A few days before the baptism service, you will be contacted by one of the pastors to discuss the specifics of the baptism service and answer any questions you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I be baptized?
As soon as possible following your conversion experience. Because the Bible clearly states that a person should be baptized, baptism should be seen as one of the more early expressions of obedience to the Lord. At Otterbein, we have a baptism service during the summer and usually in conjunction with our annual church picnic. We believe you should be baptized at the earliest scheduled baptism service after conversion.
Who should attend my baptism?
Because baptism is an outward expression of your faith and commitment to Jesus Christ, it is our belief that baptism should be done in a public setting with family, friends, and other persons from the church present. Exceptions are sometimes made for extenuating circumstances, but we encourage you to be baptized during the public baptism service and to invite your family and friends to observe the service.
What happens when I am baptized?
You will be asked to join the persons conducting the baptism service in the water. You will be introduced and asked whether you have given your life to Jesus Christ and have committed yourself to follow Him. You may also be given an opportunity to share a short testimony about the difference Jesus has made in your life. You will then be baptized by immersion one time. At Otterbein, we generally take a person backwards into the water when baptizing them.
How old do I need to be to be baptized?
There is no specific answer to this question and the Bible does not place any age requirement on baptism. It is important that children clearly understand the significance of water baptism and that they have made a commitment to Jesus Christ. Because of our concern that children clearly understand what it means to be baptized, we ask all children 12 years of age and under to complete a special baptism study and attend a baptism class along with their parents prior to being baptized. Anyone 12 years of age and under who wishes to be baptized needs to contact Pastor Mike (717.762.7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Bauer (717.762.7147 or email@example.com) to discuss the date and time of the baptism class. This needs to be done no later than 3 weeks prior to the baptism service.
Is it okay to be baptized more than once?
In general, you should be baptized only once. The exception to this may be if you were baptized prior to a conversion experience. For example, many persons were baptized as infants prior to a conscious decision and commitment to follow Jesus Christ. It is our belief that a person baptized as an infant should be baptized again after making a commitment to Christ. It may also be appropriate for a person to be baptized again if they were baptized as an adult, but before making a commitment to Jesus Christ. Persons who have been previously baptized should discuss their desire with one of the pastors before being baptized a second time.
What if I am afraid of water or have a physical handicap?
If you have a fear of water, contact one of the pastors to discuss your concerns. Other arrangements can be made to assist in addressing this concern.
What do I need to do?
Complete an application for baptism. Click here to complete the application online or pick up a baptism brochure at the Information Center in the lobby. Inside the brochure, you will find an application for baptism. Applications need to be completed and returned/submitted to the church office no later than the Wednesday prior to the scheduled baptism date. You may also put the application in the offering plate during the worship services if you would prefer. A member of the pastoral staff will contact you prior to your baptism.