Baptism

If you have chosen to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and have never been baptized with water after your choice to follow Jesus, we want to encourage you to be baptized at one of our upcoming baptism services. Baptisms are held several times throughout the year and take place during our worship services.

At Otterbein, we believe that water baptism is a very important part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  Throughout the Bible, people are instructed to be baptized with water. In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”  Some of Jesus’ final recorded words to His followers were to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).  We also know that Jesus modeled for us the importance of water baptism by being baptized Himself in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11).

The Bible clearly teaches that water baptism is important in the life of a follower of Jesus because it is God’s way for a person to go public with their decision to follow Jesus. It is a statement to family, friends, and to the church that a person has chosen to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and desires to live their life in a way that pleases God.  It is important to understand that baptism does not make us a follower of Jesus. Becoming a follower of Jesus is only possible as we confess our sins to God; express our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross and rose again from the dead three days later; commit to follow His teachings and live them out in our daily lives; and as we pray and express to Jesus our heartfelt desire to become one of His followers.

Next Steps To Be Baptized At Otterbein

  1. Complete the application (see below).  Applications are also available at the Information Center in the church lobby.  If you pick up an application, please return the completed form to the church by placing it in the offering plate during one of the worship services, dropping it off at Guest Central following one of the worship services, or mailing it to 801 Park Street, Waynesboro, PA 17268.
  2. Attend the BAPTISM ORIENTATION CLASS which is generally held 2 weeks prior to the baptism service. Dates for the class can be found in the bulletin and will also be communicated to you by a member of the church staff after we receive your application.
  3. Children 12 years of age and under are required to complete a BAPTISM WORKBOOK prior to attending the Baptism Orientation Class. The workbook is available by contacting Amanda Myers, Dir. of Children’s Ministries, at amanda.myers@otterbeinchurch.org or 717.762.7147 x231.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I be baptized?
We believe the Bible teaches that you should be baptized as soon as possible following your decision to follow Jesus.  Because the Bible clearly states that a person should be baptized, baptism should be seen as one of the earliest expressions of obedience to the Lord.  At Otterbein, baptism services are done throughout the year as people express their desire to be baptized.

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?
Prior to your baptism, a video testimony will be played (see next question for more information about the video). During the playing of the video testimony, you will join one of the pastors in the water.  Following the video, the pastor will share a word of personal encouragement with you and then you will be baptized by immersion one time.  At Otterbein, we generally take a person backwards into the water when baptizing them.

What should be included in my video testimony?
Our staff realizes that for some people the thought of being recorded for a video testimony is overwhelming and causes a lot of anxiety.  We want to assure you that we will help prepare you for your video testimony and do everything we can to make you comfortable when recording the video.  More information about how to prepare for the video recording will be provided during the Baptism Orientation Class. The testimony will last approximately 1-3 minutes and will include information about when and how you chose to begin your relationship with Jesus, what changes you have experienced as a result of choosing to follow Jesus, and who has been instrumental and helpful to you in your decision to follow Jesus and grow in your relationship with Him.

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, all children 12 years of age and under are required to complete a special baptism workbook and attend the Baptism Orientation Class. Parents are also required to attend the class with the child prior to being baptized.  Anyone 12 years of age and under who wishes to be baptized needs to contact Amanda Myers (717.762.7147 x231 or amanda.myers@otterbeinchurch.org to discuss how to receive the baptism workbook and to learn more about Baptism Orientation Class including class times, dates, and locations.

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 choosing to begin a relationship with Jesus.  For example, many persons were baptized as infants prior to a conscious decision to begin a relationship with Jesus. It is our belief that a person baptized as an infant should be baptized again after choosing to begin a relationship with Jesus.  It may also be appropriate for a person to be baptized again if they were baptized as an adult, but before choosing to begin a relationship with 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 wear?
Prior to your baptism, someone from the church staff will talk with you about appropriate clothing for your baptism.  You will want to bring a towel and change of clothes with you so you can change your clothes following your baptism.

Who can I talk to if I have other questions?
One of the pastors would be happy to answer any additional questions you have about being baptized at Otterbein.  Stop by Guest Central in the church lobby on Sunday mornings if you would like to speak with them while at church on Sunday. You can also contact the church office at info@otterbeinchurch.org or call 717.762.7147 to set up an appointment to meet with one of the pastors.