What is Baptism within the Presbyterian Church?

Baptism-4Within the Presbyterian Church, we recognize two sacraments – Baptism and Communion. A sacrament is recognition of a command given by Jesus and is a sign of God’s grace and recognition that our faith is enriched. Through the Sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God, and marks them for service.

Baptism is the sacrament that unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family, the church. Baptism represents our first step on the journey of faith. It assures us of God’s presence as we travel through life. Through baptism, we become members of God’s family. Each of us is joined as brother or sister with members of our congregation and with Christians everywhere.

To be baptized in the Presbyterian Church is to make a public statement about one’s faith in God. For parents of infants, it is a time to show the desire to raise children in the ways of the church. For adults, it is an opportunity to declare faith openly. But whether baptism occurs as a child or an adult, it is only administered a single time within a person’s lifetime.

In Baptism we believe that a person is symbolically washed of their sins and made fit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a child of God. Because baptism is an expression of faith, the PC(USA) extends the right of baptism to infants, trusting that the promise of a parent(s) or guardian is sufficient in representing the infant child. Later, usually around 8th grade, young people are invited to make their own profession of faith through a process we call Confirmation. It is at this point the young person takes responsibility for his or her own faith and makes a personal confession – that Jesus is their Lord and Savior.

How Baptism is Conducted at FPCP:

We conduct baptism through the sprinkling of water on a person’s head. This symbolizes the cleansing action of water and the Holy Spirit.

How to Prepare for Baptism:

EmilyChildBaptismInfant or Child Baptism: Before the baptism, parents will be scheduled to meet with one of our ministers about the process. We require that at least one parent be an active member of The First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Michigan (FPCP) for a baptism to be performed. During this meeting, parents will learn what happens during the baptism service and what they can do to make the child’s first step into the Church a joyous event.

Youth Baptism: If a youth (8th grade or older) was not baptized as an infant or child, he or she must first become a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Michigan. They are encouraged to participate in the Confirmation Class, which is an 8-month (Sept. – May) commitment on Sunday mornings at 9:00am, culminating in the development of a personal statement of faith, and a service where they become members of the church. At this time, those Communicants wishing to be baptized will take part in this sacrament as well.

baptismal_fontAdult Baptism: As with youth baptisms, an adult seeking to be baptized at FPCP must become a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Michigan. New Member Classes are scheduled periodically throughout the year for adults. This class is a single Saturday commitment, followed by a service welcoming the class to membership on the following Sunday. At this time, those New Members wishing to be baptized will take part in this sacrament as well.

To Schedule a Baptism:

If you have questions or would like to schedule a baptism, please contact our Church Business Administrator, Julie Thompson, at 734-453-6464 ext. 115 or by email at email, to schedule time to speak with one of our ministers and complete the necessary documentation.

Please note: For an infant or child’s baptism, at least one parent should be a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Michigan or another PC(USA) church.