First Presbyterian Church observes the sacrament of baptism on any Sunday morning during the service of worship. To schedule an infant or child baptism, contact Senior Pastor Robert Thomas Quiring.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the meaning of baptism?
Baptism is a visible sign of inclusion in the fellowship of the family of God. Baptism is an act in which God’s claim upon us as God’s own is made visible to the worshiping community and the world. The moment our Lord’s face broke the surface of the Jordan River following his own baptism by John, the heavens opened and the voice of the heavenly father spoke: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16)
Is it Biblical to baptize infants?
In all of God’s covenants with God’s professing people, from the earliest times, infants have been included. “Behold I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you.” (Gen. 17:7) When Moses was about to take leave of the people, he addressed them as “standing before the Lord their God, with their little ones, and their wives, to enter into covenant with the Lord their God.” (Deut. 29:10-12)
When we come to the New Testament we find the same interesting feature. The promise, it is declared, is “to us and our children, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and his family were baptized.” (Acts 16:31-33)
Why is the baby taken from the parents’ arms to be baptized?
The act of removing the baby from the arms of parents, along with the use of the child’s given “Christian” name without the surname, shows the uniqueness of that child before God, acknowledging that he or she has a separate worth even apart from parents.
Why are the parents asked the name of the child?
In the outward act of baptism, the child is introduced to his or her new family of faith. This is also a declaration that God knows the child by name and is “intimately acquainted” (Psalm 139) with the young one, holding his or her future in his hands.
To what is the parent agreeing by bringing the child for baptism at First Presbyterian?
Parents agree to make their home a training ground in the Christian faith, trusting that one day their child will make his or her own profession of faith in Jesus Christ, usually in the teen years in the act of confirmation. Further, by asking the congregation to verbally promise to teach the child, they are promising to provide the congregation that opportunity by bringing him or her to Sunday School and to other ministries of First Presbyterian which teach about the Christian faith.
Why doesn’t the Presbyterian church have “sponsors” or “godparents” who stand with the parents at baptism?
While parents may arrange to have friends or family members stand with them during the baptism of an infant, the emphasis in our Presbyterian baptismal covenant is upon the entire congregation as the people of God promising to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) The entire community of faith present promises to participate in the Christian nurture of the child.