In Baptism, we acknowledge and celebrate the grace of God, freely offered to us before we were even aware of it. We confess our sin, accept membership in the family of Christ, and vow to trust in and serve Jesus Christ as our Lord. Baptism is the outward and visible sign of our covenant (holy agreement) with God to accept faith through the constant efforts of the Holy Spirit and the lifelong practice of prayer, study, service, witness, and worship. In the United Methodist Church, baptism is a communal celebration: the congregation vows to nurture and support those being baptized—adults, teens, children, or infants.
Baptism may occur at any age. When infants are present for baptism at Asbury UMC in Birmingham, AL, parents, sponsors, and the entire community of faith pledge to surround the children with Christian nurture and teaching as the children prepare to profess and confirm their faith for themselves (often as young teens in a service called confirmation). Students and adults who have never undergone a baptism and who wish to join the family of faith and The United Methodist Church may profess their faith, receive instruction in the beliefs and traditions of the church and be baptized into membership.
The UMC recognizes the baptism of most other Christian churches. There is no need to be re-baptized as we frequently reaffirm our baptismal vows through events such as confirmation, entry into membership, marriages, funerals, Easter, and Pentecost.
The Milestones Program at Asbury guides parents and their children through “milestone” moments, beginning with baptism. To arrange a baptism at Asbury UMC, contact Patricia Mazur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.271.9904.