The sacrament of Baptism is an essential part of our initiation into Christ's church. New members who profess their faith for the first time are baptized as a symbol of the remission of their sins and their commitment to Christian discipleship. Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others who are not baptized, but it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth.
Baptism is the act of initiation and incorporation into the universal church of Jesus Christ, The African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, and the local congregation, as the baptismal covenant makes very clear.
Because we believe that persons of all ages are recipients of God's redeeming love, we encourage and support the baptism of infants and children, as well as youth and adults.
The baptism of infants and children symbolizes that God accepts your child by faith while the parents and the church family commit themselves to teach children the foundations of the Christian faith by word and example. In youth and adult baptism, the person being baptized is publicly professing her or his own decision to accept Christ.
Here are a few things that will be helpful when planning for Baptism:
1] The A.M.E. Church recognizes three methods of baptism; therefore, our church has always offered to candidates the choice of sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Infants and young children will always be sprinkled but others may choose the method most meaningful to them.
2] As an A.M.E Church, Reid Temple recognizes the baptism of other Christian denominations. We therefore do not re-baptize those who have already received Christian baptism in any form.
3] Infants and children of non-members can be baptized at Reid Temple; however, the parents would be encouraged to consider membership or to have a family member or church member who is able and willing bring the child to church, so that the congregation can honor its covenant vow as a community of faith.
It is our denomination’s practice to Baptize and not "Dedicate." Dedication is a human act - something we pledge or give to God. Baptism is a divine act - a pledge and gift God gives to us. Baptism includes vows of dedication, but chiefly it celebrates what God is doing and will do.