The act of baptism is both an outward public sign and a profession of an inner spiritual transaction with Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded his disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). Shepherd Gate Church believes that every person, who has: a) accepted Christ into his/her life as Lord and Savior, b) repented of his/her sins and c) has received instruction on the sacrament of baptism, should be water baptized (Acts 22:16). Any baptized believer in Jesus Christ can baptize another person. At Shepherd Gate Church, we practice baptism by immersion in water, following the tradition of the early Christian Church. Persons who have not been water immersion baptized, but have been baptized by another means earlier in life must decide for themselves (with advice and counsel from our pastor or elders) whether they want to be rededicated in their faith through water immersion baptism. A person desiring to be baptized should ask the senior pastor, or an elder, to arrange for pre-baptismal instruction, where appropriate. Having received this instruction, a water baptism will be scheduled.
At Shepherd Gate Church, we do not follow the practice of infant baptism. Rather, we encourage the parent(s) to have the child dedicated to Christ at a special dedication ceremony, which can be a part of our Sunday morning worship service. During the ceremony, the child is anointed with oil, as a symbol of dedicating the child to Christ. The parents are asked to commit to raise the child in a Christian home, instructing him/her in the Holy Scriptures, and acting, with Christ’s help, as examples of Christian living for the child’s benefit. The congregation is asked to encourage and aid the parent(s) in raising the child according to Christian principles.