When should one be baptized? In the New Testament, baptism always follows conversion to Christ. This is called believer's baptism. Believer's baptism should be the first step of obedience in the life of a Christian. (Matthew 28:18-20) At SMCC we baptize by immersion.
What about infant baptism? If you were "christened" or "baptized" as an infant, we consider that to be an act of your parent's faith to dedicate you to Christ, but it does not imply conversion. At SMCC we practice infant dedication as the commitment of parents to raise their child under the admonition of Jesus Christ.
What about church membership at SMCC? Membership is open to those who have accepted Christ as their Savior and are willing to commit themselves to this church body. SMCC requires that those who desire to vote on church issues must be at least 16 years of age and listed on the active member roll. If you are interested in becoming a member, an elder-mentor will make an appointment to talk with you about how the New Testament describes this important process. (Acts 2:41-42) For most people this initial appointment will fulfill all the requirements for becoming a member of SMCC. When you are ready, Pastor Paul Beck will introduce you to the congregation and welcome you into the church on a Sunday morning.
In Acts chapter 2, following the conversion of more than 3000 people, they were then baptized and received as church members. Later we find that they devoted themselves to the Apostles' Doctrine, the breaking of bread, and prayer. Rather than require that you take a series of classes before becoming a member, we instead follow the example of the early church and ask you to join first, and then take classes so that you learn how to use your spiritual gifts and become actively involved in the life of our church.
For more information on baptism or church membership, please contact Hephzibah Hovsepian
at email@example.com or 626.355-3566 x100.