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Baptism in the United Methodist Church may occur at any age. Baptism represents the commitment of the individual and the act of joining a community of faith. Baptism is required for membership in the United Methodist Church.

While baptism is an important sacrament, it is not absolutely necessary for salvation. An infant who dies without having been baptized is as much within the love and care of God as the baptized infant.

For infants and babies

When an infant is baptized, the parents promise to raise the child in a Christian home and the congregation recognizes its responsibility to the Christian nurture of the child. Those vows are later reaffirmed by the child when he or she is confirmed.

For adults

Baptism ushers you into the Christian church universal, the family of Christ. You are asked to promise to "keep God's holy will and commandments and walk in the same all the days of your life as a faithful member of Christ's holy church." As an adult, your pastor may require that you participate in a membership class before being baptized or taking church membership vows. The United Methodist Church accepts the baptism of other Christian denominations.

Baptism in the United Methodist Church

Sprinkling is most commonly used, but pouring and immersion are also permissible.

Can I be baptized a second time?

Tradition of the church frowns upon re-baptism. Even when we drift from active involvement in the community of faith, we remain baptized. However, talk to your pastor about using a meaningful service for remembering and renewing your earlier baptism vows.

Find out more about baptism in the United Methodist Church

You can learn more about the meaning of baptism in the United Methodist Church at umc.org.

Reference: McAnally, T.S. (1995). Questions and Answers About the United Methodist Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press