Our aim is to show our community the living Jesus in words and deeds
The word “Baptise” means “to dip” like dipping cloth into dye – or dunking a biscuit into your tea! So Baptist Churches get their name from their practice of baptising people by submersing (or dipping) them under water.
Baptism is a very visual way of showing the inward change in a person’s life when they ask Jesus to come into their life. Just as you have a bath to make yourself clean, so baptism is a picture of washing away an old, dirty life and starting a new, clean life in obedience to God.
Another picture that can be seen by going down into the water and coming back up is the idea of death and coming back to life again. Baptism is therefore a picture of “dying” to an old way of life and beginning a new life with God.
This kind of baptism is sometimes mistakenly called “Adult Baptism” because other churches perform “Infant Baptism” where a baby is baptised by pouring water over their head. Baptist churches prefer to call it “Believer’s Baptism” because a person is baptised to show people that they believe in God. And as people can make this decision at very different times in their lives, many Baptist Churches will baptise people from primary school age to retirement age.
In one sense Baptist Churches operate independently of one another. So in every Baptist Church the members of that church meet together to make decisions such as who will be their Minister, or to choose leaders to help the Minister and to run the church from day-to-day.
However independence is one thing – isolation is another. So many Baptist Churches work together with other churches in their area and other Christian organisations. In Scotland Baptist Churches work together through the Baptist Union of Scotland. Currently 162 Baptist Churches help one another by doing things like providing financial help to enable a small church to pay for a minister, which they couldn’t do by themselves. Through the Baptist Union of Scotland Baptist Churches share the time and skills of people in one church to help other churches. The Baptist Union of Scotland makes it possible for Baptist Churches in Scotland to work with Baptist Churches South of the Border through the Baptist Union of Great Britain as well as Baptist Churches in Europe and across the world.