Being baptized in water proclaims through a physical symbol the spiritual reality that you have become identified with Christ through saving faith in Him. Therefore, those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior should be baptized.
Baptism is our response to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20 where He says, “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Many true believers practice infant baptism followed by a confirmation of a faith commitment once an age of reason is reached. Others “dedicate” infants and reserve baptism for those who have made a commitment to follow Jesus on their own. At Grace, we understand the Biblical bases for both approaches. As a matter of church order, we practice the latter.
We hold periodic baptism classes in order to help those who are exploring or planning to be baptized to learn more about it.
While recognizing and affirming other faith traditions which baptize infants, we believe the weight of biblical evidence supports baptism as a sacrament for people who are able to articulate their own love for God and faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Therefore, we choose to dedicate infants (and their parents), reserving baptism for that future time in their lives when, by their own choice, they choose to get baptized.
We offer dedication ceremonies four times a year, and there is a preparation class required for parents presenting their child(ren) for dedication. Personal, off-site ceremonies are also possible if they are pre-arranged.
While you are welcome to ask any of our officiants personally to do your wedding, we make sure someone from one of the Grace campuses is available for you for whatever weekend you choose to have your wedding.
A note on Divorce and Remarriage
Marriage is a sacrament, instituted by God in Genesis (“for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”) and honored by Jesus (He performed His first public miracle at a wedding). It should not be entered into lightly, naively, or without preparation and prayer. It is a covenant relationship between a husband and a wife, sealed by God and designed to last a lifetime.
“It is not your love that will sustain your marriage; from now on, it will be your marriage that sustains your love.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Divorce is God’s reluctant concession because of our hardness of heart, allowed but not mandated, under certain few conditions (such as infidelity, abuse, a non-believing spouse leaving). It is never God’s desire for a married couple to divorce; in fact, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:3-9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16).
Although God hates divorce, we are aware that divorce happens, and not always for godly reasons. However, divorce is not an unforgiveable sin, and is no more hurtful to God than is lying, though the consequences of divorce may be greater and broader. Therefore, in most cases, we will gladly marry people who have been divorced, assuming they are approaching their new marriage with the understanding that it is a covenant relationship designed to last forever.
When a loved one is critically ill, is in hospice care, or has passed away, the church needs to be the church —the Presence of Christ— in times of crisis, fear, and grief.
Someone from our church leadership team will be available when you want us to visit you or your loved one, or if you need someone to officiate a funeral service for your family.
Reach out to Sharlea Shackelford for more information on any of these topics.