Why join a church?
To be a member of the church is to make a public commitment (covenant) to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ and to support the ministries of the church. Going against the flow of privatized spirituality, we are declaring publicly that spiritual life is a communal matter that requires mutual encouragement, steadfast loyalty, sacrifice, and accountability.
In contrast with social clubs, the church is a covenant community – a transforming synergy of love and commitment, modeled after God’s covenant relationship with us. As such, the members of Peddie Church embrace the gift of covenant relationships with joy and gratitude.
Membership in a church is not about our preferences and desires, but about ministry and service for the purpose of building up the body of Christ and reaching out to the world. Thus, driven by the common vision of God’s kingdom, members joyfully share their talents, time, and financial resources, and regularly participate in the ministries of the church.
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1Corinthians 12:26)
What are the ways that I can join a church?
There are two ways of joining a church:
- Profession of faith and baptism: If you have become a believer but are not yet baptized, you can join the church by baptism, where you make your public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
- Christian experience: If are already baptized and have been living a faithful life as a Christian, you can join the church by a testimony of your Christian experience.
What is the meaning of baptism?
Baptism is an identity mark given to us as we are initiated into the Kingdom of God, symbolizing our new identity in Christ.
We need to understand clearly that we are saved not by baptism but by faith in Christ Jesus, and baptism is merely an outward sign of God’s saving grace. Nevertheless, it is a powerful sign declaring God’s redemptive act and our new identity in Christ before the public.
At Peddie Church, we practice believer’s baptism, meaning that we baptize only those who are old enough to understand the Gospel message and put their trust in Christ.
During the baptism, you are immersed in water, symbolizing the death and burial of your old self along with Christ, and then you are raised out of the water, symbolizing the newness of life with the risen Christ.
We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
Who should be baptized?
Since baptism is an identity mark for those who belong to Christ, we baptize only those who have repented their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and committed to follow Him as His disciples.
Do I need to be baptized?
Baptism is an act of obedience, commanded to all followers of Jesus Christ, who Himself was baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all righteousness.
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)
What if I am already baptized?
If you are already baptized in another denomination, we do not require you to be re-baptized because we respect God’s sovereign work that has been accomplished through others. However, if you understand the meaning of baptism as summarized above and wish to undergo believer’s baptism by immersion, then we would be glad to discuss it with you.
What is the membership process?
There are four steps involved in becoming a member of Peddie Church.
Step 1: Baptism/membership class
In the membership class (4 sessions), you learn the vision of Peddie Church and what it means be part of a covenant family.
For new believers, there one additional session to learn the basics of the Christian life, discipleship, and the meaning of baptism.
Step 2: Interview with the Deacons
You will meet with our Deacons so that you can share verbally with them the testimony of your faith journey and discuss how you can serve God as a member of Peddie family. (If you prefer, you can prepare a written statement of your faith journey).
Step 3: Baptism
You will be baptized during a Sunday worship service, immediately following the sermon. You will be given a detailed instruction beforehand as to how you can prepare yourself to make this service a joyful and God-honoring occasion.
Step 4: Right hand of fellowship
On the first communion Sunday after the baptism, you will participate in the Lord’s Supper and be officially welcomed into the covenant family with a right-hand of fellowship.
How do I transfer membership?
If you are a member of another congregation, please notify them of your intention to transfer your membership to Peddie Church.
The previous congregation may send the letter of transfer to:
The Board of the Deacons
First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church
572 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
The letter of transfer should indicate:
- You are a member in good standing.
- They are releasing you into the spiritual care of Peddie Church.