Welcome New Members

Baptism & Membership

Generally, sacraments are understood to be "signs" which tell us something and "seals" which convey the very thing that is told. A sacrament is something like a kiss or an embrace, which both speak of affection and convey that affection at the same time.

Baptism has many meanings: that we are chosen by God, that we want to be known as one whom God has chosen, that God calls us into the community of faith, that we are responding to God's calling, that God forgives sin, that we want God's forgiveness, that God is making us living members of Christ's body today, that we are willing to be the hands and ears and eyes and mouth of Christ. When we read the Gospel accounts of baptism, we find Jesus wanting to be baptized because it was a way of saying he was lined up with God ("fulfilling righteousness" or "right relationship"). During Jesus' baptism, he receives the word that he is the "beloved son" (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22). For each of us who align ourselves with God and are baptized, that is God's word -- "you are my beloved." We are chosen and special in the eyes of God, even though we may continue to look shabby to ourselves and others.

There are three ways that baptism is traditionally done. Each of those ways seems to emphasize one of the historic meanings. Immersion, dipping a person in water until he or she is covered and then lifting him or her out again, gives a picture of dying and being raised to new life in Christ. Pouring water over the head of the person being baptized conveys something of the cleansing and washing of sin. Sprinkling a few drops of water seems to speak of being chosen and selected by God.


When a person joins The United Methodist Church, he or she takes vows to uphold the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness. What exactly does this mean?

  • To worship regularly.
  • To continue to grow in your faith by participating in studies or small groups.
  • To serve God with your hands, by volunteering in service and in mission.
  • To give in proportion to your income.
  • To live such a life that would reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ.

    Getting Baptized At First United Methodist Church

    It is always a special occasion when we baptize someone at Smyrna First United Methodist Church. As stated in our baptism ritual, we believe that “…through the Sacrament of Baptism we are initiated into Christ’s holy church. We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit. All this is God’s gift, offered to us without price.” We believe that baptism is a covenant between God and each of us.   God promises that we are adopted by grace, and we promise our response of faith and love. In the United Methodist Church, people of any age are suitable candidates for baptism: children, teens, and adults.


    You may decide to be baptized during a worship service or in a ceremony in our chapel. The senior pastor must approve all baptisms. The presiding pastor may schedule a meeting before your baptism to meet you and your family, describe the ritual and answer any questions you may have.


    Scheduling A Baptism

    You can schedule a baptism by contacting the church at 615-459-2826. The senior pastor will then, confirm the arrangements with you.