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Being Baptist

Northside Drive Baptist Church is a fellowship with a strong Baptist heritage, but the boundaries of Northside Drive extend beyond our valued sectarian interests. We are an ecumenical people as well. You will find here persons of varied theological and denominational backgrounds. The "One Body of Christ" embraces us all.

The Baptist Tradition:  We are priests to one another by ministering to each other's needs. We interpret the scriptures as believers led by the Holy Spirit. We govern ourselves as the local Church. We believe in separation of Church and State. We want our leaders to be servants because Christ was the servant of all people. We recognize the larger body of Jesus Christ, expressed in various Christian traditions. We believe in the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and the calling of God to all people to repentance and faith.

Affiliations and Partnerships:  The middle name of the Northside Drive church is Baptist. This is the denominational flag we fly which identifies the church as being in spiritual sympathy with the historic approach to being Christian taken by the Baptists. In addition to being Baptist, Northside Drive is also associated with regional, state and national associations and fellowships that compel our support. In this way, Northside Drive thinks globally, acts locally.

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship:  The change of direction in the Southern Baptist Convention has brought CBF to life. This network of Baptist Christians and churches cooperate for purposes of doing missions, strengthening existing churches, networking resources, promoting historic Baptist principles, and stimulating theological education. Global missions puts a priority on reaching those in the world who have previously received the least Christian witness. Urban America, with its high concentration of internationals, also takes a high priority.

Alliance of Baptists:  The Alliance of Baptists is an alliance of individuals and churches dedicated to the preservation of historic Baptist principles, freedoms, and traditions, and to the expression of our ministry and mission through cooperative relationships with other Baptist bodies and the larger Christian community.

Baptism in the Baptist Church:  Baptism is the public enactment of a person's profession of faith in Jesus Christ. In baptism a person identifies with the life, death, resurrection, and continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. It is the first act of obedience of the Christian life, followed by a lifetime of commitment to do all things as Jesus would do.

Baptists Baptize by Immersion:  That is, a person is fully immersed in ordinary water at the hands of an already baptized member of the church, usually but not necessarily the pastor. Baptists stick with the mode of immersion, rather than "sprinkling" or "pouring," because we believe it most clearly depicts genuine faith in God. One humbles oneself by putting on a simple robe, thereby disdaining any social status as a basis for salvation. Then one enters the waters and confesses that "Jesus is Lord," this being the earliest known confession of faith. The person is then put under the water trusting completely in the faithfulness of the administrant to raise the person up. This symbolizes the death-- drowning--of one's sin and selfish strivings in the baptismal tomb. When the person is raised up again, it is a sign that God will give the person life again after death, just as Jesus was raised from the dead.

Child Dedications:  Baptists practice believer's baptism rather than infant baptism. While infant baptism conveys well the sense that salvation is not dependent upon what we do but on what God has done for us, it fails to convey the full respect of God for human freedom. God does not force faith upon anyone.

Since Northside Drive does not practice infant baptism, infants and children are nurtured and encouraged in the faith until such age as the child can make a personal commitment. Instead, we involve the child, the parents, godparents, extended family and congregation in a service of dedication. This meaningful service of blessing and commitment is conducted during regular worship services.

If you would like more information about baptism or child dedications, please contact the pastor's office.