How to Belong to First Stuttgart

First Stuttgart is a family of believers united by our desire to follow Jesus Christ and committed to fulfilling the purposes set forth in our Mission Statement. There are three steps to becoming a member of First Stuttgart.

Step One:

Present yourself for membership during any Worship Service when the invitation is given at the end of the message.

Step Two:

Express your desire for membership through one of the following means:

Profession of Faith and Baptism

If you have never received Jesus as Savior and Lord and/or never publicly confessed your faith in Jesus, a Pastor will give you the opportunity to do so by praying with you. To understand more about why salvation is necessary and the steps to beginning a relationship with Jesus click here. (link – How to Begin a Relationship with Christ).

After your salvation experience, you will want to take your first step of being a follower of Jesus by being baptized by immersion. To discover more about what baptism is and why we baptize by immersion, click here (link: Baptism). Because baptism is such an important step in your faith, you will want to schedule your baptism on a Sunday when your family and friends can be in attendance. Simply speak to a Pastor to schedule your baptism at First Stuttgart.

Transfer of Membership from another Southern Baptist Church

If you are currently a member of another Southern Baptist Church, we will receive you for membership upon promise of your membership letter from that church. First Stuttgart will contact that church to notify them of your decision and request a transfer of your membership.

Statement of Faith

If you know in your heart that you have personally experienced salvation by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life and you were baptized by immersion following your salvation experience, we will welcome you for membership by a process called “statement of faith.”

Step Three: Attend “The Journey: Step 1”, our orientation for new members.

The Journey: Step 1 is the first of a four-part discipleship training written especially for members of First Stuttgart. Class sessions are one-hour in length and generally held over three consecutive Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and scheduled as needed. During the three one-hour sessions, you will explore the Mission of First Stuttgart, learn how to begin building relationships in the church, and begin to understand all the benefits and responsibilities of First Stuttgart membership. At the conclusion of The Journey: Step 1 you will have the opportunity to sign the Membership Covenant (link: Membership Covenant), agreeing to hold to and live out the values of First Stuttgart as your own.

After you have completed these steps, you will be a member of First Baptist Church, Stuttgart and will begin to fully enjoy the benefits and blessings of being a part of our family of friends!

Baptism

First Stuttgart is a “congregation of baptized believers”. Each member of First Stuttgart, after placing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, has been baptized by immersion. Keep in mind, baptism doesn’t make us Christians – only faith in Christ Jesus brings salvation! Baptism simply shows that we are Christians.

The following four questions are most often asked about baptism. We hope our responses will help you understand more clearly the need for baptism.

“Why should I be baptized?”

To follow the example set by Jesus.

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”

Mark 1:9

Because Christ commanded baptism.

“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Baptism demonstrates that I really am a follower of Christ.

“. . . many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.”

Acts 18:8

“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.”

1 John 2:3

“What is the meaning of baptism?”

Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It is a symbol of salvation – what Christ has done for us.

“Christ died for our sins. . . He was buried. . .and He rose again.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”

Colossians 2:12

Baptism illustrates my new life as a follower of Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Romans 6:4

Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows that you already believe! Baptism doesn’t “save” you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart to follow Christ.

“Why baptism by immersion?”

At First Stuttgart, we practice “believer’s baptism by immersion”. In other words, a person is baptized by immersion only after professing faith in Jesus Christ. There are biblical reasons why we practice “believer’s baptism by immersion.”

Jesus was baptized by immersion.

“As Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.”

Matthew 3:16

Baptism in the New Testament was by immersion.

“. . . then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water. . .”

Acts 8:38-39

The word “baptize” means “to immerse.”

The New Testament Greek word baptize, translated “baptism” in English, means “to immerse or dip under water.”

Baptism best symbolizes a burial and resurrection.

It’s an interesting fact that the founders of other denominations agree:

Martin Luther (Lutheran). . . “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

John Calvin (Presbyterian). . . “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

John Wesley (Methodist). . . “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the early church.”

When we practice “believer’s baptism by immersion” we are simply following the pattern begun by Jesus and continued by the New Testament church.

“Who should be baptized?”

The answer is very simple and straightforward: every person who has personally trusted Christ as Savior and Lord.

“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized. . .”

Acts 2:41

“Simon himself believed and was baptized. . .”

Acts 8:13

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News. . .and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

Acts 8:12

We believe that faith is a personal response to the holiness of God. Salvation is not something that can be done for you by another person or a group of people. In the New Testament baptism always follows salvation. Therefore, baptism is also a personal decision to publicly confess your commitment to follow Christ. This is the reason that at First Stuttgart we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of salvation and baptism before we baptize them.

We hope this helps you understand why at First Stuttgart, it is a membership requirement that every member must be baptized the way Jesus demonstrated – by immersion after salvation! If you have questions regarding baptism, please contact one of our Pastors. They would welcome the opportunity to speak with you on this subject.