The Bible teaches that baptism is a way for those who have trusted Christ to express their identity with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus
For that reason we baptize those, whether children or adults, who have trusted Christ as Savior and are ready to follow Christ in baptism. The baptism of Christians is a part of our Sunday morning services four times each year. Those in sixth grade and under who wish to be baptized first meet with Pastor Herb Owen to discuss their desire and talk through what it means. Parents can contact Pastor Herb at (703) 254-8305 to set up this meeting. Pastor Herb only baptizes children in the 9:15am service each time a baptism service is scheduled.
At Cherrydale we are committed to partnering with parents in helping them become wise and effective in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This commitment is reflected in our worship services, ministries to adults, teens and children. As a result we offer a variety of ministries designed for parents and their children: parenting seminars, Sunday Classes, Small Groups, Children’s classes, and Children’s ministries.
Occasionally we are asked by new parents if we will baptize their infant children. Although we do not baptize infants, we do offer (four times per year) a ceremony which we call, “Parent-Child Dedication”. We use this term because the intent is for the parents to dedicate themselves to bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord with the support of the church family. Of course the parents dedicate their child to the Lord during the ceremony but the truth is that the children as so young that they will not remember the occasion.
Before the dedication ceremony, our Children and Family Pastor, Herb Owen, meets with the parents to prepare them and in addition offers them the Principles for Parents Seminar which they attend. After the dedication Herb and his team continue to offer support to help the parents effectively fulfill their high call in bringing up their children in the Lord.
The reason we do not baptize infants is because we do not see a pattern in the Bible to support this practice. The biblical pattern is this:
• First believe in and trust in Jesus Christ as the one who died to pay our sin debt and the one who rose from the dead to give us His new life.
• Second be baptized to publicly express ones commitment to Jesus Christ ; identifying with Him in his death (immersion under the water) and his resurrection (coming up out of the water).
• Third, make a commitment to grow in Christ in the context of a local church.
Support for this pattern is found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42;Acts 8:34-38; Romans 6:3-4,11. In addition we have a booklet on baptism that explains this view in more depth.
Baptism does not wash away ones sins, nor does it have a power in and of itself to improve one’s standing before God. It is faith in Jesus Christ that results in forgiveness of sins and a righteous standing before God, (Philippians 3:9; 2 Corinthians. 5:21; John 3:16) Baptism is important and Jesus commanded the believer to be baptized , as a public expression of one’s commitment to Him. But, baptism is an outward symbol of an inward commitment to Christ much like a wedding ring is an outward expression of and inner commitment to a marriage partner.
Although we do not baptize infants we do baptize children when they are old enough to understand the gospel of Christ and have made a personal commitment to Him as their savior and lord. In those cases, we work with the parent to help them establish their children in the faith before the baptism. Again our purpose is to partner with parents in making sure that the children have a clear understanding of the gospel, the meaning of baptism and what it means to be a follower of Christ.
If you are interested in meeting with Pastor Herb and making a commitment to dedication yourself and your children to the Lord, he would be delighted to work with you. Click here to email Pastor Herb Owen,