Baptism as Public Rite

May 27, 2011

Word&Way has an article about New Heights Church in Farmington, Missouri that recently dedicated its new building. The church, which launched back in 2003, was started by First Baptist Church in Farmington to reach people in the community not being reached by churches. Churchnet's Executive Director Jim Hill was at the celebration. Churchnet has supported the ministry of New Heights and the congregation's pastor, Rocky Good, has served on Churchnet's Board of Directors. At the end of the article, it notes that the congregation did not build a baptistry in its building because they prefer having public baptism services in pools and rivers. Good explained:

We didn't want to spend the money at this time on a baptistry because we believe it is best to do so [baptize] in public or 'out there.' ... Baptism is one's public profession of their faith in Christ at New Heights, so we always hope to be doing baptism out there for others to see.
This is an interesting point. Perhaps more congregations should leave the walls of their buildings to hold baptism services. New Heights Church is continuing to think outside the traditional church box, which is part of why they are reaching many people with the gospel. Viewing baptism as a public rite could be one way of spreading the good news.