Frequently Asked Questions
No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.
To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."
After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust? Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.
Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in the Sunday School, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.
Membership is an opportunity openly to proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.
Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discovery Series as the route by which we normally receive members. Each Series is led by a team of pastors at a variety of times- Friday evening to Saturday morning, or simply a Sunday afternoon after worship.
We hope to include in the Discovery Series those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Series are normally scheduled four times a year. Anyone interested in registering for a Series is asked to speak to contact Sherry McKinley (225-387-0617;Sherry@fpcbr.org).
At the conclusion of the Series those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session and are welcomed by the congregation at a regular worship service.
I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?
Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discovery Series simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.
Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office (225) 387-0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discovery Series. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation
Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.
Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.
In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.
The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Service(www.brchristiancounseling.com ). The couple is first asked to contact Lindy Weiner, Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate Pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A packet of information that includes fee schedules and rules are available through Lindy Weiner. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates.
In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit.
At each service several individuals wearing "Greeter" pins are present. Please feel free to ask them or one of the pastors any questions you may have. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617;www.fpcbr.org.
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