How do I become a Christian?
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.
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?
Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.
Membership is an opportunity to openly 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 in 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.
How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?
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 Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.
We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).
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 Discover First dinner simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.
I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?
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 Discover First dinner. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation
What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?
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.
When can our children take communion?
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.
How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?
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 at a special Confirmation service in May. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.
How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?
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 Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the 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 brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. 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. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (email@example.com) or visit our Weddings page.
How may I arrange for a funeral?
In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the family's earliest convenience so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.
I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?
We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.
You are welcome to call the church office to schedule an appointment with a pastor. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.
What does "Presbyterian" mean?
Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).