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Baptisms & Dedications at Highrock

What is Baptism?

The word “baptism” means “to dip” or “submerge” and refers to the practice of submerging new believers in water and lifting them to new life. The practice of baptism wasn’t invented by Christians; Jews were doing it for many centuries before Jesus. But Jews would say that they didn’t invent it either: baptism was invented by God Himself.


What is the Theology Behind Baptism?

In the Scriptures there is a long history of baptism; each time baptism resembles death and resurrection. In each instance of baptism, God symbolically raised the baptized to new life. In so doing, He established a people who belonged to Him.

There were three major baptisms in the Old Testament. The first baptism we see in Scripture is the Flood. Out of the waters that threatened to destroy everyone, God rescued Noah and his family, made a covenant with them, and declared them to be His people. The second baptism we read about is the Exodus. After God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He led them to the sea where they would have drowned without His intervention. But God led them through the waters to new life on the other side, and again, He made a covenant and declared them His people. We see a third baptism as the Israelites finally prepared to enter the long-awaited Promised Land. Somehow they had to cross the Jordan River in order to enter the Promised Land, so God held back the waters until He’d led them safely to the other side. There they received what God had promised, and once again, He declared them to be His people.

So baptism was always something God initiated – He blessed people with His presence and promises, not because they deserved it, but as the free gift of grace from a God who gives us what we don’t deserve.

Ever since, whenever anyone wanted to join the community who worshiped the one true living God, Jews insisted that they be baptized like they were. This symbolized that they were taking on a new identity of people whose old identities had been drowned in death and then raised to new life: born again as God’s chosen people.

As we enter the New Testament, John the Baptist is the first person we see baptizing; scandalously, he baptized Jews too. In so doing, he was reminding them that it’s not enough to simply be a born into a community that belongs to God: each of us must individually enter into the identity and inheritance shared by all God’s people.

Ever since, whenever new people have come to worship the living God who was revealed in Jesus, they are baptized as a visual expression of the new life that they have received in Jesus. As they descend into the water, we remember that our old identity, sins, and ambitions die with Christ – nailed to His cross. As they emerge from the water, we remember that they’ve been born again into new life, into the family of the global church, and into an inheritance prepared for them that will never perish, spoil, or fade. This is not an achievement of any kind; it’s a gift we don’t deserve, but which we receive because in His grace, God has called us His very own children.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you consider yourself to be a follower of Jesus and have never been baptized in any form in a Christian church, then yes! You should be baptized.

    Please note that if you were baptized as an infant, we do consider that a valid baptism and will not baptize you again as an adult. However, if you would still like to demonstrate your adult commitment to faith, we would encourage you to receive confirmation instead.

  • Typically we perform adult baptisms once a year on a Sunday during a regular service, usually in the spring around the season of Lent and Easter. We also offer more opportunities for adult baptism during the year whenever there is significant interest and demand. Infant baptisms can be done on most Sundays throughout the year if planned and scheduled in advance. 

  • Yes. Some people wonder why we baptize babies and infants when they clearly can’t understand these promises or do anything to earn this privilege, but that only proves that we don’t really understand what baptism is all about. Baptism is always a gift God gives to those who don’t entirely understand it and haven’t earned it at all. God invites us to be born again as children into His family, makes us promises, and offers us an inheritance that we don’t have to earn. Perhaps it is for this reason that Jesus said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The practice of infant baptism is also widely attested in the history and tradition of the global church.

    At Highrock, we also take the process of confirmation quite seriously; this ensures that anyone who was baptized as a child will have a public opportunity to embrace their own faith when they are more mature.

    With this being said, the Evangelical Covenant denomination is unique in its commitment to maintaining unity within the church with regard to controversial issues; as such, the Covenant allows for both infant and believer baptism in local churches. We encourage you to read more about our denomination’s approach to baptism. In effect, what this is means that we are also open to performing baby dedications at Highrock. Our pastors consult privately with each parent to determine the best mode of devoting your child to God.

    For more on the denomination’s general perspective on welcoming children into the church, please see this Covenant denominational resource entitled A Theology of the Child.

  • You should inform our Family Ministry Adminstrator, Jill Swilling, of your interest. She will explain the process and direct you to complete Milestone 1 from the Milestones curriculum, which includes some audio messages to listen to, some reflection and activities for you to do with your spouse (or friend, if you are a single parent), and then a meeting with our Family Pastor, Brian Deitz. Parents will also be given some questions to answer about their faith, and their hopes and prayers for their child that will be included in an insert on the day of the baptism or dedication. If your child is to be baptized, he or she will be sprinkled with water rather than immersed.

  • Parents of children interested in being baptized should reach out to our Family Pastor, Brian Dietz. He offers a one-hour class for parents to do with their child in preparation for being baptized along with other adults or teens.

    For high school students, a 12-week class is offered every spring to prepare teens for baptism or confirmation.

  • We are thrilled to see you taking this next step! In order to be baptized, you must be a regular attendee of our Highrock community. Our goal will be to encourage and nurture you in faith long after your baptism is over. To be baptized as an adult, there are three steps you will take. First, you should contact one of our pastors and communicate your desire to be baptized.

    Second, you should enroll in our Christian Story course. This course typically meets once a week for six to eight weeks and is taught by our Resident Theologian, Scott Rice. It provides an overview of Christian teaching, belief, and practice. Additionally, we will work with you to match you with a sponsor (a personal mentor) who will also meet with you individually to discuss your questions pertaining to the Christian faith. This course will be a wonderful opportunity for spiritual and relational growth.

    Finally, on the day of your baptism, you will be immersed in water during a regular Sunday worship service. You will also have the opportunity to share your testimony with the congregation (in written form, pre-recorded video, or some other suitable format). At the end of the baptism, you will receive a personal baptismal certificate from Highrock.

    Your baptism is one of the most significant steps that you will take in your life as a believer and we hope that you will invite your friends and family and celebrate it to the full. Any friends and family members you have who are not yet followers of Jesus may particularly benefit from the opportunity to hear your testimony and the clear message of the gospel proclaimed in the context of your own life story. Other ideas for making your baptism special and lasting include: taking photos of the event, going out for a special meal afterward, enjoying a birthday cake to celebrate your new birth in Christ, framing your baptismal certificate, and commemorating the day of your baptism each year with a special dinner or time of prayer and thanksgiving.


  • No, it does not – but we earnestly hope that you’ll become a member of the Highrock Family! Baptism is the way that you are formally recognized into the worldwide body of Christ, but we have a separate membership class which we highly encourage you to take in order to become an official Family member of Highrock.  This class covers important essentials pertaining to Highrock’s history and our denomination. Check our calendar to see when the next membership class is being offered.


What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is a public statement of faith made by a mature believer who was baptized as a child. One of the largest objections to the baptism of children is that they do not have an opportunity to publicly embrace their own faith of their own accord. For churches that do practice infant baptism, this is the role of confirmation. As such, we take the entire process of confirmation quite seriously at Highrock, pouring much time, effort, and individual attention into each person receiving confirmation.

What is the Process for Receiving Confirmation at Highrock?


If you are a teen interested in receiving confirmation you should communicate your interest to our High School Director, or our Family Ministry Pastor Brian Dietz. You will then enroll in a 12-week class for teens offered every spring to prepare you for baptism or confirmation. Additionally, we will work with you to match you with a sponsor (a personal mentor) who will meet with you individually to discuss your questions pertaining to the Christian faith. This course will be a wonderful opportunity for growth for you and a life-changing experience on your journey to adulthood.


If you are an adult, you should communicate your interest in receiving confirmation to one of our pastors. Next, you will participate The Christian Story. This course typically meets once a week for six to eight weeks and is taught by Resident Theologian, Scott Rice. It provides an overview of Christian teaching, belief, and practice. Additionally, we will work with you to match you with a sponsor (a personal mentor) who will meet with you individually to discuss your questions pertaining to the Christian faith. This course will be a wonderful growth opportunity for you.

Have More Questions?

Please feel free to contact any of our pastors.