Infant Dedications — Dedications for infants 18 months or younger, are scheduled with consultation with the Senior Pastor of Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Contact the church office to schedule a dedication. Parents are asked to review and sign the dedication policy prior to scheduling the dedication. Godparents and/or family members may stand with the family during the dedication. The parents are presented with a certificate signed by the Senior Pastor after the dedication is completed.
General Background — There is nothing in the Scripture that requires a church to dedicate infants. There are passages where Godly mothers dedicate their child to the Lord as an act of consecration. The dedication of infants is a practice that has evolved over time. It has evolved in the Baptist tradition principally as a reaction to the exposure guidelines relating to it and governed by each congregation individually.
Our Biblical Theological Rationale for Dedication — In I Samuel 1, the story is told of a barren handmaiden named Hannah who wanted a child, most specifically, a son. She prayed that the Lord might hear her cry and her pain and asked to be made pregnant. She further promised the Lord that if He did answer her prayer affirmatively, she would dedicate the life of the child to the Lord for the remainder of the child’s life. Hannah did conceive and the Scriptures report that she kept her promise.
In Luke 2, the story of Mary, Joseph, and the birth of Jesus is shared. After Mary gave birth to Jesus, He is kept close to His mother for the first eight days of His life, then He is circumcised. In verses 26-27, we are told that His parents brought Him to the temple to be dedicated according to Hebrew custom.
From these passages of Scripture, as well as others, we can deduce that the act of dedication was a ritual with deep meaning, it was not a perfunctory gesture that was engaged in simply because everyone else did it. The act grew out of the love and concern of two mothers as well as the fathers. These parents were devoted to their child and to God. They had their children dedicated to God because of their gratitude to God.
The following policy will be adhered to regarding the dedication of babies at Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
- ZOnly infants will be dedicated. Babies will be accepted for dedication from birth until 18 months of age. For babies older than 18 months of age, the pastor will pray for the baby and family in this office.
- ZThe mother or the father should be an active member of Watts Chapel prior to the birth of the baby.
- ZThe mother or father (or legal guardians of the child) must be able to agree that the child will be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- ZThose persons designated as Godparents must be members of a Christian Church.