On the basis of the New Testament, Baptists claim that baptism is for believers only. Baptism is only for those who are able to declare "Jesus is Lord." As a symbol of Jesus' claim on their lives, Baptists practise baptism by 'immersion,' in which candidates symbolise their desire to 'die to self' and to live for Christ.
Baptists understand the church as a community of believers who gather together for worship, witness and service. In a Baptist model of a believer's church every member has a role to play, whether in teaching, faith-sharing, evangelism, social action, pastoring, guiding, serving, prophetic insight, praying, healing, administration or hospitality.
In Baptist churches the final authority rests not with the ministers or deacons but with the members gathered together in church meetings. Local churches will usually call a minister to serve among them. The minister functions as a church member with special responsibilities in caring for the members and leading in the church's mission. Baptist churches have always come together in regional, national and international 'associations' for support and fellowship. On the basis of the New Testament, Baptist believe that churches should not live in isolation from one another but rather be inter-dependent.
Baptists believe that each Christian has a duty to share their faith with others. William Carey was a Baptist who is known as the father of the modern missionary movement. Along with this emphasis on evangelism, however, Baptists recognise that mission includes social action and involves promoting justice, social welfare, healing, education and peace in the world.
Ashton Baptist Church,
6 Garden Walk
Preston PR2 1DP