Baptismal Certificate

Hello! My fiance and I are looking to get married at the end of this year/ early next year. I was looking into what we need to schedule the wedding ceremony, and it looks like we both need baptismal certificates?

I am Catholic and have been my entire life, so I have all of my documents. However, Jon was raised Southern Baptist. When he joined the USAF 4 years ago, he moved and he stopped going to services. When we started dating, he started going to Mass every week with me. He wants to become Catholic, and plans to start RCIA in the Fall. Anyway, he DOESN’T have a certificate saying that he was baptized in the baptist church, yet he was.

Does anyone know how we go about requesting proof? Do baptists not give their members a baptismal certificate? Do we even need the proof to get married in the Catholic Church? I am having trouble finding concrete information on the topic…

Thanks so much in advance!


Have your fiance contact the Baptist church where he was baptized and see if they will issue such a certificate.

If the Baptist community can’t/won’t issue such a certificate then notify your parish as soon as possible for specific instructions on what to do. If your husband remembers being baptized then he can probably submit a signed statement to that effect. If he was too young to remember then perhaps he has relativs or friends who remember.

I agree that you should contact the Church that he was baptized in. Churches normally keep records of these things, and they would for sure be able to tell you whether or not they have a certificate for him.

The man I married belonged to a denomination that doesn’t do baptismal certificates, period.
What happened was that he had to type out a little statement saying that he remembered his own baptism (he was 8 when it happened), and also had to have one witness verify that they attended his baptism and that it was done with water and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (his dad signed his name to a little statement my then-husband typed up which said as much).

Good luck!

I was raised and baptized Southern Baptist and didn’t have a certificate of any sort. I simply explained that too the priest who married us (he may have understood especially because he was a convert too!) and told him the date that I was baptized on. That was it!

Actually, whatever documents you have are commemorative only. They are not your *official *sacramental records. When you work with your priest for premarital preparation, you or the parish will need to request a recent (within the last 6 months), certified copy of your sacramental records from your baptismal parish.

This is because your baptismal parish is the place where **all **your sacramental records are noted-- including any marriages. So, this is part of the process of proving freedom to marry.

Some non-Catholic ecclesial communities keep such records, some don’t. He should contact the church in which he was baptized and ask them for records. If they do not have any, then he will simply need to fill out an affidavit of baptism. If he was old enough to remember it himself (most Baptist churches only baptize older children or adults) he can sign the affidavit. If he doesn’t have clear memory of being baptized, someone who witnessed it (parent, pastor, etc) can sign the affidavit.

This is very common.

Have you met yet with your priest or deacon who is preparing your for marriage? All of this should have been explained by the priest/deacon.

I was baptized in the Baptist Church in 1978. They still have the records of all of the baptisms. I wouldn’t assume just because he doesn’t have a certificate that it doesn’t exist. I had stopped going to that church in 1980, but they had the certificate when I was in RCIA and called in 2001 and when I needed another copy in 2007 they sent me one, no hassles at all.

My mother was a Southern Baptist who converted to the Catholic Church at the age of 71. She had been baptized as a young person. The Baptist Church in which she was baptized provided a letter attesting to the baptism even thought it had been many years earlier. Baptist Churches keep records too, even if they don’t ordinarily provide certificates such as we are used to. The letter was enough to prove to the priest that my mother had been baptized. Your pastor may accept a letter from the Baptist Church, too. Ask him.

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