I was baptized about 13 years ago by a Church of God pastor and am now almost in the final stages of being Catholic. My church needs to know if I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or just in the name of Jesus. I cannot recall which it was.
I have called the church of God several times and no one will return my call. My mother says she remembers Father, Son and Holy Spirit but I am not sure as I know certain Penecostal denominations do not believe in the holy trinity. Do any church of God members know how they typically get baptized?
I don’t know about the Church of God baptism, but I think I remember hearing that you can get something like a conditional baptism? Like for in your case, since you’re having difficulty figuring out whether you’ve been validly baptized or not. It wouldn’t do anything if you’ve been baptized already, but if you haven’t, then it would be valid.
We do a conditional baptism only when necessary. If we cannot determine for sure that someone was validly baptized then a conditional baptism is appropriate. If we know the original baptism was valid, we don’t perform a conditional baptism.
I was baptized in a little charismatic church and was unsure as to the validity of my baptism as well, but was able to obtain a certificate. As long as it’s a Trinitarian baptism it’s valid, at least that’s what they told me in RCIA. The only baptisms they seemed to have a problem with were Mormon and Jehovah Witnesses. I’d just get a conditional baptism if you’re worried about it; that’s what I was told to do. The church I was baptized in used to be called, “Shalom,” now it called, “The Living Hope.” Some of these little sects change their names so frequently it can be hard to track them down. Good luck.
If it’s COG Anderson Indiana it is a good baptism. If it comes from one of the Armstong cults probably not.
There are several denominations using the COG name you need a scorecard to tell them apart. It came from a period in history when the slogan “bible names for bible things” was popular, along with the Various church of Christ groups were being founded.
If it’s remained the same church with the same influence I would go down there before or after their services and ask the pastor for help locating a certificate and ask about the formula used in the baptism. If they have changed hands since your baptism I think I would ask for a conditional baptism just in case.
Fundamentalists as a rule do not issue baptism certificates. When I was applying for a religious community it was like pulling hen’s teeth to get a certificate from the church of Christ where I was baptized. They were very suspicious and down right rude.
Huh, you’d think every church would keep records for their parishioners and for their families.
Well, then, I’d say just go to the church and speak with the pastor. Find out if the church has changed in the last 13 years and what formula they were/are using.
I was lucky enough to be baptized Lutheran as a 3 week old. My mother had a certificate and she made sure it was given to me before she passed. Otherwise, I would have had no proof, either. I knew I was baptized at a Lutheran church in Detroit, but I would have had no way of figuring out which one or even if it was still standing. There was no one left alive who would remember. Whew! Thank you, Mom, for keeping important stuff forever!
I would speak with your pastor since the Catholic Church tends to be very cautious with various Protestant and Evangelical churches. I know some dioceses work differently than others.
I remember when I joined, I was coming from three denominations: United church of Canada, Anglican and Pentecostal. Fortunately in my case, I was baptised in the Anglican church so I was ok but I know the other two, my diocese wouldn’t recognize due to concerns with the validity of the original baptism.
I found a list from the Archdiocese of Toronto in Ontario, Canada and Archdiocese of Baltimore, USA which lists the churches that are both recognized and not recognized. Your church looks good according to both lists but I would double check with your priest because it is he who will be making the ultimate decision.
If it was in any of following denominations, then it is supposed to be done according to Matthew 28:19:
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
Church of God of Prophecy
Church of God (Chattanooga)
Church of God, House of Prayer
Church of God (Huntsville, Alabama)
The church may (but probably won’t) have baptism records. Pentecostals don’t baptize infants, so it’s assumed that no one needs a certificate as proof that they are baptized because everyone will be old enough to remember it.
According to the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)'s handbook:
“That we authorize the printing of certificates of baptism and recommend that they be issued to those baptized by the officiating minister.”
So, it’s possible that they gave you a certificate when you were baptized, but I highly doubt that the church itself has kept a separate record.