I was baptized as an adult, 60 years ago, in an Assembly of God church. I no longer have the certificate, and the church has dispersed into other congregations. I am beginning RCIA, and all I can think is “one baptism.” Will the Church required me to be baptized twice?
It depends on two things, first, whether the Catholic Church recognizes baptism in the Assemblies of God as valid. I suppose it probably does, but you’d probably better ask to make sure. The other thing is that they may be willing to just take your word for it. That was what happened in my case. The priest asked me, “Were you baptized in infancy?” I answered, “Yes, in the Church of England,” and that was that. He didn’t ask to see a certificate.
Thank you. Let’s hope people who desire to join the church aren’t lying. From what I understand, the AOG church is considered valid.
You will need to confirm with your RCIA leaders and/or Priests, but most will accept a letter from you (since you were an adult) or a witness (typically in the case of an infant baptism) certifying that you were in fact baptized as sufficient evidence that you are already Baptized and don’t need to receive a new Baptism.
In our program, we typically ask the person or witness to include as much detail as they can recall – place, time/date if they know it (or even ‘summer of 1995’ or something). The most important thing is that we are sure it was done with water and in the trinitarian form. If that can be remembered specifically that’s great; if not, knowing it was done by a ‘mainstream’ Christian Church is generally enough. I believe Assembly of God Baptisms are considered valid, but I don’t know that for sure.
In the worst case, if it can’t be sufficiently confirmed, a ‘conditional Baptism’ might be done. That means you would be Baptized, but the liturgy would be slightly modified to say, “If you are not already Baptized, I Baptize you in the name of…” That way we can ensure that you are Baptized, but be clear that we only recognize the first valid one (whichever one it might be).
I had a similar instance with someone I was sponsoring through RCIA. His mother could not find the baptismal record. The church he was baptized in had a fire and records were lost but because his mother said she had him baptized and his brother remembered the baptism ceremony, he did not need a certificate.
Thanks. I am feeling calmer about this.
Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.
Since you were baptized as an adult, you can submit an affidavit of baptism. You can be witness to your own baptism, as you were old enough to recall it. This is common as many non-Catholic Churches outside the mainline denominations don’t even keep records or issue certificates.
Worst case scenario, the priest may do a conditional baptism if there is doubt about valid form or any other situation that placed doubt on the baptism.
You would not be “rebaptized” as indeed there is only one baptism.
Just speak to your priest and give him the facts, he’ll take it from there.
Well, that isn’t quite the level of due diligence we are normally to undertake. “Take your word for it” isn’t really an option if you were baptized an an infant. You cannot attest to your own baptism in such a case.
He should have asked for a baptismal certificate or an affidavit of baptism from one or more witnesses who were at your baptism.
I just wanted to say Hi and Welcome!
Thanks, Penny. I can tell this is a wonderful group.
Really the only groups where it does not accept baptism are ones who either deny the trinity(Oneness Pentecostals) , or have a very different view of what it is( Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses)and some others which are smaller but those three would probably be the best examples in America.
I know what you refer to by the “oneness,” sometimes called “Jesus only.” Assembly of God churches believe in the Trinity and do not subscribe to oneness. That’s why I am not concerned about the validity of the baptizing church. Thanks.
AG Baptisms are valid.
Do you have a family member who can sign an affidavit? If not, conditional baptism will be done. The Church does them often, it is not a huge deal.
I was 20. No family member was present. I found the associate pastor who baptized me, but he does not remember me.
You can attest to your own baptism since you were of an age to remember it.
Of course I could attest to it. I had seen my own baptism certificate. I might even, just possibly, have been able to find it if he had asked to see it.
If the AG parish merged with another then the records could be at that parish or maybe a HQ for all the AG parishes.
Pretty sure that the AGs don’t send their recods to Springfield, because they believe one can be baptized many times.
I had no record only a picture. Good enough.