Baptism and Membership in the Baptist Tradition: A Study of the Relationship Between Church Practice and Community Life
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Baptism and membership are two practices that have persisted within the Baptist tradition for years. Using the examples of Mission Hills Church (Littleton, CO) and DaySpring Baptist Church (Waco, TX), the purpose of this study is to explore how these two specific practices may be displayed in the Baptist tradition, how they may be connected, and what their connection may imply about church life. To these ends, the thesis first presents a broad overview of Baptist theology concerning baptism. Second, the analysis moves to a discussion concerning select membership styles in the Baptist tradition. The analysis concludes by examining two different attempts to integrate baptism and membership in the life of the church. Finally, the analysis critically evaluates and compares the practices of baptism and membership at Mission Hills Church and DaySpring Baptist Church.