Baptists deservedly get a bad rap. There are a number of Baptist conventions and churches that periodically make the news with one narrow-minded idea or another. But don’t judge all Baptists by the actions of some. Not all Baptists are that way. In fact Baptists in this country were some of the first people to stand up for religious liberty and an idea that eventually became the First Amendment to our nation’s Constitution. Those are the kind of Baptists that Sardis Baptist Church tries to imitate.


Baptists do not have any sacraments – rituals that are required for a person to be saved by God’s love. A sacrament is a means to God’s grace. Think of a sacrament as a funnel through which God’s grace is poured. While we honor the sacraments of other Christian traditions – and in fact practice many of them, but do not call them sacraments – we do not believe any ritual is a means to salvation. We believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only means of receiving God’s love and grace. Baptists believe that all rituals are symbolic and their power comes from our inward faith in God as we practice them.

  1. Baptism – We practice believer’s baptism by immersion; meaning that we only baptize persons who profess a faith in Jesus Christ, and we immerse the whole person under water. The practice illustrates our belief in the resurrection of the body following death. At Sardis all persons desiring to become Christians are baptized by immersion. However, Christians joining our church from another Christian denomination are not required to be rebaptized.
  2. Communion – We usually practice communion by passing plates of bread and juice one to another, symbolizing the belief that we are priests to one another. From time to time we will take communion by walking to the front of the sanctuary, symbolizing the personal commitment each of us must make to receive the gifts of God.



  1. Soul freedom – the freedom of the Christian believer to interpret scripture and to determine God’s call upon his life in partnership with the Holy Spirit and the local church; this is why Baptists do not baptize a person into the faith until she consciously chooses to follow Jesus Christ.
  2. Believer’s freedom – the freedom of the Christian believer to serve and minister in the church as called by God and to have a voice and vote in the church’s decisions; this is why Baptists have “business meetings” where the congregation “votes.”
  3. Church freedom – the freedom of the local church to make its own decisions and follow God’s will as it perceives the Holy Spirit to guide it; this is why no two Baptist churches are exactly alike.
  4. Religious freedom – the freedom of church and state. Traditionally, Baptists wanted the church to be free from the government and wanted government to be free from religious intrusion.