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How do Brethren observe baptism?

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The Brethren custom is to baptize by "trine immersion". Following the administration of the baptismal vows, the candidate kneels in front of the minister, facing toward the minister's left or right, and is then "dunked" or immersed three times forward in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This style of baptism is what earned the Brethren the nickname "Dunkers". Immediately following the baptism, while the candidate is still kneeling in the water, the minister lays hands upon the head of the new member and prays for the in filling of the Holy Spirit. Because Brethren hold to an ideal of "no force in religion" they do not baptize infants. Candidates for baptism must freely choose to join themselves to the Body of Christ after first "counting the cost" (Luke 14:28) of following Christ. Baptism marks the beginning of discipleship. It is a public declaration of ones intent to amend one's life and to obediently follow after the example of Jesus. It is also the beginning ... more
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