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Our Practices

Baptism – Baptists believe that repentance and faith are essential and man must be born again of water and the Holy Spirit in accordance with the teachings of the bible.  Candidates are given instruction over a period of time to prepare them for baptism.  This preparation ends in a service of praise and rejoicing, prior to the candidate’s acceptance of Jesus Christ, by immersing in living water, that is, a stream, river or the sea.

Mourning – The mourning period can last for three to seven or more days.  According to Gibbs de Peza (64) , “Mourning is characterized by the denial to one’s self of the freedom to move about, to speak, to eat, drink, bathe or any other comforts, and the acceptance of the naked earth for a bed, a stone for a pillow” (1999).  In addition, the church member prays, fasts and meditates day and night.  During the mourning period, the member receives spiritual instruction through visions and dreams.  Mourning is considered important for developing the soul, strengthening the spirit and achieving spiritual knowledge, wisdom and understanding (Gibbs de Peza 64).

Pilgrimages – These are visits from one church to another in a different district.  During the journey there is much singing and praying.

Commemoration of the Dead – The Spiritual/Shouter Baptists believe that the death of a loved one who lived a life of righteousness causes surviving friends and relatives to turn to God.  It is the duty of the minister therefore, to provide hope and comfort so they can realize that the greatest solace comes from God.

Bands – These are pieces of cloth with seals on them.  They are used in baptism and mourning to cover the member’s eyes, so that he or she would not be distracted by his or her surroundings.

Doption – This word was derived from the English word adopt.  It is a groaning sound made to various rhythms while praying or while on a spiritual journey.

Speaking in Tongues – This is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit referred to in the Bible.  It can be described as a phenomenon during which the believer speaks in languages unknown to him or her in his or her everyday life.

Roadside Preaching/Mission – Members of the faith are sent to villages to spread the messages they received in their visions and dreams.  They do this by preaching at street corners.

Praying Aloud – Individuals or groups pray aloud during the church service, kneeling either in the center of the church or at the steps of the altar.

Mode of Dress – Members of the Baptist faith wear uniforms or spiritual clothes in various designs and colours.  The choice of colour is guided by the instructions received during spiritual journeys.  The uniforms define the office and function the member has in the church.  Women must cover their heads during worship with large pieces of cloth called head-ties.  Senior female members often wear their head-ties at all times and not just during worship.