Previous | Next

Spring 1985 · Vol. 14 No. 1 · pp. 4–5 

The Waters That Divide: Conference Resolutions on Re-baptism

Mennonite Brethren General Conference


Resolution on Receiving into our Fellowship Believers Baptized by a Mode other than Immersion:

. . . As a brotherhood we permit local churches to accept into fellowship believers who have been baptized upon an experiential and confessed faith with a mode of baptism other than immersion. In order to maintain and foster unity in doctrine and polity such members should agree to the following:

  1. That they accept the confession of faith of the Mennonite Brethren Church.
  2. That they will be baptized by immersion as soon as they receive such light through the Word and in fellowship with others who hold that conviction.
  3. That they will not function in (or be candidates for) any office requiring ordination in the Mennonite Brethren Church.
  4. That such privileges relate to fellowship in the local church and therefore churches will not transfer by letter any members received into fellowship without immersion. Motion passed. Resolution adopted. (General Conference Yearbook, 1963, pp. 38-9)


Those seeking ordination, or recognition of ordination by another denomination, shall be baptized by immersion, since that is the form of baptism practiced by the M.B. Church. Resolution adopted. (General Conference Yearbook, 1981, p. 7) {5}


We recommend that the Mennonite Brethren Conference affirm baptism by immersion as a pre-requisite to ordination, recognition of ordination and licensing for pastoral ministry in Mennonite Brethren churches.


  1. Such a position is in keeping with our Confession of Faith.
  2. The results of the study of this question by the congregations do not express consensus. This becomes significant when we take into account that about 120 churches (of 267) did not respond. In view of this we should continue our practice as given in the 1981 resolution.
  3. This position will insure the acceptance of all our ordained pastors in all Mennonite Brethren churches.
  4. We agree that a case can be made from a theological point of view that immersion is not the essence of baptism; but the willingness of our ordained leaders to comply with the polity of the conference leads us to affirm our historic position. Referred for further study. (1984 General Conference Recommendation)

Previous | Next