Welcome to Greer Chapel United Methodist Church! We are thrilled you are interested in learning more about becoming a new member of the church.
How can someone become a member of the church?
Attend a Sunday service. Wait for the congregation to sing the hymn of response during service. When the pastor invites prospective new members to join the church, present yourself. The pastor will make an invitational statement: “The doors of the church are open, you may come by letter, Christian experience, or candidate for baptism.”
New membership classes. Once a person responds to the invitation and expresses a desire to become a member he/she will participate in a four-session new membership class. At the completion of this class he/she will receive the right hand of fellowship.
1. Baptism. To join a United Methodist Church at any level of membership, one need to have been baptized within the Christian faith. The prospective member should inform the pastor if he/she has already been baptized, since the UMC accepts baptisms performed by other Methodist congregations as well as other Christian denominations, so they won’t require you to repeat it in either case.
If the prospective member has already been baptized by another Christian church, either show the pastor a certificate or some other record of baptism, or contact that church and ask them to send you proof.
If the prospective member has never been baptized, the pastor will do so during the service in which the person become a member. The UMC uses three methods for baptism: sprinkling water over your head, pouring water over your head, or immersing your entire body. Sprinkling is the most common.
2. Confession of faith. Affirm your acceptance of Jesus Christ and your commitment to the United Methodist Church. Answer the following questions in the affirmative when prompted by the pastor:
“As a member of Christ’s universal church, will you be loyal to Christ through the United Methodist Church, and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?
As a member of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?
3. Decide on a level of membership. Speak with the pastor about the level of commitment you intend to pledge to their congregation. Decide between being a full member, an affiliate, an associate, or a preparatory member.
Full Professing members join a new congregation on a permanent basis, with full voting privileges and the ability to run for church offices not held by clergy
Affiliate members join a new congregation on a temporary basis while maintaining full membership in another Methodist congregation. They may vote on issues affecting the United Methodist Church as a whole, but not on issues that solely effect their new, temporary congregation. To become an affiliate, provide the pastor with the name and contact info of your permanent congregation for notification of your new affiliation.
Associate members join a new congregation on a temporary basis while maintaining full membership in another Christian denomination. They may not vote on issues pertaining to either their new congregation or the United Methodist Church as a whole. To become an associate, provide the pastor with the name and contact info of your permanent church for notification of your new association.
Preparatory members are baptized children under the age of 18 who are still awaiting confirmation within the Methodist faith. While adults are welcome to join the UMC immediately upon receiving baptism, there is a delay for children so that they have the time to mature and absorb what it means to be a member and then make up their own mind about moving forward. Children generally begin taking classes to prepare for confirmation around the age of 12 or older. Speak with the pastor about attending classes.