- While some Christian faiths perform Baptism on infants, for Baptists this ritual is only performed after a person professes Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It is an act that symbolizes the cleansing away of their sins. And while some faiths perform baptism by sprinkling water on the subject, Baptists must be fully immersed in the water. This is usually done by lowering a candidate backwards into the water to imitate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
- Baptist churches assert that each local church is self-governing and independent of other churches. Baptists are not under the administrative control of any other body, such as a national council, or a leader such as a bishop or pope. Each Baptist church usually has a pastor, deacons, and trustees, but administration, leadership and doctrine are decided democratically by the lay members of each individual church. This is why there is such a variation of beliefs from one Baptist church to another.
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