Baptists believe in the independence of each church. In other words there is no organization that is in charge of all Baptist churches; each church answers only to God as the authority. Throughout Baptist history, there have risen quite a few different Baptist churches with variations in their beliefs, but there are a few foundational beliefs that are shared by most Baptists.
Secondly, Baptists believe in the Bible as the only guidebook to faith and application. Most believe that the original Bible, in its entirety, is the Word of God, given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and is infallible down to the smallest detail. The Bible is the sole authority and anything not authorized in scripture is heretical.
As the name of this denomination suggests, baptism is a very important part of the Baptist belief. Baptists believe in baptism strictly by immersion, rather than “sprinkling”, and they reject the practice of infant baptism. Baptism is only for those who are old enough to make a decision to believe in Christ. Many churches make baptism a prerequisite for church membership.
Finally, in addition to baptism, the other ordinance faithfully practiced by Baptists, commonly once a month, is the Lord’s Supper, or communion. Their belief differs from some other denominations in that Baptists hold that communion is simply a “memorial service”. The bread and the wine used in the communion ritual are symbols of Christ’s death on the cross and have no mystical meaning.
Baptists traditionally meet on Sundays for church services. They usually sing from the Baptist hymnal, pass a plate for free will offerings and listen to a Bible-based sermon given by the pastor. Many have midweek services, social activities and opportunities designed to help others.