FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) made a contribution of $200,000 towards the installation of a baptistery in the future chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jan 31. Executive Director Jim Richards presented the check to seminary president Paige Patterson during Thursday’s chapel service.
Richards said, “In 2007, our congregations gave beyond the budget to the tune of almost $2 million. Knowing that we can’t give more than God, our executive board voted unanimously to give $200,000 extra towards the new chapel at Southwestern.” Patterson also acknowledged that all funding for the new chapel would come from outside gifts, not from the cooperative program or raising student tuition.
Since both groups hold to Baptist beliefs, Richards believes investment in the baptistery is significant. Referring to Baptists, Richards said, “We are not saved by the water. We are set apart by the water.” He also acknowledged the convention and seminary’s joint concern for where people spend eternity. 

Seminary officials believe that the chapel must have a baptistery primarily because baptism is central to assembled believers known as Baptist. Patterson said, “We are going to teach you how to baptize.” He went on to explain that while the ordinance of baptism should be performed in a local assembly, the seminary has an ecclesiastical obligation to train and prepare students for practical applications of ministry.