Profession of faith: First Presbyterian has 4 confirmands

Published 8:49 am Sunday, April 14, 2024

First Presbyterian Church of Vicksburg celebrated Confirmation Sunday last week, with four confirmands solidifying their commitment to the church.

Mary Ruth Montgomery, Lily McClean, Audie Evans and Evelyn Gattle were recognized during the service for having made a public commitment of faith in Jesus. In particular, these young people recognize that they are accepting the faith in which their parents have raised them as their own. Baptism is a step that is necessary before confirmation. Many children in the Presbyterian faith are baptized as infants; however, those who were not may be baptized at any time before the conclusion of confirmation. The confirmation process is viewed as a sealing of the baptismal vows and a time to reaffirm faith in God.

Confirmation is an ancient concept, dating back to the third century, in which participants underwent a lengthy process — sometimes as long as three years — to affirm their faith in God. During the 1500s, this process was replaced with a course of instruction that continues to be a model for numerous churches today. For many youth, confirmation marks their first public participation in the church by their own motivation.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Typically, confirmation is accomplished between ages 13 and 14, or around sixth grade. This marks the time in a young person’s life when they are considered to be moving from childhood into adulthood.

“The class is in preparation for joining the church,” First Presbyterian Pastor Tim Brown said. “Confirmands are educated in areas of theology, worship, Bible, church government and spiritual gifts. Through that process, we’re giving them the reformed view and understanding of Presbyterian form of government as well.”

Brown teaches the confirmands, who attend classes weekly. They study a curriculum issued by the Presbyterian Church. After about six months of classes, the final celebration of learning is conducted. As a group, the students take an oral exam administered by 12 members of the church, called the Session, also known as the “Ruling Elders.” The confirmands must answer questions based on each area of learning before finalizing their status as being confirmed.

Speler Montgomery, mother to confirmand Mary Ruth, said seeing her child go through the process is a wonderful experience.

“As a parent, it’s comforting to know that she has an entire church family that prays for her and loves her,” Montgomery said. “It’s such a special day watching my daughter profess her faith in God and officially becoming a member of our church.”

The conclusion of the confirmation process occurs on Confirmation Sunday, in which confirmands are presented to the church during the morning service and the commitment to their faith is celebrated.