Note: This article was updated on 6th November, 2019.
As at all conventions, the baptism arrangements at our Melbourne International Convention will be a highlight of the event. In 2014 some 695 new brothers and sisters presented themselves for water baptism in a symbol of their dedication to Jehovah God. This year we expect hundreds will once again take this important step in becoming part of our worldwide brotherhood, surely making Jehovah’s heart rejoice — Prov. 4:11.
If you are among those hoping to be baptised, no doubt you will feel as did Brother David who was baptised at the 2014 convention:
“Being baptised at the Melbourne International Convention was an amazing experience and a wonderful privilege to become part of Jehovah’s organisation. It made me confirm that I was part of a big family full of warmth and love. It really put into perspective that serving Jehovah is best thing we can do. Nothing else compares.”
The Convention Committee would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to those contemplating baptism at this year’s convention. We are certain it will be a truly memorable experience for you. The arrangements for our international convention mirror very closely those found at our regional conventions. However due to the larger size of this event, the arrangements do require careful planning and the support of our Baptism Department and its many volunteers. We would like to share some of these details to ease any concerns you may have about the arrangements, and provide some helpful suggestions to make this wonderful occasion all the more enjoyable.
Seating & Change Rooms
On Saturday morning of the event, we encourage all baptism candidates to be seated in the reserved sections of seating directly in front of the stage, which will be between Aisles 11 and 14 on Level 1 as highlighted below. Due to seating restrictions, we ask that no family or friends sit with the baptism candidates unless you are a minor or aged/infirm and require the assistance of a parent, guardian or helper.
If the candidate is a minor, it is a requirement that one parent or legal guardian travel with them throughout their journey to the changerooms, onto the playing field and back to the changerooms after baptism.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this – please contact the Convention Committee via the FAQs section of this website using the ‘CONTACT US’ form.
At the conclusion of the baptism talk, attendants will guide you to the change rooms in the basement area of Marvel Stadium. The brothers will exit left along the edge of the field to the men’s northern change rooms, and sisters will exit right along the field to the women’s southern change rooms. Baptism Attendants will then guide you back up to the playing field area where the baptism will be conducted at the southern end of the field, after which you’ll be guided back to the change rooms to change back into your convention attire. The change rooms have amenities including toilets, showers, mirrors, racks and moderate storage space for your clothing and bags. The map below details the various locations inside the stadium.
As in 2014, family members and friends will not be permitted onto the field to take photos unless the candidate is a minor. However, if you would like a photo of the occasion, we will have photographers at the baptism tubs who will be taking pictures of our baptismal candidates as they enter and exit the pools.
To take advantage of this service, photo release forms will be provided to you in advance via your congregation in October, and may also be downloaded using the link at the end of this article which provides consent to our photographers collecting images. You can submit this prior to the convention by filling out the form and submitting it to us using the email address contained in the form. Providing your own email address on the consent form will enable the baptism department to send the photos to you at the end of the day’s program. On the day, a number will be given to you to carry which we’ll use to match up your photos to your consent form.
- Due to the importance of the occasion, we would like to remind our candidates that modest dress must be observed during baptism. More information can be found in the Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will publication – pages 208–210.
- If you are intending to be baptised at this convention, and haven’t already done so, please inform the coordinator of the body of elders of the congregation you attend.
- Please remember to bring your own towel, and some temporary footwear such as thongs/flipflops for the walk from the change rooms to the field & back.
Rest assured, our 2019 International Convention will be a memorable event, and the baptism will be a particularly joyous occasion that will bring much praise to our heavenly father. We look forward to welcoming our new brothers and sisters to our worldwide brotherhood and the smiling faces of thousands of appreciative onlookers at this year’s international convention.