New Disciples’ Study Guide

Sarah Jean Williams

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 98 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781462896325 Reviewed: November, 2011 Author Website: Visit »

New Disciples’ Study Guide is a slim volume that aims to educate new
adult members in the Baptist faith. It begins with a list of the
responsibilities of a Christian and follows with an 8-page chapter in
which each book of the Bible is described in one paragraph. These two
chapters are illustrative of the utility of this book. It quickly and
accessibly (though with many copyediting obstacles) provides essential information to new members.

Author Sarah Jean Williams is a minister at First Central
Baptist Church in Staten Island, NY, where she served as minister of
new disciples for 15 years. No doubt she drew on that long teaching
experience to briefly answer the most common questions of new members
and to describe for them the central distinguishing beliefs of their

Williams defines terms the new believers will encounter, such as
“regeneration, or born again,” “sanctification,” and “justification.”
She devotes short chapters to the purpose of baptism, the proper
attitude toward communion, the role of the Holy Spirit, the
responsibility of stewardship as financial support of the faith, the
need for fellowship with other believers through church attendance,
spiritual warfare in struggling with sin and Satan, and the problem of
unanswered prayers. Particularly encouraging to the new believer will be the book’s list of the “fruits of the Spirit” — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
faithfulness, meekness, and self-control — each accompanied by
Scripture references.

It’s important to note that the book is seriously flawed by typographical errors, misspellings, and dropped words that make some paragraphs unintentionally comical and others simply incomprehensible. While there are other Baptist publications that cover this material in a more orderly manner, this study
guide could, nonetheless, serve as a useful checklist for teachers of new disciples.

Author's Current Residence
Staten Island, New York
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