Twelve members of a new, independent Baptist church signed its charter during a service Sunday, March 29, and the church said the charter would remain open through the end of the year for people who wish to become charter members.

Fairfield Baptist Church has been conducting Sunday services at McKinley School since September, its pastor said, drawing about 35 worshipers each week.

The Baptists have many sects and various national organizations, plus independent churches. But all share the belief that the Bible and its literal teachings are the final authority for faith and practice. They conduct baptism by immersion in water, rather than by sprinkling water, as some other denominations do.

The town has two established Baptist churches, Trinity Baptist Church on North Benson Road, and First Baptist Church on Church Hill Road.

The new church's pastor, the Rev. John Lafrennier, said Fairfield Baptist grew from the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Waterbury, where he was assistant pastor. The Waterbury church believed a similar house of worhip was needed along the shoreline, he said.

Fairfield Baptist conducts Sunday services and Thursday evening Bible study in the cafeteria of McKinley School, 60 Thompson St.

For more information about Fairfield Baptist Church, visit www.ffldbaptist.com or call the Rev. John Lafrennier at 203-592-4889.