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Baptist

“Baptist” is part of our church name.  Let’s talk about what that does and doesn’t mean to us.

First, what it doesn’t mean to us.  Being a “Baptist” doesn’t automatically make a person a “Christian.” Anyone who genuinely repents of their sin, and trusts in Christ alone makes someone a “Christian,” regardless of the name of the church that they go to.  Further, God works through a variety of vessels, and no one church, denomination or organization has a monopoly of the truth.  We don’t believe “we are the only ones.” More important than being known as a “Baptist” church is being a Bible-believing and practicing church.

Now, what does “Baptist” mean to us?  Someone has said “saying Baptist is like saying blue- there are lots of different shades,” and they were right. That means there is quite a bit of variation found in Baptist churches.

We think the following acronym is helpful in outlining some the things that we believe as “Baptists.”

B- Biblical Authority:  The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because it isGod’s Word.  Nothing supercedes the Word of God!  We don’t have a denominational prayer book or worship manual.  The Bible itself is our guidebook.

A- Autonomy of the Local Church:  The local church is self-governing and is accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s Savior and Head.

P- Priesthood of the believers:  Every born-again believer has direct prayer access to God’s throne through Christ.  He is our only Mediator and High Priest (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14-16)

T- Two Ordinances:  We practice only believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. This first portrays the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the second reminds us of the price He paid for our salvation, until He comes again.

I- Individual Soul Liberty:  Every individual Christian has the liberty to believe what they believe the Word teaches as his/her conscience dictates, and not to be forced into compliance by others

S- Saved and Baptized Membership:  Local church membership is reserved for those who give a credible testimony of faith in Christ, and who identified with Him through believer’s baptism.

T- Two Offices:  The Bible mandates only two offices in the church- pastor and deacons. Pastor, elder, and bishop refer different functions of the same office within the local church.

S- Separation of Church and State:  God established both civil government and the church.  Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two.

This is not an exhaustive statement of faith, but it does differentiate “Baptists” from some others in some ways. However, we constantly promote our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, not our name.  At times others seem to make more of our name than we do.  We are “Bible-believing Christians” first and foremost, and Baptists second. 

Also we preach and promote the biblical gospel, not the social gospel.  While addressing man’s physical and temporal needs may open the door for spiritual ministry (and we support and practice that concept), it should never be viewed as a replacement for addressing man's spiritual or eternal needs...“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." (1 Timothy 1.15), not just feed or clothe people.