The word “Baptist” is often misunderstood and sometimes maligned in the modern world. We maintain the word in our church name because it conveys our understanding of the local church. The local church is a gathering of baptized believers, with the bible as their sole source for faith and conduct, and that is autonomous, answering only to Christ for its work in the geography where it resides. Baptists are often labeled as those who baptize by immersion. While that is true, being a Baptist means a lot more. (See the “What is a Baptist” tab for a more detailed definition.)
So, we are a Baptist church. Are we denominational? The answer is both yes and no. We are a Baptist church because we believe in the Biblically derived tenets of a historic Baptist understanding of what a local church is. As such, we would not consider ourselves denominational. Yet, we are a member congregation of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC is technically a convention (churches working together for a common cause) and not a denomination. We willingly associate for the purposes of missions. We believe that being a part of a larger body of those with Baptist identity helps us in reaching the lost around the world. Therefore, a greater missionary effort is the primary reason we affiliate.
Our statement of faith is “Baptist Faith and Message 2000“. We believe this is a faithful summary of Biblical Christian beliefs.
We are part of the broader church known as “evangelical”. That term can mean different things to different people. Our understanding of “evangelical” is:
- We accept the 66 books of the Holy Bible to be the written Word of God. It is fully authoritative for faith and living; and without any error in the original documents. We believe God accomplished this as His Spirit spoke through chosen human vessels and they recorded his self-revelation. It is our authority for all things pertaining to life and godliness.
- We desire our church to be Christ centered. Jesus of Nazareth is the one and only God-Man. He was the unique revelation of God; the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life… no one comes to the Father except through Him.” He lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to the plan of God for redemption of all people. Christ’s shed blood on the Cross was our substitutionary atonement. He took our place as the Sin-bearer satisfying God’s holy justice.
- We believe that God Justifies sinners. This happens through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, and our subsequent faith in that work we are declared righteous. Not because we have earned it, but because Jesus earned it for us.
- We must share this message with the people around us. We endeavor to reach our world both locally and internationally. We support financially the work of the Southern Baptist Convention in our state, region, and around the world. We send teams on short term mission trips globally. We serve our community through our food pantry and clothes closet ministries. We are always looking for ways we can extend our reach with the amazing message of Christ’s love and forgiveness.
There is currently much discussion in the Southern Baptist Convention about Reformed theology (i.e. Calvinism). This ongoing debate necessitates that we articulate our understanding of the Biblical doctrine of salvation.
We ascribe to the “Traditionalist” (non-reformed) understanding of salvation which has long been the majority position among Southern Baptist Churches.
The complete statement of this position can be found here. A-Statement-of-Traditional-Southern-Baptist-Soteriology-SBC-Today