Who We Are
“Loving God, loving one another, and loving the world.”
The purpose of this church shall be to bring people into a “living” relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, who was crucified, died, and buried but rose again on the third day.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus for us.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who grants us comfort in times of need and moves us to live Christ’s love in the world.
We believe in the Bible as the record of God’s revelation of love as fully seen in Jesus.
We believe the Jesus is the criterion by which we interpret the Scriptures.
We believe the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
We believe in the need to come together in song, word, and prayer in worship to acknowledge God’s power, faithfulness, and grace.
We further believe we are to be being “salt and light” in our world and to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
As a family of faith, we work together, care for each other, and spread the love of God throughout our city, state, nation, and world.
A Different Way to Be Baptist
We are proud to be Baptists. Baptists have a long tradition built on a simple idea of soul freedom: Out of God’s love revealed in Jesus, God offers freedom of the soul to respond to Jesus’ calling in our lives.
Our Baptist forefathers and foremothers proclaimed that faith is a matter of personal conviction, and that no one – not government, minister, denomination, nor even family – can determine another person’s faith.
We live this through several key beliefs:
- We believe in salvation thorough Jesus’ life, death, and his glorious resurrection and his calling for us to share that Good News with the world.
- We believe in Bible freedom. We believe in the priesthood of every believer where you can interpret the Bible with the guiding of the Holy Spirit without interference from any entity or person.
- We believe in church freedom. First Baptist Church is free to follow Christ’s leading without interference from others. We choose with whom we cooperate to live out Christ’s mission, and we choose for ourselves all matters of being church. For instance, our church has ordained women in leadership for decades as we follow Christ’s calling.
- We believe in religious freedom – even for those with whom we disagree. We welcome diversity of opinion as brothers and sisters that can disagree agreeably, and we trust our members to come to their own political convictions. We cherish religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
- We strive to be graceful. All are welcome as we live Jesus’ words to “Come unto me.”
- We believe in heaven, but, until then, we are to be fully engaged in making a real difference in this very real world.
Thus, for us, the Kingdom of God is both a present and future reality.
Please note our thanks to Walter Shurden, The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms.
Who is Jesus to you?
That is the question at the heart of our faith.
A Christian by definition is one who resembles or belongs to Jesus. A Christian is one who says, “Yes!” to Jesus’ call, “Follow me!” Thus, to answer what it means to be a Christian, one must know who Jesus is to him or her.
For some, Jesus is a Superman. He can leap tall buildings and answer your desire for a new bike in a single bound. For them, he is so divine that his feet don’t even touch the ground. He is so beyond our comprehension to be almost inaccessible from our perspective.
For others, Jesus is a great moral teacher. He is a man, maybe even a great man, whose teachings are profound. For these folks, those teachings may be out of touch, but they are profound nonetheless.
However, as Christians, we reject both of these extremes. Indeed, we see kernels of truth in them both. We do believe Jesus to be divine; at the same time, we also believe that he was a real human person that walked the earth. However, the key to understand Jesus might be to see what he did – healing the lame, proclaiming relief to the poor, or showing compassion for the hurting. It is here were we ultimately all see Jesus as we believe he shows the ultimate compassion for the hurting – even the hurts we express in our souls.
We all have hurting souls. None of us is perfect, and it is this imperfect defect in our souls that often causes us pain – both in this life and the life to come. Our imperfection, our sin, causes us angst and loneliness. Even in a room full of people, we can feel lost and alone. Most of all, our sin separates us from God.
Jesus is about the work of healing our souls. Through his death on the cross, he, one who lived a perfect life, offered his life for your life and the life of everyone else. He offers us the bridge to span the chasm of the distance our sin causes between us and God. In three days, God demonstrated his power, raising him back to life again. No power is greater than God’s. And no love is greater either. Jesus loved us enough to die so that we might know the love and power of God. His death and resurrection are the ultimate answer to the problem of the pains of life: Jesus was willing to enter the darkest pain with us, and he offers us freely forgiveness for that sin in the soul that ails us. Notice he offers it freely: It is the free gift of a Loving God.
As Christians, we believe we were created for intimacy with God through Jesus. You see, for the Christian, Jesus is not a distant deity; he is one who stands for us and stands with us in every moment. He is also not just a moral teacher though he did teach us about living for him. He is our savior; he saves us from our selfish desires and pains.
As the people of God, we believe we have found forgiveness, love, and acceptance by God. We also have a purpose – to proclaim his love by our lives.
Who is Jesus to you? Only you can answer that question. We can say this: Jesus is the one who loves us – all the way to the end – and calls us to follow him. If you want to know more about Jesus or share your struggles about him, feel free to contact our ministerial staff. They will happily share more about the wonder of knowing Jesus as both Savior and Lord.
An ABC Approach http://abcofsalvation.com/index.html