The Bible is our Sole Authority
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. We practice reading the Bible daily and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe and the revelation about our God. As we each study the Bible regularly and faithfully, the indwelling Holy Spirit will enable us to mature into the preordained purpose of God for our lives. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
Autonomy of Each Local Church
We recognize Christ as the head of our church, not any person, group or religious organization. Each member is charged with the responsibility of seeking the will of God for our church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other Baptist churches and other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
Priesthood of Every Believer
The Bible teaches that every Christian has worth in the sight of God and is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his/her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer is competent for direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. No believer has to depend on any human assistance to approach God’s throne for his/her salvation or spiritual guidance.
The Bible teaches that God made humankind in His own image and gave us freedom of choice. Thus, God wants free worshipers and no other kind. We resist efforts of any power, civil or ecclesiastical, to compel people to conform to any religious creed or form of worship or to pay taxes for the support of a religious organization not their own. We support the religious freedom of minorities recognizing that we Baptists were once a despised and persecuted sect.
We practice baptism by immersion under water – the way Jesus was baptized and the way the Bible commands. The word transliterated “baptism” in the New Testament literally means “to dunk under or submerge” in the water. Baptism by immersion is one of the ordinances of the church, meaning one of the things Christians by direct teaching and by the example of New Testament Christians are commanded to do following conversion. So, receiving baptism by a new believer is an act of spiritual obedience. Baptism by immersion pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for our salvation, and is a testimony of the experience of the new Christian to die to the sin-life by repentance and to be raised to walk the Christ-life as a believer. Not as a means of being saved, baptism is a symbol of that which has taken place in a believer’s life.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is the second ordinance of the church, having been commanded by Jesus Christ for the church to practice. It is a symbolic experience which uses grape juice and unleavened bread to represent to the church and to the world that Jesus Christ shed His blood (the juice) as He died on the cross for our salvation and that He gave His body (the bread) willingly and lovingly to be crucified in our place and for our sake.
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us through the Holy Spirit. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s spirit to give us wisdom and to enable us to do what is right. We believe that all believers are called to be in the world but separate in their style of living from the world.
Telling Others about Christ
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We are thus to be witnesses for Christ and living demonstrations of what God can do in, for and through all who will receive Him as Savior and Lord. As a church we practice giving to and praying for missions around the world and, if God calls us personally, to go as His ambassador to all nations. As a church, we believe our mission for God is to make disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ.