What’s in the name Baptist?
Our church is a Baptist church by conviction and principle, not by affiliation with any particular denominational body. We believe the basic Bible teachings for which Baptists have historically stood. We believe the following acrostic illustrates the distinguishing characteristics of Baptists through history:
- B – Biblical Authority: the Bible is our sole authority for all matters of faith and practice;
- A – Autonomy of the Local Church: the church should be autonomous or self-governing, not under any outside human authority;
- P – Priesthood of the Believer: the believer does not need a priest, other than Jesus Christ, to come boldly to God. Every born again Christian has equal access to God personally and is responsible to serve Him and represent Him in this world. Baptists do not have a separate “priesthood.”
- T – Two Church Ordinances: God’s Word gives us two ordinances for the church-baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- I – Individual Soul Liberty: no one can be or should be compelled to worship contrary to his own will and conscience. No one can be forced to accept Jesus Christ; but every person will give an account for his own decisions.
- S – Saved, baptized membership: Only those who have personally believed upon Christ for salvation and then followed him in baptism have the right to be members of the Lord’s church.
- T – Two Church Offices: there are two biblical offices in the church—pastors and deacons.
- S – Separation: We believe in ecclesiastical separation from groups that teach heretical doctrines; personal separation from sin, worldliness, and things that would be detrimental to our testimonies; and the separation of the church from the State (as opposed to the State Churches of European history).
What does it mean to be an independent church?
As an independent Baptist church, we are not affiliated with any particular Baptist denomination, convention or ruling body. We believe that each church is intended to be an autonomous body answering only to its Head, Jesus Christ. Because of this we can support our own missionaries, select our own leaders, and support institutions that believe as we believe. In short, our church answers to the headship of Jesus Christ rather than a denominational body. There are currently more than 15,000 independent Baptist churches in America and many more throughout the world.