Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following eight principles, called the Baptist Distinctives:
- Bible as our sole authority. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..." 2 Timothy 3:16.
- Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?". We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
- Autonomy of each local church. "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning..." Col 1:18a.
- Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
- Priesthood of every believer. "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father." Rev 1:5b-6a "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." 1 Pet 2:9a
- The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full time" Christian service, regardless of his or 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 has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
- Two Ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. "So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:41-42.
- Baptism and communion are the local church ordinances recognized in scripture.
- Individual Soul Liberty. "Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching" Titus 1:9. "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:12.
- We believe that each believer will be held accountable before the Lord as to what he has done in his life for the Lord. We do not have to go through a priest to come before the Lord.
- Saved, baptized church membership. (Jesus said) "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19.
- We believe that a person must be both saved and following the Lord in faith (baptism) before they can be a member of our church. This is the scriptural pattern seen throughout the Epistles.
- Two offices: Pastor and Deacon. "...To all the saints in Jesus Christ who are in Philippi, including the overseers (pastors) and deacons..." Philippians 1:1a.
- The scriptural support for the leaders in the church are for two offices, pastor and deacon. Pastors are also called bishops or elders in the New Testament. Deacons are given to help the pastor in the daily administration and decision making of the church. They also are to be godly servants.
- Separation of Church and State. "But Peter and the apostles answered, 'We must obey God rather than men.'" Acts 5:29. "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities..." Romans 13:1.
- We practice separation of church and state, meaning the church does not interfere with the state and the state does not interfere with the church.