What is a Baptist?
We are Baptist because we believe that the Baptist distinctives are biblical. Here are the traditional Baptist beliefs as supported by Scripture. We are an Independent Baptist Church, which means the church is governed and supported exclusively from within.
The Bible is the final and absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice. Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Whatever it affirms, we accept as true and authoritative for our lives. The Living Word, Jesus Christ, is Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18) and governs it by His written Word (John 17:17) and His indwelling Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27) in the lives of Christians.
Autonomy of the Local Church
The local church is an independent body accountable to its Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is self-governing (autonomous). All human authority for governing the local church is found within the local church itself. The church itself, not a pope or synod of elders, is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
Priesthood of the Believer
Every believer is a priest before God (1 Peter 2:5, 9) with equal access to enter His presence in prayer through our Great High Priest and Mediator, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). The believer-priest has the responsibility to minister to other believers, to lead a holy life, and to offer sacrifices of praise, of gifts, and of himself (Hebrews 13:15-16; Romans 12:1-2).
The local church should practice two ordinances: (1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and (2) the Lord’s Supper (communion) as a remembrance of the work of Christ until His kingdom (Matthew 26:26-28; 28:19-20).
Individual Soul Liberty
Each individual Christian has the right of private judgment in spiritual matters (Romans 14:5). Soul liberty rests upon the Spirit-given ability of each believer to interpret Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). However, this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God and its proper interpretation or from accountability to God Himself.
Saved, Baptized Church Membership
Local church membership is restricted to those who give a credible testimony of personal faith in Christ alone and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism (Acts 2:41, 47).
The Bible mandates but two offices for the local church: pastor/elder/overseer and deacon (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Philippians 1:1). There is no hierarchy outside the local church.
Separation of Church and State
God established with distinct purposes both the church (Matthew 28:19-20) and civil government (Romans 13:1-7). One should not control the other, nor should there be any alliance between the two (Matthew 22:21). Christians in a free society may properly influence their government toward righteousness.