Baptists share a common faith with all Christians, yet there are some beliefs
that set us apart from others. Here are some key beliefs:
Priesthood of All Believers – Loved by God, and made in His image, each of us has the opportunity to meet directly and personally with God. As we are all equal before Him, we have the right and responsibility to participate in Christ’s body, the Church, and to minister to each other as a ‘priesthood of all believers’. We have pastors who perform those functions, such as marriages, that are reserved for licensed clergy by law or tradition.
Ordinances – We believe there are two ordinances taught in Scripture: baptism and communion.
Baptism – We each come to faith in God through a free, personal decision to trust Christ as Lord and Savior; therefore, we practice the baptism of believers. For this reason, we do not practice infant baptism, reserving baptism for adults and young people mature enough to make a fully conscious and committed decision. Following Biblical example and modeling the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we baptize by full immersion.
Communion – On a regular basis monthly we remember the saving death and resurrection of Jesus by participating in the ordinance of communion, sharing in Christ’s body and blood through the symbols of bread and wine.
Congregational Governance – We follow a congregational form of government in which believers come together as a priesthood of believers under the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to determine God’s will for us. We avoid the top-down hierarchy often associated with other denominations. Locally autonomous churches make their own decisions but participate in the larger body of Christ by associating with their denomination and its shared ministries.
Separation of Church and State – The church and the civil government have distinct, separate roles that should not infringe on each other. Where they have shared interests and values, they recognize and reinforce each other.
Marriage – We affirm that the biblical pattern of marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.
Sexual Behavior – Any sexual behavior outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage is not affirmed Biblically or historically.