How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
Why have a denomination at all?
Some question why we have denominations. They wonder, “Why can’t we be ‘just Christian’?” And, First Baptist certainly has as members Christians of a variety of denominational backgrounds or who came to faith in churches that consider themselves non-denominational.
You don’t have to call yourself a Baptist, or even “feel like one,” to join our church! We’re believers and followers of Christ. We value Christians of other denominations as brothers and sisters, not competitors.
At the same time, we all come from somewhere. We are a Church which believes it’s good to be in relationship with other churches for common mission and accountability. The family of Churches we come from is called “Baptist.” For some, the word “Baptist” brings with it a lot of assumptions, and maybe even some baggage.
So whether the word “Baptist” brings up positive images for you (like powerful preaching and delicious potluck meals) or negative ones (like Bible-thumpers judgmentally yelling), we want to be clear about what it means for us to be Baptist.
Four Values Baptists Emphasize
“Only the freedom of the gospel liberates us from the worship of idols, including the idolatry of the self, so that we might serve the living and true God and await the Son from heaven whom God raised from the dead
(See 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Titus 2:11-14; Acts 1:11).”
- Re-envisioning Baptist Identity: A Manifesto for Baptist Communities in North America
Lordship of Christ
Baptists believe that Christ is head of his church. Each church is “autonomous,” but that shouldn’t mean we think “we’re the ones in charge.” It is Christ who is “in charge.” That’s what it means to say “Jesus is Lord.” And, as members of the body of Christ, each church member is empowered by the Spirit to discern His will in interpreting the Scriptures together.
Our Baptist Affliation
We are affiliated with the American Baptist Churches - USA and the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky.
American Baptists are a Christ-centered, biblically grounded, ethnically diverse people called to radical personal discipleship in Christ Jesus.
American Baptists' commitment to Jesus propels us to nurture authentic relationships with one another; build healthy churches; transform our communities, our nations, and our world; engage every member in hands-on ministry; and speak the prophetic word in love.
For more on our church beliefs and the beliefs of our denomination, see our Beliefs page