Introduction to Grace Baptist Church
Grace Baptist Church is a Reformed church that subscribes to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. We are a community of Christians committed both to the Lord Jesus Christ and to one another. Our goals are:
- To live as full-time worshippers of God.
- To meet regularly for corporate worship, prayer, the Lord's Supper, and instruction from God's Word.
- To engage in the kind of fellowship that results in spurring one another on to love and good works.
- To grow in personal holiness.
- To proclaim God's redeeming activity in Jesus Christ through personal evangelism and global missionary activities.
At GBC, we take doctrine seriously. Every person has a theology; God calls us to conform our theology to the theology articulated in the Bible. To this end, we prioritize the public proclamation of the Word of God. Two different elders deliver two different sermons on a typical Lord's Day (one at the 9:30 teaching time and one at the 10:45 formal worship time). We also conduct a School of Theology that is attended by many of our members. Thirty-six lessons - addressing such topics as sin, hermeneutics, justification, Christian liberty, the charismatic movement, and Jesus Christ's three mediatorial offices - comprise the School of Theology curriculum.
We also take worship seriously. Worship is acceptable to God when it is reverent, theocentric, and regulated by the Word of God. As a Body of Christ, we worship corporately on Sunday by reading the Scriptures publicly, praying as a congregation, singing both psalms and hymns unto God, and meeting with God through the preached Word of God. Our singing consists largely of the older hymns and psalms, although we sing a few newer compositions that display theological depth. We count our Wednesday night prayer meeting (which is a dedicated sixty-minute-long prayer time) as a worship service (where we specifically worship God in prayer); likewise, our Lord's Supper services (which we hold at least twice a month) are times when we worship the risen Christ at the communion table.
The Christian Life.
By God's grace, we endeavor to take living the Christian life seriously. Correct doctrine must lead to correct living. We emphasize that true holiness is a heart-level matter that involves the Christian's motives, passions, goals, and desires. Mere outward conformity to a list of prescribed lifestyle standards is inadequate. When the Law of God is indeed inscribed upon the heart, however, the saint's outward behavior will be quite different from that of the unsaved man. The saint will make his chief end the glorifying of God, whereby he enjoys God both now and forever. The believer will devote himself to "kingdom projects." He will also engage in "counter-cultural living," or living as salt and light in a decaying and dark world. Living as a pilgrim in this world includes applying God's Word to practical issues like music, courtship, modesty in clothing, children's education, and observance of the Lord's Day as the Christian Sabbath.
At GBC, we have a large doctrine of regeneration. We believe the Holy Spirit transforms a spiritually dead sinner into a new creature in Christ--a saint in whom the power of sin is broken and the Law of God is written upon the heart. True believers will persevere to the end, which means they will grow in grace. Sanctification is not an optional extra for first-class believers; it is an inevitability for all truly redeemed men. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord! Accordingly, chronic spiritual immaturity and stubborn unrepentance is not tolerated. The church takes disciplinary action when--after numerous pleadings and explanations--a member refuses to repent of sin. Church discipline is a multi-purpose tool: God uses it to both bring unrepentant believers back to Himself and maintain the purity of His Church.
Three men comprise the eldership at GBC. Equal in status and authority, these pastors are charged with overseeing God's flock. One of the elders (Donny Martin) is supported financially so that he might pursue the work of the ministry on a full-time basis. The elders delegate many practical matters to GBC's three deacons. Our current membership consists of twenty-seven families.