“Central Baptist Church is a gathering of Christians who embrace a Baptist heritage while seeking to nurture a dynamic faith, build a community of grace, and create a spirit of missions.”
"We are called into the world to do – to be – the Gospel."
Matthew 28:18-20 — The Great Commission is the organizing principle for Christian churches.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 — This passage represents a functioning body of believers and is a basis for our model. As a living organism, the church must be viewed holistically.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Embracing Our Baptist Heritage
- Our context of ministry and source of identity must lie in our spiritual heritage as Baptist Christians.
- We seek to be informed by our history and core values as Baptists while seeking to minister in a dynamic culture.
Building a Community of Grace
- Grace is a gift from God to humankind that binds us to God and to one another.
- We seek to create and sustain a community that accepts, proclaims, and practices grace to all people.
Nurturing a Dynamic Faith
- Christian faith is the human response to God’s love through Jesus Christ.
- We seek to create an environment in which faith is enhanced and expressed in a variety of ways.
Creating a Spirit of Missions
- The Church is called to be God’s hands and voice in the world.
- We seek to equip and enable people to answer this call through social justice, evangelism and human needs ministries.
A key element in creating our future will be claiming and owning who we are as a church. In our view, Central Baptist Church can be identified, at least in part, as follows:
Central Baptist Church is a progressive Baptist church.
- As we read and interpret the scriptures, we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its ministries are inclusive.
- Consistent with Galatians 3:28 ( There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. ), we stand firm in the equality of roles among people in the church and community.
- We believe the doors of the church should be open to all who might enter.
- We encourage people to attend and participate without a sense of judgment for their own struggles and trials.
- We are a community of faith to all who see our church as an avenue for their spiritual growth.
- We involve ourselves in relationship and dialogue, where appropriate, with other bodies whose heritage might differ from our own. Further, we call attention to our congregation’s role within the larger Christian family.
Central Baptist Church is a Baptist church.
- We adhere to and affirm the principles and ideals long held as the benchmarks of Baptist life and thought. These include soul competency, priesthood of the believer, separation of church and state, and autonomy of the local church.
- We affirm our heritage as Baptists while seeking to find new and productive ways to express that heritage in society.
- We believe in the traditional Baptist model of choosing to form needed affiliations with other groups that give us the balance we seek between involvement with the larger Christian community and our autonomy to be more of who we are on a local level. We currently affiliate with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Central Baptist Church has a strong relational base.
- We believe we best find the presence of God and opportunities to share the gospel within the context of relationship with others.
- We affirm and validate single persons, divorced persons, traditional families, single-parent families, blended families, and any other family forms that affirm positive familial relationships.
- We believe strongly in the importance of ministry to families and children.
- We seek to discover the complex and changing needs of family life as we seek ways to minister.
- We believe in the importance of small groups.
- We believe committees, organizations, social groups, Sunday School classes, youth groups, children’s programs, prayer groups, Bible study groups, and short term goal groups are important to develop and nurture.
Central Baptist Church believes in sharing the gospel in a variety of ways.
- We believe in sharing the Gospel with as many persons as possible.
- We believe in sharing the Gospel by promoting those avenues of evangelism that reflect the strengths and interests of our members.
- We believe in the gospel of the saving grace found through Jesus Christ and shared through social action and ministries.
- We believe in missions and will provide the opportunity for such things as local projects, hands-on work, special trips, and financial and prayerful support for missionaries around the world.
Central Baptist Church believes strongly in the importance of worship.
- We believe worship is a process by which people connect to God and to each other.
- We believe worship is vital to the health and witness of the church.
- We believe worship should be reverent, thought provoking, and participatory.