About the Church - Ecclesiology

Each local church is a visible manifestation of the one true church, the Body of Christ.  It is our responsibility as believers to join with a local church and serve God through it faithfully.

We believe that the Church consists of all believers with Christ as the Head. It is referred to as the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, and a building with Christ as the foundation. A person becomes a member of the Church at the moment of salvation when the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into the Church. This Spirit baptism results in a permanent union between the believer and Christ and the believer and all other believers. We believe the visible manifestation of the Church is in local, autonomous congregations of believers. All believers should become members of their local congregation with the requirements for membership being a profession of faith in Christ and water baptism. This makes the requirements for local church membership a picture of the requirements for universal church membership.

We believe the Church was completely hidden in the Old Testament, being a mystery to the Old Testament prophets. While there may be parallels between Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament, the Church is not the recipient of the promises made to Israel. The Church began at Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

We believe the local church is to be governed by congregational rule with one elected pastor and as many elected deacons as deemed necessary. There are only two ordinances to be observed in the local church: 1) Baptism, an identification with Christ and a picture of salvation; and 2) the Lord's Supper, a time of self-examination and a picture of life in Christ. The mode of Baptism is unquestionably immersion and the Lord's Supper is merely a time of remembrance.

We believe the Church has a responsibility to separate itself from those practicing sin and teaching false doctrine. The goal of this separation is both to keep the Church pure and to bring about reconciliation on the part of the one practicing sin. When individual members of a local church persist in unrepentant sin after being confronted, the church has a responsibility to break fellowship with the member.