We believe that the universal church of Christ is a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and of which all those born again are members. We believe that the local church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ, sharing a credible confession of faith, and voluntarily associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God laid upon the church the task of proclaiming to a lost world the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (Col. 1:18; 1 Pet. 2:5; Matt. 28:18-20)
We believe the local church has been commissioned to follow in perpetual observance of two ordinances:
1. Baptism: the immersion of the believer in water—in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit—symbolizing the believer's previous experience of the new birth through faith and his or her union in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. (Rom. 6:3-11) 2. The Lord's Supper: instituted by Christ as a memorial to His atoning sacrifice. In the observance of the Lord’s Supper, believers remember Him and His death until He comes.
(Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
We believe that the local church is independent and autonomous and that it must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; therefore, church and state must be kept separate, each having different functions. (Luke 20:19-26; Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1) We believe that the Holy Spirit gives each believer one or more of the spiritual gifts and that Christ, our Risen Head, has specially set apart the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers to help the saints in their service and to build up the body of Christ.
We believe that as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority established, the need for miraculous signs diminished and they are not now necessary to validate our faith or to authenticate the Scriptures (Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 1:22; 1 Cor. 12:11-14; 1 Cor. 12:28-31; Eph. 4:11-13). We believe in the power of prayer. God does hear and answer the prayer of faith in accordance with His sovereign will. (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15)