By Way Of Introduction
Many people hesitate to visit a church unless they know what it will be like when they go. Perhaps we can help you know what to expect in your visit with us.
WE STRIVE TO BE THE SAME CHURCH DESCRIBED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
It is our purpose to be identified with the Christians of the first century. We believe this to be possible to all who will learn, believe, and be guided by the plain teaching of God's word. When Jesus declared "the seed is the word of God" (Luke 8:11), He was emphasizing a known fact of nature that specific kinds of seed, when planted, will always produce after their kind. For example, wheat will produce wheat. In like manner the word of God, when planted in the hearts of honest people, and obeyed, will produce Christians just as it did in the first century -- nothing more or nothing less.
WE HAVE NO HUMAN LEADER
There is no man, or group of men, who legislate for the church. We have no one to answer to but Christ. He is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18), which leaves no room for any human head. As was true in the first century, so also there is no intercongregational organization, but rather independent congregations in different locations with Christ as Lord and Master.
According to the authority of Christ, when a congregation matures to the point where men meet the qualifications, overseers (also called bishops, elders or pastors) are appointed to look after the spiritual welfare of the congregation. Such men are appointed only when they meet all the qualifications listed by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They then have the responsibility to "feed the flock" with the spiritual food found in the scriptures, and to be examples for others to see (1 Peter 5:1-3). Our preachers (or evangelists) are not pastors but are simply teachers of the gospel.
THE BIBLE IS OUR ONLY BOOK OF RULES
We have no man-written creed books to follow. We are governed in faith and conduct by the Bible alone. While recognizing the guiding principles of the Old Testament, we seek to conform to the rules and patterns of the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Peter 4:11). We accept the Bible as being both verbally inspired and infallible in content (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13). Consequently, when the Bible speaks on any given subject, its pronouncement is accepted as final. By its own testimony, no one may with impunity alter a single word of it (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelations 22:18-19).
WE ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER DENOMINATION
Neither are we inter-denominational. It is our sincere desire to be non-denominational, to wear no other name than Christ's, and to be known simply as Christians, members of the body of Christ (Acts 11:26; Ephesians 1:22-23). Collectively, we refer to ourselves as the church of Christ, the Lord's church, or some other scriptural description of followers of Christ (Ephesians 5:23).
OUR PLEA FOR UNITY
We plead for unity among all who obediently respond to the doctrine and commandments given in the New Testament. Such is in harmony with the prayer of Jesus and the pleadings of the apostles (John 17:20-21; 1 Corintians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-6). We consider such unity to be possible, or Jesus would not have prayed for it. Since division has always been the result of departure from God's pattern, we believe division can be healed only by a return to the revealed truth of God's word. For this we plead.