What We Believe

1. We believe in two Ordinances

Believers baptism by immersion

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  ~Matthew 28:19 

Lords Supper

Communion is a remembrance that Christ paid for our sins, through his death on the cross, and secured our place in heaven through the shedding of his blood.

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:  The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” ~ 1Corinthians 11:23-36 
 

2. We believe the Bible is the final authority and is inspired by God.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” ~2 Timothy 3:16 
 

3. We believe:  In the Trinity

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” ~ Colossians 2:9-10
 

4. We believe that in Jesus, God draws close to us, extending to us forgiveness, hope, renewal, and guidance.

 

5. We believe that Gods Holy Spirit is actively working in, through, among, and even in spite of us transforming our lives and world.

 

6. We believe that the Bible speaks to us today, helping us understand our need for God and Gods gracious coming to us in Christ.

 

7. We believe that we are called to sharpen our minds, widen our hearts, and deepen our spirits as we grow and serve together.

 

What it means to be American Baptist

American Baptists are people who take freedom very seriously and feel that everyone is responsible before God for the practice of their faith. Baptists come in all sorts of flavors. While some are very conservative or fundamentalist, many are very open and progressive in their faith and practice. For all Baptists, the Bible is the central source for understanding Gods love and grace. Some people have the impression that all Baptists claim to interpret the Bible literally and believe that everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. There are many Baptists, however, who seek to understand the Bible through the use of historical and literary methods of interpretation and who recognize that a variety of interpretations are sometimes possible.

 

American Baptists believe that the local congregation is free from any hierarchy and is responsible for its own mission and ministry. The pastors of Baptist churches, for instance, are not appointed by a religious hierarchy but are chosen by the local congregations. Local congregations elect their own officers, construct their own budgets, and decide how best to follow Gods leading in their local communities.

 

American Baptist congregations, while being independent, freely cooperate with other churches in mission endeavors. Gregory Community Church, for example, is a part of the America Baptist Churches, USA; American Baptist Church of Michigan; and Gregory Ministers Association. We believe that we can best serve across the globe as we join with others in mission.

While there are many different stereotypes of Baptists in peoples minds, Baptists represent one of the great streams of Protestant Christianity which has championed the ideal of freedom, believing that people can only fully offer themselves to God if they are truly free from compulsion or coercion. Baptists have historically defended religious liberty for all and the separation of church and state in matters of conscience. Baptists also reserve the rite of baptism for those people who decide of their own free will to follow Jesus. American Baptists, therefore, practice what is called believers baptism as opposed to infant baptism. Historically, this distinctive feature gave rise to the name Baptist.

Many people who come to Gregory Community Church have their stereotypes of Baptists broken and come to appreciate in a wonderful manner how the American Baptist emphasis on freedom and responsibility empowers them to grow as a child of God.