Westgate Baptist Church is an American Baptist Church…
The American Baptist Churches USA are a denomination of 1.3-million members and over about 5,000 congregations worldwide. We share with the approximately 45 million Baptists around the world a common tradition begun in the early 17th century. That tradition has emphasized the Lordship and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, believers’ baptism, the competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture, the importance of the local church, the assurance of freedom in worship and opinion, and the need to be Christ’s witnesses within society.
WE ARE AMERICAN BAPTISTS
American Baptists worship the triune God of the Bible, who is eternally one God in three persons. This one true God is most clearly revealed to us in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
American Baptists proclaim the Good News of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, knowing that salvation (forgiveness of sins, release from guilt and condemnation, reconciliation with God) and eternal life are granted in grace to all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This Gospel is the central message of the Bible.
Although Baptists have produced numerous confessions to express our common understandings of Christian faith, we hold the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as our final authority. We accept no humanly devised confession or creed as binding.
American Baptists are summoned to this mission in common with all Christians. With the whole body of Christ, we also believe that God has been revealed in Jesus Christ as in no other, and that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (II Corinthians 5:18). We anticipate the day when every creature and all creation, on earth and beyond, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
God has given this particular community of believers call Baptists a distinctive history and experience. As we share in common with Christians everywhere, so Baptists everywhere celebrate a common heritage.
With Baptist brothers and sisters around the world, we believe:
The Bible is the final authority and trustworthy for faith and practice. It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit within the community of faith;
· The Church is a gathered fellowship of regenerated believers, a sign of the coming universal reign of God;
· Freedom to respond to the Lordship of Christ in all circumstances is fundamental to the Christian gospel and to human dignity; and
· That witness to Christ is the ongoing task of every Christian and of every church.
Within the larger Baptist family, American Baptists emphasize convictions which direct our special task and ministry.
We affirm that God through Jesus Christ calls us to be:
A Redeemed People
· Who claim a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ
· Who follow the Lord in believer’s baptism
· Who gather as a believer’s church
· Who share in the meal of the kingdom known as the Lord’s Supper
· Who honor the priesthood of all believers
· Who live their faith as visible saints
A Biblical People
· Who gather regularly to praise God
· Who receive nourishment by communion with the Risen Christ
· Who share an open and public confession of faith
· Who believe that personal devotion brings vitality to corporate celebration
A Mission People
· Who strive to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples
· Who invite persons to receive salvation and follow Christ
· Who engage in educational, social and health ministries
An Interdependent People
· Who affirm the Church’s unity as given in Jesus Christ;
· Who gladly embody in our practice the ministry of the whole people of God;
· Who recognize God’s gift for ministry and honor all offices of pastoral ministry;
· Who live and work together “in association”, and
· Who bring the free church tradition to cooperative and ecumenical Christianity.
A Caring People
· Who care for the needy, the weak and oppressed;
· Who care for the earth and for all its creatures
An Inclusive People
· Who, gifted by a variety of backgrounds, find unity in diversity and diversity in unity;
· Who embrace a pluralism of race ethnicity and gender; and
· Who acknowledge that there are individual differences of conviction and theology.
A Contemporary People
· Who have a remembrance for the past and a vision for the future;
· Who are committed to religious liberty and to the separation of church and state;
· Who call our present world to make Jesus Christ Lord of all life; and
· Who trust the Holy Spirit for insight and power to live in the present age.
We further believe …
· That God has called us forth to such an hour as this;
· That we live with a realizable hope;
· That all things are held together in Christ
Westgate Baptist Values
Love and Worship God
God has created us to worship Him. At Westgate, our goal is for every worship service and study opportunity be centered around worship of God. Whether we are worshiping corporately through singing or individually through giving, our goal in worshiping God is simply to show Him how much we love Him; after all, that is the very reason we exist. Worship is at the HEART of who we are.
Share The Gospel
When Jesus came to earth as a man, He was constantly reminding people that he had to be about His Father’s business. He later told us what exactly that business was ? To seek and to save those who are lost. As a church, we want to be about this same business. We want everyone in our community to know that God loves them and is calling them to receive Him. SHARING the good news of the Gospel is central to who we are.
Many times in the Bible, God calls the church a family. That is why we at Westgate Baptist Church we view each other as family members as well as friends. We need each other for love, comfort, support, accountability, and encouragement. We strive to create an atmosphere that allows our members and guests to cultivate deep, lasting relationships with each other, Christian COMMUNITY is central to who we are.
One of Christ’s final commands before He ascended into heaven was to teach others about what He had done. Jesus urges us to make disciples of others, but He also tells us not to stop there. It is our duty and privilege as a church to teach others as they develop in their own, personal relationship with Jesus. Christian Discipleship takes time, training, nurturing and a viable community to grow with . DISCIPLESHIP is central to who we are.
Serving Our Community
God has given everyone special talents and gifts to use to minister and serve others. Yes, we use these gifts to serve others within our church, but it doesn’t end there. We believe we should also be serving those we come into contact with daily at work and home. We strive to be people who share the love of God with everyone we meet by serving their needs. Christian SERVICE is central to who we are.