Augusta Road Baptist Church is a loving, inclusive Christian community that seeks to live out our faith in Jesus Christ through worship, spiritual growth, ministry and missions.
WHO WE ARE:
We are Christian and we are Baptist. The word Christian is understood as Christ-followers and most people can relate to that. However, the word “Baptist” has many interpretations. While we respect the rich and wonderful heritage we have as Baptists, we have chosen a more moderate, progressive way of being Baptist that we feel is very much in line with our Baptist heritage and history. The following sentences from Dr. Walter B. Shurden’s book, The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms will help sum up how we feel about our freedom as Baptists.
- Bible Freedom. This is the historic Baptist affirmation that the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, must be central in the life of the individual and the church, and that Christians, with the best and most scholarly tools of inquiry, are both free and obligated to study and obey Scripture.
At ARBC, we encourage all who come to seek out the truths of Scripture and make up their own minds about God and faith, and to do so at their own pace. We encourage each person who meets with us to use their mind as a gift from God…to ask questions, to explore and debate. In the pages of the Bible we find guidance, comfort and the stories of God. We are committed to teaching, learning and living these truths. We further affirm that the best rule for interpreting Scripture is through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
- Soul Freedom. This is the historic Baptist affirmation of the inalienable right and responsibility of every person to deal with God without the imposition of creed, the interference of clergy, or the intervention of civil government.
We strongly uphold the belief of the Priesthood of ALL believers. This is a belief that God is equally accessible to ALL the faithful, and every Christian has equal potential to minister for God through Christ Jesus.
- Church Freedom. This is the historic Baptist affirmation that local churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain who they perceive to be gifted for ministry, male or female, and to participate in the larger body of Christ, of whose unity and mission Baptists are proudly a part.
At ARBC, we celebrate the freedom of the individual to be and become all that God has made them to be. We believe that Christ has made it clear that God loves and welcomes everyone. All people deserve our respect and love. So our hearts and minds are open to everyone…young and old, rich and poor, long time Christians and faith seekers. We affirm the historical Baptist principle of the autonomy of the local church.
- Religious Freedom. This is the historic Baptist affirmation of freedom OF religion, freedom FOR religion and freedom FROM religion.
At ARBC, we believe that the church of the Lord Jesus is vitally important to all of society. However, we feel that the church and state should remain clearly and distinctively separate.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ
We acknowledge Christ as the foundation of our life of faith. We desire all people to experience a personal, growing relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We further acknowledge that Jesus is not only our Savior but also the teacher of our minds and comforter of our hearts.
The Worship of God
We encourage all who come together for worship to acknowledge God’s power, faithfulness and grace. We encourage meaningful and relevant worship that may take a variety of forms.
The Call to Service and Missions
We are committed to being “salt” and “light” in our world…we acknowledge we are the hands and feet of Christ. As a community of faith we will work together to spread the love of God throughout our neighborhood, city, state, nation and world. We will be open to partnering with other Christians, regardless of denomination in carrying out the Great Commission of our Lord.
We will practice openness and acceptance of all persons and open our arms to all who come our way. We further believe that all have been gifted by God, and that no distinction be made regarding gender in the ordination of those God has called to serve. We will encourage authentic fellowship and foster an environment that allows us to worship and pray…teach and share…listen and laugh…care and cry…and sometimes simply sit quietly in the presence of God.
The Lord’s Supper (Communion)
We practice “openness” when it comes to sharing the Lord’s Supper. The elements are presented to all believers, regardless of one’s faith experience. Christ invited all to come to Him and we feel the table of the Lord should therefore be open to all.
Any believer, new convert or a long time follower of Christ, may present themselves for membership in this church according to the church constitution and bylaws.
ARBC partners with many organizations to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus. It is under the umbrella of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that our congregation is most active and comfortable. Our partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has been ongoing since its inception and has increased in recent years, although we still maintain ties with some Southern Baptist entities.