What does it mean to be Baptist?
Laurelwood Baptist Church is led by a congregational government with general oversight by a Council of Elders. It maintains voluntary church membership (see below). It recognizes and sustains the fellowship of mutual counsel and cooperation with the Northwest Conservative Baptist Association and the Conservative Baptist Association of America.
A. The Bible as the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe that the Bible is our source or guide for all that we believe and how we should live. It is the major means of knowing God and his will for us.
B. The Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of the church, his believers, the heavens and earth and all that it contains.
C. A regenerated church membership.
We believe that those who join our church need to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
D. Progressive sanctification.
We believe that by grace through faith we are saved from the penalty of sin and that God gives us the ability to say No to sin and Yes to Him. As a result, we are called to grow in our Christ likeness with God giving us the power to be able to resist temptation and please Him.
E. Two church ordinances: Believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that Jesus gave us two ordinances or decrees that we should practice as a church: Baptism (believer’s baptism by immersion) and the Lord’s Supper, or communion.
F. The priesthood and competency of the individual believer to directly approach God.
We believe that, in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, all believers have equal access and responsibility to God through Jesus Christ. As a result each person has obligations to serve and follow God as well as the ability to go directly to the Lord in prayer.
G. The autonomy of the local church, with congregational government.
We believe that each local church is autonomous, or is called to handle their own business as they believe God is directing them and is not subject to a presbytery or outside ruling governing authority.
H. Separation of church and state: the civil government shall not establish or control a church.
We believe that the state and the church have two different responsibilities and two different kinds of authority.
What does it mean to be a member of LBC?
To become a member:
- Complete a membership class or its equivalent
- Give a testimony before the Council of Elders
- Be recommended by the Council of Elders
- Be affirmed by vote by the church membership
This applies to those…
- Who have been baptized within Laurelwood; or
- Have professed faith in Jesus Christ and subsequently been baptized by immersion; or
- Have a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church of like faith and practice; or
- Has membership at another church of like faith and practice and prefers to retain that membership but desires to unite with Laurelwood for fellowship and service on a temporary basis.
The responsibilities of membership include:
- Commitment to personal spiritual growth through regular Bible study and prayer. II Timothy 2:15
- Living a life honoring to the Lord by submitting to the Holy Spirit, and confessing and rejecting sin so that He can produce the fruit of a Christian life in us. Ephesians 5:18; I John 1:9; Galatians 5:22-23.
- Strengthening the Christian home by promoting godliness, setting a good example, and avoiding all things which work against spiritual growth. Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 6:1-4.
- Faithful support of the Church by regular attendance at services and business meetings, the giving of tithes and offerings, and exhibiting love for the brethren. Hebrews 10:25; Malachi 3:10; I John 3:14.
- Adherence to the provisions of the Constitution and the Church Policy Manual