Who We Are
More organism than organization, the church is a community of individuals united in common life and common purpose by the Spirit of God. We are different – sometimes wildly different – from one another, yet we believe that we all share an identity as beloved children of God as disclosed to the world by Jesus. The church is rooted and grounded in Jesus, and comprised of those who would seek to follow him, no matter where following him might lead. The church is sustained by the gifts of our tradition, practicing spiritual discipline, meeting for worship, sharing the Lord’s Supper and celebrating Baptism. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as it embodies new life in Jesus, who lives in and through the church to restore a broken and hurting world.
As a church established in the Baptist movement, we remain committed to long-standing distinctive qualities of Baptist identity:
- Centrality and Authority of Holy Scripture (the Bible) – We affirm the authority of scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central in the life of the individual and church.
- Priesthood of All Believers – We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed, the control of clergy or the interference of government.
- Autonomy of the Local Church – We affirm that Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry and to participate, as they deem appropriate, in the larger Body of Christ.
- Freedom of Religion – We affirm religious freedom for all people and that all religion is best practiced by free persons in free states.
First Baptist Church
To be the First Baptist Church of Elizabeth City means that we have been around for a long, long time. Organized on the banks of Knobb’s Creek in 1786, the congregation has occupied four meeting houses and ministered in the community for over 225 years. To be named “First,” is a great honor, and we also understand to be a great responsibility. It is not a name that denotes any special status or privilege, but instead reminds of our calling to be servants of God and of our community. Jesus said that “whoever would be ‘first’ must be servant of all.” This is the calling to which we are committed: to love and serve God, and to the love the things that God loves (and that includes you!).
Additional information about the history of The First Baptist Church can be accessed by our History Page.