What We Believe

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." - A.W. Tozer

Core Beliefs

It is my sincere prayer this little pamphlet will help you discover a brief understanding of the basic beliefs of First Baptist Church Wetumpka. Certainly, it is not a detailed and exhaustive work but it can help you discover the basic theology of our church and perhaps prompt questions for a deeper exploration of our core beliefs at First Baptist Wetumpka.

It is our strong belief that there is far too much vagueness in what churches believe today and many people attend a church for a great length of time before discovering what that church really believes. We want to be as up front and clear as possible in what we hold dear from scripture, in a brief manner and thus this pamphlet.

We are available as a church staff to address any questions you might have over this small work and welcome any discussion you might have desiring more clarity or a deeper look at the various subjects.
We hope it proves helpful in any decision you might have on the Christian faith and First Baptist Church.
Dr. Clint Landry, Pastor


What do we as a church believe about God? We believe God is infinite and perfect Spirit, a person, who created and sustains the universe and all in it. He is actively involved in history and in persons to bring the world to the destiny he planned for it from the beginning.

God is one and yet three. Thus we are monotheists who believe God has revealed himself and is three in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This view is that of the Trinity. We do not believe the Trinity is simply a succession of ways God has revealed himself. We do not believe Trinity means there are three Gods. We do believe, as difficult as it is for the human mind to comprehend, that God is three in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is one and has made Himself known as three eternal persons (Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:17).

God is Spirit (John 4:24). Thus, his majesty cannot be described. He is in time and beyond time, in His creation and beyond it, immensely greater than history but involved in it. The Bible in speaking of God gives him human characteristics but these do not describe God fully. God is best pictured by looking at Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3).

God is person as he is aware of himself, he interacts with man as a person would, he has thought and feelings. All of these are characteristic of persons. God is infinite and has always been. He is the same yesterday, tomorrow and forever (Psalm 102:27; Hebrews 13:8).

God is unchanging. God is omnipresent, he is everywhere. (Psalm 139:7-10).
God is Omniscient or all knowing. God is omnipotent or all powerful.

God is perfect, holy, separate from man in his righteousness and purity (Leviticus 19:1).God is also love, the kind of love that seeks the best good of others and is willing to pay a price whatever it might be (John 3:16). God is creator (Genesis 1:1).


What do we as a church believe about the Bible? We believe the Bible is a divine record given to us by God himself (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God inspired the writers of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament, to give us the very words God wished us to
have (2 Peter 1:21).

We believe in an inerrant and infallible record of scripture without any mixture of error. This inspiration was not a rote, trance-like type of inspiration but God moved men using their differing personalities to give us a perfect record of Himself and His will. The Bible is not the device or invention of men. Nor is it inspired as are the works of fiction. It is divinely inspired and comes from God himself.

The Bible contains a convicting power within itself to judge the thoughts and attitudes of men’s hearts (Hebrews 4:12). While it was written by many authors over a period of many years it has one message God’s seeking of man and man’s redemption.

The Bible is our authority and only the Bible is our authority. We can each go to the scriptures and glean the truths therein without a mediator among men. Through its words it teaches us what God expects from each of us and what God has done for each of us. No man, council, agency or denomination can take precedence in our lives above the words of the Bible. As one of our finest scholars has said, “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of himself to man.”

While the Bible does reflect the culture of its time when written, the principles and demands of the scriptures are quite clear and applicable to every situation in every era. It is our place of authority and where we are to look for guidance, direction and the set standards God has given us to live by.


What do we as a church believe about salvation? We believe man is in a condition of lostness. We have fallen from the state of innocence in which God created us. Due to our own willful rebellion man decided he would be his own God and disobeyed God’s word and will in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8.). As such we are separated from God. Man is dead in his sin and willful in his rebellion against God. Man needs to be re- deemed and God in His grace seeks to redeem man. God has given us the law as a schoolmaster to help us see our sin (Galatians 3:24-25). We believe he has revealed Himself in grace through- out the scriptures but in the last days particularly through Jesus Christ.

We believe it is God through his Holy Spirit that convicts man of his sin. We believe it is God through his Holy Spirit that opens the scriptures to our hearts (1 Corinthians 12:3; John 6:44; John 16:8-11). We believe that it is up to a man or woman to respond to the Holy Spirit’s movement (Matthew 10:32; Mark 8:34; Revelation 22:17). We believe salvation is found through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and through the resurrection. We believe that when one responds to the movement of the Holy Spirit and accepts Christ’s redemptive work then it is God who saves us through by grace through our faith (Ephesians 2:8).. Thus salvation is a work done for us and through us it is not of ourselves. Regeneration is the result of conviction, repentance from sin, faith in Jesus Christ, and the confession of that faith.

We also believe salvation involves growth in the Christian life (2 Peter 3:18). We are set apart for God and we should grow, develop and serve. Thus we are babes in Christ and there is a process of growth. No one is born again with all the tools and maturity needed to live the Christian life. God works through us and in us to develop the person we need to be and he wants us to be.

We believe salvation culminates in glorification (Romans 8:23) which is the final sate of the redeemed This will occur in heaven where there will be no sin or suffering and w receive a new and glorified body forever.

Church Membership

What do we as a church believe about church membership? First, we believe a church is a group of organized, baptized believers. This means you cannot be a member of the church without a voluntary act of your own. You must make a decision to be a member of FBCW you cannot become one without your consent and desire. Thus, infants and children as well as spouses etc. are not automatically members just because some part of their family is.  Each must decide for themselves (Acts 2:42-47).

Membership requires a public declaration made to the congregation in some form.
Members also must be baptized as a sign or repentance and belief in Jesus death and resurrection (Acts 2:37-38).

We also feel it is a commitment to one another as members of one body. Therefore joining FBCW requires your concern for others in the body and theirs for you. We hold each other mutually accountable for our dedication to the church and our Lord. We see the need to be aware of one another’s spiritual welfare and call each other to account for it lapse (1 Corinthians 12:25; Galatians 6:2). This is done in a spirit of love and Christian concern not arrogantly or as a parent. Our relationships are as brothers and sisters not parents and children.

We believe joining a church is a commitment and responsibility. As a responsibility we are responsible for the church’s ministry.
Each member should seek to fill a ministry position and be of service to the body. We are to serve one another in some position.
Members are responsible for the finances of the church and should support the church’s financial program regularly and
systematically as God has prospered each of us.

As members we have the right, and duty, to be involved in the decision making processes of our church. This includes at- tending business meetings and serving on committees that help our church serve efficiently and smoothly. This means supporting even those ministries and decisions we may not always agree on. As a member we seek the welfare of the body not simply our own pet ministries or programs.


I continue with my series of what we believe as a church. Let me say before I pick up with a new topic that people should learn what a church believes when they attend. A church that hides, disguises or is not perfectly open with what they believe is flashing a warning sign that they believe nothing or are trying to hide something. Just a thought for all of you. Feel free to share it.

What do we believe about the church? We believe the church is a called out assembly that has been gathered for a specific purpose (Ekklesia). As such it is both local (Galatians 1:2) and universal (Matthew 16:18). The Bible speaks of the church in a universal sense which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages. This is reflected in Jesus' words of Matthew 16:18 where he says, “I will build my church.” This is the universal church. However, the universal church is expressed in the local church. It is the local church the scriptures refer to over 95% of the time. A local church meets to worship and minister in the name of the Lord.

The church is a believers church (Acts 2:42-47). To be a real member of the church you must have accepted Christ in a volitional and determined manner. The church is not a social club or recreation center it is a body of believers serving Christ. While one may misrepresent oneself to a local church and claim to be a member only believers are really members and only those who openly profess Christ may be considered for membership in a lo- cal church. The church is in essence a community of believers.

As a church we observe only two ordinances'; baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These are the only two rituals, or rites, ordered by Jesus for the church to observe. The two by their very nature require only believers participate in them. Thus they are church ordinances and reserved for the church alone.

As a church we acknowledge only two scriptural offices; pastor and deacon. The work of the pastor is to lead and shepherd the church (1 Timothy 5:17-19). He is called to equip the church. Deacons (Acts 6:1-6; 1Timothy 3:1-13) are ministers as well charged with the care of widows, orphans and the needs of the church membership. These positions are chosen by the church body and each office is responsible to the church body.

We believe church is a voluntary membership (Acts 2:38, 47, 8:36-37). The church is made up of people who voluntarily and purposefully enter its membership. No one is a member of the church by physical birth. And no one is brought into the church against their will. Each one is to make his or her choice. Other may seek to influence him/her or help them in making their choice but it is always their choice.

In the church all members have equal rights and privileges with all others. The old and the young, the rich and the poor, the educated and uneducated—all stand on equal footing. Those who are chosen as leaders have no right to lord it over their brethren.

The church is one of self-government. There is no individual or organization above the church which has any authority over it. Every church, under God manages its own affairs. With- in the church governmental authority rests in the church membership. This should always be done in accordance with divine authority. All matters of polity or policy are determined by a vote of the congregation in dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

The church’s purposes are few and clear. We are to worship in song, the word, prayer and fellowship. These are the wellspring from which everyone thing else we do grow. Corporate worship is very important to the church as we praise God and listen for his voice. It is here both our minds and emotions are touched and challenged to live the life God asks of us—the one he expects from us.

Proclamation (Acts 1:8) is a purpose as we each seek, with our differing personalities, some manner of sharing the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. It may come by an invitation to attend services or perhaps a note of caring or a phone call of concern. Every member is responsible for sharing in some manner the truth of Jesus Christ.

Discipleship, as we learn the word, develop a prayer life and obtain a ministry are a purpose of the church. Our lives are not to be static but active as we learn and employ what we learn on behalf of others. This makes Sunday School, worship, cell groups etc vitally important for the individual Christian life.

Cooperations & Denomination

While looking at what we believe we need to address our view of cooperation or denominational life. There is an influx of non-denominational churches in America. Unfortunately, the term is misleading. Most of them are associated with some missions clearing house or group and in effect are denominationally affiliated.

As a church we are affiliated with the Elmore Baptist Association, The Alabama Baptist Convention and The Southern Baptist Convention. In each of these areas it is completely voluntary and cooperative. Baptists are a bit strange in that we do not have a denominational hierarchy. In simpler words we are not run top-down (humanly speaking) but rather down-up. This means our denomination does not own or control our finances or facilities. They do not appoint ministers or enforce denominational rules upon the local congregations. In fact each local congregation is independent and stands alone.

However we realize as Baptists we can do more united than we can alone. Thus, we voluntarily cooperate with other like-minded churches in a variety of endeavors including missions, education, hospitals, children's homes and others. Baptists have always resisted outside control of the local church and still do. We have no quotas set for us in giving, no format we have to follow in worship, no literature we have to use in our Sunday school.

The Southern Baptist Convention itself was formed in 1845 for missions appointments and sending. Each of the other organizations mentioned such as The Alabama Baptist Convention and the Elmore Baptist Association function in the same manner in a more localized situation. The SBC meets once a year in June and is com- posed of messengers, not delegates, to the convention to vote on budgets for various ministries and board members to oversee the ministries during the next year. There is no pressure applied to individual churches to participate. There is only a sense of need for in- dependent cooperation under the Lordship of Christ in order to do the best work possible in carrying out the Great Commission. We believe this cooperation is found in scripture (Galatians 2; Acts 15). It is also seen in Paul’s rallying the churches of Macedonia/Greece to make an offering for the suffering Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. (1 Corinthians 16:1).

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