What does affiliation mean? Do I have to be a "Baptist" to attend your church?
No you don't. Affiliation simply means that our church is part of a network of churches that hold to some basic yet important biblically-based beliefs which you will find below. While our church is essentially autonomous, the American Baptist network provides a "covering" for us, with seasoned and trained leaders who help to encourage and support our church. They provide counsel and other resources that can help our church to thrive, and effectively meet spiritual and other needs in our community. While together holding to basic beliefs, American Baptist churches are not "cookie cutter" and allow for latitude in different areas of practice and theology.
The American Baptist Churches USA is a denomination in the baptist tradition emphasizing:
- The Lordship and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:19-21, Acts 2:32-36)
- Believers’ baptism. (Acts 2:37-38, 8:12, 18:8)
- The competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture. (John 14:26)
- The influence of the Holy Spirit on individual lives and ministries. (John 3:8, Acts 1;8)
- The need for autonomous congregations free from government interference or hierarchical polity. (Acts 15:22-29)
The American Baptist Churches consists of over 5,000 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA today is the most racially inclusive body within Protestantism and will within the next few years be comprised of no racial/ethnic majority group.
* For this and more information, see the American Baptist Churches USA website: www.abc-usa.org