What We Believe
You become a Southern Baptist by uniting with a Southern Baptist church, one in friendly cooperation with the
general Southern Baptist enterprise of reaching the world for Christ.
Church membership in a Southern Baptist Church  requires that one has received Jesus
Christ as Lord and Savior and has been baptized by immersion.

Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called
The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are. Copies
are available at Southern Baptist churches. The topics here provide only a brief, partial
summary. The full text on the issue discussed is also available on this website.

The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a
perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without
any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by
which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world the true
center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and
religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of
divine revelation.

There is one and only one living and true God. …The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy
Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human
history according to the purposes of His grace. …God is Father in truth to those who become children of God
through faith in Jesus Christ.

God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of
the virgin Mary. …He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the
cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.

God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. …He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of
judgment. …He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Man is the special creation of God, in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His
creation. …By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. … The sacredness of
human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore
every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and
Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes
regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.

God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies
sinners.…All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit
will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers,
associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed
by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the
gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic
processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural
officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of
pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Baptism & the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. …It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith
in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to
walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members …
memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Evangelism & Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make
disciples of all nations... to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian
lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

The Lord's Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. …It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be
employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.

Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. …Jesus Christ will return
personally and visibly…the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will
be consigned to Hell. …The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence
… there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. … The freedom of a
teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative
nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a
spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their
possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.

Christ's people should … organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great
objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. …
Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations.

The Christian & the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society...
in the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of
sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned,
the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend
for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death...

Religious Liberty
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its
spiritual ends. …A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to
one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant
commitment for a lifetime. ... The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's
image. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for,
to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband
even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and
thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing
the household and nurturing the next generation... Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and
heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage