Who We Are
Our vision is to make the Kingdom of God evident to Decatur, Georgia (KOG2DGA). Why did Jesus come into the world?” In Matthew, Mark and Luke’s Gospels, Jesus says he’s come to declare that the Kingdom of God is way closer than we know. (Mark 1:14-15). In other words—God's intended future of peace, justice, joy and love was already showing up in the actual lives of everyday people, simply by his being present with them. To find out more, click here.
our mission - we exist:
- To know and love God
- To befriend people who feel disconnected from God
- To grow believers into mature Christ-followers
- To serve Decatur and the world in the way of Jesus
Here are the core values that inform and guide us at First Baptist Decatur:
Intimacy with God
Experiencing, and helping others to experience, intimacy with God—namely because God wants a relationship with us that is not distant or merely respectful, but characterized by intimacy. One extremely important avenue for intimacy with God is regular, corporate worship.
Welcoming the stranger. If God’s message of love and reconciliation is for everybody, then the church must not create a culture that keeps people out, or perpetuate a culture designed mostly for those who are already “in.”
The initial giving of oneself to Christ is repeated each day as a baptized believer lives a life shaped by the biblical story—a life of prayer, worship, obedience to Christ and service to others. Scripture is the primary source of our faith and practice at First Baptist Decatur.
All people matter to God. The church exists for the world and not for itself. As we sometimes put it around here: “Some of the most important people at FBC are those we haven’t met, yet.”
It’s one of our goals at FBC Decatur that 100% of those who call this church home be engaged in ministry of some kind; that all of us come “out of the stands, on the field and in the game.” In the pattern of Ephesians 4:11-13, the main function of the pastors on our staff is to equip people for ministry. Every staff member and many of our gifted laypeople are leaders of leaders; coaches to multiple “players” on the field.
We follow Christ best when we are connected with others who are “doing life” with us, and when we’re in relationships in which we are motivating one another to acts of love and faithfulness. As staff members, not only are we involved in community with others, we create opportunities for community to happen in our areas of leadership (e.g. choirs, teams, ensembles, etc.).
If you are in need of care, if you are sick or grieving or going through some hard struggle, First Baptist Church will be there for you. It may be a member of your small group or Bible study class who reaches out to you; it may be one of our pastors or deacons, or the person you sat next to in worship last week. In any case, First Baptist Church will be there for you.
Everything we have is really God’s and not our own. Therefore we regularly return to God a significant part of our income and we join with the church community in discerning how these gifts will be used. At First Baptist Decatur, the biblical “tithe” (10% of one’s income) is a giving goal. At the same time, as the biblical parable of the 'widow's mite' (Mark 12:41-44) indicates, it is not the actual dollar amount that is significant, but that we give an amount that matters, and according to our financial ability.
No one may be forced into a deeper relationship with God or with each other. No one may be forced to let themselves be known, or to take risks of faith. Part of our task is simply to create environments that will make the possibility of these responses as high as possible.
We don’t believe in “lone ranger” ministry. We work with other congregations in Decatur to support ministries that enhance opportunities for people who are homeless or who need help with food and financial needs. Through our annual fair trade market we support the work of artisans in several developing countries. We help to educate future ministries alongside several seminaries. To see the complete list, click here.
For more information, the latest news, and mission opportunities through our ministry partner organization, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, visit their website: www.thefellowship.info.
To see a list of our other ministry partners go here.
A "Baptist" Community
First Baptist Church of Decatur participates in a Christian tradition in which all “members” have experienced personal conversion, that is, they’ve placed ultimate trust in Christ and received God’s transforming Spirit into their lives. This tradition is called “baptist” because each person, after conversion, has been baptized in water symbolizing “death” and “burial” to one’s former life of self-direction and “rising” to live a transformed life directed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Historically, Baptists have stood for separation of church and state, religious liberty for people of all faiths and of no faith, and the independence of the local Baptist congregation from any hierarchical authority structure. We affirm those values. In this congregation you will find people of a variety of persuasions when it comes to politics and even religious beliefs. We don’t try to control people’s minds or activities. We think that’s God’s job.