Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us,to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7 NKJV)
Visitors are always welcome at Grace Bible Chapel. If visitors are members of the Body of Christ they may participate in the activities of the church, provided such participating does not conflict with our Statement of Faith or Statement of Principals and Practices as set out herein.
We welcome all members of the Body of Christ who desire to make Grace Bible Chapel their home church, who are willing to participate in the privileges and responsibilities that fellowship in a local church involves, whose habits and conduct are such as become a christian, who subscribe to the Statement of Faith and are willing to conform to the Statement of Principals and Practices. "Fellowship" involves a sharing together of all that the assembly stands for, and taking part in serving the Lord in His Church.
The Elders or those representing them will ensure that the prospective members have a clear understanding of the Statement of Faith and Statement of Principals and Practices. Copies of each are available from any Elder.
Grace Bible Chapel is an evangelical Christian church. The government and guidence of this assembly or local church are the responsibility of the Elders. They in turn are responsible to Christ alone as head of His Church.
The Elders are accountable to the Lord Jesus and are responsible to care, teach, counsel, encourage, lead, feed, protect and disciple all who are part of the local body in all matters and conduct. (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2-4, Hebrews 13:17, Titus 1:5-9)
The Deacons are responsible to serve the spiritual and material needs of the church as appointed by the Elders and to work in conjunction with them. (1 Timothy 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-3)
The Bible teaches that God has given specifically gifted persons to His Church, including "some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-12 NKJV) Recognizing this, the public ministry is the responsibility of the Elders. They, or those appointed by them, will make the formal arrangements for procuring gifted men capable of providing the ministry necessary for the spiritual growth of the Church.
Water baptism, as taught in the Word of God, is by immersion. (Acts 3:38) We recognize baptism as a voluntary act of obedience by a believer. It is a public confession of their identification in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and their desire and intention to walk in newness of life in Christ. (Matthew 28:18-19, Acts 8:12-13, Acts 8:36-38, Romans 6:4)
Water baptism is in no way essential to salvation, (1 Corinthians 1:17) nor is it to be considered as a door of entrance into the fellowship of the local church. However, we believe that it is an act of obedience which is a forward step in the spiritual developement of a believer. Believers will be baptized by an Elder or one approved by the Elders.
Remembrance Service - Lord's Supper - Communion
On the eve of His death, Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:15-20) as a remembrance of Himself. The scriptural injunction to obedient believers is that "for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." It's observance is fulfilling Christ's request to His people and has no meritorious significance as regards the salvation of the participant. (1 Corinthians 11:23-24 NKJV)
The Lord's Supper is observed each Sunday. (Acts 20:7) This gathering takes the form of spontaneous Spirit-led expressions of worship in prayers, hymns, reading of scripture, ministry and quiet meditation. During this service all outward expressions of worship are led by men of the assembly.
Men and Women in the Church
The Holy Spirit gifts and empowers all believers for ministry; women as well as men. Men and women are equal in relationship as children of God, but each has a different role in the assembly.
After careful consideration of the scripture, (1 Timothy 2:12) we believe God's instructions are that men are responsible for church governance, to lead and teach when the assembly is gathered together for corporate worship.
Christian women play an indispensable role in the Lord's work yet their active role in advancing the gospel and caring for the Lord's people does not violate the devine pattern of male headship in the church. Women are tremendous evangelists, prayer warriors, generation builders, mercy ministers, gifted musicians, care givers, dispensers of wisdom and lovers of the Lord. Many women have suffered and been martyred for the gospel. We must never forget them, diminish their service to the Lord or be ungrateful for their contribution. The principal of male headship does not diminish the significance and necessity of a woman's active involvement in the Lord's work.
Dedication of Children
To "dedicate" means to set apart, giving oneself wholly to a worthy purpose. (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
Christian parents at Grace Bible Chapel who so desire will be given the opportunity to dedicate their children to the Lord, soliciting the support of and prayers of the Church Body, as they seek the Lord's blessing with respect to raising their children.
Such a dedication is a declaration of the parents intention to "train up a child in the way that he/she should go," (Proverbs 22:6) and to promote a christian atmosphere in the home. In doing all in their power to raise their children "in the fear and admonition of the Lord," their hope and prayer is that each child will come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him.
Church Finances - Tithes and Offerings
Grace Bible Chapel is a self supporting non-profit ministry dedicated to carrying on the Lord's work until He returns. We look to God to provide for His ministry through free will offerings of the Lord's people. We strongly encourage believers to tithe with a joyful heart according to the Word of God, so both His ministry and the giver will be blessed. Offerings are prayfully distributed in order to meet the financial obligations of the ministry, maintenance, home and foreign missions. Envelopes are provided for those who wish receipts for income tax purposes.