our beliefs

"We, the members of Second Baptist Church, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord of this church and affirm that we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do... Second Baptist Church is a community of faith made up of followers of Jesus Christ who are diverse in backgrounds and perspectives and are united in our mission to love and serve God and the world God loves."

Eight Baptist Distinctives

Consistent with the great history of our tradition using the acronym: BAPTISTS

Biblical Authority

The Bible is inspired by God and has authority in matters of life and faith. Baptist do not prescribe to Creeds or statements of faith, although may use these to describe faith. 2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21

Autonomy of the Local Church

The local church is an independent body. Christ is the head of the church. Authority for the local church resides within the people of the church as the Spirit lives within the people. Each baptist church is autonomous, or self-governing. A Baptist church may fellowship and partner with other churches and organizations around mutual interests. Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 8:1–5, 19, 23

Priesthood of All the Believers

Every person who believes in Jesus is a priest and may enter into God’s presence directly through, Jesus Christ. As priests, we can all study God’s word, pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God. 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 5:9, 10

Two Ordinances

The local church practices two ordinances: (1) baptism of a person who believes by identifying the individual with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, and (2) communion (Lord’s Supper or Eucharist), remembering the cross and resurrection of Christ. Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–32

Individual Soul Liberty

Each individual has the freedom to choose to believe what is right in all matters of life and faith. The congregation has similar liberty as well. Romans 14:5, 12; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Titus 1:9

Saved, Baptized Church Membership

Members of a local church have a personal faith in Christ and have received baptism. Members endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Acts 2:41–47; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:3

Two Offices

From scripture, Baptist interpret two offices in the church–pastor and deacon. Other terms in scripture refer to functions within the church local and global. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church. 1 Timothy 3:1–13; Acts 20:17–38; Philippians 1:1

Separation of Church and State

Neither the church nor the government control one another. Christians may work to improve and influence public policy and community. Matthew 22:15–22; Acts 5:17–29