If you were to open our Constitution, the first thing your eyes would see are two Scriptures that form the basis for our church’s identity and mission:
The Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…Love your neighbor as (you love) yourself.”
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Our church is committed to teaching and modeling:
- a love for God
- a love for others
- a love for oneself
We believe that “JOY” is spelled: J-O-Y (Jesus Others You)
Our programming specifically flows out of this verse in the form of:
- a vibrant Sunday School that seeks to build disciples of all ages
- short-term and long-term studies for practical Christ-like living
- home study groups designed to make, mold and challenge disciples
- a commitment to planting new churches domestically and abroad
- A Church That Seeks To Make The World A Better Place
Those who are a part of our faith community are keenly aware of our desire to have an impact upon our world in the Name of Jesus.
“What good is it…if (one) claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
In recent years, our outreach (on the basis of this verse) has led us to:
- serve as our area’s drop-off center for Katrina relief and other devastating natural disasters.
- work with area agencies to:
- support our community’s food pantry
- offer a child care center designed to meet community needs
provide warm clothes and food for our area’s homeless
provide scarves for women undergoing chemotherapy
provide bed caddies to local hospice patients
provide blankets to methadone babies
- send work teams to Appalachia to rebuild and repair homesteads
- send work teams to New Orleans as part of the American Baptist relief project "'Til the Work is Done" (for more than 10 years).
- travel to dig a water system for a remote village in Nicaragua
- travel to build a hospital for an underserved population in the Domincan
- travel to construct a school for impoverished children in Honduras
- A Church That Transcends Denominational Boundaries
Our belief at First Baptist is that God cannot be confined to any one location, group or denomination. God’s Spirit is greater than that. As such, while we are proud members of our denomination (The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts and The American Baptist Churches, USA*), most of our people grew up in denominations other than Baptist - - providing us with a rich and beautiful diversity.
One thing we believe passionately at First Baptist is that God loves people regardless of denominational stripe. Where one worships is not as important as that one worships.
John 4:20, 23
Woman at the well: “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain…”
Jesus: “…a time is coming and now has now come when the true worshippers will worship in spirit…”
Our church has been particularly involved with the Cranberry Council of Churches; a group of mainline and evangelical churches committed to worship and service.
This diversity drives us to be cooperative with many other faith traditions, so that together, we might be able to do things together that we cannot do separately:
- raise funds for multiple area food pantries
- provide fuel relief for many “living-on-the-edge” families
- offer a number of large and exciting worship opportunities
We believe God has honored our commitment to inclusivity.
*P.S. We DO hold to the things historically important to Baptists (and many others!):
- the Priesthood of all believers (the belief that believers can pray directly to God)
- the centrality of Christ (as the One who died a sacrificial death for us
- the importance of the Scriptures (as inspired words of God’s work amongst us).
- A Church Where Faith Meets Fun
On all of our literature, you will see a common phrase:
“Sharing Christ’s Love, Reaching Out With Joy!”
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy…”
At First Baptist, we believe it is no accident that the first two fruits of the Spirit are love and joy.
As we seek to LOVE God, neighbor and self, we seek to do it with great JOY!
That is reflected in many of the activities offered in and through our church.
- summer lobster and clambakes in Maine
- clown ministry on “Children’s Sundays”
- cruises to fun, faraway places - - including recent cruises to:
the Panama Canal
the Caribbean Islands
the Baltics (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, etc.)
We believe “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Neh. 8:10) and try to tap that - - whether we are serving on mission tours in Central America or simply enjoying a meal together at church. Come play with us!