The Bible tells us Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (Eph. 5:25b.) The Bible also records the fact that people were added to the church in Jerusalem and that other churches were established in many different places. It is God's will for us to be a part of a local fellowship of believers. Therefore, may we suggest ways by which you can become a member of our church (fellowship).
-- You may join by PROFESSION OF FAITH
if you have never belonged to any church.
A New Testament church is made up of believers only. Thus, you should believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.
To "believe" means to agree you are a sinner and that Christ died for your sins. It also means you are sorry for your sins and are willing to turn from them (John 3:18).
You must ask Jesus to forgive your sins and receive Him into your heart as your personal Saviour (John 1:12). Your salvation is not based upon a feeling or demonstration of God's presence, but upon your belief and trust in Jesus Christ, as recorded in John 5:24.
You can make this decision right now by simply confessing your sins to God and inviting Christ to come into your heart. Then, as an outward expression of what you have done in your heart, make it known by walking down the aisle when we sing the invitation hymn.
On a date shortly following this decision, you will be baptized (immersed) into the full fellowship of the church.
--You may join by LETTER
if you belong to another Baptist Church.
Every Christian should have his membership in the city where he lives. Church membership is essentially fellowship. Therefore, one can be in true fellowship only when he belongs to a church where he can worship and serve regularly.
You are invited to come forward during the invitation hymn and tell the minister you desire to transfer your membership. You will be asked to fill out a membership card. Our membership secretary will write your church for your church letter. Upon receipt of this letter you become a member of First Baptist Church.
--You may join by STATEMENT
if you have been saved and baptized in a Baptist Church.
Often, and for various reasons, church records get lost, destroyed, or are otherwise unavailable. Perhaps you were a Baptist and joined another denomination, and now you wish to become a member of our church. If you feel God is leading you to unite with us, you may come forward at the time of invitation, letting the minister know you wish to join by statement of faith -- meaning you have been saved and were baptized in a Baptist Church but are unable to secure a letter. This is called joining by statement.
--You may join by BAPTISM
if you have been saved and believe as we do.
It is not our purpose to proselyte members from other denominations. If you desire to become a part of our fellowship and believe as we do, you may respond to the invitation hymn, letting the minister know of your desire.
As Baptists we believe people are saved by placing their trust in Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save them from their sins (I Peter 1:18-19). We further believe New Testament baptism is by immersion and is reserved for believers only. It is not a sacrament, but a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. It is, further, a symbol of our death to sin, the burial of the old man and the resurrection of the new man in Christ (Romans 6:4-6).
Since we know of no other denomination that believes exactly as we do on the mode and meaning of baptism, we receive those coming from other denominations as candidates for baptism upon the basis of their Christian experience. In no sense do we imply you are not already a Christian. If your belief is as ours, we welcome you as a candidate for baptism.
[From the back of a church bulletin of the First Baptist Church, Murray, KY, in the early 1970s. Supplied by Ben Stratton, Hickman, KY. jrd]