Baptist Distinctives

Prospect Baptist Church is a traditional, independent Southern Baptist Church, affiliated with the Franklin Baptist Association, Missouri Baptist Convention, and the  Southern Baptist Convention. The name Baptist was born during times of persecution. The Baptist people were first called Anabaptists, which means rebaptizers! These people were persecuted for refusing baptism for their infants, and for being rebaptized as believing adults. They believed that the Bible teaches that only believers are to be baptized (Acts 2:41, 8:36-38). Along with believers’ baptism, the Baptist church has traditionally been known for the following distinctives that PBC holds dear:

BBiblical Authority for Faith and Practice (II Tim. 3:15-16). We reject the authority of tradition and church councils. We stand on the authority of God’s Word alone (Is. 8:20).

AThe Autonomy of the Local Church. The church, as a congregation, is responsible for all decisions pertaining to church officers (Acts 6:1-5), disbursement of funds (I Cor. 16:1-3), doctrinal statements (Acts 15), and discipline of its members (Matt. 18: 15-17; I Cor. 5). As an autonomous local Baptist congregation, PBC is a self-governing congregational assembly.

PThe Individual Priesthood of the Believer (I Peter 2:5, 9). The New Testament declares that every born-again believer can enter the very throne room of God through “one Mediator, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5). Each professing believer is a practicing priest who represents God to man and man to God.

TTwo Biblical Ordinances. 1.) Believer’s Baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41; 8:36-38) by immersion, and 2.) The Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-26) as an ongoing remembrance of the sacrifice of the Savior for our sins.

IIndividual Soul Liberty (II Tim. 2:15). Every believer will one day give account for his or her own decisions and actions before the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10). Therefore, we must respect every believer’s right to read, interpret, and practice what is taught in Scripture as he or she lives and walks in the liberties enjoyed through Christ.

SSaved Church Membership (Acts 2:41f). Every member of PBC must profess Christ as personal Savior (Rom. 10:13).

TTwo Church Offices: the pastor and the deacon (I Tim. 3; Phil. 1:1). We believe that the words pastor, elder, and bishop refer to the same office (I Pet. 5:1-4; Acts 20:17, 28-30). The word pastor is a term of endearment and personal relationship (Acts 20:28-30), elder a term of respect and authority, and bishop one of administrative position (I Tim. 3:1). Deacons are to be spiritual men who strive to meet the needs of others. They serve under the oversight of the pastor and are elected by the congregation (Acts 6:1-7).

S – Separation of Church and State (Matt. 22:21). Having been persecuted by state churches in England, Switzerland, France, and the American Colonies, the Baptist people advocated for the separation of the church from the state. Americans enjoy the freedom of religion because colonial American Baptists demonstrated for religious freedom in Rhode Island and Virginia and finally secured it through the 1st amendment to our constitution.

Prospect Baptist Church is pleased to be known as a traditional, historic, balanced, Bible-based, evangelistic, family-friendly Baptist church.