Bethel Baptist Sheboygan
Bethel began as a German Baptist mission church chartered in 1891.† Most of the founding members came as immigrants to Sheboygan from the Brandenburg province of Germany.† Today, Bethel is comprised of believers from a wide array of different backgrounds.† For most of its first 80 years, the church held worship services in the heart of the city at 10 Street and Erie Avenue.† From 1971 to the present, Bethel has been a light to the gospel at its current location on Sheboyganís south side.† Yet the church is not a buildingĖ it is comprised of sinners saved by Godís grace.† We treasure Godís faithfulness to this church over the past 120+ years of itís existence!† The reason for our being has never changed: it is the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are a family of believers whose identity stems from being Grace-based, Christ-centered, Biblically-rooted and Spirit-empowered.† The purpose and mission of our church is to: Exalt the Lord Jesus Christ within us by confessing Him as Savior and living for Him as Lord; to Celebrate what Christ has done among us through the faithful Proclamation of His Word, the observance of His ordinances (Baptism and The Lordís Supper), the heartfelt worship of His name and the diligent observance of His command to love one another within interdependent community; and to Take the gospel of Christ to those around us through the support and/or involvement of Spirit-gifted service, local evangelism and foreign mission.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love.† We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ, Godís only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit.† We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings.† We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ.† We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice; we are, therefore, under condemnation.† We believe that those we repent for their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.† We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized upon a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship.† We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possession; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lordís Supper.† We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God.† We believe that the Lordís Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death.† We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization.† Such as organization, whether a regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches.† Cooperation in conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.† Churches may, likewise, cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary independent basis.
The Last Things
We Believe in the personal visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom.† We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.
Having been led by the Holy Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and to confess Him as Lord, and on confession of this faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully covenant with one another, as one body in Christ, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.
We promise, by aid of the Holy Spirit, to forsake the ways of sin, to walk together in Christian love and in the paths of righteousness.† With this in view, we engage to strive together for both the peace and purity of this church; to sustain its worship and steadfastly to cherish and hold its ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute, as faithful stewards, such time, talent, and money, in the measure that God prospers each of us, that the responsibility for the work of the local church and the world-wide ministry of spreading the Gospel be faithful and effectively discharged.
WHAT ARE BAPTISTS?
Historically, Baptists are evangelical, Protestant Christians who have held the following convictions: the sufficiency of Scripture in all matters of life and faith, salvation expressed through repentance of sin and personal faith in Christ, believer's Baptism by immersion, the Lordís Supper celebrated as symbolism and remembrance of Christ's death (i.e. an ordinance, not sacrament), church membership comprised of professing believers, the Lordship of Christ over all creation, the importance of fulfilling the Great Commission, soul liberty (i.e. expression of faith is determined by what binds a Christian's conscience as revealed in the Word of God Ė not by any human and/or ecclesiastical authority on their behalf), the autonomy of the local church,† and religious liberty.
We believe in missions - especially to the unreached.† Bethel currently supports three local, five national, seven international and six indigenous missionary groups or ministries.† We have also had the privilege of sending four family groups to the mission field from within the church over the last decade.††