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“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant.” Job 14.7-9
This text paints a picture of First Baptist Church, and our ongoing commitment to work in Africa, Nicaragua and Santa Barbara. As a family, we are striding toward the emergence of a new work of God. This faithful congregation was planted in 1874 and is seeing new branches reach out from the deeply-rooted foundations of years of labor.
We are becoming the host of a multi-community movement called The Veronica Springs Community. Our church campus hosts ministries of counseling, healing, classes for families, and schools for artists.
We’ve been called to supply the needy, become friends for the lonely and announce to those feeling lost that they’ve been found by the Savior. Love is How. Love is Who.
If you are interested in becoming a part of our church, receiving baptism or communion please contact a pastor or a member of leadership for more information. At First Baptist, membership is the commitment to walking together in mission, prayer, accountability, worship, financial support and spiritual growth.
You are invited!
What We Believe
God is mysterious, powerful, creative, awesome, omniscient and faithful. God cannot be put into a box but God always keeps his promises. He created us to be in relationship with him and the story of our lives is reflective of our participation in this relationship. He has an eternal work to do and invites people to participate in his divine plan. Daily, God is revealing and declaring his plans through the Scriptures of the Bible, through his presence in the Holy Spirit and in the person of Jesus Christ. God has clearly invited us into his-story which is not about us – but about him.
Another invitation was issued by Satan, an angelic creation of God. He invited us to sit on the throne of our lives and give God second place in power. Being our own ‘bottom line’ for our lives is called sin. Sin is our self-coronation to rule our own lives. Sin attempts to remove the Kingship from God, but simply separates us from Him. God wants to be in a love relationship with us by choice, not by force. We naturally choose sin just like the first humans, and we separate ourselves spiritually from God who is LIFE in every way.
Thankfully, God pursued us in his strong love when we walked away. We believe God selected a group of people in the world to represent what it looks like to belong to him again by faith, in life, and these people are called the Jews. By believing God would keep his promises, this nation demonstrated the blessing of believing and God demonstrated his faithfulness by rescuing them when they turned from going their own way. Today, God stands in a welcoming posture to all who would desire for him to be the King of our hearts, again.
Sin imposes a cost on the spiritual world. A restoration fee, a priceless sacrifice must be offered to cross the bridge of forgiveness from our kingdom back to God’s. God told Israel a Savior would come one day and permanently restore their wayward lives to the Kingdom of God by paying this spiritual cost. The Messiah would come and be with them (Immanuel) and he would open Heaven for the poor, broken-hearted, the infirm and the spiritually lost.
The nation of faith then, and now, look to Jesus to be this Messiah. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to a blessed woman, Mary and her husband, Joseph. This real couple who lived in real time about 2000 years ago taught Jesus how to walk, how to play and gave him a trade. Jesus lived as a man who declared the penalty for sin would be erased and restoration to God’s Kingdom would come through him. Jesus claimed to be God’s son. For such a declaration, the people of his time – religious and governmental – tortured him, attempted to shame him and crucified him. From God’s perspective, a sinless man died in the place of all who are sinful so that the cost of sin was covered for everyone who desired to enter his Kingdom.
A relationship with Jesus begins by believing he is who he claimed to be and that his death covered the penalty for our sin. After Jesus' death, he was buried and was raised from the dead by the power of God after three days. His power over death that gave him life is available to us to enable us to have hope in the most despairing circumstances of our daily lives – even in death, we have the promise of eternal life. Jesus promised that after he ascended to Heaven, the Holy Spirit would come and fill the believers who are his followers. The Holy Spirit awakens God’s created identity in us and gives us gifts to lead lives that reflect his power.
The Church immerses believers in water to illustrate our acceptance of the death of our ‘old king’ and the resurrection to new life under our new King, Jesus. We share the bread and the cup with one another, as did Jesus and his disciples, to obey his command, to remember and give thanks to Jesus, the source of our spiritual freedom, hope and power.
We believe through the power of the Holy Spirit, God now demonstrates his plan to restore all people into relationship with himself. We believe our work and mission is to live in thanksgiving and working availability to bring all people to the knowledge of his love for them. We believe Jesus will come back to earth and initiate a once and for all transition to an eternal kingdom he will rule over that eliminates sickness, pain, separation, lovelessness and sin once and for all. Daily, we live under God’s influence while he redeems portions of the world through the lives he has given to us, again.