The Quad State Annual Conference of Free Will Baptist Churches
Who We Are – We are the Quad State Annual Conference of Free Will Baptist Churches who Worship the Lord Jesus Christ in the beauty of holiness, preaching the Full Gospel of the Kingdom and the Whole Counsel of God’s Word. We consists of Local Churches of Spirit-Filled, Blood Washed, Baptized, and Born-Again Believers in Christ.
Our Mission and Vision – The mission of Quad State Churches is to “Exalt the Savior”, “Evangelize the Sinner” and “Equip the Saint”. Quad State exists to make Christ known to the world through a loving, growing, and serving group of committed believers who share a common vision. Our vision includes: Building and maintaining a diverse family of healthy Congregations who fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with lost and hurting humanity; In addition, we seek to fulfill the Great Commandment by Loving God and our neighbor with the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. As people called by God, we gather together in Annual Conference to praise God, listen to His Spirit, and respond to the teaching and preaching of His Word; We encourage each other in the faith and exhort loving obedience to Christ. We love and care for one another as God’s people through acts of kindness and charity; We commit ourselves to serve and to tell others about the riches of God’s Grace as found in Jesus our Savior; And we pursue God’s justice and peace in every area of life.
Our Worship Style – The worship styles within the Quad State Churches range from that of quiet and contemplative to loud and very exuberant. Our worship tradition allows for the full range of biblical expressions; therefore, we encourage participatory worship that is joyful and reverent, celebrative and meditative, encouraging and convicting. The Bible is our model for our worship of God in spirit and in truth. True worship examples can be found in Psalms 95, 100 and 150. In these Psalms, the people of God are exhorted to come before his presence in a spirit of celebration with energetic praise. The Lord’s people are encouraged to express joy and gladness, high energy and celebration. In addition to heartfelt expressive singing accompanied by various musical instruments, God’s Word exhorts us to testify to our personal confidence in the faithfulness of God though creative concerts of music and praise dance as an expression of our faith. The scriptures also teach us to sing hymns and worship choruses, to shout, to dance, to clap-hands, to weep, to bow and extol the greatness of our God with the full range of our God given emotions. Our praise is not to be subdued, but to be openly expressed for He is worthy to be praised with all that we have spirit, soul and body.
Our Ecclesiastical Government – The Quad State Annual Conference of Freewill Baptist Churches is distinctive in that its organization and Church Government are a modified mixture between the Congregational and Episcopal forms of ecclesiastical government. Each Annual Conference, District Conference and Local Church has a right to govern itself as long as it abides by the constitution and by-laws, rules, regulations and guidelines as set forth by the Western Division General Conference Discipline (Manual). The Western Division General Conference is the overseeing body for all Quad State Churches. The General Conference is the highest Church government and the final authority in the Quad State Churches.
National Convention of Free Will Baptist – The Quad State Annual Conference of Churches is affiliated with a larger association of African American Freewill Baptist Churches which convene every two years in July as the National Convention of Free Will Baptist.
Beliefs – Affirmation Of Faith
THE FATHER – We believe that God is the Father Almighty and that He is the Maker of Heaven and earth as the Scriptures have said.
THE SON – We believe in Jesus, that He is the Christ and the Only Begotten Son of the Father. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day, He rose from the dead and declared victory over the grave, death and hell. He has gone back to the Father to prepare a place for us in His Kingdom. He will come back as He promised to judge the world and to deliver the righteous.
THE HOLY GHOST – We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life for all true believers.
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH COVENANT
Having giving ourselves to God, by faith in Jesus Christ, and adopted the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to one another by the will of God in this solemn covenant.
We promise by His grace to love and obey Him in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy conformity to the world, from all sanction of the use and sale of intoxicating beverages, and to provide things honest in the sight of all men.
We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations in reference to study of the Scriptures; secret prayer, family devotions, and social worship, and by self-denial, faith, and good works endeavor to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church conferences, public worship, and the observance of the ordinances of the gospel, nor fail to pay according to our ability for the support of the church, of its poor, and all its benevolent work.
We agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness, and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to “keep the unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, to be careful of one another’s happiness and reputation, and seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are able, promote the success of the church and of the Gospel.
We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian obligations and enterprises supreme; counting it our chief business in life to extend the influence of Christ in society; constantly praying and toiling that the Kingdom of God may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
To this end we agree to labor for the promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, the support of missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
FREE WILL BAPTIST – 16 Articles of Faith
1. The Bible. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are our infallible rule of faith and practice.
2. God. There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe; and in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet as one God, infinitely wise and good, whom all intelligent creatures are supremely to love, adore, and obey.
3. Christ. Christ is God manifest in the flesh; in His divine nature truly God, in His human nature truly man. The mediator between God and man, once crucified, He is now risen and glorified, and is our ever present Savior and Lord.
4. The Holy Spirit. The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of God.
5. The Government of God. God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and all things by maintaining the constitution and laws of nature. He also performs special acts, not otherwise provided for, as the highest welfare of men requires.
6. The Sinfulness of Man. Man was created innocent, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity, therefore, inherit a fallen nature of such tendencies that all who come to years of accountability, sin and become guilty before God.
7. The Work of Christ. The Son of God by His incarnation, life, sufferings, death, and resurrection effected for all a redemption from sin that is full and free, and is the ground of salvation by faith.
8. The Terms of Salvation. The conditions of salvation are: (1) Repentance or sincere sorrow for sin and hearty renunciation of it. (2) Faith or the unreserved committal of one’s self to Christ as Savior and Lord with purpose to love and obey Him in all things. In the exercise of saving faith, the soul is renewed by the Holy Spirit, freed from the dominion of sin, and becomes a child of God. (3) Continuance of faith and obedience unto death.
9. Election. God determined from the beginning to save all who should comply with the conditions of salvation. Hence by faith in Christ men become His elect.
10. Freedom of the Will. The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish.
11. Salvation Free. God desires the salvation of all, the Gospel invites all, the Holy Spirit strives with all, and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely.
12. Perseverance. All believers in Christ, who through grace persevere in holiness to the end of life, have promise of eternal salvation.
13. Gospel Ordinances. BAPTISM, or the immersion of believers in water, and the LORD’S SUPPER, are the ordinances to be perpetuated under the Gospel. FEET WASHING, an ordinance teaching humility, is of universal obligation, and is to be ministered to all true believers.
14. Tithing. God commanded tithes and offerings in the Old Testament; Jesus Christ endorsed it in the Gospel (Matthew 23:23), and the apostle Paul said, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (I Corinthians 16:2 a).
15. The Christian Sabbath. The divine law requires that one day in seven be set apart from secular employments and amusements, for rest, worship, holy works, and activities, and for personal communion with God.
16. Resurrection, Judgment, and Final Retribution. The Scriptures teach the resurrection of all men at the last day. Those who have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation; then the wicked will “go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”