|LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH
"Set Your Affections on Things Above..."
Col 3:2 KJV
|Inside our Statement of Faith...
More about the Church...
Lighthouse Baptist Church
701 Kossuth Avenue
Utica, NY 13501
Paul Bannister II, Pastor
Lighthouse Baptist Church, Utica, NY
We believe a local church is a number of persons of a locality (Acts 8:1) voluntarily united (Hebrews 10:25) because of a
common nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and interest (Philippians 1:5), and voluntarily (Romans 12:1) situated in an organization
(Romans 12:4-8) devised by Christ to represent Him on earth (Matthew 18:17-18; Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; 2
Corinthians 5:20), whose operations—government (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:17), teaching (1 Timothy
4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:1), discipline (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 6:4), and methods (2 Corinthians 10:4)—bring
greater glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:13) by producing greater Christ-likeness in its members (Ephesians
4:11-16), greater good works by its members (John 13:35, 14:12; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 10:24), and a greater number of
converts (Acts 2:46-47) than could be obtained by individualistic efforts (Romans 14:7).
We believe the purpose of a local church is to glorify God (Romans 15:6; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11;
Revelation 15:4) through evangelization—preaching the gospel of salvation to reconcile the willing to God through faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18-19; Romans 10:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Galatians 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 2
Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10); edification—improving the mind in knowledge, morals, faith, and holiness to prepare
the willing for Christ’s use on earth (Romans 12:2, 14:19; 1 Corinthians 14:12, 26b; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Ephesians 4:11-12, 4:
16, 4:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Timothy 2:21); and ministration—ministering one to another within the church to unify the
members, and to those outside the church to demonstrate the truth of the Gospel (John 10:37; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 6:
10; Titus 2:14, 3:8a, 3:14; Hebrews 6:10, 13:1, 16; James 2:17; 1 Peter 2:12, 3:8).
We believe God has commissioned believers (Matthew 28:18-20), as ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), to
individually, corporately, aggressively, and sacrificially proclaim the gospel (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8) to all nations (Luke 24:45-
48) so that there will be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9-10).
We believe that local churches have authority from God to administer the order, discipline, and worship which Christ has
appointed; and that its officers are bishops (pastors) and deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1, 8, 5:17; 1 Peter 5:1).
We believe local churches may fellowship and cooperate with one another in contending for the faith and furtherance of the
Gospel when such efforts are wholly in accordance with the Bible and do not organizationally link them together (2 Corinthians
8:1-4); that local churches may take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of other entities in order to excel in their
endeavors (Philippians 1:9-10a) if they are not organizationally linked together (2 Corinthians 6:14); and that, as organizations
authorized by God for their existence (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 10:32; 1 Thessalonians 1:1), local churches may not
submit themselves to other powers for their right to exist.
We believe Christ commanded the local church to keep two ordinances (1 Corinthians 11:2), baptism (Matthew 28:19) and the
Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 1:23-25); and that neither has inherent power to change the participants so as to make them
acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Baptism—We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a professing believer in water (Mark 1:9-10) in the name of the
Triune God (Matthew 28:19); that Christ set the example for believers to follow Him in it (Mark 1:9); that He had His disciples
perform it (John 4:1-2), that its fundamental meaning is willing identification of the believer with the message of the Gospel
and the person of the Savior (Romans 6:3-5; Acts 8:36-38); that the early church considered it important (Acts 2:41, 8:12-13,
10:47-48a); that it is a foundational doctrine (Hebrews 6:1-2) symbolizing important theological truths (Romans 6:1-10;
Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21); and that believers who were baptized as unbelievers should be re-baptized (Acts 19:1-5).
Lord’s Supper—We believe the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ as a memorial (1 Corinthians 11:24); that it proclaims
His crucified body and shed blood (1 Corinthians 11:26); that it is an assurance of His return (Matthew 26:29; 1 Corinthians 11:
26); that it is a time of fellowship restricted to Christ and His people (1 Corinthians 10:21); that there is no prescribed frequency
for conducting it (1 Corinthians 11:25); that unrepentant believers under church discipline are excluded from participating in it
(1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11-15); and that it should be taken only after careful self-examination of one’s
walk with Christ (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).
Routine Support—We believe churches are to be routinely supported by the tithes and offerings of their members (Acts 4:36-
37; 1 Timothy 6:17-19) and by such other lawful means as opportunity and wisdom permits (Matthew 17:27; Acts 20:34); that
gifts are to be made as unto the Lord without consideration of material reward (Matthew 6:19-21) or worldly recognition
(Matthew 6:1-4); that church members have a solemn obligation to support their church, especially the Pastor (1 Timothy 5:17-
18); that all rights to direct the use of the gift are relinquished once it has been made (Acts 4:35); that—because: (1) it is
unethical to receive the benefits a local church provides without contributing to the support of its operations (Jeremiah 22:13; 1
Corinthians 9:9-13), (2) the precedent of the tithe occurred before the law was given (Genesis 14:18-20), (3) the tithe was the
minimum established by God to support the operations of the temple when He founded the nation Israel (Deuteronomy 12:5-
6), (4) no New Testament passage nullifies the precedent of the tithe or establishes a different amount for the support of the
local church, (5) church members, as children of God who live not under the law but under grace, ought to exceed the
requirements of the law (Matthew 5:20; Luke 6:38),—the most biblical answer to the question, “How much should I give to
support the operations of my church?” is, “At least a tithe of your gross income.”
Special Support—We believe churches may voluntarily engage in special projects requiring them to solicit support above the
amount necessary for routine operations (2 Corinthians 8:1-4); that the administration of special projects requires particular
care (2 Corinthians 8:20-21); that those who are given the opportunity to participate in special projects are free to refuse to
participate or, if they choose to participate, are free to determine the extent of their participation (2 Corinthians 9:7a); that those
who participate in special projects are to perform their commitment (2 Corinthians 8:11) willingly and cheerfully (2 Corinthians
9:7), knowing that a special promise attaches to such giving (2 Corinthians 9:8) and that they are following the lead of their
Savior in a special way (2 Corinthians 8:9).