Faith Pres. Church - Anniston
Pastor: Rick Searle
Associate Pastor: Grant Carroll
Who We Are
We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America which was organized at a constitutional assembly in December 1973. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) separated from the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUSA) in opposition to the long-developing theological liberalism which denied the deity of Jesus Christ and the inerrancy and authority of Scripture.
The PCA is a "Scriptural Denomination" which seeks to be Biblical in its teaching. We earnestly strive to follow Christ and His Apostles. We are "Reformed" because we trace our roots to those in the reformation who initiated the return to the teaching of the apostolic church. We also believe the purest and most consistent expressions of biblical teaching are found in the great confessions of the early Reformed churches, particularly the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
We also seek to be biblical in our government. Being Presbyterian means the local churches are governed by "presbyters," or elders who are elected by the people. This was the kind of government the New Testament Church enjoyed (for instance, see Acts 20:17; Titus 1: 5-9).
The PCA is one of the faster growing denominations in the United States, with over 1450 churches and missions throughout the USA and Canada. There were over 306,000 communicant and non-communicant members as of December 2000.
The influence of the PCA extends far beyond the walls of the local church. Mission to the World has 519 career missionaries in almost 60 nations of the world, 169 two-year missionaries, and over 6500 short term missionaries. Because of the unique relationship between Mission to the World with over thirty mission organizations with whom some of our missionaries are working, some consider that the influence is far greater than our size might indicate. Indeed, PCA churches support an additional 690 career missionaries, covering over 130 nations all together. Further, with more than 100 chaplains in the military, Veterans Administration, prisons, and hospitals, and 45 college and university campus ministers, the Gospel is proclaimed to a rather large audience around the world not reached through usual outreach channels.
To promote a passion for The Glory of God, And the joy that comes from Knowing Him through the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Gospel is about having a new life. Because of Christ, we have a radically new identity and are free from the things (even good things) that once drove us. God changes us and makes us into people who worship Him, enjoy His fellowship and serve others.
To become a fellowship of believers who are experiencing
The transforming power of the Gospel and are Instruments of Change In the lives of others. Once someone is changed by God's grace and begins to understand the greatness of His glory, every aspect of life is different. Being restored to God brings about sweeping changes in our understanding of who we are in Christ individually, and as a community. God continues to change us and begins to use us as instruments of change in the lives of others.
Our Core Values
The Message of The Gospel - The message of the gospel is that sinners can be forgiven and accepted by God's grace alone because of the work of Jesus Christ.
The Power of The Gospel - The Gospel is God's power of change (Rom. 1:16-17). Through the Gospel, our lives are changed in the following ways:
a. We now have a new relationship with God. He is our Father and we are His children.
b. We have a whole new motivation for obeying God-love, gratitude, delight in God, rather than out of fear and self-interest.
c. We have freedom and power to love and serve others unconditionally.
d. We think about ourselves in an entirely new way. We no longer get our identity from what others think of us or from what we think of ourselves, but from what God thinks of us in Christ.
The Primacy of the Church - The gospel completely transforms human relationships, and as a result God creates a new community, the Church of Jesus Christ. The church is the principle means of growing the Kingdom of God on earth and the means through which He continues to change us through His Word and Spirit.
The Call To Evangelism - The gospel makes us a people for others. Through His continual influence in us, Christ teaches us to have a deep respect and a great hope for every non-Christian. We are a church not just for ourselves but for our friends and family members who don't believe in Christ. We are relentlessly aware of and welcoming to non-believers in our midst. This means:
a. We actively love our neighbors and seek to develop redemptive relationships with them.
b. We try to be sensitive to non-Christians in our meetings, being thoughtful in our communication of the gospel.
c. We take a process, not a crisis approach to communicating the gospel.
Faith Presbyterian Church embraces the historic Christian faith as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Together with Christians throughout the ages, we affirm such foundational truths as:
The Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures - We believe the Bible is God's Word, completely trustworthy and without error. It is the ultimate authority for all that we believe and how we live.
The Trinity - The Bible teaches that one real and personal God exists eternally in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Human beings - The Bible teaches that human beings are created gloriously in the image of their creator to enjoy God and honor Him in their entirety. The human race, however, is alienated from God through the overwhelming power of sin. Because of this power, Paul says we are "dead in our trespasses" (Eph. 2), and that we are "slaves of sin" (Rom. 6). Therefore, left to ourselves, and without God's gracious intervention, we will never fulfill the purposes for which He created us. Without God's grace we will perish forever.
The Person of Jesus Christ - God the Son took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, obeying God's law completely, suffered and died on the cross of Calvary for the sins of His people, and was then physically raised from the dead on the third day. He did all this to accomplish the salvation of His people.
Faith - Salvation is received by faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by good works (though good works are evidence of a transformed life).
The Return of Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ will return to earth, visibly and bodily, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
Baptism - We are covenantal in our approach to the Bible. Therefore, we believe Baptism is a sign of God's covenant and is to be administered to children of believers as well as those who come to faith in Christ as adults.
The Centrality of The Gospel in Worship
Each Lord's Day we are reminded of who God is and who we are. God is the holy and powerful and King of the universe who has shown and continues to show mercy to sinners through the Gospel of His Son. So, during our times of worship we strive to remember and reflect on two central truths:
* God's majesty and purity
* God's nearness and comfort in our lives
Reflecting on the truth of God's majesty and purity tends to produce reverence and wonder in our hearts. This is good, for our hearts were made to be in awe of God. God is powerful beyond our wildest imagination and is so pure that "His eyes cannot look upon sin." However, if we only think of God's majesty and holiness, we can begin to think that worship is only about "deep reverence with dignity." There is nothing wrong with having a "carefulness" before God. However, if we only emphasize this aspect of God's character, there is a danger that we will become overly solemn in our worship. We must, therefore, also reflect on a second truth about God, His nearness and comfort to His people.
Thinking about the truth of God's nearness (His ongoing mercy, acceptance and comfort) in worship generates thankfulness and inexpressible joy in our hearts. This is also good, for our hearts were designed to gain their greatest sense of joy and peace from a deep relationship with God. God accepts us because of Christ. He is our Father, and loves us more than we can imagine. This fabulous truth is something we need to remember every day.
However, leaning too much in this direction is also problematic. If we over emphasize God's comfort and intimacy, we can become too casual in worship as we approach the throne of grace.
Is there a "Biblical Balance" in worship?
Awe and joy are both appropriate responses to the character of God and each are important experiences in Biblical worship. So, we pray for God to work both emotions in us as we remember the Gospel throughout our time of worship. The Gospel guides us and its truth leads us to both awe and intimacy, for the Holy One is now our Father.
The Centrality of The Gospel in Discipleship
The great message of Christian Education is that God continues to conform us into the image of Christ. By His grace, we are becoming the people He designed us to be; a people who worship God, and serve others. But, because we are still sinners (and still struggle with the power of sin), we must remind each other of our ongoing tendency to center our lives around things (even good things) rather than Christ. We must pray for God's grace to enable us to continually turn from these idols to Christ, the only One worthy of our worship. Therefore, our main goal in Christian Education is to remind people of the Gospel's ongoing power in their lives through the Holy Spirit. This is the central message in Sunday School classes, small groups, and life on life discipleship.
Gospel Centered Ministries We Support
Faith Christian School
We believe that the gospel can have a deep and significant impact on the arts, business, government, media, and education of any society. Therefore we are highly committed to preparing Christian Children in our community with a "Biblical World and Life View," which will support their engagement with culture, helping them work with excellence, distinctiveness, and accountability in their professions.
Mercy Ministry/English as a Second Language Though we joyfully invite every person to faith in Jesus, we are committed to sacrificially serving our neighbors whether they believe as we do or not. We do this by using our gifts and resources for the needs of others.
Mission to the World Our congregation presently supports missionaries or mission work in Burma, Korea, France, and El Salvador. We also support Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Caribbean Christian Center For the Deaf
Mission to North America Covenant College, Covenant Seminary, Ridge Haven, Reformed University Ministries
Sav-A-Life, Bruised Reed, Project Light, My Father's Arms, Circle of Champions