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Our Beliefs


The First Baptist Church of Erwin is a local church led by a dedicated and talented laity.  Our Church is an historically Baptist congregation with an ecumenical perspective, driven to impact our community through local missions and civic engagement as well as through giving to regional, state, national, and global missions efforts.  First Baptist affirms the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, a document of faith describing shared beliefs between Baptists.


First Baptist has a continuing commitment to key Baptist distinctives, including Bible freedom, soul freedom, church freedom, and religious freedom.  The following is adapted from The Baptist Identity:  Four Fragile Freedoms by Walter Shurden (1993):



is the historic Baptist affirmation of the belief that the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, must be central in the life of the individual and the Church.  Christians are both free and obligated to study and obey the Scripture.



also known as the priesthood of all believers, affirms the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate to God without the imposition of creed or control by clergy or the government.



is the historic belief that local churches are free, under the Lordship of Jesus, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive to be gifted for ministry, and to participate in the larger Body of Christ (other churches and other denominations).



is the historic Baptist affirmation of freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion.  Churches and individuals should be free to worship in whatever manner they choose and with whomever they choose.  All people, no matter their religious background, should be free from any coercion to worship and free from the intervention of the state in matters of religion.


In affirming these distinctives, the First Baptist Church also affirms the importance of affiliation and cooperation with our brothers and sisters in Christ, which presently include the Holston Baptist Association, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, CBF Tennessee, the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and the Southern Baptist Convention, among other local, state, regional, national, and international groups, associations, fellowships, and organizations.



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