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Greenwood Forest Baptist Church

Vision and Core Values

Our vision is to be a welcoming and diverse community of faith united in Christ. Our purpose is to worship God and to form and equip disciples who selflessly share their resources and provide loving service to all.

Our Core Values

Centrality of Christ and Scripture

Everything that we say and do as a church community is centered in Jesus Christ. Our worship, our missions, and our ministries are all grounded in the common confession that “Jesus Christ is Lord.”  We come to know who Jesus is through the witness of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of God in scripture; therefore the incredible story of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with the Church is the foundation of our faith and the compass for our journey as God’s people living today.  

Inclusivity and Diversity in Community

Our goal as a church is to become an authentic community of Christians who seek to love and care for each other like a family and whose members reflect the beauty of our changing world. In order to meet that goal, we are openly welcoming and inclusive of all people in the diversity of their ages, races, genders, ethnicities, sexualities, disabilities, or backgrounds. We believe that all people have important gifts to share with our church and have a place in God’s family.     

Women in All Areas of Leadership

As a historically Baptist congregation, we take great pride in the fact that our church has always called, ordained, and empowered women to serve as teachers, deacons, ministers, pastors, and leaders in all areas of church life. Not all churches believe, as we do, that women are called to be spiritual leaders, but we see the empowerment of women in the witness of scripture and find it to be essential to the development of a strong and holistic community of faith.  

Ministries for People of all Ages

Our congregation is an intergenerational community of faith that has a wide diversity of ages represented in our membership, and therefore we strive to meet the spiritual needs of all people. We see this diversity as a great gift and we have programs, ministries, classes, small groups and fellowship opportunities specifically designed for children, youth, adults, and seniors as well as ministries and programs that the whole family can participate in together.  

Liturgy and Innovation in Worship

Worship is the most important thing we do together as a people of faith. As a church we follow the liturgical calendar to order and enrich our worship, celebrating the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. While grounded in the hymns of the Baptist heritage, we also work to integrate a diverse array of ancient and modern music as well as other liturgical innovations, in order to create a dynamic and meaningful worship experience.   

Spiritual and Intellectual Formation

As a people of faith, our calling to make disciples is at the core of who we are.  In order to fulfill this calling, our church has always placed an emphasis on Christian education and spiritual formation.  We have vibrant classes, in-depth Bible studies, small groups, and discipleship programs for people of all ages.  In all our formation activities, we seek not only to make new disciples but to help people become mature believers by growing deeper in their faith.

Showing God’s Love through Missional Service

Our worship of God and our study of the scriptures calls us as a people to respond to the needs of our world with sacrificial acts of love, compassion, and selfless service to others. As Baptists we have always had a heart for missions, and we remain faithful to our heritage of service by seeking new and exciting ways to reach out with the love of Christ to care for the poor, the hungry, the vulnerable, the hurting, and the neglected in our local community and in our world.   

Sharing our Resources with Others

We believe that God has blessed us with many wonderful gifts, talents, and resources, and as God’s people we feel that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of all that we have been given and offer back the first portion of our resources for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. Together we share our resources with each other and with our world to aid in the work of missions and to help restore hope and health to the less fortunate. 

Unity in Fellowship and Family Life

As a congregation we care deeply about the importance of being united together in Christ. We intentionally strive to refrain from the division and discord that so often separates Christians from each other and we work to maintain this unity as a church by practicing love, forgiveness, and reconciliation with each other. In addition to our regular celebration of communion, we break bread and fellowship with each other as a sign of our commitment to unity.

Historic Baptist Beliefs and Practices

We have a rich Baptist heritage as a church that locates our community of faith within a particular tradition, connects us with a larger fellowship of believers, and continues to provide the structure for our congregational life. The word “Baptist” can mean many different things, but for us it refers to the historic belief in the Five Freedoms — the priesthood of believers, the liberty of conscience, the separation of church and state, the autonomy of the local church, and the freedom of interpretation.