About Us

Guests

We understand that looking for a new church home can be a daunting task.

So we want you to know up front that Central is anything but the typical Baptist church. Central embraces a traditional style of worship. It is autonomous, it is theologically moderate, and it is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Central provides a safe place for you to explore your faith without pressure and is an encouraging community where you can grow in grace and purpose. More than anything, we want you to know that you are welcome here.

The information below is an attempt to provide as much information about us as possible. It includes everything from our guiding principles to where to park when you visit us.

And, visiting is, of course, the best way to get to know us. We’d love to have a chance to welcome you in person one Sunday soon.

Learn More About Us

What Principles Guide Central?

Central embraces four distinctive principles that have historically defined the Baptist faith:

Soul freedom. The soul is competent before God, and capable of making decisions in matters of faith without coercion or compulsion by any larger religious or civil body.

Church freedom. Freedom of the local church from outside interference, whether government or civilian (subject only to the law where it does not interfere with the religious teachings and practices of the church).

Bible freedom. The individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual.

Religious freedom. The individual is free to choose whether to practice their religion, another religion, or no religion.

Shurden, Walter B. The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1993)

How does Central stand out as being unique?

Central is not your typical Baptist church. The church:

  • is autonomous. It answers to no denominational hierarchy, though it cooperates with various agencies in carrying out its mission.
  • is unified in purpose to be Christ in its community of faith and in the world, but exhibits loving respect for the diverse opinions of individual members.
  • is committed to inspired scripture, the Bible; but, unlike many churches, embraces the belief that the individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual.
  • recognizes the equality before God of men and women. Women, as well as men, serve in pastoral and leadership positions and may be ordained. We named our first female deacon in 1956.
  • denominationally is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
How do I become a member of the church?

We welcome people for membership through profession of faith and baptism, statement of faith, and transfer of letter. If you are interested in joining the church membership, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the pastor.

What is Central's Mission?

The people of Central Baptist Church are:

  • Empowered by the Holy Spirit to glorify God and witness to the salvation of all people through Jesus Christ.
  • Committed to the Bible, the holy and inspired Word of God.
  • Joined to the Bible, the holy and inspired Word of God.
  • Joined together in purpose in worship, prayer, Bible study, spiritual growth, service and Christian fellowship with loving respect for the diverse opinions of individual members.
  • Unified in purpose to be Christ in our community of faith and in the world.

What to Expect When I Visit

Visiting a Worship Service

There are two worship services each Sunday morning, so you may choose the time most convenient for you. The first service is at 8:45 a.m., while the second is at 10:55 a.m. Most people attend the 10:55 service, which includes a full choir. Use either set of steps at the Broad Street side (front) of the building to enter the sanctuary. If you have been in Sunday School, someone in the class you visit will show you how to find your way from the Sunday School room to the auditorium. The typical worship service lasts one hour.

Visiting a Sunday School (Bible Study) Class

All classes meet at 9:45 a.m. All groups except for youth meet in the main building. Most Sundays you will find greeters standing at the doors on the Brown Street side of the church; they will be most happy to help you find a class or classes appropriate for your visit. If there are no greeters, just ask anyone you see. Youth meet in the building directly across Brown Street from the main building.

Between Bible study and the 10:55 a.m. worship service, coffee is available in the dining room (“fellowship hall”); get there by using either set of stairs or the elevator to go to the bottom level of the building.

Is there a particular way I should dress for Sunday services?

We welcome you whether you “dress up” for church or don’t. You will find, however, that most men choose to wear a tie, sport coat, or suit. Children tend to dress more casually.

What if I want to visit on Wednesday night?

Wednesday evening activities begin with dinner at 5:30 pm, which is free on your first visit. Enter the church through either of the doors on the Brown Street side of the building and take the stairs down to the lower level. Anyone you see after you enter can help you find your way.