American Baptists express a wide range of theological opinions and still choose to remain in covenant relationship together for the sake of Christ, who is the head of the Church.
American Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. Members are welcomed through believer’s baptism (usually by immersion), by transfer of membership, or statement of faith. We believe that each one who receives Jesus as Lord and Savior experiences a “regenerate heart” and is filled with the Holy Spirit – the gifts and power to fulfill God’s will and purpose. American Baptists are committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ from here to the ends of the earth.
Historically, the choice to baptize only believers (not infants) resulted in Baptists being persecuted; this, in turn, led early Baptists to advocate for “soul liberty” and the separation of Church and State. American Baptists continue to uphold these values, whenever they come under attack by those who would impose their own beliefs on others.
American Baptists believe in the priesthood of all believers. Each church governs itself by vote of the congregational, after prayer and discernment to understand God’s will. We believe the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God and our sole authority for faith and practice.