Why Independent Baptist?
You may wonder why we are called a Baptist Church. Is it a name like St Mary’s or St John’s? No, it is shorthand for what we believe about the way a church should function, based on the teachings of Jesus and his first followers as written in the Bible. What we believe about God and Jesus is common to all groups following the Bible since the time it was written. But we also believe that ‘Christian’ is not a mere cultural label. It describes someone who personally trusts in the historical man, Jesus of Nazareth, and who seeks to follow him in every aspect of life. He was the Son who came to die to deliver us from the anger of God against all our wrong-doings and rebellion. Baptism is quite clearly commanded by Jesus and the first Apostles as a sign of commitment and obedience to him. All churches believe that, but it seems clear to us that in the Bible baptism is only for those who have made a conscious submission to Jesus Christ, and not for babies and infants. We also hold to the meaning of the Greek word
for baptise: to dip or dye, implying total immersion. This is what we do to those who desire to confess conversion to Christ and join the church.
We are also an independent church – we do not come under the oversight of a denomination or church officer from somewhere else. Nor do we receive regular financial help or support from outside the church, relying instead on God to provide through the regular giving of those committed to this church. We have leaders (we call them “Elders”) and they seek to direct the church in ways that please Christ our Head; and for the big decisions in church life, all members meet, discuss together and decide as a body.