First Baptist Church is a fully independent “Regular Baptist” church. (By “Regular” we mean that we hold to the historic doctrinal position of Baptists, rather than the beliefs of other denominations or “brands” of Baptists who may not hold to each of those distinctives.) As a fully autonomous body, we are not part of any kind of denominational hierarchy and are fully free and responsible before God to worship and serve as we believe the Lord has instructed us from His Word.
Associations must never violate the sovereign independence of the local churches, but are a vital source of fellowship and encouragement and allow churches to take on ministries that would not be effective if we all stood alone.
Here are the fellowships or associations with which we are a part:
The Northeast Fellowship of Independent Baptist Churches consists of more than 180 churches across New York State who share the same doctrinal position. Ours is an association of independent, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, Baptist churches. Each partnering church is autonomous regarding its own ministries, decision making, and participation with the association..Our network of churches participates in Fall, Winter and Spring Bible Conferences, along with various annual events that meet the needs of youth, men, women, couples, and pastors. Under the leadership of our new State Representative , Dr. Jim Vogel, we also offer ministries of encouragement, counsel, mentoring, and resourcing for pastors, as well as ministry consultation to our churches in strategic planning, outreach ministries, facility enhancement, leadership development, etc.
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC)
The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches is composed of approximately 1,600 independent Baptist Churches across the United States. Although a separate entity, it is similar to the above associations, except that it is national in scope. An annual Bible conference is held on the last week of June. (A different state & city is chosen for the conferences.) A council of eighteen plans the conferences and assists where needed. The official magazine is the Baptist Bulletin, and the Sunday School literature department is Regular Baptist Press.
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