Bible Baptist Church was organized as an independent Baptist church on December 31st, 1995, with James L. Melton called as the pastor. Bro. Melton had been saved since May 3, 1979, had been actively teaching and preaching since the late 1980's, and he began writing gospel tracts in the early 1990's. Before starting Bible Baptist Church in Weakley County, Bro. Melton was a member of two independent Baptist churches in Obion County: the Union City Baptist Temple in Union City (1979-1990) and Faithway Baptist Church in Troy (1990-1995). He married Angela Mae Smith on June 12, 1993, and she remains his wife today. God has given the Meltons five children: Rachel, Nathan, Rizpah, Noah, and Jacob.
The church meets at 132 E. Main in Sharon, Tennessee. Sunday School: 9:30, Preaching: 11:00, Fellowship Meal: 12:30, Afternoon Service: 2:30, Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study: 7:00.
Bible Baptist Church is regularly involved in local visitation, tract distribution, street preaching, and a weekly "work night" when church members volunteer their time and energy to work at the church's print shop and keep our publications available to those who need them.
We presently support twelve foreign missionaries, four home missionaries, and two evangelists.
We are independent and fundamental Baptists who adhere to traditional Baptist beliefs. The following is our Statement of Faith, taken from the church's Constitution and By-Laws, adapted on December 31st, 1995:
STATEMENT OF FAITH
(A) The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired words of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We further believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the preserved word of God for the English speaking people, and it is the official and only translation used or believed by the Church .
(B) Dispensationalism We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations--the age of Law, the age of the Church, and the age of the Kingdom--are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-27; Rev. 20:2-6).
(C) The Godhead We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26; 1 John 5:7).
(D) The Person and Work of Christ (1) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary Blood Atonement; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; I Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 John 1:7).
(3) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfils the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
(2) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
(3) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
(4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).
(F) The Depravity of Man We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2;1-3; 4:17-19).
(G) Salvation We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed at Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance ofBelievers
(1) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5; Eph. 4:30; John 5:24).
(2) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:31-32; Heb. 12:4-8; Rev. 3:19).
(I) The Church (1) We believe that the church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
(2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local church, which frees it from any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 6:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
(4) We recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Mat. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
(J) Separation We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
(K) The Second Coming of Christ We believe in that "blessed hope," the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will call out His Church prior to the seven-year Tribulation Period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the Nation of Israel (Psa. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
(L) The Eternal State (1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Mat. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:4-6).
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the "resurrection of damnation," when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Mat. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
(M) The Personality of Satan We believe that Satan is a literal and living entity, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Mat. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
(N) Creation We believe in the literal Genesis account of creation. We reject evolution, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11; Mark 10:6; 13:19).
(O) Civil Government We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the Church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
(P) Human Sexuality We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(Q) Divorce and Remarriage We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage among Christians is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication (Mal. 2:14-17; Mat. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3).
(R) Abortion We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psa. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
(S) Missions We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
(T) Lawsuits Between Believers We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
(U) Giving We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations. We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to abstain from all sinful worldly amusements; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.
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