WHAT WE BELIEVE
At the heart of individual life, family life, and church life is the matter of what we believe. The reality of faith is essentially what we are trusting in and what we are committed to live out...
In the early 1990’s a small group of believers in Wayne County shared a common concern for the growing worldliness in the church and a shifting to contemporary ideologies...
Pastor Mike believed the gospel and gave his life to the Lord at age 16. After graduating from high school, he studied accounting for two years before surrendering to God’s call to fulltime ministry...
WHAT WE BELIEVE
At the heart of individual life, family life, and church life is the matter of what we believe. The reality of faith is essentially what we are trusting in and what we are committed to live out. For true believers, faith is a matter of who one is relying on, as well as a personal commitment to hear from God and obey Him.
Genuine Christianity is a relationship with our Creator,
a communion with the God of eternity.
The creation model (Genesis 1-2) as well as the Great Commission model (Matthew 28:18-20) attests to this reality of God’s design.
Our belief must have a biblical basis and will continue to be shaped through our communion with the Lord. For salvation, there is the singular way of Christ’s cross-payment, thus providing for sin’s forgiveness and new life through regeneration. For growth in Christlikeness, there is constant exposure to the glory of Christ through the pages of the Scriptures and ongoing adjustments in our way of thinking, choosing, and speaking. This is a lifelong process that extends into the glory of eternity.
The distillation of what we believe into simple terms is challenging. To avoid oversimplification while thinking in terms of “childlike faith” is not easy. At the root level, it would be accurate to state that we believe that
all we need is granted to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Christ is our salvation. Christ is our Lord. Christ is our hope. Christ is our inheritance. Christ is our all in all.
Consequent to this simplicity, we have chosen not to attach ourselves to theological systems or various movements that tend to over-define and unnecessarily divide Christ’s people. Clarity on the gospel is essential and must be maintained. Our willingness to leave the secret things to the Lord affords us the freedom to embrace all that the Scriptures clearly teach without speculating about what is not clearly revealed. We give our best to understand each passage of the Scriptures in the context of the whole of the Scriptures and seek to interpret and explain what is said for application to our lives. We chose to believe all that God has revealed, recognizing that we are finite creatures dealing with an infinite Creator.
He has revealed to us all we need to know for salvation,
hope, and Godly living.
Our limitations to understand are acknowledged, while our passion to grasp all that God has for us is maintained and nurtured. We long to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord without grids or systems or movements forcing our study and application of the Scriptures. We seek to be “Biblicists” in our approach to the Word of God. We believe that the individual child of God can be taught by the Spirit of God through a copy of the Scriptures in his/her own language. We seek to nurture the daily intake of God’s Word as we gather in corporate worship and Bible study.
Possibly the most concise statement of our endeavor as a church is found in Titus 2:11-15:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
We trust the New Testament Scriptures as God’s blueprint for effective church ministry in the evangelizing of the lost and the edification of the believing. This is what we believe. This shapes all of life for our fellowship.
We take the whole of the Scriptures as our
reference point for doctrine and practice.
The progressive revelation of God teaches us about the One we trust and serve. It informs us of who God is in His holy eternal being. It teaches us what He has chosen to do to restore fallen man to Himself, providing reconciliation and relationship with Him through His incarnate Son. This being said, we preach salvation through grace by faith in Jesus Christ alone. We practice the New Testament ordinances of baptism and the Lords Supper. We encourage one another in love for God and others. We honor the Lord’s Day as a gift from God at creation, granting us a day of rest from our typical activities, so that we might gather for worship and be refreshed for another week of living for His honor. This is the practice that grows out of our beliefs.
In the early 1990’s a small group of believers in Wayne County shared a common concern for the growing worldliness in the church and a shifting to contemporary ideologies. As they met for prayer and Bible study and communicated their concerns to their pastors, they eventually became convinced that a new church needed to be established in Wayne County. They called a church planting pastor who helped establish worship services, a constitution, and the initial membership of Heritage Baptist Church. The church met in Greene Middle School until 1998, when they were able to build and move into their permanent location in Smithville.
Over the years, Heritage has been marked by several distinctives. Our priority has always been to magnify Christ through the gospel. Glorifying God in our approach to ministry and stewardship directs our decisions. And the importance of individual, family, and corporate worship will always be our emphasis. We try to nurture a humility of heart, as well as separation from worldliness. Our fellowship also focuses on genuine ministry to others and fulfilling family responsibility. In an effort to avoid the unnecessary divisions that come from “issue orientation” or “theological wrangling,” we attempt to maintain a Biblical position. A firm stance of “What saith the Scriptures?” has shaped our beliefs and defines our church fellowship.
Pastor Mike believed the gospel and gave his life to the Lord at age 16. After graduating from high school, he studied accounting for two years before surrendering to God’s call to fulltime ministry. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Practical Christian Training from Bob Jones University in 1985 and was ordained the same year.
Throughout his years of ministry, Pastor Mike has continued his education, completing his Master of Ministry degree in 1992 and his Doctor of Ministry in 2010 through Northland International University (formerly Northland Baptist Bible College). He pastored for seven years in North Carolina and southern Ohio before accepting the call to Heritage.
Pastor Mike has pastored Heritage Baptist Church since the spring of 1993, emphasizing God’s Word as the ultimate authority and encouraging continued growth in Christ-like love and holiness among believers. He cares deeply about the people he ministers to both inside and outside the church and has led HBC to support foreign missions substantially and engage in local evangelism. He and his wife, Laura, raised eight children and have welcomed multiple grandchildren.