Grace Evangelical Church is an independent, reformed baptist, and evangelical church located in Oak Harbor, WA. We are one of the member churches of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE). Our mission is to honor the Lord through building a community of gospel-centered people. To that end, we are:
At the very beginning of our understanding of faith and life are the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. They are, "...the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience." We place a very high value on reading, preaching, and being guided by what is in the bible. The Word is a fundamental means that God uses to minister His grace in our Lord Jesus Christ to us.
The elements of our corporate worship are guided by what the scriptures command--and only what the scriptures command. We read the Bible, we, sing the Bible, we pray the Bible, and we preach through the Bible. Our preaching is expository. That is, we work through books of the Bible for our typical preaching schedule.
Reformed is a word that means a lot of things to a lot of people. We understand this in terms of three primary emphases. First, this means that the elders embrace and are informed by the doctrines of grace, commonly known as the five points of Calvinism. It also means that the 5 Solas are a central aspect of our identity.
However, when we say Reformed, we mean more than that. This means we identify with the heritage of doctrine, practice, and worship that arose out of the Reformation. What the Bible says about who God is, how He reveals Himself, and His objective work for us in Jesus Christ are our starting points. Our proclamation and life as a church revolve around Jesus Christ.
Reformed also means that Christian life is lived out with other Christians. Our worship is a fundamental expression of that. The preaching of the Word, the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, our prayers, and our fellowship are vital and the ordinary (or typical) means that God uses to minister His grace, by the work of His Spirit, to us for our growth in Christ.
"Baptist" is not primarily a denomination. It is rather an understanding of the relationship of local churches to one another, the governing of each local church, and the place of water baptism in the life of the believer.
While, like all Baptist churches, we are fully autonomous, it is vitally important for churches to associate and cooperate with other like-minded churches. We therefore associate and cooperate with the churches and individuals of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. This provides fellowship, opportunities for cooperation in the Gospel, and accountability.
We are led, as the Lord provides, by a multiplicity of elders who are first members of our church. Along with doctrine, practice, and discipline, the elders govern the day to day affairs of the church. Being Baptist, we are congregational. Therefore, the input of the entire congregation is an important part of the selection of elders and deacons, membership decisions, and other important matters.
We also practice believer's baptism. That is, we only baptize those who are able to profess faith in Jesus Christ. This means we don't baptize infants. We are a "believers Church." Such baptism is ordinarily a prerequisite for membership.
Evangelical is another word that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. When we say Evangelical, we mean that we are vitally concerned about the good news that Son of God has come, taken upon Himself our humanity as part of history, bringing the Kingdom of God, grace, salvation, and righteousness. This message is something we, as Christians, need to hear and live by. This also means that sharing this message widely and indiscriminately is of utmost importance to us.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.