“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry... This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:12,15)
For the past 26 years, I have had the privilege of pastoring First Baptist Church of Amboy. My family has come to know Amboy as home and enjoy the small town roots. I was raised in a large family from a small town by hard working, loving parents. At the age of 19, I trusted Christ as my Savior as a result of the ministry of Berean Baptist Church in Rockford, IL (that made me a “Baptist by convenience”). After a few years of searching the Scriptures, and studying history, I became a “Baptist by conviction”. We are often asked, What is a Baptist? Or, What kind of Baptists are you?
We do stand firmly of the sure foundation of the apostles (NT) and prophets (OT), with Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone. However, our Christian compassion runs as deep as our Bible conviction. Our desire is to speak the truth in love. Never would a Bible living Christian abuse or mistreat anyone else because of their religious beliefs. The doctrine of Soul Liberty (freedom of conscience) is a principle that Baptists have died for, and their greatest contribution to this great nation we call America.
A true historic Baptist has always been Independent and Bible believing (fundamental). Because many today call themselves Baptist, and do not hold to historic Baptist principles, we find it necessary to identify ourselves as Independent and Bible believing. Our heritage is rich in faith and the testimony of Godly saints who were willing to stake their lives on the truth of God’s Word. Millions have willingly given their lives for the cause of Christ rather than bow down to apostate religions or godless rulers. Our roots have been accurately traced back long before the Protestant Reformation or Roman Catholic traditions.
We believe the Bible was written and preserved for us by God himself and is our only source of truth and doctrine. Many claim to be Bible believing, but also mix with it tradition, psychology, popular opinion, emotionalism, human reasoning, etc. The Bible does not change or go out of style. Best of all, it still works.
We are Independent, just as the Churches in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the head of our Church, and the Holy Spirit leads and directs us through the written Word of God. We do not belong to any denomination or ecclesiastical organization. We do fellowship with other Christians and Churches of like faith, however our accountability is to each other and the Bible which we recognize as our ultimate source of truth and judgment.