Historical Tradition

As a church, we are connected to those that came before us (Jude 3). We have a history that stretches back long before we were planted in the Lake Norman community in 1980. More specifically, we are connected to two main traditions of scriptural interpretation and spiritual experience.

First is the tradition of the early church, which is expressed in the Apostle’s Creed; and second, we are connected to the Protestant tradition of Baptists. You can read the Apostle's Creed and then our scriptural convictions below.

I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born from the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried,

descended to the dead,

on the third day rose again from the dead,

ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty,

thence He will come to judge the living and the dead;

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Church,

the communion of saints,

the remission of sins,

the resurrection of the flesh,

and eternal life.


Scriptural Convictions


God is the loving creator, the one and only true God, and ruler of all things. He reveals Himself as the one God in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father directs human history according to the purposes of His grace. Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. He is truly God and became truly human as to rescue and redeem humanity from sin. The Holy Spirit is coeternal with the Father and the Son. He brings about union with Christ, conviction of sin, and regeneration. He gives spiritual gifts to the church, guides in prayer, and illuminates the scriptures.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-2; Exodus 3:14; 34:6-7; John 1:1-18, 29; Romans 8:9-11

The Bible

We believe the Bible is true and normative for the Christian life. Its divine author is the Triune God, and its human authors were God’s prophets and apostles, who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They truthfully and authoritatively testify to Jesus, develop wisdom, provide instruction to his people, bringing about salvation and good works. It is the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, worldviews, and opinions should be tried.

Scriptures: Exodus 24:4; Psalm 1; Luke 24:44-46; 2 Timothy 3:15-17

The Gospel

God sent his Son Jesus in the form of man to be the saving king. He took upon him the nature of humanity, yet without sin, was perfectly obedient to the Father’s will, proclaimed the Kingdom of God, fulfilled the story of Israel, died for sins, and was buried. God raised him from the dead, he ascended, and God made him Lord over all, to the glory of God the Father. Jesus gave the Spirit to effect his rule through the church, and Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead, making all things new under his eternal reign.

Scriptures: Isaiah 53:1-12; Mark 1:14-15; Romans 1:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 20-28


Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus the Christ and not of works. Through repentance and faith and receiving the Holy Spirit, people are united with Christ and transformed into his image. This new life is produced in a manner above our comprehension or calculation, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as to secure our voluntary obedience to God. The blessings of salvation include the forgiveness of sins, peace with God, the hope of glory, and eternity with God in the new heavens and the new earth.

Scriptures: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 61:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 2:4-10


God created humanity in His own image and called them to partner with Him in his rule over all creation. That relationship was broken by the first humans and has been broken by all since, not by constraint but by choice. Following the ways of the world, Satan, and their own sinful passions, all people experience alienation from God, bondage to sin, and conflict with others, and are therefore in need of salvation.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-30; Psalm 8:3-6; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-4

The Church

The church is a community formed and filled by the Holy Spirit that testifies to the Lordship of Jesus and materializes the Kingdom of God in the world. A local church is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by common loyalty to Jesus, observing the ordinances of Christ, looking to the scriptures, sharing life together, and exercising the gifts invested in them by the Spirit. The church’s proper officers are elders and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are described throughout the New Testament.

Scriptures: Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 1:8; 2:38-47; Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Timothy 3:1-15

Baptism & Lord’s Supper

We believe Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It demonstrates believers’ union with a crucified, buried, and risen savior and lord. For our church, it is a prerequisite to church membership and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the cup, commemorate together the dying love of Christ, and anticipate his second coming.

Scriptures: Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Contemporary Issues

We also acknowledge our cultural moment as God’s people. There are several topics that we want to clarify as to best address contemporary cultural issues. Based on our scriptural interpretations, spiritual experiences, and communal wisdom, we provide the following statements.

These are our beliefs, but they are not essential beliefs to be a Christian. Other Christians (and other Baptists) interpret and apply the scriptures differently, and while we may disagree, we exercise liberty (Romans 14-15) and prioritize love (I Corinthians 13) for the sake of unity (Ephesians 4:4-6). The teachings and training of our local church will uphold these beliefs.


We believe that God has designed marriage to be a lifelong covenant union between two sexually different persons (biological male and female) from different families; and this union is reflective of the gospel concerning Christ and the Church. Therefore, we hold that all sex outside of marriage is sin and contrary to God’s design. While same-sex marriage is legal in America, it does not represent a historical, Christian view of marriage. We also hold the historical, Christian view of marriage.

Sanctity of Life

We believe that God created humans in his own image. Every human life inherently possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. We hold that a new living being is formed at conception that is distinct from both mother and father. We therefore work to provide for the helpless, speak on behalf of the unborn, and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. We affirm that all forms of violence, abuse, slander, dehumanization, or oppression toward fellow humans is an affront against God’s sacred image.

We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. However, we recognize that unwanted pregnancies present numerous challenges to women and their families. In a spirit of love for mothers and their children, we believe the church should help support a safe and healthy pregnancy for the mother that leads to a safe and healthy birth of the baby. We therefore follow the example of the early church in rejecting the practices of abortion and infanticide.[1]

[1] See the Didache, chapter 2. See also Larry W. Hurtado, Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017), 144–48.

Gender and Sexuality

We believe that humanity was created in the image of God as male and female. Therefore, while not the sum of human identity, biological sex is an essential part of human identity. However, all humanity has suffered the consequences of sin in what we call “the fall.” This fall has corrupted God’s original intent for human sexuality in all persons. We all seek restoration and healing when it comes to God’s design of human sexuality. In light of this, we assert the following five statements.

First, we recognize that our priority as a church is to address our own experience of sin when it comes to sexuality. The church must first embody God’s good design of marriage and sexuality as a living testimony. More than criticize culture, we are to cultivate a culture that manifests the rule and reign of Jesus in line with God’s design and instruction. The church is to be a city on a hill, a community of witnesses, which honors our own bodies, upholds our own covenants of marriage or singleness, and practices a compelling life of love in all areas of life.

Second, we recognize that the Old and New Testament teach that same-sex sexual activity is against God’s design.[1] As people who look to scripture for guidance and training in righteousness, we believe that same-sex behavior is sinful. However, we make a distinction between orientation and behavior. Simply experiencing attraction to the same sex is not in itself a morally culpable sin. We are called to rule over our bodies and resist those desires that give birth to sin.[2] We believe the Holy Spirit enables us to resist sinful desires so that we can receive abundant life and peace.[3]

Third, we recognize that scripture assumes that a person’s biological sex is designed to determine (what could be labeled today as) their gender identity. We are hard pressed to find an instance where the Bible directly addresses a situation where someone’s gender identity is at odds with their biological sex.[4] However, the fall does influence all of humanity’s experience of sexuality and therefore gender. For those that experience incongruence between their biological sex and their internal sense of self, we want to extend compassion, a listening ear, and a redemptive community.[5]

Fourth, someone’s sexual struggle or gender incongruence does not hinder them from receiving saving grace, and it therefore does not hinder them from receiving respect and Christian love. Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, all are welcome to worship with us. We follow a loving Lord Jesus who made space for those who were hurting, had questions, and those who were marginalized in society, including those who did not agree with his teachings. This leads to our final statement.

Finally, We make a distinction between agreement and acceptance. Jesus’ life is intriguing because he attracted people who did not align with his ethical teachings.[6] For example, Jesus taught an ethic of radical generosity and then welcomed a tax collector, someone whose life was defined by greed and exploitation of the poor.[7] In contemporary discourse, people often use agreement and acceptance interchangeably, claiming that disagreement with someone’s moral choices equals rejection. Jesus, however, demonstrated the opposite. As a church, we strive to follow Jesus’ example, unashamedly adhering to his teachings, while creating a welcoming environment for those who differ from our beliefs, including sexuality.

[1] Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:24, 26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10

[2] Genesis 4:7; James 1:13-15

[3] Romans 8:5-11

[4] Preston Sprinkle, Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2021), 76–77.

[5] Mark A. Yarhouse, Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015), 154–59.

[6] See Luke 7:36-50; Sprinkle, Embodied, 222.

[7] See Luke 5:27-32; Luke 19:1-10

Men's and Women's Role in the Church

We recognize that God created both men and women in His image, that He offers the same Holy Spirit to both men and women at salvation, and that the same spiritual gifts are available to both men and women for service. While we believe eldership (including the role of lead pastor) is reserved for men, we affirm that women in all other roles are scripturally qualified, spiritually blessed, and directly called to use their spiritual gifts to build Christ’s Kingdom. According to our understanding of scripture, God has chosen to hold qualified males uniquely accountable for the condition of the church.

Kingdom Diversity

We recognize the value and dignity of all people regardless of ethnicity, biological sex, age, physical or mental ability, economic or social status. We believe that Jesus came to redeem a diverse people of men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The blessing of the gospel includes reconciliation across gender, racial, ethnic, and class differences.[1] Therefore, as the body of Christ manifest on earth,[2] we are to represent the gospel of peace and the diversity of Christ’s kingdom,[3] seeking to realistically reflect the diversity of our geographic communities.

[1] Galatians 3:14

[2] Ephesians 1:22-23

[3] Ephesians 2:14-18