Welcome To Seattle First Baptist Church!
Seattle First Baptist is a church community that seeks to follow the way of Jesus Christ, to be a people of God and to love and care for our neighbors. The invitation is always open to discover what we offer not only our members and guests, but the wider First Hill (and Seattle) Community. Seattle First Baptist is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA and values traditional historic Baptist principles such as Soul Freedom — the right of each person to interpret the Bible and other teachings for her or himself, the Separation of Church and State and the Autonomy of the congregation. As a church we value our communal times of worship, music and education together, and we encourage individuals to discover and walk their spiritual path in solitude and in community, in small groups and large, and in individual spiritual direction.
Our Mission Statement:
We are a community of faith united in exploring what it means to follow the way of Jesus Christ, to be a people of God, and to love and care for our neighbors. As a church we will know no circles of exclusion, no bridges we will not cross, and no loyalties above that which we owe to God.
We take this mission seriously and invite you to:
Explore what it means for you and for us to follow the way of Jesus Christ;
Engage in this community of faith as we unite our lives in exploring what it means to be a people of God, loving and caring for our neighbors; and to
Belong, in whatever sense that is true for you, knowing that, as a church, we strive to be a community that knows no circles of exclusion.
Our Mission Partners:
Seattle First Baptist Church is an American Baptist church and is an active member of The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB), Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Faith Action Network, and the Church Council of Greater Seattle.
Our church bylaws include the following behavioral norms, which with our Mission Statement illustrate how we seek to behave as a community.
As a community of faith, we seek to follow the way of Jesus Christ. This includes how we interact with each other, and how leaders among us behave. Following are behavioral norms that all leaders, staff, and members of SFBC strive to achieve:
- Our goal is to serve first and foremost. We lead as a way to serve our congregation and community.
- We seek to trust, to have foresight, to listen, to maintain confidentiality, and to use power and empowerment ethically.
- We insist on collaboration rather than competition, and value truthfulness and admitting mistakes.
- We hold each other accountable, but do not blame. Blame is covering up. Accountability offers the possibility of growth.
- We are willing to compromise with others when appropriate, and do not need to always be in control.
- By letting go of control and trusting and validating others, we make it possible to be of good cheer – to be joyful. Joy and cheer come from not always having to be right or do it right.
- We seek enhancement of the individual and community as the outcome over productivity .
- We use power for participation, not for domination – power with, rather than power over.
- We succeed when we value and validate our members and tell the truth. We fail when we exploit our members and hide or conceal.
- We put ourselves at risk, with humility and clarity.
We seek to act so that those we lead grow as persons and become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more like the leaders we seek to be. We seek to act in ways that do not deprive the least privileged. In all this, we seek to follow Jesus.
Faithful to our Baptist heritage, we strive for a world where people are welcomed regardless of, and with respect for, their religious beliefs; where the separation of church and state is vigorously defended; where freedom is a fundamental right that values the dignity of all persons without regard to their race, country of birth, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, or disabilities; and where compassion is the measure of our actions.
- We will go deeper in faith as we do justice, love mercy, work for peace and walk humbly with God.
- We will be present to one another and our neighbors in our personal relationships and by creating venues for engagement where we can learn about viewpoints different from our own.
- We will respect all religions by learning about the beliefs, values and struggles of our neighbors and by demonstrating support for them.
- We will welcome the stranger, including immigrants and refugees, as our Scriptures instruct. We will explore how to support their causes and advocate for justice, remembering that many of us are the children of immigrants and refugees.
- We will actively work to recognize and change our own biases and to fight racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism and other systemic prejudices.
- We will protect our environment and support preservation programs that are based on scientific data designed to improve our resources, enhance biodiversity, and reverse human-caused climate change.
We affirm these commitments as we continue to follow the way of Jesus Christ.
SFBC furthers the understanding of God’s loving nature, as revealed by Christ. We understand and acknowledge that all individuals are ministers in their own right with full freedom to interpret Scripture and its application in their everyday lives and to seek a relationship with the Sacred in whatever way they choose.