Who We Are

Who We Are

Welcome To Seattle First Baptist Church!

We are delighted to welcome you to Seattle First Baptist Church! Whether through this website or in person at one of our services or many gatherings, you will find a dynamic faith community that has been a voice for social justice and progressive theology in downtown Seattle for 150 years. We welcome you to hold your Christian heritage unapologetically while diving into the deep end of progressive faith in action through our many community and faith partnerships and collaborations. 
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 boundaries we will not cross, and no loyalties above those 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.

  1. We will go deeper in faith as we do justice, love mercy, work for peace and walk humbly with God. 
  2. 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. 
  3. We will respect all religions by learning about the beliefs, values and struggles of our neighbors and by demonstrating support for them. 
  4. 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. 
  5. We will actively work to recognize and change our own biases and to fight racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism and other systemic prejudices. 
  6. 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. 

No matter your background, your beliefs, your sense of belonging, your perceived barriers…
You are welcome here.

A Welcoming and Affirming Community

special logo courtesy of Kellie Whitlock

For decades, Seattle First Baptist has been at the forefront of supporting, welcoming, including, and affirming LGBTQ+ community members and families. Since the 1960s when we hosted a support group for gay men through today, we have ensured that our community knows that they are both safe and beloved in this sacred home. When Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, SFBC was delighted to perform legal weddings in the sanctuary, marrying 25 couples in a big community celebration.
Today, we invite members and leadership to bring their whole selves to their spiritual life and community. SFBC seeks to include those from diverse backgrounds and does not discriminate based on gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.

  • Here you are encouraged to be fully who you are.
  • Here you are accepted, valued, and encouraged to grow into the complete individual that God wants you to be.
  • Here you can find refuge from the barriers that still divide so many parts of our society.
  • Here you are invited, just as you are, to join us, just as we are, in a mutual journey of love, support and respect.

Our Partners

Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches

EA-ABC is an American Baptist Region of churches in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Venezuela and Washington doing business by consensus and organized by ethnic caucuses.

Evergreen churches build bridges that carry the message of who we are and accepts the message of who others are. Those bridges open the door for the creation of relationships. Relationships begin through participation in Evergreen that lead to an increased number of people being involved, and intentional intergenerational connections. Those relationships result in support of one another through acceptance, understanding and sensitivity to our cultural differences. So that more people now live and tell the Evergreen story.

Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America​

BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz is the largest network of Baptist peacemakers in the world. We celebrate and support the peacemaking work done by Baptist churches in our four home countries of Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico by raising the visibility of these efforts; bringing peacemakers together in regional and international gatherings; and providing resources, speakers and training to our members. We also actively connect with peacemakers from other traditions, faith-based and secular, to build alliances and work together toward our common goal of a more just and peaceful world.

Pastor Anita currently serves on the Board of the organization. Please contact her for more information.

Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists

The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB) is made up of a growing number of member churches, affiliated organizations, and individuals willing to go on record as welcoming and affirming all persons without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. These organizations and individuals have joined together to advocate for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within Baptist communities of faith.

Seattle First Baptist is a charter member of AWAB.

American Baptist Churches

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members across the United States and Puerto Rico.
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