Covenant Chapel is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Our leadership ascribes to the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms. Below is a list of the essential beliefs of our church.
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith:
1. We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
2. Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
3. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
4. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God's free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
5. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
6. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth-personally, visibly, and bodily-to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)
7. The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to "Him who loved us and gave Himself for us." He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)
Baptism is the “sign and seal” of the New Covenant (Romans 4:11). At Covenant Chapel, when someone comes to faith in Jesus, it is appropriate that they be baptized in obedience to Christ’s command. Our standard practice is to sprinkle water on the head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If preferred, arrangements can be made for adults and older children to be baptized by immersion.
Additionally, we believe the Scriptures teach it is appropriate to administer baptism to the children of believers (commonly referred to as “infant baptism”). In Peter’s first sermon in the Book of Acts, he taught the continuation of the covenant to all who believe and to their children (2:38-39). As children bore the covenant sign of circumcision under the Old Covenant prior to coming to faith, we believe it is appropriate for them to receive the sign of the New Covenant (baptism), even before they come to actual faith in Jesus (Colossians 2:11-12). This action is perfectly illustrated in Paul’s teaching in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love toward us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Even before we were conceived, Jesus had done all that was necessary for our salvation, so too, in the baptism of infants, Jesus’ work is signified to them but sealed in the future when they come to Christ by faith. Baptism points, not to a decision we made to trust in and follow Jesus, but rather to the work he finished on the cross.
We do not believe that baptism creates or confers the grace of salvation to anyone, whether child or adult. We also do not believe baptism washes away sins. Rather, salvation comes only through trusting in Jesus and the merit of his work completed on the cross credited freely to all who know and follow him.
If you are interested in being baptized or having a child baptized, please contact a pastor or the church office. If you have further questions about infant baptism, we would love to have a more extended conversation and give you a copy of John Sartelle’s book, What Christian Parents Should Know About Infant Baptism.
In the Bible, the word “church” refers to the gathered assembly of God’s people. It’s the place where Christians 1) gather corporately, usually on Sunday, to worship, pray, fellowship, study the Scriptures, and receive the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s supper) and then 2) scatter throughout the week as missionaries proclaiming the good news of God’s Kingdom in the world.
The New Testament doesn’t give explicit instructions on church membership, but it does refer to people as being part of the fellowship, committed to the fellowship, and even being put out of the fellowship. Church membership is a way of saying, “I’m committed to worship and serve with this particular group of believers.” Being a member also allows the privilege of being able to have a voice in who is elected to leadership within the church (primarily pastors, elders, and deacons/deaconesses).
Members of Covenant Chapel have received the sacrament of baptism, either as an infant or an adult, publically profess faith in Jesus Christ, agree with the Essential Beliefs of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and complete the five steps in the process outlined below. Members are expected to get involved in the fellowship and mission of the church, seek to maintain unity and harmony in all relationships, and submit to the church’s leadership.
Step One: Complete a Membership Application and submit it to one of the pastors or staff members. The application may be obtained from the office or by clicking the words "Membership Application" above and downloading the form.
Step Two: Attend the Membership Class, which gives an overview of the history, beliefs, mission, and core vales of Covenant Chapel. The class will last an hour and a half and is offered at least 6 times per year or can be arranged as a special meeting with one of the pastors.
Step Three: Meet with two elders to discuss your conversion story, current spiritual journey, and how you plan to get more involved in the community and ministries of Covenant Chapel.
Step Four: After these steps are completed, the elders will give final approval at the next monthly Session meeting.
Step Five: New members are then presented to the congregation and verbally affirm the Membership Covenant found on the Membership Application.