The Welcome Hall Evangelical Church acts as an Independent Evangelical Church holding to reformed Calvinistic doctrines. It is governed by a body of elders, including the pastor. Deacons also serve the church in practical and spiritual matters.
Membership of the church is open to those whose lives give evidence that they have been converted through personal faith in Jesus Christ, and who have been baptised. Members are also expected to give their wholehearted consent to the church’s Basis of Faith, as set out below.
Basis of Faith
Historically our doctrinal convictions are substantially reflected in such documents as The Westminster Confession of Faith and The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) though any doctrinal controversies are to be settled by the Bible alone. Our beliefs are described briefly below.
- The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is in its entirety the Word of God. It is without error, reliable, authoritative and sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
- There is one living and true God, existing eternally in three distinct but equal Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is the Almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge.
- Men and women are created in the image of God to glorify and enjoy Him. The fall of mankind in Adam resulted in every aspect of human nature being corrupted by sin. All are under the just condemnation of God and must be born again and forgiven in order to know and please Him.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, He lived a sinless life, taught with authority and all His words are true. He died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and lives forever.
- Salvation cannot be earned or deserved. We must depend entirely on God’s grace. Accomplished by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, salvation is freely offered to all. God in His love forgives those sinners whom He calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, and adopted into the family of God.
- The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ and applies His saving work to individuals. He shows them their sinfulness, imparting spiritual life and giving biblical understanding. He dwells within all believers, bringing assurance of salvation and producing increasing likeness to Jesus.
- All those who are truly saved shall certainly and finally persevere in faith and holiness. Not one of them shall ever perish, but all shall have everlasting life.
- The universal church comprises all true believers. Local churches are gatherings of believers committed to one another for the worship of God, the preaching of His Word, the administering of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, pastoral care and sharing the good news of salvation with others.
- Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into His Church, but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s death, but is not a sacrifice for sin nor does it involve any change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
- The Lord Jesus will come again in power and glory to raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. All believers will enjoy eternal blessedness. All who finally reject Christ as Saviour will suffer eternal punishment. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.
For more details on what we believe as a church, see our Doctrinal Distinctives document.