Included in this Statement of Faith are brief descriptions and scriptural references for a variety of theological issues that provide the framework for our preaching, teaching and leadership at Peters Creek Baptist Church.
THE NATURE OF GOD
We believe in the one, living and eternal God who is the Creator of all. He is holy, perfect, and loving in nature. God is personal in that He concerns Himself with the affairs of all people. God has revealed Himself as God the Father, Jesus Christ the virgin-born Son, and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are the same essence though distinct in personality.
THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE
We believe that each word as well as the whole of the message of scripture was inspired by God. Therefore, we affirm that the Bible is the sole authority for Christian faith and practice.
THE EXISTENCE OF SATAN
We acknowledge the existence of Satan and his demons, the enemies of God and humankind, who seek unlawful dominion through the overthrow of God's gracious rule.
We believe that Adam's original sin resulted in our spiritual death, separation from God, and the need of God's forgiveness for all persons.
We believe that our redemption was accomplished through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are thereby saved from the penalty of sin by God's grace through personal faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, bringing us into a relationship of peace and fellowship with God.
We believe that those who receive Christ as Savior and Lord will rejoice eternally in God's presence, and that those who reject Christ will be eternally separated from God.
We believe in the imminent physical return of Jesus Christ to receive all believers, according to His promise.
We believe in the Church, a living and universal spiritual body with Christ as its head and all believers as its members. The local church is a visible example of a community of believers committed to worship, ministry, spiritual growth, and service.
We believe that all persons are created with a need to acknowledge the sovereign majesty of God. Worship is the personal and corporate expression through which the believer experiences the nature, personality, and will of God. We believe that the Christian should make a commitment to private and corporate worship on a regular basis.
We believe that all Christians have received God-given spiritual gifts for the purposes of personal ministry involvement, encouraging corporate faith, building unity in the Church, and investing in the spiritual growth of all believers. The church is responsible to encourage the discovery of spiritual gifts, and to provide an environment where every member is given the opportunity to pursue ministry based on giftedness.
We believe that all Christians have been commissioned by God to actively proclaim the good news of Christ's love and sacrifice. Every believer is responsible for maintaining a lifestyle that invites others to personal faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe that baptism is a public symbol of the believer's death to the old life and resurrection to new life in Christ, and that bodily immersion, as the New Testament example, is required for membership in this local fellowship.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord's Supper is a symbolic commemoration of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, His broken body and shed blood, and that this celebration is open to all believers.
We believe that in response to God's gracious care for our needs, Christians are to cheerfully and responsibly provide financial support for the ongoing ministry of Christ's Church. Further, we believe that members should maintain a regular and proportionate giving plan, understanding the need to support both the home base ministry needs as well as the world-wide needs of the Church.
AUTHORITY FOR MATTERS OF BELIEF AND CONDUCT
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible, as the inspired, infallible Word of God is our authority concerning truth, morality, and conduct, and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline at Peters Creek Baptist Church, the Leadership Council is our final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application.
Established in 1773, Peters Creek has enjoyed a rich history of ministry and growth, centered in our allegiance to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. At Peters Creek, believers and seekers discover purpose, promise, hope and help for living in a daily relationship with Jesus Christ.
Rev. John Whitaker, who lived on Peters Creek near the Washington/Allegheny County line, drew up the convenant on November 10, 1773. It was signed by himself and eight other charter members, all of whom agreed to "solemnly unite as a Religious Society to the honour of God and the Butifiing of his Zion on the Earth and to stand by each other in Maintaining his truth and in Defending the several Doctrines and Rules of Discipline in the Baptist Confession of faith as well as all others warranted in the word of God" (original language).
In 1776, they began to meet more regularly in a log cabin on the east side of the Monongahela River at Elizabeth, but this location proved difficult to get to at times. In 1778, they built a second meeting-house on the property of Robert Estep near Gastonville. This building was closer to the home of its pastor, Rev. Whitaker, and was situated on the banks of Peters Creek, from which, in the meeting minutes of January 6, 1781, the church would take its permanent name.
The church's second pastor, Rev. David Philips, stayed with the church 43 years - the longest of any pastor to date. It was he who deeded some of his land to the church, and it is on this land that Peters Creek Baptist Church stands today.
The church's second century saw the construction of many new buildings as the church grew with the surrounding communities. In 1884, during the pastorate of J.K. Cramer, the people built a beautiful Gothic church building with a slate roof. Within 50 years, the heavy slate roof of the grand church began to buckle its walls, and the building was torn down in August of 1938. It would be ten years before they would have the money to construct the actual sanctuary, and it would be under the leadership of one of the most beloved pastors, Rev. Carl Boyer.
In order to meet the costs necessary to build, Rev. Boyer donated his salary back to the church, and issued Love-Gift Certificates to anyone donating $100 or more to the building fund. With the children cleaning bricks, the men doing the construction and the women cooking the men's meals, the new church building was ready for worship on November 13, 1949. This building still stands today, but is no longer used as a sanctuary. Instead it has been divided into a multi-purpose room and a chapel that was dedicated to the memory of Carl Boyer.
In the years that followed, the church enjoyed tremendous spiritual and physical growth, and added an education unit to the church building in 1956. By 1959, a second floor had been added to the structure, and by 1962, plans were underway for a new sanctuary that would seat 800 people.The cornerstone of the new sanctuary was laid on May 22, 1966 with Rev. W. Carey Ballbach presiding over the festivities. Construction moved fast, and by winter only finishing touches needed to be applied. A sign was placed over the entrances to the new sanctuary that cautioned: "Do Not Open Until Christmas." The first service there was held on December 25, 1966.