History, Beliefs, Vision, Values, Structure
About Stonnington Baptist Church
Stonnington Baptist Church began in June 1999 formed by a team sent out from Crossway Baptist Church to the Malvern area. The team began praying, planning and preparing in August 1998. Since 1999 we have grown from a team of approximately twenty people to our present size.
We moved from Deakin University to 75 Union Street in February 2004. The Union Street building was purchased by the church in October 2005. The mortgage with which the building was purchased is being paid through our regular giving, and also by means of pledges and gifts made by individual church members.
What does the word “Baptist” mean?
The first Baptist churches came into being in Europe over 400 years ago as part of the Reformation movement which swept that continent. Baptist churches stood for:
• Freedom of worship according to one’s own conscience
• Baptism of believers only
• Each believer’s direct access to God
• Voluntary association of believers.
These beliefs and practices were regarded as so radical at the time that many who held them were martyred.
The first Baptists came to Australia in 1831. Today there are about 65,000 members in Baptist churches in Australia and many more adherents. Each local church is autonomously self-governing. We voluntarily link together with other churches to form a Baptist Union in each state, which in turn forms the Baptist Union of Australia. We have fraternal links through the Baptist World Alliance with almost 40 million others of our worldwide family, which exists in most of the countries of the world. We are a part of God’s total worldwide family, which now numbers 3.1 billion.
Stonnington Baptist Church recognizes and enjoys fellowship with believers from all denominations of the Christian church. The church leaders are actively involved in local inter-denominational networks of church pastors and ministers, and we seek wherever possible to build up and encourage the other churches in our area.
Currently we have no ongoing formal relationship with Crossway Baptist Church although we have received much practical advice, support and encouragement from them from time to time.
Like all other churches in the Baptist Union of Victoria, we believe –
1. The Bible is God’s word to us and it is the ultimate authority by which we live (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:21).
2. God is one God in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
3. The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God who, as a real man, lived on earth (John 4:25–26, 42; Hebrews 1:3).
4. Every person has rebelled against God (we call this “sin”) and so is separated from God (Romans 3:23; 5:12).
5. All people may be reunited with God, having their sin and its effects cancelled because of Jesus’ perfect life, death and rising from the dead as our substitute. Jesus is now with God and prays for us constantly. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8–9).
6. To be reunited with God it is necessary for us to turn away from our sins, to accept what Jesus has done on our behalf, and believe in him. (Acts 2:28).
7. When we do this, the Holy Spirit enters our lives to renew and preserve us, to help us to grow more like Jesus. (John 16:8–14; 1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 4:30).
8. One day everyone will rise from the dead to be judged by Jesus Christ (John 5:28; Acts 17:31).
9. There are two special ceremonies Jesus has commanded us to follow always:
- Baptism by which believers express their faith in Jesus. They do this by being totally immersed in water as an act of identification with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. (Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 8:35–38; Romans 6:3–4).
- The Lord’s Supper (also known as “Communion”) to remind us of Jesus dying for us and that he is coming again (1 Corinthians 11:23–32).
“To be a passionate, prayerful people, serving God, caring for and encouraging each other, and connecting with those yet to know Jesus.”
Our Mission Statement
“To be a people who love God and proclaim His love to the world”
We seek always to give God glory and honour by being …
A Compassionate Community
Care love and unity that attracts and welcomes the community
(Acts 4:32; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Galatians 5:6(b); 6:2)
Holy Spirit inspired worship, displaying the power of God
(John 4:23-24; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:14-16)
Dependence on God through diligent and committed prayer
(Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
Culturally relevant preaching based on God’s Word as the final authority
(2 Timothy 2:2; 3:16; Matthew 28:19-20; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:28)
All members being empowered to minister through training and equipping
(Acts 1:8; Ephesians 4:11-13; James 1:22,27)
Ministering to the community and beyond, through evangelism, discipleship and social justice (Mark 16:15)
Ministering to people’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs by the power of the Spirit (Isaiah 1:17; 56:1; Luke 10:25-37; 18:7-8)
How are we organised?
We are a member of the Baptist Union of Victoria. They provide central resources and guidance for us as a local church.
- We operate with local congregational government.
- The congregation elects members to the Church Council to oversea the life of the church.
- The council is accountable back to the congregation through the annual general meeting and other special meetings that may be called from time to time. This includes voting on the annual budget and major decisions (eg. building purchases etc
- The church council identifies a candidate for Senior Pastor and they are then voted on by the membership.
- The Senior Pastor is a member of the church council.
- The Senior Pastor and the council may appoint people to other paid positions such as administrator or associate pastor
David Wanstall, 25/02/2009