About First Baptist Church


First Baptist Church, like all Baptist churches, is independent, making its own decisions about staffing, worship, ministry, outreach, and the programs it offers and supports. We choose to be affiliated with The American Baptist Churches USA, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB), The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, and the American Baptist Churches of The Rochester Genesee Region of New York state.

Following American Baptist polity, our church is run by church members who are nominated and affirmed by the membership as a whole. The church strives to support the spiritual life of individuals and families in its worship services and other aspects of church life.

For a glimpse of the work of this Church, please see a sampling of our Annual Report.

The First Baptist Church Covenant

Adopted 16 June 1963
Adapted by Rev. David M. Evans in the interest of inclusive language

As believers in God, the Creator, in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer; and in The Holy Spirit, the Sustainer, we, members and friends of the First Baptist Church in Ithaca, enter in to covenant with one another:

  • To strive toward yielding ourselves completely to Christ and to encourage one another to do the same
  • To give of our time and talent to the work of this church in advancing the Kingdom of God
  • To contribute cheerfully and generously to the support of the church and its mission and outreach
  • To attend as regularly as possible the worship services of the church
  • To be sensitive to the needs of others, remembering them in prayer and aiding them in sickness and distress
  • To live in such a way that others will be drawn to Christ and the Church
  • To work for the spiritual growth of the church through group and individual study and through personal commitment
  • To be slow to take offense and to be ready to seek reconciliation
  • To work with God to bring about universal equality, justice, and world peace
  • To guide our children in the understanding of and obedience to the living Christ
  • To stand ready to cooperate with men and women of other faiths whenever possible for the attainment of common purposes
  • And when we remove from this place, to unite with some other church where we may continue our Christian responsibilities.  

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We Are American Baptists


Four Freedoms are central to Baptists:

1. Bible Freedom: The Bible is central in the life of the individual and church; Christians are both free and obligated to study and follow the scriptures.

2. Soul Freedom: The inalienable right and responsibility of every person to deal with God without the imposition of creed, the obstructions of clergy, or the intervention of civil government.

3. Church Freedom: Local churches are free to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whom they perceive as gifted for ministry, male or female, and to participate in the larger Body of Christ.

4. Religious Freedom: The historic Baptist affirmation of freedom of religion, freedom for religion and freedom from religion, insisting that Caesar is not Christ and that Christ is not Caesar.

What does the Lord require of you?
To do Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
~Micah 6:8~