Core Values

First Baptist Church in Ithaca is a nurturing and inclusive community.
Guided by Jesus’ teachings, we strive for social and ecological justice; and
embrace the Baptist tradition of Bible, Soul, Church, and Religious freedoms.

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.  

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.