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Welcome to Forward Church

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Our Mission

Forward Church exists with the purpose to worship God and make disciples. To provide a place of fellowship that will equip and empower the believer and to lead those separated from God into covenant with Him.

4 Key Gospel Identities

Who We Are

We were created to worship our creator.

God has created us to worship Him with every fiber of our being and every breath that we take. As we live our daily lives, we are worshiping something. Therefore, we must focus our hearts on God Almighty and direct our worship to Him. God commands us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We do that through the power of His Holy Spirit and through the truth of His Holy Word.

Scripture References: Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; 1 Kings 7:13-20

We are followers of Jesus who are learning to obey His teachings.

Jesus has called us to follow Him and to learn from Him. Jesus says that He is the Truth, He leads us in the Truth, and He has given us the Spirit of Truth. Before the Gospel changed us we were enslaved to the desires of the flesh and of the mind, but now we have become obedient from the heart to Jesus’ teaching (Romans 6:17-18). We have become disciples of Jesus who submit to His teaching and His ways as we learn to live for His glory.

Scripture References: Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:11-14

We are the adopted children of God who live and care for each other as family.

We once were the “children of wrath” but have been transformed by the Gospel. The Father has adopted us into His family. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit to this adoption. We are no longer orphans alienated from God and each other, but brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Scripture References: John 1:12-13, Romans 12:10-16, Galatians 4:4-7

We are missionaries sent by Jesus and empowered by His Spirit to demonstrate and declare the Gospel.

Jesus told His followers, “As the Father sent me, I am sending you.” He then empowered them by the Holy Spirit and commissioned them to go be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. Jesus modeled this for us. He worked, ate, and lived among the people, living in such a way that those around Him could see and experience what God was truly like. We are commanded to be like Jesus and take salt and light to the world.

Scripture References: Matthew 28:18-20; John 1:14, 20:21; Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:19-20

What We Believe

These are the primary doctrines of the Christian faith, and reflect the heart of the teaching and preaching ministry of Forward Church.

The Bible

We believe that the Bible is the written revelation of God, being fully inspired, absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. It is the only authority for all faith and practice.

Scripture References: Psalm 19:1-14; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 30:8; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:34-35; John 10:35; John 16:12-13; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11

God The Father

We believe that God the Father is the first Person of the Trinity. He orders all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is sovereign in providence and redemption. He is the Creator of the universe, which He accomplished from no pre-existing substance, but by the creative power of His spoken Word. He is immutable. He is omnipotent. He is omnipresent. He is omniscient.

Scripture References: Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:33; Genesis 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3; Psalm 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 33:6; Romans 4:17; Isaiah 44:24; Hebrews 1:3; Jeremiah 23:23; Psalm 139:1-24; Isaiah 40:13; Romans 8:28; Psalm 104:24; Matthew 6:25-33; 1 Corinthians 4:5

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.

Scripture References: 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

Salvation

We believe that we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation does not come as the result of something we have done but rather because of what God has done. It is a free gift that cannot be earned or deserved. We receive that gift by faith in Jesus Christ and confessing Him as Lord and Savior.

Scripture References: Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23

Water Baptism

We believe that baptism is the immersion in water of a repentant believer. In the New Testament church, every believer was commanded to repent and be baptized. Baptism symbolizes the following: Cleansing and forgiveness of sins. The New Birth. Circumcision of the Heart. The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ. Salvation.

Scripture References: Acts 2:38, 22:16; John 3:5; Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21

Spiritual Gifts

We believe that spiritual gifts are given: by the Holy Spirit, for the Church, and to God’s Glory. The exercise or use of any spiritual gift must be operated in decency and in order, not drawing attention to oneself.

Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 12-14; Matthew 28:18-20

The Church

We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head. The members of the Church are those who have trusted by faith in the finished work of Christ. The purpose of the Church is to glorify God by loving Him and by making Him known to the lost world.

Scripture References: Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-16, 5:23-30; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 27, Colossians 1:18, 28-29; Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28-29

Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in every aspect of living. God has set the Christian apart for the purpose of sanctification. True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.

Scripture References: 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Ephesians 2:10

God

We believe that there is only one true and living God Who is perfect, personal, and He exists eternally in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Scripture References: Matthew 28:19; Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:8; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; Deuteronomy 6:4;Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4; John 4:24; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-5; Revelation 1:4-6

Jesus

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sinners by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory, and is seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede on our behalf. He will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Scripture References: Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13

Mankind

We believe that mankind was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him, but through Adam’s disobedience, the entire human race was separated from God. As a result, man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own effort alone.

Scripture References: Romans 2:2-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Genesis 1:27, 9:6; Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Romans 5:12, 3:23; Ephesians 2:1

Eternity

We believe that man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence.

Scripture References: John 3:16, 2:25, 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46

The Lord's Supper

We believe that only repentant believers who have carefully examined themselves should partake of The Lord’s Supper. The Bible does not set a prescribed time for observing this supper, but we partake every Second Sunday together as a church family and it is always available upon request in the prayer room. Jesus simply said, "Do this in remembrance of me."

Scripture References: Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

Church Government

We believe that the local church is to be governed by a plurality of godly leaders called elders. The qualifications for these men are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:6-9. The responsibility of the elders is to shepherd the flock of God. The responsibility of the believers is to obey the elders and submit to them in love.

Scripture References: 1 Timothy 5:17,1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7, 17; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2-3

Justification

We believe that justification is the means by which the believer’s sins are completely forgiven in Christ. To be justified is to be made righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his or her sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but is declared sinless. This justification is a gift of grace, by faith, and because Jesus took upon Himself our guilt.

Scripture References: Romans 5:9; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 5:18

Grace

We believe that grace is unmerited favor. It is God’s free gift for the benefit of His people. Grace is not the result of human effort. Grace is freely given, because of who God is, not because of who we are or what we do or don’t do. It is the means of our salvation.

Scripture References: Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Romans 6:14

Leadership & Staff

While God and the Bible are the ultimate authority for Forward Church, there is a leadership and staff structure to keep the day-to-day operations and ministry of the church moving forward.

ELDERS

Mike Rich

Chairman

Clark Jenney

Elder

Kenny McWhirter

Elder

Tim Neal

Elder // Building Maintenance

STAFF

Neil Crouse

Lead Pastor

Brittany Blanton

Administrative Assistant

Lisa Sutherland

Financial Team Director

Shawn Neal

forKids Ministry Director

Blake Belles

Student Ministry Pastor

Sean Eastridge

Worship Ministry Director