About Us

Missional Church



First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, relating to the American Baptist Churches in the USA, worships God, seeks after inspiration through the Holy Spirit, and serves Christ in ministry to members, friends, and others in need.

. . . . impressions are important.  But isn't it disappointing when a person makes a quick judgment, then never stops to think about the truth of the matter?  Jumping to conclusions can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings.  For instance, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word . . . . .
. . . . . may not be open-minded, progressive, welcoming, or concerned about social justice.   But it's simply not fair to judge people - or churches - by a first impression.  Often, you have to give them another chance, learn more, and be open-minded.  You may be surprised at what kind of . . . . .
. . . . we are.  At First Baptist Church, nobody is expected to have all the answers, morally or spiritually.  we can agree to disagree, and still have communion together.  Give us a try.  Get to know us, and give us a chance to get to know you.  Join us as we search for God's answers for our lives.  It's that sense of community, honesty and creativity that makes . . . .
. . . . such a great place to live.  And we've been part of this community since 1854!

 Statement of Faith

       We believe everyone is a child of God, so everyone is welcome at First Baptist Church. We believe in a loving God and in Jesus Christ who came to show us how to live and be in relationship with God. We worship together to grow spiritually and to be strengthened in our lives. We study the Bible in order to learn about Christ and how he wants us to live. We try to understand the context in which the scriptures were written and to make them applicable for life today. We practice “open communion,” where all can participate in the Lord’s Supper because we believe Christ invites us all to his table.  

        As American Baptists, we have four central beliefs: 1) soul liberty, where everyone has the right and responsibility to have a relationship with God and no one should tell someone else what to believe; 2) believer’s baptism, where we baptize those old enough to understand the commitment to follow Christ that they’re making; 3) local church autonomy, where each congregation governs and makes decisions for itself without interference from an outside authority; and 4) the separation of church and state, where each individual has the right to worship in freedom.

        We believe that part of Jesus’ mission is to help humanity live in justice and peace. As his disciples, we’re called to speak out for those who have no voice and to support those who need help. Our faith asks us to live with compassion for others and to learn how we can help make others’ lives better.

       We believe that each of us is called to ministry in our families, friends, jobs, volunteering, and our church work. A church pastor is not the only one who does ministry. 

       We believe in working with other Christian denominations and other faith traditions to share God’s love with the world. We know that much more can be accomplished when we work together and share our resources.

      We believe in participating in missionary work in the United States and abroad. We do this to reach out to others with resources they need and to help them know the love of God and the joy we have found in following Christ.

     Our church is a supporting congregation of the United Campus Ministry on the campuses of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and KVCC.

SECTION 1. Requirements for Membership. The membership of this Church shall
consist of persons who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who are in
substantial agreement with the faith and practice of this Church.

SECTION 2. Admission of Members. Applicants for membership shall be received into
the Church by vote of the Diaconate following a period of instruction. The Right Hand of
Fellowship shall be extended by the Senior Pastor and the Moderator at a worship
service following the vote of the Diaconate. Members shall be received in one of the
following ways:
A. Baptism: By immersion after profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior, except in those cases where the Diaconate, upon such examination as it
deems appropriate, declares that immersion shall not be required.
B. Letter: By presentation of letters of transfer from other Christian Churches.
C. Reaffirmation of Faith: A person who has held membership in another Christian
Church and who cannot present a letter from that Church may be received into
membership upon his/her affirmation of Section I of this Article.
D. Restoration: A person who has lost his/her membership in this Church may be
restored to membership upon his/her request and approval of the Diaconate.

 The Church in the City

The number of those who pass through our doors each year far exceeds the number of those who attend Sunday worship.  The church's Community Arts Program sponsors one or two events throughout each month of the year and welcomes many musical organizations in the city to make use of the church's outstanding concert facilities. The All Ears Radio Theatre fills the sanctuary with spectators who enjoy watching actors read their lines and how sound effects are created.

Every New Year's Eve the church is open for the six hours of the downtown's New Year's Eve Fest for hundreds of families to enjoy first-class entertainment and non-alcoholic refreshments.

Throughout the year the church provides venues for civic and political events and is regularly open to help many with special needs:

  • The last week of each month and the first week of each month the church collaborates with the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry to distribute food to those who are in need
  • Each Saturday morning at 9:30 am, Al-Anon meets at the church
  • Center for Transformations mentoring group meets every Tuesday afternoon at 1:00pm
  • All Ears Radio Theatre performs every other Saturday evening starting in January and goes through May.

Location of FBC

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