Our mission as a church family is to build a community of faith by equipping and empowering followers of Jesus to become mature disciples and effective ministers throughout our community and world. As you can see, this is a huge vision to seek to live out. We make no claim to have arrived or succeeded in the mission. We are everyday people who have simply begun the journey of following Jesus. In the matrix of our changing world, we have discovered that Jesus is the very center of life.
We would love to be able to share this wonderful journey of faith and life with you.
The key to this journey is found in the relationships that people have with God and with each other. It would be our pleasure to partner with you in your journey of faith and to participate with you in a variety of ways in order to share life together.
Not only do we seek to nurture relationships throughout our church family, we seek to express God’s love throughout our community and world. We do this by seeking ways to serve and minister to those all around us. It is our desire that every person have the opportunity to experience God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. Centerville is a group of people who have encountered Jesus as the center of life and hope. Although we are far from arriving, we are on the journey. We would love to have you sail along with us as a friend and follower of Jesus.
What does Centerville believe?
The bottom line is that we are followers of Jesus Christ. As such, we believe in Jesus’ bottom line: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NRSV) In other words, religion, faith, and life should be interpreted through the lens of Love God, Love Others, Love Self.
If Jesus’ great commandment of love sums the “what” of our beliefs, then the “why” could be summed up in John 4:19—“We love, because he first loved us.”
Beyond this central focus on love, what do we believe or, just as importantly, how do we approach belief? Firstly, we don’t ask members and affiliates to sign on the dotted line of any one statement or creed. There are, however, several documents that, more or less, reflect our general perspectives regarding Christian faith. According to our Constitution, we ascribe to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. A link for that document can be found here…
Recently, Centerville’s Pastors have been referring to the following statement of faith when exploring Christianity with interested people and/or baptizing them:
Do you believe in God, our Creator the Source, the fountain of life?
Do you believe in Christ, God in the flesh as the Servant, Jesus of Nazareth, who is our Savior, our Guide, and Lord of all, who lived, died, and rose again, who shows us the way, forgives our sins, and frees us to live abundant life?
Do you believe in the Spirit, the Guide, the liberating wellspring of life?
Do you commit to the Church, the People of God, the Family of Brothers and Sisters who seek to follow Jesus and who make up Christ’s Body in the world?
Do you believe in women ministers?
We have had women deacons for many years, and we’ve had women preach in our pulpits. As a body, we affirm women for any and every role of ministry and life.
Are you political?
We are not partisan. We have active participants who vote every which way. We do, however, believe that sharing the Good News, seeking justice and mercy, and living kingdom lives is inherently political. Following Jesus means desiring to live in society and impact society in ways that challenge the status quo and sometimes speaks truth to power.
Are you Cooperative Baptist or Southern Baptist?
For most of its life, Centerville has been rooted in the heritage of Southern Baptists.
Recently, with the help of pastors who have close ties to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Centerville has expanded its affiliation to also include the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, reflecting the CBC’s identity as a Moderate and big tent church.
We also partner (freely associate) with other organizations including the Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Bridge Network.
Isn’t being dually aligned with both SBC and CBF messy?
Yes. Church is messy. Life is messy.
Are you Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal?
Yes. All of the above. Each perspective on politics, culture, and theology helps give shape to the wider expression of Christian faith. Moreover, while not burying our heads in the sand to important differences, we hope that by including all of these perspectives, we can proclaim a Gospel of unity in the midst of a world of division.
Are you traditional or contemporary?
Yes. We pride ourselves, particularly, in having an authentic blended worship service. Almost every Sunday morning features a choir, a praise band, centuries-old hymns, current Christian songs, and preaching that strikes a balance between traditional pulpit delivery and casual conversation. We feature an occasional hand-bell choir, and have a regular sprinkling of liturgical, contemplative, and creative worship elements.