“... continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.”
—II Timothy 3:14
From almost anywhere in Huntsville’s medical district, you can see the slender white steeple atop Southside’s building. This architectural feature, shared by many churches across the country, is a symbol pointing upward, to all who pass by, to the source of our hope and faith. It also serves as a model to describe the beliefs of Southside Baptist Church. At the base of what we believe are the broad foundational precepts of faith of all orthodox Christians. From there, the middle makes more distinct the beliefs Baptists have held for hundreds of years; and then at the peak you would find what Southside Baptist is all about as a unique congregation in the diverse, worldwide body of Christ. This pyramid of doctrinal faith, from top to bottom, begins to describe not just what we believe, but who we are, as all beliefs shape an individual into who they are becoming. Our church’s hope for this page is to enable you to begin to discern whether your understanding of God, His church and its worship will let you blend in fellowship with us, at least long enough for a visit!
At the base of our of beliefs, we join with Christians across the world and throughout two millennia in subscribing to the second-century statement called “The Apostles’ Creed”. This ancient document sets forth the fundamentals of who God is and what He has done. Without this foundation, you would be hard pressed to claim the name of ‘Christ-follower’. Building on top of that, the basic tenets to which Southern Baptists subscribe are more specifically outlined in the “Baptist Faith and Message”. This statement of faith covers topics ranging from the nature of God to His kingdom, and from religious liberty to the family. It serves to more completely describe the beliefs of Baptists, and at the same time allows latitude in areas where each congregation has the freedom to seek the will of God for its people in its own time and place.
This brings us to the peak, where our church’s unique personality and mission sets us apart from, not above, other churches around us. Every gathering of Christians possesses special, distinct traits. We are people from all walks of life. Because of the brokenness in our lives, we have recognized a need for a savior, and we have come together as a spiritual family around common bonds, values, and goals. Our mission statement functions to clearly address the distinctives of Southside Baptist Church, and to emphasize those beliefs we hold dear.
We exist to honor God and advance His kingdom by being a Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, Bible-believing, Disciple-making and socially responsible church in our community and country.
To expound briefly on each point…
- Christ-centered means we are built on Christ alone, and not a man, his gifts or his vision, his doctrine or experience. Jesus, the promised and long-awaited savior, is our model for living, and His redemptive act, the focus of our worship and message.
- A Spirit-empowered church respects and welcomes the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives and in our corporate life.
- By Bible-believing we mean seeing the Bible as the final authority for doctrine and lifestyle.
- Disciple-making means teaching and training in the full counsel of God, not as one program among many, but as central to our mission and our future.
- A people who are socially responsible prioritize caring for the communities we live in as Christ would care for us. Individuals unite as family to take responsibility to be “salt and light” to our society.
As a church, these five marks are what Southside strives to “continue in”. If these ideas resonate within you as they do with us, we eagerly invite you to visit our Sunday Bible studies at 8:45 am or our worship services at 10:00 am in order to find out more about us and our ministries. Even if they don’t strike a chord within your heart, we still invite you to consider encountering God, through His imperfect people, at the corner of Whitesburg and Marsheutz. We would love to meet you.