In the tradition of early Baptists in America, College Park is staunchly democratic in governance. For a detailed description, you may read our church constitution. Most major church decisions are made by a vote of members at quarterly church conferences, usually after study and advice of the relevant committees. We have a very strong system of committees that are essential to us being effective in our missions and ministries.

Any church member may nominate any other member for election to the Deacon Council for a three year term. The Deacon Council serves the church in its missions and ministries and strives to provide spiritual leadership.

Transparency in finances is important to us. At each quarterly church conference, the finance committee presents a detailed report of expenditures.

Those unfamiliar with the organization of Baptist churches may be surprised to find that each church is an independent entity, voluntarily partnering with state and national organizations when such partnerships advance the missions and ministries of the church. We provide financial support to many organizations that carry out work we support.

Church members may specify which of three plans they wish to use for supporting ministries beyond our church.

Our local church governance and our relationship with state and national conventions or organizations derive from the historical principles Walter Shurden called "Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms":

  1. Soul Freedom. This concept is closely related to the ideas "priesthood of the believer" and "soul competency". It asserts the equality of all believers. Every believer has the ability to approach God directly without the aid or intervention of pastor or other church authority.
  2. Bible Freedom. Baptists historically assert the right and ability of individual believers to interpret the Bible without imposition of creeds or interference from church authorities or institutions, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. With the right comes the responsibility of the believer to study the Bible and to seeks God's will.
  3. Church Freedom. Every local church is autonomous, and is free to determine is structure and practice and is free to select its own pastors and leaders. It is free to partner with any other organization that helps it conduct is work, and it is free to partner with none.
  4. Religious Freedom. Baptists believe in religious liberty and separation of church and state. Baptists were instrumental in formulating the First Amendment to the Constitution.

You may find more information on the principles that guide our church on our "Baptist Distinctives" page. However, in keeping with being Baptists, no member is required to adopt these principles.

College Park /Baptist Church Home Page