Full circle for Faith Baptist

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Sequim Gazette

What started in Port Angeles several years ago has once again become an option for local churchgoers. Members of Faith Baptist Church in Sequim recently formed a sister church called Faith Baptist Fellowship of Port Angeles.

Six Port Angeles families who attend the Sequim church are charter members of the fellowship and have been meeting in a home Bible study since November 2010.

The Rev. Lonnie Jacobson said they’ve seen the Lord opening the doors for them along the way, which they believe to be a confirmation of God’s will for the new fellowship. He’ll preach in both churches until they recruit a missionary pastor.

For charter families, starting the fellowship is like coming home.

Dennis and Gail Wilhelm and their family knew Jacobson when he was associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Port Angeles. Church members there, before it dissolved, led a church plant of Faith Baptist Church in Sequim.

“We felt that’s where God led us,” Gail Wilhelm said about joining Faith Baptist, “It was the closest to our doctrine.”

Recently, the Sequim church voted unanimously to start and support the new Port Angeles fellowship.
On Sundays, they’ll meet in the building formerly occupied by Port Angeles Swimming Hole and Fireplace Shop, 518 W. Eighth St. Church members from both congregations are finishing remodeling work inside.
Jacobsen said they are renting month-by-month to save money for a plan for the future.

Members say they’ve already seen more new people coming in at services because of word-of-mouth.
Member support Kathy and Steve Owens attended Calvary Baptist several years ago, then moved away.
When they moved back to the area, they discovered the church was gone. They began attending Faith Baptist and later a friend of theirs encouraged Steve to start a church in Port Angeles, so he spearheaded the church planning.

Kathy Owens said they are happy with the Port Angeles location.

“It helps give people another church option in the area,” she said.

Anita Johnson grew up going to Faith Baptist Church because her mother Wilma was a charter member. She lives in Port Angeles and said she’s happy her home church is coming to her hometown.

Jacobson said the church’s intent is to keep the same philosophy of ministry as Sequim with a family oriented philosophy emphasizing Biblical preaching and teaching.

“A lot of churches separate by age, but we don’t have a youth group and no children’s ministry. Some children go to Awana at Sequim Bible Church, but all our activities are geared toward the family, parents, older adults and singles. We do things as a church family,” Jacobson said. “Sunday school is broken up by age groups but outside of that we have the whole family together.”

Lydia Wilhelm said she grew up in the church and it helped her faith become grounded. Other members supported her siblings and gave good advice with real-life examples, she said.

Joshua Treadway, 14, said he’s gained a better understanding of why he believes the way he does through the church.
“They lead me and are very friendly,” he said. “It’s a community that really cares for each other.”

Faith Baptist Church in Sequim and Faith Baptist Fellowship in Port Angeles are considered General Association of Regular Baptists churches. Jacobson said they are not in a denomination, but they’re self-governing and own their properties. He said the church is fundamental in theology in that they believe in inerrancy of the Bible and its authority.

He said they hold to things like the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, blood atonement of Christ on the cross, salvation through the blood of Christ and the second coming of Christ.

Faith Baptist plays traditional hymns with some choruses and does not have a contemporary service.
Church members said they aren’t like contemporary churches and emphasize Bible teaching primarily over dramas and church as an entertainment.

When Faith Baptist Fellowship of Port Angeles is incorporated, it will become a church.

The churches intend to hold special events and family camps together.

For more information on both churches, call 683-7303.

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