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What "Baptist" in Cullowhee Baptist Means
Cullowhee Baptist Church is a Congregational Partner with the Alliance of Baptists
Baptists in America are as varied as salamanders in the Appalachians. In other words, Baptists are not all the same. At Cullowhee Baptist we are aware that the "urban legend" of Baptists as conservative, close-minded, restrictive, and woman-hating are an apt description of many Baptist churches around us. In contrast, our congregation focuses on the Baptist tradition of "freedom" that leads to inclusion and grace, peace and justice, welcome and affirmation. After all, Galatians 5:1 says that "for freedom Christ has set us free."
Freedom was the banner under which the first Baptists sought to worship God.
+Worship should be free to express the faith of the congregation.
+The local church is free from oversight by authorities both ecclesiastical and secular.
+Individual Christians are free to read the Bible, follow God's call, and practice faith without the strictures of creeds.
+Local congregations are free to associate with any other churches, groups, and/or organizations with whom they find common ground for ministry and mission.
These Baptist freedoms call our church to be a place of grace, peace, welcome, and justice. We give voice to a Baptist faith that is not defined by who we are against but known instead for an honestly open inclusion for all God's children and God's creation. Our membership is not limited by race, gender, or sexual orientation. Women have served Cullowhee Baptist in formal leadership as deacons since 1966, and as pastor since 2002.
Our affiliation with other Christian partners mirrors our commitments to grace and diversity. For this reason, our congregation partners with the Alliance of Baptists in pursuing God's hope for justice and love.