Who are Free Will Baptists?

Free Will Baptist roots can be traced to England as early as 1611. The first FWB church in America was begun by Paul Palmer in 1727 in Perquimans County, North Carolina. Some years later, in 1780, under the leadership of Benjamin Randall, Free Will Baptists were established in the northeast at New Durham, New Hampshire. From these early beginnings, Free Will Baptists in America have had a continuing ministry. Today, the National Association of Free Will Baptists is active in 36 states, 13 foreign countries, and a number of the islands of the sea. The work of the National Association is promoted from the National Offices and Randall House Publications located in Nashville, Tennessee.

What Free Will Baptists Believe:

  • The Bible – The Bible is the inspired, infallible written word of God. It is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.  2 Tim 3:17; All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessIt is our rule of faith and conduct, and our guide to salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • God – We believe in the triune God, eternally existent in the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus Christ – We believe that Jesus Christ was the sinless, virgin born Son of God. He was both fully God and fully man. We believe He was crucified for man’s sin, buried and rose again three days later, and ascended back to heaven as man’s intercessor. One day, He will return in great power and glory.
  • Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, and all of the attributes of God are fully ascribed to Him. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict man of his sin, to convince man of his guilt, and to lead men to salvation  through our Lord Jesus Christ. At conversion, the Holy Spirit then enters the heart of man, and enables him to live for Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us God’s word, and leads us into all truth.  No man comes to God without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Man – God created man in His own image, and breathed His very life into man. Man, in his original state was sinless, but fell in sin, disobeying God’s commands. All of Adam’s descendants inherit his fallen nature and thus have a natural inclination to sin. When one comes to an age of accountability, he is guilty of sinning before God and in need of salvation.
  • Salvation – Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation comes through the Holy Spirit, when we recognize our sin and our guilt before God, and turn by faith to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. Romans 10:9-10; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • Who Can be Saved? – Rom 10:12-13; For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Anyone who turns to God by faith in Jesus Christ can be saved.
  • Resurrection – We believe the Scriptures teach the resurrection of the bodies of all men, each in its own order; they that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.
  • Christ’s Second Coming – We believe and  preach the premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, who ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, will come again to close the Gospel dispensation, glorify His saints, and judge the world.
  • Eternity – The bible teaches very clearly that there is a literal place called heaven, and there is a literal place called hell. Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed, those who have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Hell is the eternal place of torment, the home of the lost reserved for those who have rejected salvation, and turned away from the grace and love of God through Christ.
  • Perseverance – We believe that there are strong grounds to hope that the saved will persevere unto the end and be saved because of the power of divine grace pledged for their support. We believe that any saved person who has sinned (whether we call him a backslider or sinner), but has a desire to repent, may do so and be restored to God’s favor and fellowship. Since man, however, continues to have free choice, it is possible because of temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to fall into the practice of sin and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost.
  • Gospel Ordinances – We believe the Bible teaches three ordinances for the church to practice: Baptism in water by immersion following salvation; the Lord’s Supper, to be perpetuated until His return, and the Washing of the Saints’ feet, an ordinance teaching humility.
  • Church Government – Free Will Baptist churches enjoy local church autonomy (self-governing). The local church is the highest authority in the denomination. Local churches voluntarily organize themselves into quarterly meetings, district, state, and national associations for the purpose of promoting the cause of Christ on the local, state, district, national, and world-wide level.
  • Missions – Free Will Baptists believe that Jesus commanded the church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. We are to support the work of missions through our prayers and financial support of our denominational missionaries both at home church planters, and those serving overseas.