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Cherryville Baptist Church Covenant

Earliest known version (December 4, 1896): Trusting that we have been brought by divine grace to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and by the influences of his Spirit to give ourselves up to him, we do now solemnly covenant with one another that, by divine assistance, we will walk together in brotherly love; that we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully warn, rebuke, and admonish one another as circumstances may require; that we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together nor omit the great duty of prayer; that we will participate in one another’s joys, and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear one another’s burdens and sorrows; that we will seek divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectly, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust; that we will cheerfully contribute, as God prospers us, to the support of a faithful, evangelical ministry among us, to the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations; and that through life, amidst evil report and good report, we will seek to live to the glory of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Our current covenant, revised by Reverend Carl Keefer (circa 1980) Trusting that God’s grace has brought us to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and by the influence of His Spirit to give ourselves up to Him, we do now solemnly covenant with one another, that with God’s help, we will walk together in brotherly love; that we will show a Christian care and concern about each other, and as faithfully warn and admonish each other as circumstances may require; that we will not neglect to gather for worship, nor forget our responsibility to pray and to study the Scriptures; that we will share each other’s joys, and try with tenderness and sympathy to bear one another’s burdens and sorrows; that we will seek God’s help to enable us to behave in a Christian manner, avoiding the pitfalls the world puts in our paths; that we will cheerfully contribute, as God has given to us, to the support of a faithful, evangelical ministry among us, to the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations; and that through life, through bad times and good times, we will seek to live to the glory of Him, who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Our church historian, Kyle Tinnes, tells me that our church adopted a covenant that had been distributed and recommended by the denomination. The 1896 version is the first record of our covenant that shows up in church documents. It may have been adopted before the 1896 date. Sometime during the tenure of Rev. Carl Keefer, the language was updated and modified somewhat.

I have always found our church covenant to be an inspired document. It is so very biblical in presenting the responsibilities of being Body of Christ. Jesus thought so highly of the church, he called it his Body and his Bride, and monthly we remind ourselves of the promises we have made to God, and to one another, to be everything that Jesus calls his church to be. It is appropriate that we recite this together just before the Lord’s Supper, because the covenant calls us to the same kind of self-sacrificing love, that puts others above ourselves, that Jesus showed by giving his body and his blood on the cross.

Pastor Tom Roberts, January 29, 2006

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