Our Seven Core Values
We’re glad you’ve chosen to find out more about Exchange Avenue. Since we have members from many different church backgrounds, this class was designed to clearly explain our mission as a church and why we exist, describe who we are, and what we believe and do. Partnership for the sake of the Gospel is no light matter. That’s why we take church membership seriously. In addition to learning the foundations of Exchange Avenue, this class will cover what we believe about church membership. In a day and age when many churches are lowering their standards, we stand apart as a church that has high expectation membership. Furthermore, it is of the utmost importance that each person knows what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Lastly, we want you to know the commitment that is expected of each member of this church.
Our Mission Statement: We exist to love God and love people for the glory of God and the good of the city.
Every decision we make and action we take at Exchange Avenue passes through the litmus test of our mission statement. If something doesn’t line up with loving God and loving people, we don’t do it. Rather than flippantly deciding to do or not do something based upon our own desires, inclinations, and loves, know that we critically think through each decision we make as a church by asking ourselves if it supports our mission statement.
In Mark 10:28-34, Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is. He responded by quoting, both, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” – Deut. 6:4-5
“…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Lev. 19:18
These two commandments completely fulfill the whole law of God. If we are to live as obedient, faithful humans, in response to the Gospel covenant found in Jesus Christ, we must love God and love other people in all of our actions. In loving God and loving others, we rightly worship God (Rom. 12:1-2) and bring him glory through our worship. Lastly, we bring God glory by loving our city. Our Father actually cares about sociological and cultural centers like cities (Jer. 29:7). We desire the city and metro area of Oklahoma City to flourish, having been affected by the Kingdom of God, so that, even if one is not a believer, they can look at our city and say that it is a better place because Exchange Avenue and other church bodies are living Gospel-centered and Gospel-proclaiming lives in it’s midst.
We are a Southern Baptist Church and we support the denomination through the various associations:
· The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
· The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO)
· The Capitol Baptist Association (CBA)
What is the Southern Baptist Convention?
· It is the largest association of Christian churches in America.
One out of every 10 churches in America is affiliated with SBC.
(45,000 churches and 16 million members – more than other denominations combined)
· It is the most diverse association of churches.
SBC churches include every race, nationality, and ethnic groups. Each Sunday, services are held in over 80 languages in the U.S.
· It is one of the fastest growing groups.
The SBC baptizes over 1,000 new Christians a day in the U.S. and baptizes 500,000 a year internationally.
What are the advantages of affiliating with the SBC?
1. It allows us to identify with other Christians around the world who are known for their
commitment to the Bible.
2. It allows our church to participate in the largest missions organization in the
world. Through the SBC “Cooperative Program” we help support over 5,000 missionaries
in 104 countries around the world.
3. We can do more together than we can alone.
· THE TWO ORDINANCES OF OUR CHURCH
BAPTISM & THE LORD’S SUPPER
The two church ordinances that we see given by God the Father and instituted by our Savior Jesus Christ are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These ordinances, also commonly referred to as ‘sacraments’, are visible signs and seals that we are bound together as a community of faith by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Through our faithful observance of them, the Holy Spirit more fully declares the promises of the gospel to us.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BAPTIZED
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
1. To follow the example set by Jesus. It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Mark 1:9
2. Because Jesus commanded it. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
3. The New Testament Church practiced it. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” Acts 2:41
4. It demonstrates that I really am a believer. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Acts 18:8
WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
BECAUSE JESUS WAS BAPTIZED THAT WAY
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. Matthew 3:16
EVERY BAPTISM IN THE BIBLE WAS BY IMMERSION. (Example)
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:38-39
THE WORD “BAPTIZE” MEANS “TO IMMERSE UNDER WATER”.
IT BEST SYMBOLIZED A BURIAL AND RESURRECTION!
The founders of various denominations who practice infant baptism agree with the Bible’s position on believer’s baptism.
Martin Luther . . . “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin . . . “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley . . . “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
EVERY PERSON WHO HAS BELIEVED IN CHRIST.
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. Acts 2:41
Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Acts 8:13
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Acts 8:12
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED!
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. Acts 2:41
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel “good enough”!
At The Fellowship we wait until children are old enough to understand and believe the true meaning of baptism and faith in Christ before we baptize then as this represents the Biblical model. Several times during the year we do child/baby dedication, which is a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child but has no inference of salvation. The parents commit to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make a personal confession of Christ.
We have recently began a new one week class that is required for parents who want to participate in child/baby dedication, for more information please contact Jennifer Huddleston in the church office.
What about being baptized for the second time? The Bible teaches a proper order of baptism. Just as infant baptism isn’t the biblical model neither is baptizing anyone before they are truly saved. We encourage people to have their baptism in proper order. People often wonder about being baptized a second time, perhaps with a spouse who has come to faith in Christ. We encourage you to be baptized together if that’s your choice.
At The Fellowship, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, in a like believing church.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
THE MEANING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth. But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection. He gave the church two visible symbols (called “ordinances”) as reminders of His death. The Lord’s Supper is an object lesson that represents a great spiritual truth for believers.
WHAT IS THE LORD’S SUPPER?
I Corinthians 11:23-26
1. IT IS A SACRED ACT
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread. vs. 23
2. IT IS A SYMBOLIC REMINDER
And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” vs. 24
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” vs. 25
3. IT IS A STATEMENT OF FAITH
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. vs. 26
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE LORD’S SUPPER?
Only those who are already saved and living in obedience to God.
For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 2 Corinthians 11:29
HOW DO I PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE LORD’S SUPPER?
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A person ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. I Corinthians 11:27-28
By . . .
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE OBSERVE THE LORD’S SUPPER?
Jesus never said when or how often believers should observe the Lord’s Supper. His words were “as often as you take it, do it in remembrance of me.” 12 Times a year
The Exchange Avenue COVENANT
Having received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and being in agreement with The Fellowship’s statements, strategies and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with this church family. In doing so I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
1. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
· By acting in love toward other members
· By refusing to gossip and acting to resolve conflicts using Matthew 18:15-17
· By submitting to the pastors as they submit Jesus, the head of the church.
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5
2. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONDSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH
· By praying for its growth
· By inviting the unchurched
· By warmly welcoming others
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.
I Thessalonians 1:2
3. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH
· By discovering my gifts and talents
· By being equipped to serve by my pastor and staff
· By developing a servant’s heart
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. I Peter 4:10
4. I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH
· By attending faithfully
· By living a growing and godly life
· By giving regularly
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
HIGH EXPECTATION MEMBERSHIP
“At The Fellowship we hold high expectations for our church members.”
· To make church attendance a priority for you and your family.
· Our members are expected to serve our church. We can help you identify your
gifts and God-given talents and place you on a ministry team that is the best fit
3. Give Financially
· In support of your church. God’s word requires it, plus it promises great blessings in your life when you are found faithful in this critical area of financial stewardship.
4. Christian Testimony
· In every area of your life, whether at work, socially, or in your home and that you would grow in your faith through Bible Study and prayer.
5. Promote Unity
· Within the church family. The church should be free of bitterness and backbiting. Romans 15:5 calls us to “live in harmony with each other.”
Love must be our banner.
BECOMING A MEMBER OF EXCHANGE
At Exchange Avenue we encourage church membership as a step of commitment to the church and the church family. To find fulfillment, every believer needs to be part of a church family.
In order for Exchange to accomplish everything that God's intends for us to do as a church, we need the people that He sends to become committed family members, willing to share their gifts, abilities, personalities and experiences.
You can become a member at Exchange Ave. in one of three ways:
1. By Baptism: If you are coming upon profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and have not been Scripturally baptized by immersion, we will arrange for you to participate in believer's baptism and thus become a member or our church.
2. By Letter: By promise of letter from another Southern Baptist Church indicating that you are a member in good standing. Upon joining The Fellowship, we will request a letter from the previous church.
3. By Statement: Prospective members will be received upon profession of faith in Jesus Christ indicating that they have been baptized by immersion in a like believing church.
At Exchange, we still give public invitations and ask people to come forward to make spiritual decisions publically. If it is your desire to join, we invite you to come forward this Sunday during the invitation time to unite with our church. We will pray with you and help you to begin the process of getting connected to our church family.
I _____________________________ pledge to uphold this membership covenant, and willingly come to make Exchange Avenue Baptist Church my church family.
If you are ready to join, complete the membership card below and bring it with you when you come forward.
I would like to be contacted about getting involved in the ministries of Exchange
I would like to attend a Sunday School Class. Please help me find a class that best suits me.
In the book Stop Dating the Church, author Joshua Harris writes that there are important questions you should ask when considering a church home.
1. Is this a church where the Bible is faithfully taught?
2. Is this a church where sound doctrine matters?
3. Is this a church on which the gospel is cherished and clearly proclaimed?
4. Is this church committed to reaching people with the gospel?
5. Is this a church where the leaders are characterized by humility and integrity?
6. Is this a church where the members are challenged to live by God’s Word?
7. Is this a church where I can find and grow Godly relationships?
8. Is this a church where the members are challenged to serve?
9. Is this a family-friendly church?
10. Is this a church I’m willing to join “as is” with enthusiasm and faith in God?
Is Membership at Exchange Ave. for Me?
· Church Membership: Provides an Opportunity for Commitment
Church Membership is an important step that helps move each of us off the sidelines and into the game.
Attendees are spectators, members get involved! Attendees are consumers; members are contributors to God’s plan for Exchange. The big difference in a church attendee and a church member is their commitment. Membership lets the local church leadership know, “You can count on me...I am ready...I am putting down my roots.”
The Bible is very clear on involvement and commitment to a local church as essential for believers.
Throughout the New Testament, there are many verses about Christians meeting in local congregations.
Becoming a member at Exchange is not a requirement for attendance, but we believe that church membership
is an expression of our commitment to God’s Family.
Acts 2: 46-47; I Cor. 16:26; Eph. 4:16; I Tim. 3:15
· Church Membership Provides Identity
Why do the Oklahoma City Thunder all wear the same uniform? To identify that they are all on the same team.
Why do married people wear wedding rings? To symbolize their commitment to a partnership. In the same way, church membership identifies your willingness to formally and publicly align as a genuine follower of Christ and a family member at Exchange. Eph. 2:19; Rom. 12:5
· Church Membership Provides a Spiritual Family
God has given us the opportunity to have two families. We have fathers, mothers, sons, daughters,
brothers, and sisters who will encourage, love, and even challenge us. We also have a spiritual family.
The values of unity, belonging, and the interdependence of believers are found throughout the New
Testament. We believe these values of the Body of Christ are shared through the local church.
Experience shows that membership benefits the individual as well as the local church.
Acts 20:28-29; I Cor. 12:26-27; Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 5:19,21; I Tim. 3:5; II Thess. 3:14-15; Heb. 10:24-25;
Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 5:5
· Church Membership Provides Accountability
Unfortunately none of us are immune from the temptations of Satan. Heb. 3:13 says, “Encourage one
another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Membership at Exchange will
provide a family to keep you strong and accountable and a place to grow personally through the spiritual
protection of Godly leaders and planned discipleship.
I Cor. 12:4-27
· Church Membership provides pathways to use Passions, Talents, and Spiritual Gifts
God has a unique role for you to play in His family, this is called your ministry, and each of us have
unique assignments. We believe that God gave each person unique passions, talents, spiritual gifts
and experiences for the purpose of service and membership opens the door to using those features
as a way to show your love to God. Serving opens the door to establishing lifelong relationships and
finding fulfillment. While membership is not required for some service opportunities at Exchange,
many positions do require membership.
II Cor. 8:5; Eph. 5:21; Eph. 4:16; Heb. 3:13; Heb. 13:17; Rom. 12:4-6
August 11th, 1918 was the date Exchange Avenue Baptist Church was constituted. In total, there were eighteen charter members, ten of those being children. A year and a half later, on January 11th, 1920, the church dedicated their first church building on the land it had purchased on the corner of “trolley-threaded Exchange Avenue and mud-puddled Pennsylvania”.
The decade of the twenties was a decade of many Sunday school classes being founded and outreach opportunities being realized. Among these ministry opportunities was the continual support of new churches and missions. To be sure, Exchange has always supported missions work, but it truly set that charitable tone in its generous giving to missionaries in the first ten years. Between the years of 1920-1929, alone, Exchange financially supported five new church plants and commissioned fifty-eight of it’s own members to transfer their membership to these new church plants in an effort to reach the lost in all areas of OKC. One might say that church planting is in the very DNA of what Exchange is about.
In the thirties and forties, this generous spirit continued within the body of EABC. What is incredible about this generosity and giving is that is happened in the midst of the Great Depression. Support for the Cooperative Program and foreign missionaries increased. Locally, the members served the people of Oklahoma City through those hard times. Clothes were distributed to those in need, soup kitchens were started, and Christmas candy delivered. This faithfulness to carry out the Lord’s command to do justly and love mercy (Micah 6:8) resulted in the betterment of Oklahoma City as a whole, but also the continued growth of Exchange. Towards the end of the Depression, Sunday School and Worship Service attendance peaked at 1,700 each Sunday morning. Before and during WWII, Boy Scouts met at Exchange and had a thriving troop. Support and prayer for our soldiers poured out from the corner of Penn and Exchange.
As the Second Great War came to an end, the church entered a period of unrivaled prosperity and ministry, which started with the sale of Exchange’s Christian radio station and the church’s debt from the Depression years being completely paid off.
The person and ministry of Frank Baugh dominated this prosperous time. His leadership, in conjunction with the Music ministry of Bill and JoAnne Shingleton, ushered Exchange into the longest period of success and influence the church has every seen. Frank still has the longest tenure as head pastor of Exchange as his ministry lasted 19 years.
During the eighties, Frank’s influence remained a strong force within the church. His influence would only go so far to remedy the aging infrastructure of the grounds and buildings. In Frank’s own words, “the best thing that ever happened to [the] church” was Kent Kellogg assuming the role of lead pastor in 1984. Under his leadership, much efficiency was achieved in ministry and administration and al indebtedness paid off. In addition, the growing Hispanic population in the area surrounding the church led to the hiring of “Brother Mario” Zamarron and efforts to reach the changing demographics around Penn and Exchange. Kent Kellogg’s pastorate lasted from 1984-1990.
Through the great fire of ’95, a decrease in size, and an ever-changing city, God has remained faithful to Exchange. We trust His sovereign plan to bring renewal and redemption to Oklahoma City through His people. By his grace, Exchange Avenue will continue to be a beacon of light, hope, and truth on the corner of Exchange and Penn for many years to come.