We are a family, a community of people redeemed by God in Jesus Christ. He rescued us from lives of sin and darkness, adopted us as His own, and united us together around His saving and life-transforming message, the gospel. By His power working in us, we aim to take His word seriously, lovingly care for one another, and live for the glory of God to the ends of the earth.
Our name says a lot about who we are.
“First Baptist” shows our history. We were established as a Baptist church in 1957. Since that time we have passionately taught and lived according to historic Baptist principles.
“Gray Gables” shows our location. We are just north of Jacksonville in Callahan, FL in an area referred to as “Gray Gables”. However, our church represents several communities from the surrounding area.
“Church” shows our identity. While “First Baptist” and “Gray Gables” were our choice in defining who we are, “Church” was God’s choice. It literally means “an assembly or gathering.” It is how God in the Bible identifies His people: a community assembled together by God, whom He rescued from slavery to sin, adopted into His family as sons and daughters, and works in and through for His glory, their good, and the salvation of mankind.
Our Core Values
The Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture.
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, so it is the final authority for our lives as believers. And it's sufficient for us in all areas of spiritual growth. You should see its sufficiency in two specific areas of our church life. First, we emphasize expository Bible preaching because we trust God’s Word to speak to us as we need it and when we need it. Second, we believe that Biblical counseling should give additional attention to specific areas of personal holiness.
The Sovereignty of God.
We are convinced that the God of the Bible is the sovereign Creator of all things. He sustains and upholds the universe by His word. He wisely and providentially directs the history of the world as well as the personal events of individuals. So we trust that each moment, whether joy or sorrow, comes by the hand of our just and gracious King, and is part of His wise plan, ultimately for our good and His glory.
The Centrality of Expository Preaching.
God has ordained preaching as a primary means by which God’s people grow in their knowledge of Jesus. Read more…
The Necessity of Disciple-making.
Jesus commanded every believer to make people into His disciples among all nations, leading them to Christ in evangelism and teaching them to obey all that He commanded. We're convinced that living a lifestyle of disciple-making is the central and life-long mission of the believer. Therefore, it's also the central mission of the church. So we aim to fulfill His command by reproducing mature disciples of Christ who seek to make more disciples.
The Quality of Biblical Leadership.
We're convinced that the character and quality of our leaders is essential for the health and ministry of our church family. Therefore, we take seriously the qualifications and responsibilities listed for pastors and deacons in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.