Bethlehem First is a United Methodist congregation that affirms the beliefs and doctrines of The United Methodist Church. We don’t believe we have it all figured out. Instead, we believe each of us is on a spiritual journey, and God desires for us to take steps daily to connect with Him. For moral, social, and theological issues, we refer back to our source, the Bible … the Holy Scriptures. It is here we find guidance and direction along our unique paths.
• We believe in one living and true God, the maker of heaven and earth, who has revealed Himself in three ways: as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
• We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary. He is truly God and truly man. For each of us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven. He took on the sins of all believers when He died on the cross. Three days later, God raised Him from the dead. Now He lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
• We believe the only sure way to salvation is to confess one’s sin and trust in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord.
• We believe one day Jesus will return to earth in triumph. He will receive all believers into His eternal kingdom.
• We believe the Bible was inspired by God and contains all things necessary for salvation. When read under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is our true rule and guide for faith and practice.
As members of The United Methodist Church, we believe Baptism signifies a person’s acceptance into our family of faith. We also believe it symbolizes a person’s desire to receive forgiveness for past wrongs and to begin living a life pleasing to God. Baptism represents new birth in Jesus Christ and is a mark of Christian discipleship.
We believe children are under the atonement of Christ and are acceptable subjects for Christian Baptism. Through Baptism, children of believing parents become the special responsibility of our church. During their early years, these children are nurtured and led to personal acceptance of Christ. As they mature in age and become middle school students, they participate in Confirmation, and by profession of faith, confirm their Baptism as part of their faith journey.
Older children, students, and adults of all ages who were not baptized as an infant, are also baptized when they profess their faith in Christ Jesus and become a member of the church.
To schedule a Baptism, e-mail our front office, or call 770-867-3727.
We celebrate Holy Communion the first Sunday of each month at all of our morning worship services. Also known as the Lord’s Supper, Communion is a representation of our redemption … a time to remember and reflect on the sufferings and death of Christ and celebrate the grace of God at work in our lives. We believe Communion signifies the love and union Christians have with Christ Jesus and with each other. People of faith who eat the broken bread and drink from the Communion cup partake of the body and blood of Christ, spiritually speaking, until he comes again.
In the Lord’s Supper, the bread represents Jesus’ body. Wine or grape juice represents the blood that was shed to forgive the sins we have made by thought, word, and deed. We believe the elements of bread and wine are “outward and visible signs” of God’s love toward us. They are a means of grace … unmerited love and forgiveness … by which God works invisibly in us to awaken, strengthen, and confirm our faith in Him.
Communion has its origin in the Passover Meal, which celebrates the ancient Hebrews’ escape and deliverance by God’s hand from bondage to freedom. It is a meal Jesus gave new meaning as he shared it with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion. From the earliest of times, believers claim to have experienced Christ’s presence among them during this holy celebration. Methodists believe Christ is present through the Holy Spirit, not actual flesh and blood.
Everyone is welcome to participate in Holy Communion at Bethlehem First United Methodist Church. Although children may not understand its theological meanings, they are welcome to participate and experience the blessing of being part of God’s family.