This statement of faith is a summary of the major doctrines set forth in the historic 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith of which Charles H. Spurgeon aptly wrote, "This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. It is not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be fettered, but as a means of edification in righteousness. It is an excellent though not inspired, expression of the teaching of those Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. We hold to the humbling truths of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone".
This Church does not expect someone to be a Calvinist, Arminian, or Molinist, to be part of this Church body, but a faithful Christian. Rather we hold to the fundamentals of the faith without compromise.
1. The Holy Scriptures
We believe that God has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the sixty-six books of the Holy Scriptures which are the Word of God. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and as originally written is infallible, inerrant, and complete. The Bible is thus the truth, final authority, and only rule in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe that there is one true and living God existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct yet harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. God is Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign of the universe, having made all things in six literal days. He is infinite in every excellence, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honour, confidence, and love.
3. Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, possessing all the essence and attributes of Deity, that He came into this world by miraculous virgin birth, receiving a human body and a real human nature yet unchangeably sinless, both God and man, that He lived a perfect life of righteousness and died an actual substitutionary sacrifice for His elect people, thus accomplishing propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and atonement for them. Jesus rose bodily, visibly, and victoriously on the third day attesting to God's acceptance of His sacrifice, He ascended into heaven and is enthroned in glory acting as our Intercessor, Great High Priest, and Advocate before the Father, and according to His promise He is coming again, personally and visibly to raise the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, and to judge all men by the eternal punishment of unbelievers and the everlasting blessedness of the righteous.
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the personality and absolute Deity of the Holy Spirit. His relation to the unbelieving world is to restrain evil and to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. His work among believers is to regenerate, seal, indwell, comfort, pray, endue, teach, guide, and sanctify.
We believe that God made our first father Adam by direct creation (not by evolution) in the image of God, perfectly holy and upright, that he sinned and brought upon himself and all his offspring, guilt, condemnation, and death, incurring the wrath of God, thus fallen man is dead in trespasses and in sin, totally unable to keep God's laws, to understand the Gospel, to repent of sin or trust in Christ apart from divine grace.
We believe that the salvation of man is divinely initiated and accomplished by the sovereign grace of God, wholly apart from the worth or works of man. It is the urgent duty of all sinners to repent and believe the Gospel and nothing prevents their salvation but their own inherent depravity and wilful unbelief. However only those called by grace do believe in Christ as their only and all-sufficient Saviour and Lord, and by the instrument of faith are justified, their sins totally pardoned and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, solely on the merits and finished work of Christ on the cross. Salvation is the free gift of God and is forever.
We believe that the progressive sanctification of the believer is a necessary fruit of true saving faith and distinguishes genuine faith from false or superficial profession. We are to grow in grace and in holiness and in the knowledge of God's Word and will, and although our daily walk cannot alter our eternal destiny, it does affect our communion with God, the enjoyment of our salvation, and our usefulness to the church and to the lost. Through the Gospel and our union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and the indwelling Spirit, we have all the means necessary for holy living, crucifying the flesh, and the putting on of Christ.
8. The Local Church
We believe that the local church is a company of believers called together for the worship of God, the observance of the ordinances of believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper, the preaching of the Word, fellowship, prayer, and the evangelization of the lost. We acknowledge no head but Christ and no authority but His Word. The local church is autonomous, free from outside ecclesiastical control, and the government is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Its Scriptural officers are pastors or elders or bishops and deacons. Cooperation with churches of like faith for fellowship and service is welcomed.
9. Church and State
We believe in the separation of church and state, they have two separate spheres of responsibility, the church possesses no God-given authority over the state and the state possesses no God-given authority over the church or the consciences of men. Every man has the right of freedom of conscience without coercion or molestation, that is, the right of individual soul liberty.
In the late 1980s during the summer, Fellowship Baptist Church's service was over and we were having fellowship on the sidewalk. A fellow named Nick Talley crossed the street, walked right up to Ron Deere and asked, "What must I do to be saved?" [Act 16:31]. From that beginning, Nick has faithfully followed Christ and made Him known. In 2005 he was appointed to be elder over Fellowship. Sadly, he passed out of this life on July 15, 2010 and onto his eternal reward. We dearly miss him.
Pastor Robert Rubino,
Pastor Robert Rubino of Fellowship Baptist Church of Coney Island was born in Grave's End, Brooklyn, NY. Robert came to be known as "the preacher" by his peers in Lafayette High School. He attended Brooklyn College majoring in education but later he became a nutritionist in Manhattan in order to help people. He began to counsel people and was convicted that he could help them live healthier lives, but their souls were still at risk. He met his wife Ana at a restaurant. They both had prayed to find a Godly spouse and knew shortly that God meant them for each other. They were married in 1998 and now they have 3 sons and 4 daughters. They attended Messiah Congregation in Brooklyn, NY. Messiah directed him to Bahnse's Seminary. Robert was interested in how Christ healed people. He went to several healing ministries in order to learn from them. He quickly realized the "New Age" was behind most of these ministries. He began to challenge New Agers with the Word of God. Robert decided to attend Bahnse's Seminary. In Messiah Congregation, Robert and Ana really began to grow in their faith and began to counsel people. In 2006 he was looking to pastor a congregation and found an erroneous advertisement for pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church in Coney Island. Robert and Ana began to attend Fellowship knowing in their hearts that the Lord had called them here. After two years of faithful attendance at Fellowship, Robert was asked to become an elder. In February 2010 he became Senior Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church. He is preparing the congregation to live authentic Christian lives and for the persecution that is coming. He has a lot of great ideas for ministry in our neighborhood. All this and Robert turned only 39 in January 2012. You can hear Pastor Rubino preach by clicking this link:
Elder Angel Vega,
During our 2011 annual meeting, we voted in our newest elder, Angel Vega. Angel, who is married and has a daughter, has been serving the Lord since he was 14 years old when his grandfather, Miguel Osorio, who lived in Puerto Rico to the age of 94, gave him his first Bible and introduced him to the Lord. Angel has been spending lots of time getting to know and be of service to the church and its community in our Homeless Ministry. Angel also helps run the day-to-day administration of Fellowship Baptist Church.
Brother James Williams,
James Williams was a native of North Carolina and moved to New York in the late 1950s. He met his wife Martha in 1961 and they were married in 1963. God has blessed them with two sons. James & Martha have 3 grandsons. James served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 68. He took courses in Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn in 1977. James worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation from 1970 to 1991 when he retired. In September 1994 they visited Fellowship Baptist Church. James wanted to help with the Homeless Ministry. He helped with the cleaning of the church building and the setting up of the tables. There he met Deacon Hunter and started to attend Bible study. As he began to read and study God's Word, he was awakened spiritually and came to realize his need of a Saviour and submitted his heart and life to Jesus Christ by faith. He has continued to grow in the knowledge and the grace of God. In 2005, he was chosen by Pastor Steve to be a member and head of the Elders Board. In 2013 Elder James Williams retired from the Elder Board and now spends time with his wife, Martha, traveling between New York and North Carolina.