First Baptist is an Independent Baptist Church founded in 1836. Located on the southwest side of Goshen, Indiana, the church family of about 300 members is led by a staff of 3 pastors. Sunday Worship Services combine both traditional and contemporary Christian music focused around the literal teaching and practical application of God's Word, the Bible. Sunday School and Adult Bible Fellowship classes meet each Sunday morning for all ages to learn how to live out God's Word. Fusion student ministries provides exciting, relevant weekly and special events for all teens. Family Growth Groups meet each week in member's homes for fellowship and practical Bible study. The church is actively involved in the Goshen community in several ways.
THE BIBLE: We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and as such is without error and is totally sufficient to meet the spiritual needs of every person (2 Timothy 3:14-17). We do not take issue regarding the various newer versions of the Bible as long as they are reliably and literally translated from the most reliable manuscripts. Pastor Lanzen uses the New American Standard Bible (NASB © The Lockman Foundation) in his preaching and teaching.
GOD: We believe in One God in three distinct persons; The Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who comprise the Trinity. All are equally God, yet distinct in their persons and purpose )Matt. 28:19, Mark 12:29).
JESUS: We believe in the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, perfect humanity, substitutionary death for the sins of mankind, resurrection from death to prove his power over sin and death, and His literal return to earth in the near future to rapture His chosen children and later to establish His earthly kingdom (Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit is a real person whose ministry is to convict mankind of his sin, regenerate and eternally seal those who come by faith to God for salvation from sin, and to prompt and empower believers to live a holy life, pleasing to God (John 16:8-11; Eph. 4:29; Rom. 1:8). We believe that a believer is permanently baptized with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation and as such does not need subsequent baptisms. Although we believe the Holy Spirit has the freedom and power to manifest Himself to and in a believer’s life in any way He would choose, we also believe that the modern day “spiritual gifts” of speaking in unknown tongues, miraculous healing by human touch, and the prophesying of future events were all temporary gifts limited to the Apostolic era of church history and have all become unnecessary with the completion of the written Scriptures (I Cor. 12-13).
MAN: We believe that all people are sinners by nature and as such are destined to spend eternity separated from holy God, suffering the righteous judgment for their sin in the eternal Lake of Fire, unless saved by faith in God (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; Rev. 20:11-15).
SALVATION: We believe that man can be freed from the death penalty of his sin by simply acknowledging his sin before God, and by faith trusting God to forgive him of his sin through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and allowing the Holy Spirit to take eternal control of his life (John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-13).
THE FUTURE: We believe that once a person comes to God by faith through Jesus Christ, they are eternally secured to live forever in God’s presence by the work of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). We believe in the eminent Rapture of the Church prior to the beginning of a great time of judgment on earth (called the Tribulation) to live with the Lord for eternity in the presence of God. After the Tribulation Jesus will return to earth to abolish evil, establish His throne in Jerusalem and begin a 1,000 year kingdom of righteousness and peace. This will be followed by the final (Great White Throne) judgment of all who refused to believe in God to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, and the establishment of a new and perfect heavens and earth where all believers in God will live in eternal peace and joy with Him. (Matt. 24-25; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 5-22).
Sunday, September 4, 1836
On Sunday, September4, 1836, eleven residents of the recently platted town of Goshen, met in the home of Mr. E. Manning, "to consider the propriety of being constituted into a church", as the minutes of that meeting recorded. The "First Regular Baptist Church" of Goshen, Indiana, was born and has been used by God for almost 180 years since.
Sunday, December 23, 1877
After meeting in homes, the Elkhart County Courthouse, and the Waterloo school for a number of years, on Sunday, August 14, 1859, the church members held the first services in their newly built church building on the corner of 6th and Washington streets. In early 1876, this structure was sold and moved to 3rd street and a new brick structure was erected on the same site and dedicated on Sunday, December 23, 1877.
Sunday, May 19, 1968
On Sunday, May 19, 1968, the current building located at the corner of Plymouth and Indiana avenues, on 12 acres of land, was dedicated. In 1984, the building size was doubled with the addition of 7 classrooms, a large kitchen, and gymnasium.The Rev./Dr. Greggory Lanzen is the 39th and current lead pastor having served in this capacity since 1997, and as the associate pastor from 1981-1996 under Rev. Louis Showers.