CBC Distinctives


Glory of God Focused – The glory of God is everything! We believe that every individual Christian and every local church family must have a continual, intentional, and passionate focus on the glory of God! (1 Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 3:21)

Christ-Honoring –As Christ’s church, we strive above all things to know Him, love Him, praise Him, and serve Him. It is by, through him, and for Him that we exist. It is our goal to keep Him the honored center of all that we say and do! (Colossians 1:18).

Local Church Centered – We believe that meaningful and enduring fellowship in a local congregation is absolutely essential to the Christian’s life and ministry. We are committed not only to congregate, but to do so for the purpose of encouraging one another and stimulating one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Bible Saturated/Thoroughly Biblical –Our purpose, our methods, and our goals must be from sound, biblical teaching. Our theology must dictate our methodology.

Expository Bible Preaching – The hub of the wheel of God’s church is the preaching of the word of God in the power of the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-4:2). The preacher must strive to be thoroughly biblical. He must avoid the temptation of misusing Scripture to support a man-centered or culturally relevant message.

Biblical Worship –Worship is to reinforce the faith through song and to express congregational praise and worship to Christ, our Audience. We are thoroughly biblical in doctrine, Baptist in polity, and passionate in worship.

Biblical Conversion and Assurance – A biblical understanding of regeneration and conversion has been lost by the modern church. Salvation requires hearing the Gospel accompanied by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-8, Ephesians 2:5). This supernatural work, called regeneration, produces repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21). The truly saved person perseveres in faithfulness (Philippians 1:6, Matthew 7:16-20). The man who walks in a continual state of carnality with no divine discipline can have no assurance of sonship (Hebrews 12:8), no matter how adamantly he professes his allegiance to Christ.

Biblical Evangelism – It is the duty of every believer to evangelize the lost. We adamantly stand against cold, unevangelistic hyper-Calvinism on the one hand and "hoop-jumping" easy believism on the other. We are committed to preach the Gospel to every creature and to implore ALL men to repent and believe. We believe that whoever believes in Christ will be saved. We recognize that repentance and faith are the result of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

Personalized World Missions – The Great Commission is a great command. Personal involvement in world missions is not a suggestion or an option, but it is demanded of every true believer. The entire local church family should be personally and strategically involved in world missions, mobilizing laborers, prayer, and finances to the end of glorifying God among all peoples.

Congregational Government – A New Testament church is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers. Church government or leadership is congregational in context. Therefore, the final word in matters pertaining to the congregation must come from the congregation itself. The congregation must be committed to the Lordship of Christ under the full authority of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-17, Acts 6:2-5, 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 2 Corinthians 2:6, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Elder Led – The church has a body of elders/pastors who teach and shepherd the flock. In accordance with Hebrews 13:17, they keep watch over the congregation as men who must give an account to God. According to the same text, the congregation is to obey them and submit to their authority so that their work will be a joy and not a burden. The elders must meet the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and they exercise authority over the church only to the degree that they teach and lead according to the Scriptures.

Deacon Served –The word deacon (Greek: diakonos) denotes a helper or servant who serves (Greek: diakoneo). Before a man may be appointed as a deacon, he must be tested for the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The tasks of a deacon are primarily that of meeting the physical and material needs of individual believers and the congregation as a whole.

Every Member Ministry – Every Christian in the local congregation without exception has been given spiritual gifts, which they are commanded to employ for the edification of the entire congregation. The administration of such gifts by every member is necessary for the proper growth and ministry of the church.

Small Group Ministry – One of the greatest outlets for every member ministry is our Small Group ministry. Such fellowships are employed to evangelize the lost, equip the saved, and minister to the individual needs in the body.

Discipleship – The purpose of Calvary Baptist Church is to glorify God by obediently making and equipping disciples of Christ, in Hannibal and throughout the world, by the power of the Spirit. The primary means employed to disciple believers are expository preaching (Encounter), Small Group interaction and accountability (Embrace), personal one-on-one discipleship (Equip), and service and evangelism (Engage).

Compassionate Church Discipline – Although church discipline is a foundational doctrine in Baptist history, it is now almost non-existent among “contemporary” Baptists. This forgotten and often misunderstood Bible doctrine is still practiced at Calvary. We believe that if we truly seek to honor God, and if we truly care for the well-being of His people, we will obey Christ’s commands to practice church discipline. When practiced biblically and compassionately, it is a powerful tool to restore the fallen and to preserve Christ’s honor in the church and the unbelieving world.

Parent-Driven Children’s Ministry –The church should give itself to teaching the biblical principles of parenthood and to holding parents accountable to carry them out in the context of families. While we have an active program for children, it should be viewed as an extension of the parents’ roles, and it is never to replace them.

Parent-Driven Youth Ministry –Our youth ministry is parent-driven. Our goal is to strengthen parents in their God-called responsibility to “bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Our youth ministry is centered on the faithful preaching of God’s Word and Small Groups for application of Scripture, meeting personal needs, and one-on-one discipleship and accountability. While other activities may be engaged in, they must never take the place of or de-emphasize the preaching of the Word or the leadership of fathers in discipling their children.

Financial Stewardship - Joyous giving reflects the God of grace who has saved us. Stinginess is antithetical to Christianity. We believe that Christians should tithe of their income to the local church. God’s primary means of financially supporting His work on earth is through the giving of tithes and “over and above” offerings by the members of the local church.