The Christ’s Church Family
Christ’s Church is a community of people from all walks of life whose goal is to help others become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ. We wish to extend His influence locally and globally. Christ’s Church is a place where anyone, regardless of race or religious background, can hear the Word of God in an exciting, clear, relevant, and meaningful way. Application of the Word is essential to daily life in order to first, become a follower of Christ and, second, to become victorious and effective in the believer’s walk with Christ.
Free Will Baptist
ARTICLES OF FAITH
1. The Bible. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are our infallible rule of faith and practice.
2. God. There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe; and in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet as one God, infinitely wise and good, whom all intelligent creatures are supremely to love, adore, and obey.
3. Christ. Christ is God manifest in the flesh; in His divine nature truly God, in His human nature truly man. The mediator between God and man, once crucified, He is now risen and glorified, and is our ever present Savior and Lord.
4. The Holy Spirit. The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of God.
5. The Government of God. God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and all things by maintaining the constitution and laws of nature. He also performs special acts, not otherwise provided for, as the highest welfare of men requires.
6. The Sinfulness of Man. Man was created innocent, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity, therefore, inherits a fallen nature of such tendencies that all who come to years of accountability, sin and become guilty before God.
7. The Work of Christ. The Son of God by His incarnation, life, sufferings, death, and resurrection effected for all a redemption from sin that is full and free, and is the ground of salvation by faith.
8. The Terms of Salvation. The conditions of salvation are: (1) Repentance or sincere sorrow for sin and hearty renunciation of it. (2) Faith or the unreserved committal of one’s self to Christ as Savior and Lord with purpose to love and obey Him in all things. In the exercise of saving faith, the soul is renewed by the Holy Spirit, freed from the dominion of sin, and becomes a child of God. (3) Continuance of faith and obedience unto death.
9. Election. God determined from the beginning to save all who should comply with the conditions of salvation. Hence by faith in Christ men become His elect.
10. Freedom of the Will. The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish.
11. Salvation Free. God desires the salvation of all, the Gospel invites all, the Holy Spirit strives with all, and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely.
12. Perseverance. All believers in Christ, who through grace persevere in holiness to the end of life, have promise of eternal salvation.
13. Gospel Ordinances. Baptism, or the immersion of believers in water, and the Lord’s Supper, are the ordinances to be perpetuated under the Gospel. Feet washing, an ordinance teaching humility, is of universal obligation, and is to be ministered to all true believers.
14. Tithing. God commanded tithes and offerings in the Old Testament; Jesus Christ endorsed it in the Gospel (Matt. 23:23), and the apostle Paul said, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Cor. 16:2a).
15. The Christian Sabbath. The divine law requires that one day in seven be set apart from secular employments and amusements, for rest, worship, holy works, and activities, and for personal communion with God.
16. Resurrection, Judgment, and Final Retribution. The Scriptures teach the resurrection of all men at the last day. Those who have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation; then the wicked will “go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Howard Gwartney is a native of Oklahoma and began preaching at the age of 15. He attended Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. He began his formal ministry as a children and youth pastor, followed by pastoring churches in Colorado and Missouri. In 1986, Bro. Howard planted the East Valley Free Will Baptist Church in Mesa, Arizona where he served for nearly 17 years. Afterwards, he taught pastoral classes at Southeastern FWB College in Wendell, North Carolina for three years. In December of 2007, God called Bro. Howard back to Arizona to launch Christ’s Church in September 2008.
In his free time, Bro. Howard is a chaplain with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. He has been an ultralight pilot, gone skydiving and scuba diving. He enjoys riding his motorcycle, going cowboy action shooting, eating Mexican food and playing racquetball.