Statement of Faith and Church Covenant

On June 13, 1898 the First Baptist Church of Olney was organized by 13 original charter members. On that day the church “read and adopted the Articles of Faith and Covenant as found in the Pendleton Church Manual.”  The Articles of Faith in the Manual referenced are the text of the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith.  

History of the First Baptist Church of Olney Statement of Faith & Church Covenant
(Adopted June 13, 1898)
(Revised on October 22, 2017)

On June 13, 1898 the Baptist people in Olney met to organize a Baptist church.  County Missionary Rev. M.L. McDowell led the meeting.  Following worship, Rev. McDowell was elected moderator and J. M. Wood was elected to serve as clerk.   A call was made by the moderator for those who wished organize a church to come forward.  Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Hunt, Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Lovelace, Mrs. George Roach, Mrs. J.M. Bloodworth, and Miss Bertha Hunt came forward.
The church was declared constituted by the reading and adopting of Articles of Faith and Covenant as found in J.M Pendleton’s Church Manuel. J.M. Pendleton’s Church Manuel was first published in 1867 and contained the 1833 New Hampshire Confession as slightly revised in 1853 by J. Newton Brown. The origins of the Church Covenant are less clear. There is some evidence that J. Newton Brown also developed the language of the Church Covenant.
Over the years, the use of the Confession of faith and the Church Covenant fell into disuse.  In 2017 an inquiry was made by a prospective member regarding the church’s statement of faith.  A review of the records was made and it was determined that the 1833 New Hampshire Confession was the document adopted by the church on the day it was founded.  To our knowledge, no other statement of faith has been adopted by the church.


In 2017 a review of the Statement of Faith and the Church Covenant was undertaken with the aim of bringing certain items in each document more in line with biblical teaching and making them more useful in the instruction and discipline of the members.  An article of the statement of faith was revised to reflect a proper New Testament understanding of permissible activities on Sunday.  Also, phrase in the covenant was revised to reflect a proper New Testament understanding of eating and drinking.  These revisions were incorporated into the church constitution, along with a statement on Marriage and the Family, which was added to express the long-held understanding of the biblical teaching on the subject.

As to declarations of faith, it must ever be understood that they are not substitutes for the Scriptures. They are only exponents of what are conceived to be the fundamental doctrines of the word of God. Among Baptist, as their churches are independent, it is optional with each church to have a declaration or not, as it may think best. Each church too may adopt a declaration of its own. Its independence gives it this right, nor can it be alienated. While Baptists glory in their form of church government-which recognizes every church as a little republic in itself- they are perhaps as nearly united in their views of the truths of the Bible as most other denominations.

– from the Pendleton Church Manual (1867)

First Baptist Church of Olney, Texas
Statement of Faith
(Adopted June 13, 1898)
(Revised and Amended on October 22, 2017)

1. Of The Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

2.  Of The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

3. The Fall of Man

We believe that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
4.  Of The Way Of Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Saviour.

5.  Of JustificationWe believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most  blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.

6.  Of The Freeness Of Salvation

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

7.  Of Grace In Regeneration

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.

8.  Of Repentance And Faith

We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.

9.  Of God’s Purpose Of Grace

We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest  degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.

10.  Of Sanctification

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, – especially, the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.

11.  Of The Perseverance Of Saints

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

12.  Of The Harmony Of The Law And The Gospel

We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin: to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.

13.  Of A Gospel Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

14.  Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

15.  Of The Christian Sabbath (Revised on October 22, 2017)

We believe that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purpose.  Activities Sunday should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

16.  Of Civil Government

We believe that Civil Government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.

17.  Of The Righteous And The Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.

18.  Of The World To Come

We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or heck, on principles of righteousness.

A Statement on Marriage and The Family
(Adopted on October 22, 2017 by First Baptist Church, Olney)

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.