We Are Our
What to Expect
WE ARE FAMILY
in the Lives of God's People
Unity is made up of folks from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds. Members are dedicated to maturing in Christ while remaining dedicated to engaging our community with the Message of Grace and Hope. Our staff and entire church family seek to continually communicate the love of Christ through sound biblical teaching, establishing meaningful relationships, and gathering together for authentic worship.
As a family of God we are investing in the lives of all of God's people, regardless of their age or life situation. Therefore, we welcome children, students, young adults, and seniors alike! Rather than attempting to figure out what kind of label best describes us, (traditional, contemporary, seeker friendly, etc.) or attempting to follow the latest "trendy" church model, we've concentrated our efforts on discipling, fellowshiping and worshiping in a manner which is biblically based and Christ honoring. While some churches, in our modern era, have chosen to offer several worship venues in order to appeal to personal preferences and to the tastes of different generations, we believe that it is best that all in the local body of Christ worship together, in one authentic gathering that follows God's command for worship rather than be driven by man's ever changing preferences. Further, we think it is important for our children to experience the nuances of worshiping as a family and encourage parents to bring their children with them. However, we do recognize the cognitive and attention limitations of young children, so, about midway through the service, our Pastor will dismiss grades 2 and under, at the parent's discretion of course, to our Children's Church where they will continue to learn in an atmosphere conducive to their age.
Comprehending the biblical principles of both God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, we remain committed to the historic principles of our faith that have been foundational to Baptist life for millennia (See our beliefs page for more information). We believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, as inspired and recorded in the original languages, and is therefore, the final and sufficient authority over all matters of faith and life. We believe that God's gift of Grace compels every believer to be fully devoted to the precepts as taught in the Scriptures. Further, we believe every Christian is called of the Lord to share the Good News of Christ to all peoples, and to make disciples of all who come to Christ. We are commited to live a consecrated life demontrating His indwelling love and excellence in all that we say and do.
If you're searching for a church home that is theologically sound in its doctrine (committed to the historic Baptist beliefs) yet is devotionally balanced; a fellowship that is fully dedicated to Christ and His Great Commission; a community of faith where you can truly experience Christ's love while genuinely connecting with others, come visit with us soon. You'll be glad you did! Please contact us for more information about our church and the opportunities for your family.
CHRIST HONORING - COMMUNITY FOCUSED
Christ - Love Others
Our vision at Unity is simple. We seek to be involved in "Engaging our Community with the Love of Christ."
We endeavor to accomplish this task in three ways:
It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that makes all of this possible. The only way sinners like us are changed and come to have faith is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The only way we can continue to change and to grow in Christ-likeness is through living together in community through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The only way we can be about the task of living, learning, and loving is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Learning should be a life-long journey, and this includes continued learning and study of God's Word. Scripture tells us, to "Study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). That means we are to engage in each opportunity to learn about and live out the gospel, using our spiritual gifts to build one another up in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
We know that ďGod so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal lifeĒ (Jn. 3:16). The Gospel is the Message of Good News for all people. Having been chosen of God to experience the magnificence of His grace, it is our desire to be gracious and loving toward others (Mk. 12:31; Mt. 22:39). Further, that we would fully engage in ministries that bless our local community by showing forth the love of Christ to neighbors, friends, and coworkers. We also seek to love the world by supporting ministries that spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world to every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9) all for the glory of God.
Pastor Sammy and his family came to Unity in April of 2006 with a genuine passion to preach the Word of God while leading the Church in
Worship, Fellowship, and Evangelism. Having previously served bi-vocationally in Baptist work in the areas of discipleship, music and in student ministry, Pastor Sammy is a graduate of Trinity College of the Bible having earned his degree in Pastoral Ministry and Christian Education. Presently, he is pursuing an advanced degree in Christian Philosophy & Apologetics. In addition, Pastor Sammy has earned the Diploma in Biblical Counseling along with having completed the credentialing process for certification as a Pastoral Counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Sammyís wife, Kellie, is a RN Clinical Manager with Kindred at Home. They
have been blessed with two children, Kyle, and Allyson, along
with two granddaughters, Ellie and Anna.
and his family enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities especially fishing. Our Pastor also enjoys working with wooden boats, working in his wood shop, gardening, Gator football, and spending time with his two mischievous Beagles Copper & Cornbread.
Pastor Jamie has an incredible energy and a unique ability to share the love of Christ to today's teenagers while clearly teaching the truth of God's Word. Jamie was Ordained to the Gospel Ministry while serving as Youth Minister at First Baptist Church in Altoona, FL, and has completed the Certificate Program for "Caring for Teens God's Way" through the American Association of Christians Counselors' Light University. Bro. Jamie, as he likes to be called, is joined by his wife Michelle who is very gifted in the areas of children and students as well. Jamie and Michelle have two beautiful and talented daughters Peyton and Madison...both
married. They have 1 granddaughter, Finley.
God has gifted Jamie not only with a strong passion for young people, but also with a magnificent voice and musical ability. In addition to his responsibilities as our Student Minister, Jamie serves as our Worship Leader as well. His favorite saying..."It's all good!" So what's his "thorn in the flesh" you might be asking...well that's easy...he's a Florida State fan!
to Expect When You Visit
No two churches are identical and we recognize that visiting a new church can sometimes be overwhelming. We look forward to your visit and want you to feel welcome and at ease. Expect to be welcomed by one of our greeters as you enter the Sanctuary area. If you are attending a service for the very first time we invite you to complete a guest card (located in the pew chair rack) and place it in the offering plate at the end of the worship service. Our Pastor will receive these cards from the Ushers so we encourage you to specify any prayer needs or other information you would like to communicate to him. Please know that you will not be asked to raise your hand, stand up during the service or do anything that would otherwise draw attention or make you feel uncomfortable.
Groups (Sunday School) for all age groups
Study & Prayer
Student Groups Meet
is the Worship Service like?
The Scriptures teach authentic worship is composed of basically five elements:
In seeking to bring honor and glory to our Lord our services incorporate a balance of the above scriptural elements. You will find the worship environment at UBC to reflect the principles of the historic Baptist faith such as congregational singing of the hymns, psalms and songs of praise. We believe God's Word specifically teaches that corporate worship is a participatory gathering of baptized believers, not a spectator event whereby one comes to be entertained. The worship gatherings at UBC are certainly refreshing in a time whereby so many churches have abandoned the biblical pattern of authenticity for that which is pragmatic.
type of Bible study is offered?
We offer Sunday School classes (Life Groups) for all ages and life situations. Our Children and Student classes are age graded while adults may choose a class based on age and/or life situation. All groups study the Word of God expositionally, which means we move through
the books of the Bible covering the aspects of life applicatiion, doctrine and theology. We periodically offer new members classes on special studies concerning the specifics of what we believe as Baptists.
should I dress?
Please dress modestly and comfortably. Our congregation is fairly diverse and most forms of modest attire are represented; some preferring to get "all dressed up" while others prefer a more "dress-casual" attire.
is the music like?
God's Word encourages the vibrant and enthusiastic singing of God's people as they gather in worship of Him. Further, all music should meet the basic criteria of
theological soundness and, of course, be singable! While many churches offer musical entertainment, such as one would encounter during a concert, we see no scriptural basis or biblical pattern for anything but the corporate participation of God's people singing. Therefore, we predominately sing congregational hymns and spiritual songs in our worship services that are accompanied by our instrumentalists. Periodically, choral music featuring vocalists,
or our Sanctuary choir, will be inlcuded as participants in the service. Also, throughout the year, there are special musical events which are usually held on Sunday evenings or on a weeknight. Sunday morning worship services are exclusively reserved for the corporate worship of God's people.
Unity Baptist Church is voluntarily affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention of churches regionally
and locally. We are aslo affiliated with Founders Ministries
and Ligonier Ministries. Find out more about these organizations by
clicking the links below.
Confessional, Christ Centered
Over the last few decades there has been a rapid departure from the historical Baptist viewpoint concerning both the harmony and the consistency in doctrinal teaching. Because of these paradigm shifts, the once robust evangelistic passion commanded in our Lordís Great Commission has been severely weakened and has left many Baptist churches feeling the results of worldly pragmatism and the effects of easy-believism.
The soundness of biblical truth, which is best expressed through expository preaching and teaching, has been supplanted by cultural relativism and the fads of human desire. It is no wonder Christís church has suffered from the effects of these false notions
whereby many churches are seemingly in an indentity crisis. Consequently, we affirm the foundational statements of faith which summarize the historic Christian faith:
Now some Baptists have seemed to adopt as their mantra "No Creed but Christ". While this view, first adopted in the 18th century in the hopes of creating unity amongst Christians, continues to hold sway among many today. However, far from fostering unity, it has instead led to even more division and strife within the church. Consequently, Baptists throughout history have understood both the biblical significance and importance of pastoral function these credal summaries of the Christian beliefs provide.
Unity Baptist Church is compiled of people who love Godís Word and have an affinity for biblical truth. Our congregation stands with the men and women who throughout Christian history have steadfastly stood upon the great doctrines of the Christian faith. It is these foundational truths that are not only essential for the health of believers but for the spiritual health of the church. At Unity, we are committed to the recovery of and passion for the Gospel of Christ and to the biblical reformation of the local church. We believe that genuine faith is that which is both doctrinal and confessional. So, what have been the effects of easy believism and lack of doctrinal teaching? Well, just one century ago most children in Baptist churches would have possessed a robust working knowledge of both doctrinal truths and of church history. Today, many folks who gather in our church houses know very little concerning the God of the Bible, of His precepts, or of what the Scriptures teach conerning New Birth in Jesus Christ. Consequently, we believe it should be the high priority of the church to unapologetically teach sound biblical doctrine along with the instruction concerning the significant events and people of church history. Why is this so important? Because what one believes about God, His Word, and of Redemption will greatly impact both their testimony and their zeal for evangelism.
We recognize and agree, in principle, with the core truths and unifying spirit of
Baptist Faith and Message, as adopted by Southern Baptists in 2000. However, as our distinctive doctrinal guide, we affirm
Baptist Confession of Faith (Second London,1689) along with the summary of that confession, The
of Principles. Not only has this confession of Baptist faith and practice stood for over 400 years, these were the most common confessional document(s) in place at the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845 and in the founding of the first Southern Baptist Seminary in Greenville, SC which later relocated to its present location in Louisville, KY. The Southern Baptist Seminary, along with The Southeastern Seminary and The Midwestern Seminary, still uphold the
of Principles as their general Doctrinal Statement of faith and practice.
As Baptists, we also believe in the biblical pattern of church governance and in the full autonomy of the local church. While we affirm each local church should be autonomous, we also desire to fellowship and cooperate with churches who are of like faith and order. Such fellowship provides a support network for missions, theological education, medical institutions and the support of various disaster and emergency relief agencies. As an expression of that desire and support, we cooperate with the congregations making up the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Marion Baptist Association. Further, in cooperation with other sister churches who uphold the historical Baptist views on doctrinal matters we have affiliated with Founders Ministries. You can find out more information concerning these agencies on our "Affliations" page.
Perhaps the words of the 17th century Baptist theologian, Hercules Collins, in his address to his contemporaries says it best: "I have proposed three Creeds to your consideration, which ought throughly to be believed and embraced by all those that would be accounted Christians, viz. The Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, and the Creed commonly called the Apostles; The last of which contains the sum of the Gospels; which is industriously opened and explained; and I beseech you do not slight it because of its Form, nor Antiquity, nor because supposed to be composed by Men; neither because some that hold it, maintain some Errors, or whose Conversation may not be correspondent to such fundamental Principles of Salvation; but take this for a perpetual Rule, That whatever is good in any, owned by any, whatever Error or Vice it may be mixed withal, the Good must not be rejected for the Error or Vice sake, but owned; commended, and accepted." Creeds are not Scripture and do not rise to that level whatsoever. Nevertheless, they are good summaries of what one believes the Scriptures to teach concerning the most basic tenants of faith.