Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Unfollowing iffy teachers, Teacher training, Church search & 9Marks, Charitable giving, SBC21, AWFS transcripts)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question.

I like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar (at the very bottom of each page) can be a helpful tool!

Or maybe I answered your question already? Check out my article The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs to see if your question has been answered and to get some helpful resources.


I’m currently listening to a [Bible study] podcast. I have enjoyed it so far because after I read, I’m able to hear a different perspective, maybe the speaker goes over something I didn’t catch, or maybe the speaker says something that isn’t how I interpreted the text. I always go back to the Scripture and compare when her opinion and mine differ to see what the scripture says. There’s now been two issues that I just believe she is plan wrong about. At what point would you cut ties? My husband has told he wants me to really ponder if the teacher is trustworthy if she adds to Scripture or changes God’s intent. I’m all for testing everything I read/listen to against Scripture, but at what point would you consider not following a teacher due to misleading or just plain wrong information?

At the point at which my (doctrinally sound) husband expressed concern, if I hadn’t already unfollowed her on my own.

Ladies- if you have a godly, doctrinally sound husband who knows his Bible, be thankful (as I’m sure the reader who sent in this question is). What a wonderful gift God has given you! He’s able to give you a biblical perspective on things you might not have thought about before, he can give you godly counsel on those things, and he cares about your spiritual life and growth in holiness.

If you have a husband like that and he’s saying, “I don’t think you should listen to that podcast, read that author, etc.,” I would urge you to give serious thought to what he’s saying. I would also recommend heeding his leadership and unfollowing that person, even if you don’t totally agree with him. It’s very likely that one day, you’ll look back at that author or podcaster and see your husband’s concerns more clearly, and be glad you took his advice. And even if you don’t, or even if he turns out to be wrong, you’re still demonstrating respect for, and submission to his spiritual leadership – and that’s worth way more to your marriage and to being a godly wife than any podcast, book, YouTube channel or anything else.

If you’re in a position in which you’re having to decide for yourself whether or not to continue following a certain “iffy” teacher, here’s what I’d recommend:

  • Make sure the “red flags” you’re seeing are actually biblical issues (as this reader’s red flags were), not personal preferences. You may not like that a pastor likes hymns instead of more contemporary (doctrinally sound) worship music or that a (doctrinally sound) female teacher has really short hair, but that’s personal taste, not being unbiblical.
  • Be sure you understand and can rightly handle Scripture well enough to make sure it’s the teacher who’s the one in error, not you.
  • Make certain that what you’re hearing as a red flag wasn’t just a “one and done” instance of the teacher accidentally misspeaking, flubbing her words, or not being as clear as she could have been.
  • If you’re seeing red flags and you’re a new Christian or you know yourself well enough to know you could be easily swayed by this teacher into believing something wrong, stop following her.
  • Consider that for every red flag you’re seeing, there could be another red flag that your’e not recognizing or that this teacher hasn’t revealed yet.
  • If you’re a mature Christian who’s following this teacher for biblical instruction and you’re increasingly seeing red flags, that’s God’s way of telling you -through what you know from His Word- that you don’t need to be receiving teaching from this person.
  • If you don’t want to follow or are uncomfortable following a certain teacher, that doesn’t require you to make any sort of public declaration that others shouldn’t follow her or that she is a false teacher. You can simply make the quiet, personal decision to stop following her.
  • Remember, there’s no law that says you have to follow any particular teacher, or any teachers at all for that matter. Christians have been doing just fine for 2000 years simply being taught by their own pastor, elders, and teachers at church.

While reading your article, McBible Study and the Famine of God’s Word, I finally realized my struggle with leading the women’s study is because I haven’t been trained to teach. Unfortunately, there aren’t any strong teachers in my church – a big problem. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for learning how to learn? Online, books, etc.?

The first thing I would recommend is that you explain your dilemma to your pastor and ask him to train you (and others in your church – One on one meetings between a pastor and a woman are not a good idea. Plus, it sounds like a lot of people in your church need to be trained.) to teach.

If your pastor is not a “strong teacher” or is incapable of training others to teach, you probably need to start looking for a new church. One of the biblical qualifications for pastors is that they be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2) and be “able to give instruction in sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9). Paul exhorted Pastor Timothy: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Pastors ought to be able to teach others to teach.

As your pastor is training you, you may wish to work through some of my Bible studies, or use them as studies for your women’s class. My studies are designed to teach women how to study or teach straight from the text of Scripture in a “learn by doing” sort of way. Once you get a feel for the kinds of things you should be seeing in the text and questions you should be asking of the text, you can take off those “training wheels” and fly solo.


Are you suggesting that the churches listed at the search engines at your Searching for a new church? resource are the only churches that are teaching biblically?

Not at all. That resource is not, nor is it meant to be, a comprehensive list of every doctrinally sound church on planet Earth. That would be impossible. I’m sure there are thousands of other perfectly doctrinally sound churches out there (and if you are personally connected to any others, please let me know.) That resource is merely a suggestions of some of the doctrinally sound churches in various areas of the world that Christians can check out if they’re looking for one to join.

I would like clarification on 9Marks website.

It’s a little hard to “clarify” when I’m not sure what the question is. :0) I can only infer that, like others, you’ve noticed Mark Dever and a few other pastors/teachers in that circle who, over the past few years, seem to have occasionally dipped a toe into the social justice waters.

I added the 9Marks “church search” to my list of church search engines several years ago before that became an issue. I believe that the majority of churches that are listed at the 9Marks site probably also applied to be listed before this became an issue or are not aware that it is currently an issue.

So far, as far as I know, Mark Dever and 9Marks haven’t turned rabidly woke, given a full-throated endorsement of Critical Race Theory, spoken out in favor of clear progressivism or liberalism, etc. I’ll continue to keep an eye on them, and if and when that happens, I’ll remove the 9Marks church search. But right now, they’re still at the stage of being decent brothers in Christ who every once in a while make an iffy statement or two. The churches on the 9Marks list aren’t required to agree or align with everything Mark Dever and 9Marks say, and, at the moment, I believe that the majority of the churches on that list are doctrinally sound.

If you have misgivings about 9Marks, by all means, skip that church search engine and use the others I have listed. And, as the disclaimer on that page says: “Please use this list only as a suggestion of churches to check out using biblical wisdom and discernment.” You are responsible for personally vetting any church you choose to visit or join.


Do you know of, and/or recommend, any particular causes or charities that are… well, Godly (moral and ethical)? There are so many charities that don’t use their donated funds for their advertised causes (you know, instead the donations go to support the CEO’s million dollar mansion and such). I want to give, I just don’t know to whom or what.

The first place you should be giving is to the offerings of your local church – to support your pastor and staff, pay the bills, contribute to the upkeep of the church, support missionaries, etc. This is part of being a faithful church member.

If you still have money left over after that, ask your pastor about the missionaries and other Christian organizations (ex: a local crisis pregnancy center, orphanages, church plants, etc.) your church supports financially, and give more money directly to these organizations. You should follow your pastor’s leadership and work hand in hand with your church in supporting these entities.

And if you still have money left over after that, would you adopt me? :0) Just kidding. If you follow any doctrinally sound podcasts, pastors, teachers, or authors, find out which parachurch organizations they support. For example, two of the ministries I follow are Grace to You and Wretched. I would love to be able to support The Master’s Academy International, which trains indigenous pastors all over the world to minister in their context. One of Wretched’s sponsors I would contribute to is Pre-Born, a pro-life ministry that emphasizes sharing the gospel.

(And just FYI: I do not recommend Samaritan’s Purse / Operation Christmas Child.)

May God bless your generosity.


Will there be a 2021 version of the Arrive Prepared resource for this year’s SBC Annual Meeting?

I thought about that a couple of weeks ago, but to be perfectly transparent I am so disillusioned with and depressed by the state of the Southern Baptist Convention at the national level right now that I just don’t have the heart for it.

Last year, I was in more of a “Let’s charge into hell with a water pistol and DO this thing!” frame of mind. This year, that has been replaced by a heaviness of spirit. Though there are many individual (and autonomous – for those not in the know, all SBC churches are autonomous) doctrinally sound SBC churches out there, including my own (and I’m so thankful for all of them), I just don’t have any reason to believe that anything is going to change at the national level. I think it’s just going to continue to get worse – more false teachers, more false doctrine, more egalitarianism, more Critical Race Theory, more liberalism, more biblical ignorance, more tolerance for sin, more 11th Commandment, more erosion of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, and continued disdain for those of us in the Calvinist ghetto of the SBC.

I have never in my life more fervently hoped to be proved wrong, and I completely support my doctrinally sound brothers and sisters who are still standing in the flames brandishing their water pistols. But I’m shell shocked. That’s honestly just where I am right now.

In my estimation, about 85% of the information in the “Arrive Prepared” article is still accurate and relevant for this year’s annual meeting. Since the 2020 annual meeting was canceled due to COVID, my thinking is most of the same issues will be addressed this year, particularly abuse and Critical Race Theory / Resolution 9 (if you haven’t yet checked out the CRT video series I posted a few weeks ago, that would be a great resource).

I imagine issues surrounding COVID and the vaccine, the Equality Act, and persecution of the Western church will also be brought up. I hope the issues with NAMB (the North American Mission Board), including their church plants that have employed female “pastors” and co-“pastors,” will be biblically addressed, but my guess would be that that issue will be tabled or sent to committee or buried under procedural regulations and nothing will really be done about it clearly and publicly.

If you want to keep up on the issues, I would suggest following the people and organizations listed at the end of that article.

Sorry to sound like a Debbie Downer. I promise I’ll continue to think and pray about it, and if the Lord changes my mind, I’ll write a piece on it.


Could you please provide transcripts for each episode of A Word Fitly Spoken?

No, but we can come really close in two ways:

  1. Amy has started uploading our episodes (audio only) to our YouTube channel. There’s a “CC” button at the bottom of each YouTube video that allows you to turn on captions. (She has posted several of our past episodes as well.)
  2. All of our episodes are scripted, and we stick pretty closely to the script. Going forward, I’ll be posting the link to the Google Doc of our script for each episode in the show notes of that episode. Many of our earlier episodes have been scripted from one of Amy’s or my blog articles, and if you’ll look in the show notes for that episode, you’ll find the link for that article.

If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Christmas, Church

Give a Church for Christmas

This Christmas season, I’d like to offer you an opportunity to help me give our brothers and sisters in Christ a gift – a gift that won’t cost you a dime.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m passionate about helping people find doctrinally sound churches to join. I’ve recently been updating my list of Reader Recommended Churches, but we can always use more recommendations for doctrinally sound churches, especially in the states that don’t have very many recommendations and in countries outside the United States. I’ve made the list, you check it twice. If recommendations are naught, be nice and make one! :0)

Please read this part…

Please read the guidelines here for submitting a church for consideration. If you have a personal connection to a solid church that’s not on the list, or if you have a recommendation for a doctrinally sound church search engine or church planting organization that’s not listed here, comment below with:

🎄The full, correctly spelled name of the church (or church search engine / planting org.)
🎄The city and state, or city and country it’s located in
🎄The church’s (or church search engine’s / planting org’s.) website. Churches and search engines / planting orgs. submitted without a website will not be considered.

Folks, I truly appreciate your recommendations, but PLEASE click the links above to see if your church or church search engine is already on the list. About a third of the recommendations I’ve received so far are already on the list, and it takes time to weed those out.

How many churches can we add to the list? Let’s add a bunch and make it a merry Christmas for our brothers and sisters who are searching for a new church! Thanks for your help!

(Just a reminder – as it says above the comment box, I handle all comments manually, so your comment will not appear immediately. When I add (or decline to add) your church to the list, I’ll post your comment.)

Church

Reader Recommended Churches

One of the great joys of this ministry is helping people find doctrinally sound churches to get plugged into. An awesome resource for finding good churches is my readers, especially my Facebook followers, whose recommendations I continue to add on to the list below.

If you’re looking for a church in a certain area, scroll down to find the particular location. Click on the names of churches for the church web site. I’ve also included any comments added by the reader who recommended the church.

If you’ve got a personal connection to a doctrinally sound church and would like to publicly recommend it, you can do so in the comments section of this article. Please include the website of the church you’re recommending. (Churches submitted without websites will not be considered for inclusion on the list.)

DISCLAIMER: I cannot personally vouch for the theology of any of the churches recommended nor the people who recommended them. Please use this list only as a suggestion of churches to check out using biblical wisdom and discernment.

If you see a church listed below that you know for a fact isn’t doctrinally sound, please post a comment to let me know and provide specific evidence.

Examples of “isn’t doctrinally sound” include, but are not limited to: holding/practicing an unbiblical view of homosexuality, allowing women to serve as pastors, elders, or other positions of teaching/holding authority over men, a pattern of using Bible study materials authored by false teachers, New Apostolic Reformation, Critical Race Theory, social justice tendencies/teachings, etc.

Due to doctrinal issues, at this time I am not accepting recommendations for:

  • United Methodist Churches
  • Calvary Chapel churches (Continuationist)
  • Continuationist churches
  • Churches that consider Calvinism/Reformed theology to be false teaching
  • KJV Only churches (Churches which consider the King James Version to be the only acceptable and/or inspired translation of the Bible. Churches which merely prefer using the KJV are fine.)
  • Any church that does not have a statement of faith (“What we believe,” “Doctrinal statement,” etc..) on its website.
  • Any church that uses music from Bethel, Jesus Culture, Hillsong, Elevation, anyone connected with these groups, Catholics, non-Christians, or any other musician who isn’t doctrinally sound.

In addition to the listings below, if you are looking for a new church, be sure to check out the church search engines and other resources at the “Searching for a new church?” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Let’s see how many people we can get connected to doctrinally sound churches!

United States

Alabama

Birmingham- Crestway Baptist Church

Florence- Ransomed Community Church

Fort Payne- Grace Presbyterian Church

Huntsville-
Grace Community Church
West Huntsville Baptist Church “A community of believers focused on Jesus Christ and intentionally committed to loving our neighbors.”

Mobile- Christ Fellowship

Muscle Shoals- Grace Life Church of the Shoals

Remlap- Providence Reformed Baptist Church

Talladega- Faith Worship Center

West Blocton- Camp Branch Baptist Church “Christ as head, elder led, expository preaching, Reformed theology, statement of faith: the 1689 London Baptist Confession of faith.”


Alaska

Anchorage-
Anchorage Grace Church
Church in the Wildwood

Big Lake- Faith Bible Fellowship Church

Chugiak- Peters Creek Baptist Church

Kenai- Calvary Baptist Church “Not affiliated with SBC.”


Arizona

Gilbert-
Redeemer Bible Church (Costi Hinn’s church)
San Tan Bible Church
Southeast Valley Bible Church

Goodyear- Redeeming Grace Church

Overgaard- First Southern Baptist Church

Phoenix-
Northwest Community Church
Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church


Arkansas

Beebe- The Bible Church of Beebe

Bryant- First Southern Baptist Church

Cabot- Bible Church of Cabot

Conway- Conway Missionary Baptist Church “Preaches the Truth. Doctrinally sound Church.”

Fort Smith- Oak Cliff Baptist Church

Greenwood- First Baptist Church of Jenny Lind

Heber Springs- Little Red River Bible Church

Jonesboro- Central Baptist Church

Little Rock-
Midtown Baptist Church
The Bible Church of Little Rock

Marshall- Marshall First Baptist Church

Nashville- Maranatha Baptist Church

Perryville- Perryville Second Baptist Church

Rogers- Trinity Grace Church “PCA”

Russellville- CrossLife Church

Van Buren- Lee Creek Baptist Church

Witcherville- Fellowship Baptist Church


California

Alhambra- Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles

Aliso Viejo- Compass Bible Church

Anaheim Hills- Kindred Community Church

Apple Valley- The Community Church at Jess Ranch “Both pastors are graduates of Westminster Theological Seminary.”

Arcadia- Arcadia Bible Church

Arroyo Grande- Berean Bible Church

Bakersfield-
Grace Bible Church of Bakersfield
Sovereign Grace Church

Burbank- Calvary Bible Church

Castaic- Lake Hills Community Church

Duarte- Berean Bible Church

El Cajon- Faith Community Bible Church

El Monte- Chinese Congregational Church

Fontana- Summit Bible Church

Glendale- Lighthouse Bible Church Los Angeles

Glendora- Cornerstone Bible Church

Huntington Beach- Compass Bible Church

Inglewood- Fairview Heights Baptist Church “Pastor is a graduate of Master’s Seminary, taught at the Master’s Seminary.”

Irvine- Irvine Community Church

La Canada- La Canada Korean Church

Menifee-
Faith Bible Church
Menifee Hills Bible Church
Valley Christian Fellowship

Mission Viejo-
Resonate Church
Reverence Bible Church “A really solid church. They only play reformed worship music and hymns. Most of staff went to Masters Seminary.”

Modesto- Grace Baptist Fellowship

Murrieta- Faith Bible Church

Newhall- Placerita Bible Church

Pasadena-
Emmaus Community Church
Redeemer Bible Church
Trinity Baptist Church

Rancho Cucamonga- Grace Rancho

Redding/Palo Cedro- Cow Creek Community Church

Riverside-
Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church
Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside

San Clemente- Outpouring Church at Surfers Row “Church plant”

San Diego-
Barabbas Road Church
Pacific Hope Church

San Gabriel- San Gabriel Community Church

Santa Clarita- Santa Clarita Baptist Church “Our pastor is a Master’s Seminary grad.”

Santa Maria- First Baptist Church

Santa Rosa- Christian Family Fellowship

Shingle Springs- Gold Country Baptist Church

Sierra Madre- CrossLife Community Church

Sun Valley- Grace Community Church (John MacArthur’s church)

Trabuco Canyon- Trabuco Canyon Community Church “Smaller, old school, Bible-teaching church.”

Tustin-
Compass Bible Church
Mission Bible Church

Waterford- First Southern Baptist Church

West Covina- Christ Community Church

Vallejo- Community Bible Church

Yankee Hill- Calvary Concow


Colorado

Austin- Surface Creek Community Church

Centennial- Southside Bible Church

Colorado Springs-
Mesa Hills Bible Church

Denver- Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Grand Junction- Heritage Church

Greely- Grace Church “Our pastor is a graduate of The Master’s University.”

Mancos- Summit Lake Community Church

Morrison- Red Rocks Baptist

Parker- Parker Bible Church


Connecticut

Coventry- Presbyterian Church of Coventry

Hamden- Westminster Presbyterian Church

Manchester- Presbyterian Church of Manchester

Moodus- Harvest Church (Orthodox Presbyterian)

Newtown- Newtown Bible Church “Our pastor is a Master’s Seminary grad.”

West Hartford- Christ Community Presbyterian Church

Windsor- Christ Proclamation Church


Delaware

Clayton- CenterPoint Church

Milford- Berean Community Church

Wilmington- Grace Community Church


Florida

Brandon- Grace Bible Church

Chuluota- Cornerstone Baptist Church

Clearwater- Lakeside Community Chapel “Verse by verse teaching.”

Destin- Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

Dunnellon- Springs Presbyterian Church “This is a wonderful Reformed church preaching the full counsel of God, kind, caring members and a Pastor who sat under Dr. RC Sproul. We have guest pastors from St Andrews Church in Sanford on occasion and you know they don’t just go anywhere.”

Gainesville- The Chapel of Gainesville

Glen Saint Mary- Glen Baptist Church

Jacksonville-
Paradise Church “A Reformed church that teaches expositionally, verse by verse, through scripture without compromise.”
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Jupiter-
Beacon Baptist Church
Grace Immanuel Bible Church

Melbourne- Harbor City Baptist Church “Reformed.”

Miami- New Testament Baptist Church “Biblically bound and doctrinally sound.”

Navarre- First Baptist Church

Ocala- Olivet Baptist Church

Orange Park- 
Community Bible Church of Orange Park “A solid theological, Reformed church.”
First Baptist Church

Orlando-
Liberty Church
Orlando Bible Church
University Presbyterian Church- Lake Nona

Ormond Beach- Riverbend Community Church “Reformed preaching, Christ-centered in ALL things.”

Palm Harbor- Grace Community Church

Panama City- Covenant Presbyterian Church

Pensacola- McIlwain Presbyterian Church

Sanford- Saint Andrew’s Chapel

Sarasota- Bethel Community Church

Seminole- Christ The King Presbyterian Church “PCA”

Steinhatchee- Fellowship Baptist Church

Tallahassee- 
Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Grace Church of Tallahassee

Tampa-
Christ Central Presbyterian Church
The Church at Tampa


Georgia

Atlanta- 
Berean Bible Baptist Church
Christ Covenant

Canton- Canton Bible Church

Douglas- Carver Baptist Church

Douglasville-
Arbor Heights Bible Church
Prays Mill Baptist Church

Dublin- Jefferson Street Baptist Church

Duluth- Providence Church

Fayetteville-
Fayetteville First Baptist Church
Heritage Reformed Baptist Church

Lilburn- 
Cornerstone Bible Church “We are told over and over there isn’t another church in Atlanta like ours for Bible teaching, being doctrinally and theologically sound, as well as really friendly!”
Killian Hill Baptist Church

Macon- North Macon Presbyterian Church

Madison- Remembrance Community Church

Marietta- Grace Community Church

Oxford-
Church at Haynes Creek
CrossPointe Church

Rockmart- Victory Baptist Church

Sandy Springs- Mount Vernon Baptist Church

Sharpsburg- Faith Bible Church

Smyrna- Smyrna Presbyterian Church

Villa Rica- New Georgia Baptist Church

Woodstock- Faith Community Church


Hawaii

Haleiwa-Sunset Beach Christian Church

Honolulu-
Hawai’i Kai Church
Huikala Baptist Church “a Bible believing, Bible teaching church. They are full of God’s love for the heart of the city, and Pastor King is great at walking through the Bible scripture, verse by verse.”

Kapolei- Makakilo Bible Church

Mililani- Island Grace Church

Wahiawa, Oahu- The Lords House “Strictly adheres to Scripture. Loving, small church.”


Idaho

Boise- The Well “Reformed. The very best teaching we have ever been blessed to sit under.”

Burley- Calvary Baptist Church

Driggs- Teton Valley Bible Church

Kootenai- Kootenai Community Church

Meridian-
Ambassador Bible Fellowship “Doctrinally sound church and we have a great pastoral team. Our pastors are ACBC certified and have a great love for discipling.”
Compass Bible Church
Faith Community Bible Church “Solid doctrine, expository teaching and pastor graduated from The Master’s Seminary.”

Nampa-
Kindred Bible Church
New Hope Baptist Church “Always grounded in Scripture, believers challenged to keep in the Word. Reformed Baptist, dispensational.”


Illinois

Alton- Heartland Baptist Church

Arlington Heights- First Baptist Church

Ashton- Ashton Bible Church

Chicago- Garfield Ridge Baptist Church

Elgin- Northwest Bible Baptist Church

Frankfort- Peace Community Church “PCA- Solid expository preaching.”

Freeport- Park Hills Evangelical Free Church

Joliet- New Covenant Community Church

Lansing- Lansing Bible Church Our pastor is “a graduate of The Master’s Seminary”

Mackinaw- New Castle Bible Church

Matteson- Hope Reformed Baptist Church

Mattoon- Providence Church

New Lenox- Cornerstone Church of LincolnWay

Oak Forest- Grace Fellowship Church

Paxton- The Upper Room Bible Church

Peoria- Bethany Baptist Church

Princeton- Princeton Bible Church

Rockford- Grace Family Church

Sparta- Calvary Church

Springfield- Southern View Chapel

Washington- First Baptist Church

West Chicago- West Chicago Bible Church


Indiana

Anderson- Grace Bible Fellowship “FIC & DoG”

Avon- Harvest Bible Chapel “Not affiliated with James MacDonald’s church”

Brownsburg- Bible Church of Brownsburg

Fort Wayne- Emmanuel (Soest) Lutheran Church

Greenfield- Hancock Reformed Baptist Church

Indianapolis- Cruciform Bible Church

Paoli- First Baptist Church

Roselawn- First Baptist Church “We LOVE their commitment to hold Scripture highly.”

Shelbyville- Blue Ridge Christian Union Church

Sheridan- Christ Covenant OPC

Valparaiso- Faith Evangelical Bible Church

Winona Lake- Christ’s Covenant Church


Iowa

Ankeny- Grace Life Church of Greater Des Moines

Orange City- Cornerstone Baptist Church “Expositional, reformed, mostly hymns, and small.”

West Des Moines- Redeemer Baptist Church


Kansas

Hutchinson- Grace Bible Church

Junction City- First Southern Baptist Church

Kansas City- Mission Road Baptist Church

Liberal- Redeemer Bible Church

McPherson- Cornerstone Bible Church

Meade- Countryside Bible Church

Overland Park- Countryside Church

Wichita-
Cornerstone Bible Church
Heartland Community Church
The Bridge Church


Kentucky

Bowling Green- Grace Community Church

Campbellsville- Friendship Baptist Church

Frankfort- Buck Run Baptist Church

Lexington-
Porter Memorial Baptist Church
Todds Road Grace Church “100% sovereign grace”

Louisville- Anchor Bible Church

Mt. Sterling- Living Water Church

Murray- Redeemer Community Church


Louisiana

Baker- Reformation Church

Baton Rouge-
Central Bible Church
Christ Covenant Church
Community Bible Church
First Baptist Church
Woodlawn Baptist Church

Denham Springs- New Covenant Church

Franklinton- Richardson Baptist Church “Reformed (1689) Baptist, expository preaching/teaching”

Gonzales- First Baptist Church

Keithville- Redeemer Community Church

Shreveport- 
Grace Baptist Church
Trinity Baptist Church


Maine

Ellsworth- Faith Community Fellowship

Hancock- Hancock Eastside Baptist Church

Portland- Redeeming Grace Fellowship

Standish- Living Stone Community Church

Topsham- Cornerstone Baptist Church

Windham- Windham Baptist Church


Maryland

Baltimore- Baltimore Bible Church

Bowie- Belcroft Bible Church

Columbia- Hope Bible Church

Hollywood- Truth Bible Church

Oakland- Grace Reformed Church


Massachusetts

Chelmsford- The Shepherd’s Church

West Boylston- Bethlehem Bible Church

Westport- Calvary Bible Church

Weymouth- First Baptist Church


Michigan

Allendale- Lighthouse Community Church

Ann Arbor- Fellowship Bible Church

Battle Creek- Faith Baptist Church

Calcedonia Township-Whitneyville Bible Church

Comstock Park- Maranatha Bible Church

East Lansing- University Reformed Church

Grand Rapids-
Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church
Trinity Baptist Church

Hamburg- Hiawatha Bible Church

Hudsonville- Trinity Protestant Reformed Church

Livonia-
Bell Creek Community Church “Doctrinally sound and great expository preaching. Non-denominational.”
Berean Baptist Church “We are an expositional preaching church.”

Mt. Morris- Mt. Morris Community Church

Niles- Redeemer Church

Plymouth- Solid Rock Bible Church

Roseville- Cornerstone Baptist Church

Southfield- Highland Park Baptist

Three Rivers- Verse by Verse Church

Trenton- Community Bible Church

Waterford- Oakbrooke Bible Church “Reformed Baptist”

Westland- Harvest Bible Church “Excellent verse by verse expository preaching!”

Ypsilanti- Calvary Baptist Church


Minnesota

Burnsville- Berean Baptist Church

Missoula- Sovereign Hope Church

Oslo- Kongsvinger Lutheran Church

Rochester- Redemption City Church

Saint Paul-
Beacon of Hope
Faith Bible Church Twin Cities

St. Louis Park- Gospel of Grace Fellowship


Mississippi

Brandon- Castlewoods Baptist Church “CBC is a Reformed (1689 LBCF) church.”

Gulfport- Bayou View Baptist Church

Hernando- Oak Grove Baptist Church

Jackson- Grace Baptist Church

Lakeshore- Lakeshore Baptist Church

Meridian- Northpointe Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Olive Branch- Grace Bible Church


Missouri

Branson- Branson Bible Church

Jackson- Grace Baptist Church “Reformed Baptist”

Lee’s Summit- Summit Woods Baptist Church “Expositional preaching, Master’s Seminary Grad, Elder led”

Liberty- Liberty Baptist Church

Nixa- First Baptist Church “We’re SBC, but teach Reformed theology. Very sound expository and exegetical preaching.”

Rolla- Grace Bible Church

Sedalia- Bethany Baptist Church

Springfield-
South Creek Church “We’re SBC but Reformed in theology and practice.”
Trinity Lutheran Church “Conservative, doctrinally sound, LCMS.”

Wildwood- New Community Church


Montana

Bozeman- Grace Bible Church

Ekalaka- Ekalaka Bible Church

Helena- 
Calvary Baptist Church
Reformed Baptist Church

Kalispell- Central Bible Church

Missoula- Sovereign Hope Church


Nebraska

Lincoln-
Faith Bible Church
Indian Hills Community Church

Omaha- Omaha Bible Church “Expository preaching. Nothing but Bible.”

Papillion- Grace Baptist Church


Nevada

Carson City- Fellowship Bible Church

Las Vegas- Trinity Reformed Church

Minden- Grace Community Church

Reno- Community Bible Church “Sound expository teaching. We love it.”


New Hampshire

Gilmanton Iron Works- Harvest Bible Church


New Jersey

Corbin City- Corbin City Baptist Church

East Millstone- Calvary Community

Hamilton Square- Faith Baptist Church

Matawan- First Baptist Church

North Brunswick- Christian Fellowship Church

Ocean City- Ocean City Baptist Church

Trenton- Fellowship Capital City “We are a Christ-centered, multi-ethnic church plant. Expository preaching, warm & welcoming congregation.”

Wayne- Bread of Life Fellowship “Excellent systematic teaching through the Scripture. Reformed Baptist.”


New Mexico

Albuquerque-
Desert Springs Church
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
–SGBC also maintains a directory of like-minded churches throughout NM.

Roswell- First Baptist Church

Santa Fe- Gospel Life Community Church


New York

Coram- Hope Reformed Baptist Church

Elmira- Elmira Christian Center

Ridge- Missio Church


North Carolina

Apex- Faith Bible Church

Cary- Colonial Baptist Church

Creedmoor- Promised Land Community Church “Excellent expository preaching!”

Fayetteville- Veritas Church

Fuquay Varina- Redeemer Community Church

Greensboro- 
Ebenezer Lutheran Church
Westover Church

New Bern- Berean Community Church

North Wilkesboro- Word of Grace Baptist Church

Raleigh-
Friendship Baptist Church
Vintage Church

Selma- Thanksgiving Baptist Church

Waxhaw- Rehobeth Presbyterian Church

Willow Spring- Fellowship Baptist Church

Wilmington- Cornerstone Baptist Church

Winston-Salem-
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Tapestry Church
Twin City Bible Church


North Dakota

Fargo- Community Baptist Church

Minot- 
Christ Reformed Church
Harvest Reformed Church


Ohio

Beavercreek- Grace Covenant Church

Beloit- The Community Bible Church

Canton- Faith Bible Church

Carlock- East White Oak Bible Church

Chillicothe- Chillicothe Baptist Church

Cincinnati- Truth Community Church “Pastor is Don Green, a Master’s Seminary grad and formerly worked at Grace to You and Grace Community Church.”

Columbus-
Calvary Bible Church
Covenant Bible Church
Maranatha Baptist Church

Dayton- Arbor Church

Delaware- Delaware Bible Church

Greenwich- The Ripley Church

Liberty Township- Liberty Heights Church

Loveland- New Hope Baptist Church

Middletown- University Baptist Church

Ontario- Westwood Alliance Church

Peoria-
Bethany Baptist Church
Fellowship Bible Church

West Chester- Providence Bible Fellowship

Wilmington- Wilmington Reformed Fellowship

Winchester- Grace Bible Church

Xenia- Cornerstone Bible Church


Oklahoma

Broken Arrow- Grace Community Church “Susan Heck’s church”

Chattanooga-  First Baptist Church 

Mustang- First Baptist Church

Owasso- Bible Church of Owasso “Faithful and expository teaching of the Word; very loving church family.”

Tulsa-
Christ Reformed Church
Grace Community Church


Oregon

Albany/Tangent- Grace Bible Fellowship “A conservative, bible teaching verse by verse every Sunday.”

Beaverton-
Beaverton Grace Bible Church
Southwest Bible Church
Southwest Hills Baptist Church

Bend- Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church

Enterprise- First Baptist Church “Expositional preaching, conservative Baptist, Master’s Seminary Grad.”

Hermiston- Victory Baptist Church

Hood River- Faith Bible Church “Expositional preaching, Elder led, Master’s Seminary graduate pastor.”

Klamath Falls- Immanuel Baptist Church “A conservative, reformed Baptist church that adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession, expository preaching verse-by-verse elder led, and sermons that are Christ-centered and the gospel is proclaimed clearly.”

Lebanon- Cornerstone Bible Church

Medford- Redeemer Bible Fellowship “We’re a Reformed and baptistic church holding to the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Definitely no Hillsong, Bethel, Elevation in our musical choices!”

Mt. Angel- Mount Angel Bible Church

Portland-
Bethany Baptist Church
Hinson Baptist Church “Reformed and doctrinal.”
Sauvie Island Community Church

Salem-
Morning Star Community Church
Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church


Pennsylvania

Ambler- Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

Annville- GraceLife Church

Brogue- Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Carnegie- Bible Baptist Church

ChicoraSt. John’s Reformed Church “Not Catholic”

Downington- East Brandywine Baptist Church

Harrisburg- Grace Bible Fellowship Church

Larksville- High Point Baptist Church

Transfer- Lakeside Evangelical Congregational Church

Uwchland-Windsor Baptist Church


Rhode Island

Bristol- Mount Hope Church


South Carolina

Beaufort- Community Bible Church

Greenville- Faith Free Presbyterian Church

John’s Island- New Life Fellowship

Lexington- Grace Bible Church “A church planted by The Master’s Seminary.”

Simpsonville-
Temple Baptist Church
Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church “We are a 600 member PCA church. Doctrinally sound, conservative, and the preaching is deep to grow you in Christ.”

Travelers Rest- Bethany Baptist Church  “Independent Fundamental KJV Bible. Amazing music and preaching. Great family church!” (This is a KJV Only church.)


South Dakota

Canton- Solid Rock Bible Church “Our pastor preaches expositorily.”

Chamberlain- St. Olaf Lutheran Church

Hartford- Central Valley Community Church

Sioux Falls- First Evangelical Free Church

Spearfish- Faith Bible Church


Tennessee

Bartlett/Arlington- Providence Baptist Church “Definitely doctrinally sound. Seminary trained pastor, expository preaching through Scripture.”

Bristol- Liberty Baptist Church

Chapel Hill- Smyrna Baptist Church Our pastor “preaches expository sermons and does not compromise the Word”

Cookeville- Midway Baptist Church “We are a confessional, reformed Baptist church!”

Eads- Crossroads Baptist Church

Jackson- Pleasant Plains Baptist Church

Johnson City-
Grace Gospel Church “Expositional teaching, reformed, small.”
North Johnson City Baptist Church “Expositional teaching, Reformed, mostly hymns. Small, loving, Biblical.”

Knoxville- His People Church

Lawrenceburg- New Prospect Baptist Church

Lookout Mountain- Christ Reformed Baptist Church

Maryville- Grace Community Church

Munford- Cornerstone Community Church

Powell- First Baptist Church

Smyrna- Grace Christian Assembly


Texas

Austin-
Dayspring Fellowship
Grace Community Bible Church
High Pointe Baptist Church
Radiant Church
South Austin Presbyterian Church “OPC church plant”

Boerne- Grace Bible Church “The pastor is a Master’s Seminary graduate.”

Bonham- Grace Reformed Baptist Church

Bryan- Emmanuel Baptist Church

College Station- New Life Baptist Church

Corpus Christi- Corpus Christi Community Church

Cypress- Harvest Bible Church

Denton-
Denton Bible Church “expository preaching — large mission outreach — reformed background — solid teaching”
The Church at Pecan Creek

Diana- First Baptist Church

Duncanville- Faith Baptist Church

Elgin- Grace Community Baptist Church

Forney- Grace Reformed Baptist Church of East Texas

Fort Worth- Glenview Church

Frisco-
Heritage Grace Church
The Parks Church

Garland- New Liberty Baptist Church

Harlingen- Covenant Presbyterian Church

Houston-
Bridgepoint Bible Church
Christ Community Church
Copperfield Bible Church “Dan Phillips, pastor, is a writer on the Pyromaniacs blog, along with his close friend Phil Johnson. Fantastic reformed church. Non denominational.”
Faith Memorial Baptist Church
Grace Family Baptist Church
Harvest Bible Chapel

Kerrville- Kerrville Bible Church

Lindale- First Baptist Church

Lubbock-
Fellowship Church
First Baptist Church Roosevelt

Marble Falls- Providence Reformed Baptist Church

Mesquite- Lake Ridge Bible Church “Expository preaching.”

Nederland- Hillcrest Baptist Church

Pasadena- Providence Baptist Church

Pflugerville- Providence Presbyterian Church “(OPC)”

San Antonio-
Believers Fellowship
Crossway Bible Church
Grace Community Church

Southlake- Countryside Bible Church “Sound Bible teaching in the pulpit and in the Sunday school classes.” “Tom Pennington is the pastor and spent many years as John MacArthur’s executive pastor. They also have a Master’s Seminary extension at the church.”

Spring- Founders Baptist Church “Our pastor is Master’s Seminary grad, expository preaching, elder led church.”

Stephenville- 
Rocky Point Baptist
Shiloh Church

Sugar Land- Sugar Land Bible Church

Tyler- New Harmony Baptist Church

Watauga- 116 Bible Church

Weatherford- Weatherford Presbyterian Church

Willis- Grace Covenant Baptist Church “A Reformed Baptist Church and member of ARBCA.”

Wylie- Cornerstone Baptist Church


Utah

Draper- Corner Canyon Church

Ogden- Refuge Church

Roy- Roy Bible Church

Salt Lake City-
Christ Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City

West Jordan- Jordan Valley Church


Vermont

Middletown Springs- Middletown Springs Community Church

Rutland-
Green Mountain Baptist Church
Redemption Church Rutland


Virginia

Tysons, Arlington, Loudon, Montgomery, Prince William- McLean Bible Church

Broadway- Broadway Baptist Church

Chesapeake-
Redemption Church
South Norfolk Congregational Christian Church

Fredericksburg-
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
Trinity Bible Church

Hampton- Reformation Christian Fellowship

Harrisonburg- Providence Baptist Church

Haymarket- Piedmont Bible Church

Lynchburg-
Grace Assembly
Redeeming Grace Baptist Church
Timberlake Baptist Church

Midlothia- Grace Bible Church “Pastor graduated from Master’s Seminary.”

Norfolk- Trinity Presbyterian

Purcellville- Loudoun Valley Baptist Church “Expository, reformed Baptist church. Located in the same town as Patrick Henry College, a college tailored to home-schooled kids specifically, so many of our attendees are college kids, while school is in session.”

Springfield- Immanuel Bible Church (see comment from Linda in the comments section)

Stafford- Pillar Church

Suffolk- Westminster Reformed Presbyterian

Virginia Beach-
Colonial Baptist Church
Grace Covenant Church
Green Run Baptist Church

Warrington- Covenant Reformed Baptist Church

Williamsburg- Grace Church


Washington

Bellingham- Spring Creek Bible Church

Bremerton- Faith Community Bible Church

Carnation- Snoqualmie Valley Bible Church

Federal Way- Christ’s Church

Kent- Eastridge Baptist Church “Expository preaching every Sunday. The Gospel is preached and the word of God is honored. The worship is biblical.”

Keyport- Keyport Bible Church

Lynnwood- New Beginnings Church

Morton- Morton Community Bible Church

Olympia- Littlerock Community Fellowship

Port Orchard- Calvary Church “…absolutely committed to preaching the Word in an expository fashion. The pastor is solid and had no problem speaking out about much of the problematics that we are seeing in churches today.”

Puyallup- Edgewood Bible Church

Soap Lake- Redeeming Grace Church

Spokane- Faith Bible Church “Larger and slightly more contemporary.” “Associated with The Master’s Seminary, and the pastors are TMS grads. Their doctrine would be eye for eye with Grace Community Church.”

Spokane Valley- Dishman Baptist Church

Stanwood- Emmaus Road Church

Veradale- Valley Bible Church

Yakima- Sun Valley Church


Washington D.C.


West Virginia

Bluefield- Covenant Reformed Baptist Church

Wellsburg- First Baptist Church “Pastor Michael D. Martin (Master’s Seminary grad). Excellent/careful expositor of the Word.”


Wisconsin

Franklin- Cornerstone Bible Church

Richland Center- Grace Life Church of Richland Center

Wausau- Highland Community Church

Wisconsin Dells- Rock of Hope Church

Wisconsin Rapids- Liberty Bible Church


Wyoming

Casper- Sovereign Grace Church

Cody- Cody Bible Church

Jackson Hole- Cornerstone Church

Laramie- Laramie Faith Community Church “16 years of vibrant expository preaching.”

Pinedale- Grace Life Church

Thayne- Emmanuel Bible Church of Star Valley


Outside The United States

Australia

Keysborough:
Dingley- Village Church

South Australia:
Modbury/Clovercrest-
 New Community Church “Expository preaching, reformed, small loving congregation”

FIEC- Please also see the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. There are several member churches throughout Australia.


Canada

Alberta:
Calgary- Calvary Grace Church

Edmonton-
Grace Life Church
Meadowlands Baptist Church

Lethbridge- Lakeview Bible Church

Medicine Hat-
Evangelical Free Church of Medicine Hat “Committed to expository biblical preaching, complementarian, plurality of elders”
Grace Family Reformed Baptist Church

British Columbia:
Mission- Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
North Vancouver- Westlynn Baptist Church

Manitoba:
Brandon- Faith Fellowship Baptist Church

Ontario:
Cambridge- Hespeler Baptist Church
KillaloeCalvary Baptist Church
Quinte/Madoc- Madoc Baptist Church
Toronto- Grace Fellowship Church “Tim Challies’ church”
Walsh- Walsh Baptist Church

Saskatchewan:
Saskatoon- Fellowship Baptist Church
Weyburn- Gospel of Grace Fellowship


Germany

Munich- Munich International Community Church “English speaking, International Church, Reformed, Bible preaching.”


Hong Kong

Admiralty- Ambassador International Church “About 200 + people – two services, house groups, and women’s groups. Being an international church it has a mix of English speaking people from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the US along with many local Chinese who were educated abroad and prefer English services. You’ll meet godly people from many different nations and there is a core group of long term members from the local community.”

Japan

Central Baptist Church

Kuwait

Bible Believers’ Baptist Church (contact church for specific location)

Kenya

NairobiEmmanuel Baptist Church

Philippines

Paranaque City, Moonwalk- Moonwalk Community Bible Church

Quezon City- Cubao Reformed Baptist Church

Other Areas- Churches recommended by Cubao RBC (above)

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai-
Covenant Hope Church
Redeemer Church “Gloria Furman’s husband, Dave Furman, is pastor.”
United Christian Church

United Kingdom

FIEC- Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Nearly 600 member churches in the UK. Includes church search engine.

London- Enfield Town Community Church “A humble, personal, Bible-centred church. They teach systematically and thoroughly through the books of the Bible and we go through large chunks of it throughout the week.”

North Yorkshire:
Blossomgate/Ripon-
Zion Evangelical Baptist Church

Oxfordshire:
East Hanney- Hanney Chapel

Suffolk- Wattisham Chapel

Mailbag

The Mailbag: How Can I Find a Good Church?

mailbag

 

I had to leave my old church (due to unbiblical teaching, because I moved, etc.). How can I find a new, doctrinally sound church?

I get this question a lot, and it’s one of my favorites, because it means the person is thinking about what constitutes a healthy, doctrinally sound church and seeking one out instead of going somewhere she can get her ears tickled. There are a lot of churches out there that have gone off the rails, but there are still a lot of good churches out there as well.

First, you need to know what makes a church doctrinally sound or unsound, which means you have to know what the Bible says about salvation, the Trinity, creation, sin, etc., all the major doctrines, well enough to know whether the church you’re considering believes and practices what the Bible says. I’m a little partial, but I think my denomination’s statement of faith does a decent job of succinctly outlining and giving an overview of the biblical position on the major doctrines, in case you need to study up a little (of course there are some finer points of doctrine you’ll want to take a look at, too).

In addition to what we would think of as the church’s main doctrines, there are some other vital things you’ll want to take into consideration when considering whether a church is healthy, such as whether the church is complementarian or egalitarian, what, if any, connection the church has with false teachers or their materials, whether the church is cessationist or continuationist, how the church handles the music portion of the worship service, and so on.

You can find information on all of these doctrinal issues and more by studying the resources under “What to look for in a church” at the “Searching for a new church?” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Ready to start hunting for a new church home? Here are a few guidelines:

1. Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom as you search and to guide you to the right church for your family.

2. Ask around in person or on social media. Do you have friends or family in the area who could point you to a good church? If your current church is doctrinally sound (i.e. you’re only leaving it because you’re moving), ask your pastor for recommendations. Be sure the people you ask are trustworthy, doctrinally sound Christians.

3. Use the church “search engines” at the “Searching for a new church?” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Keep in mind that no church is perfect, and you may have to try a church that’s a different denomination than you’re used to, doesn’t meet all your preferences, or that is a bit farther away than you prefer.

4. If you have thoroughly exhausted all of the church search engines at the link above (#3) and none of your friends/family have any good suggestions, contact me, and I’ll be glad to ask around on my social media pages. I’ll keep your name confidential, but I’ll need to know the city and state/country where you’re looking for a church. (Please understand that if you aren’t able to find a church through the search engines or someone you know, it is unlikely that one of my social media followers will be able to come up with anything. This is a “last ditch effort” sort of thing. The search engines are your best bet.)

5. Found a church you think might be a good one? Examine its web site well. Does it have a solid statement of faith? Any female “pastors” on staff? Is the small group Bible study using a book by a false teacher? Are there pictures of members attending the latest gay pride rally? Are there sermons on the site you could listen to? Look for what the church is doing right and any areas that are red flags you should ask about (Be careful not to jump to conclusions, you could be mistaken about something. Ask.)

6. Did the church pass the web site test? Try it on for size. Visit a few times and see if it seems like a good fit.

7. If you’ve been visiting and think this church might be “the one,” schedule an appointment with the pastor (preferably during his office hours, if possible). Ask any questions you still have and ask how you and your family can get plugged in and serve.

Don’t forget- you’re not going to find the perfect church. Any church you join is going to have some problems. Our goal is not to find a place where we’ll be completely comfortable with never a ruffled feather and all of our preferences catered to. Our goal is to find the most doctrinally sound church we can, roll up our sleeves, and get to work serving, loving, and worshiping.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.