Highland Gospel Community was founded on August 31, 2014 after two separate congregations joined together.  Highland Bethel Church and Gospel Community officially merged after the leadership teams prayerfully met during the summer of 2014.  

Highland Bethel Church was a historic congregation in the city of Fort Wayne, having been founded in 1949 here at our current location.  Throughout their years the people from that fellowship were faithful in service and active in the local community.  They were missions minded and supported numerous international missionaries over the years; as well as locally focused, having helped plant Brookside Community Church in 1959.  

Gospel Community was affiliated, since its founding in 1995, with the non-denominational network, Calvary Chapel, (a group started by Chuck Smith in southern California).  The church grew to several hundred before the founding pastor stepped down.  The next few years, under new leadership, the church re-branded itself, moved locations, and began ministering to a younger demographic.  After two years of renting space at another local church in the city of Fort Wayne, it was time for Gospel Community to move into the next phase the Lord had pre-ordained.  

June 2014 is when the two lead pastors of both fellowships had coffee together and realized that God was clearly going before them in His desire to bring these fellowships together as one.  Gospel Community had at its core a youthful spirit and leaders who emphasized community within the family of Christ, excellent worship, and a strong commitment to verse by verse Bible teaching.  Highland Bethel had effective programs for their children such as AWANA, a heart for reaching the neighborhood around them, and many faithful hardworking servants of Jesus Christ.  Together, it seemed like both groups of Christ-followers could do more by linking arms.  

Today the strengths of both of these groups are seen in the way our church operates.  Although the adjustments of blending two separate families together, both with different styles and cultures, is no small task, it has given plenty of opportunity for people to mature in their faith and find new ways of participating in the service of Christ Jesus.  

Our prayer is that the humility of our congregation and acceptance of one another for the sake of Jesus and His kingdom would be a testimony to others that truly we are better together.  

We exist to:

Exalt & glorify God

Equip & educate the believer

Enjoy the fellowship of the believers

Evangelize the lost & make disciples

God's Glory

The God of the Bible, who is holy, good, perfect, love, truth, just, merciful, gracious, righteous, sovereign, self-sufficient, all-powerful, all-knowing, ever present, unchanging, transcendent and knowable, is the point and purpose of creation. As such, we believe that humanity’s chief purpose should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 

 

God's Triunity

There is one God: infinite, complete, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal, yet they are distinct in role and responsibility. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the foundation of Christian faith and life.

 

God the Father

God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for humanity, redeeming those who believe. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.

 

God the Son

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a substitutionary death on Calvary’s cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and, for a period of 40 days, appeared to over 500 witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, which is the Church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.

 

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit who is the Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son Who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He will empower the church in gifts, works, unity, and bear fruit in the body of believers for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel.  He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.

 

God's Word

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It assists in leading us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and placement within the whole counsel of Scripture and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord Who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture. 

 

Man’s Nature

God created man without sin – male and female – in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him.  Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity by nature, is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.

 

God's Gospel

God, because of our sinful nature and consequences of our sin, sent his son Jesus to live the perfect life which we could not, then died the death we deserved. God put our sin upon Jesus and punished Him in our place so that we would not have to receive condemnation, wrath or the death we deserved. Jesus was then raised in power from the dead, conquering that which we could not; Satan, Sin, and Death.

Therefore, the good news is revealed in Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel; His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Man’s Response

The Biblical response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin.  Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works, yet repentance nor good works can save. Unless a person is willing to deny himself, die daily and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple. This response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. This gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all men in all nations.

 

Man’s Inheritance

Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.

 

Sanctification

The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith, knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual practices of Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowshipping in community and confession, are some of the vital means of grace regarding sanctification.

Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end, which is most certain.

 

God's Power

The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness and imparts His supernatural gifts for the glorification of Jesus Christ, the maturity and unity of the body and the work of ministry in the world. The gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century, as recorded in the New Testament, are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in a God honoring, church edifying way, in accordance with Scripture. The gifts are essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.

 

God's Church

God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship, and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel which the gates of hell shall not overcome. When God transforms human nature, this becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to being taught the Scriptures, fellowship, church ordinances (Baptism and Communion) and prayer in one accord.

All members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gifts to the Church (such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow unto unity. Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.

 

God’s Sacraments

Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin.

As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper, (Communion), is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.

 

God’s Return

The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorified bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, Who makes all things new.