OUR STORY. OUR BELIEFS
In 1998, with clear direction from God and the blessing of their pastor, Stovall and Kerri Weems moved from Baton Rouge, LA to Jacksonville, FL to plant Celebration Church. With a love for people and a passion for building the local church, they saw Celebration grow from an initial launch team of only 7 people to a church that now has local, regional and international campuses.
We invite you to join us in making a difference in our community, region and world by becoming a part of our incredible church family. Celebration Church is what it is today because of people just like you – people who have said “yes” to God’s purpose for their lives.
Our church is not built on the gifts and talents of a few, but on the service and sacrifice of many. Celebration’s story is still unfolding and continuing to grow today like never before, and we would be honored to have you play a part!
Jesus gave the vision for His Church, also known as the Great Commission:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”– Matthew 28:19-20
" And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." - Matthew 24:14
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33
“GOD'S FAMILY PURSUING GOD'S KINGDOM”
WHAT WE BELIEVE
THE BIBLE We believe The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority for determining all doctrinal truths. God is the ultimate point of origin for each of the 66 books of the Bible. Through his Spirit, God providentially prepared each person who played a role in producing the final form of the sacred, inspired, canonical work we call the Bible, for their role. God’s choice of ancient persons responsible for producing the books of the Bible was entirely consistent with God’s goals for codifying revelation for humankind in ages to come. Under God’s providential preparation and direction, the work of each person who played a role in the final form of the biblical text resulted in an entirely trustworthy record of the truth propositions God wanted to reveal to humankind.
(Jeremiah 25:13; Proverbs 30:5; Luke 1:70; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
THE TRINITY We believe there is one God who alone is eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and coeternal.
(Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 3:7-11; John 1:1-3, 14)
JESUS CHRIST We believe Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. On earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross for humanity and thus, atoned for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory.
VIRGIN BIRTH We believe Jesus of Nazareth was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, in the virgin Mary’s womb; therefore, He is the incarnate Son of God, the Christ, the Word made flesh.
(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:27-35; John 1:1-3, 14)
RESURRECTION We believe Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body on the third day following His death on the cross and ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father.
(Luke 24:36-39; John 2:19-22, 20:26-28, 21:4; Romans 8:34, 1 Cor 15:3-9, 17-19; Colossians 3:1)
REDEMPTION We believe every human being was created in the image of God for the purpose of representing His rule throughout all the earth. Through voluntary disobedience man sinned and fell. Consequently, all of humanity is lost and is thus in need of being brought back into relationship with God. Every human being apart from Jesus Christ is thus unable to avoid sin. The only hope for this redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, apart from any human deed or merit.
(Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21)
Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit in which the unredeemed soul or inner person is made new in response to saving faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Regeneration is the necessary beginning point for a life of discipleship—believing loyalty—to Jesus Christ and God the Father.
Eph 2:1-10; 4:24; 2 Cor 5:17
SALVATION We believe man is saved by grace alone, through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human effort. Salvation means turning from our own efforts to merit the grace of God, or from rejecting the grace of God shown through the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we embrace the gospel we are made new creations by the regeneration and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who compels us to commit ourselves to turn from sin in every area of our lives and to live a life of complete loyalty to Jesus Christ, our King.
(Romans 4:1-5; 10:9-10; Acts 3:19, 16:31; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 9:22)
SANCTIFICATION We believe in sanctification, the on-going process of yielding to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit in order to develop a mature Christ-like character. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
(Romans 8:29, 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; Hebrews 2:11)
JESUS’ BLOOD Jesus Christ lived a perfectly sinless life, and shed his blood for us on the cross of Calvary. His perfect sacrifice is 100% sufficient to cleanse humankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death.
(1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29)
JESUS CHRIST DWELLS IN ALL BELIEVERS Christians are people who have put their trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ. By doing so, the Lord Jesus Christ comes and lives inside of them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him, thus making Jesus the Lord of their lives by putting faith in what he accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead.
(Matt 18:20; 28:20; John 14:17, Romans 8:11; 2 Cor 3:17-18; Revelation 3:20)
BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe the baptism with the Holy Spirit, given at Pentecost, is the fulfillment of the new covenant promise of the Father for all believers. Each believer is baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ as part of salvation and regeneration. Every believer should also expect and seek the gift of the Holy Spirit that can be distinct and subsequent to his or her baptism into the Body of Christ. This baptism experience continuously empowers the believer for Christian service in God’s reconciliatory work in the world. The presence of the Spirit in the believer is God’s definite means of endowment of gifting and power for service. As the believer surrenders more to the Spirit’s control, this empowerment will produce more and more fruit in the life of the believer.
(Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6; 1 Cor 12:13)
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe the Holy Spirit is displayed through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the Church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, confirm the power of the Gospel and to serve the world. The lists of these gifts in the Bible are not necessarily exhaustive and may occur in various combinations. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Word of God and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters. Every believer should eagerly desire spiritual gifts and develop these gifts to promote the gospel in their everyday lives.
(Romans 1:11, 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; Ephesians 4:16; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:5-16; Hebrews 2:4; 1 Peter 4:10)
THE CHURCH Every person who is born of the Spirit is part of the universal Church as a member of the body of believers and is encouraged by Scripture to be planted in a local church. The Church is both the representative of Jesus on earth and the earthly expression of His kingdom. The purpose of the Church is to carry out the Great Commission.
(Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23; 1 Tim 3:15)
PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER We believe that every believer is a priest (minister) and is enabled by the Holy Spirit to fulfill his or her calling in their homes, workplaces, and community.
(1 Peter 2:5, 9, Rom 12:1; Matt. 28:18-20)
TWO ORDINANCES We believe that the ordinances of the Church, by the command of Jesus Christ, are water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper (Communion), both of which are administered to those who are born again by the Spirit of God.
WATER BAPTISM- Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water. Following the Great Commission, we baptize believers in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Water Baptism publically demonstrates our loyalty to Jesus, and baptism in the name of Jesus today is for that purpose and not as a ritual connected to salvation. In baptism, we renounce Satan and the forces of darkness and declare our allegiance to Jesus as the Lord of our lives.
THE LORD’S SUPPER (COMMUNION)– The Lord’s Supper is a unique time when the body of Christ gathers together in the presence of God to partake of the elements of bread and grape juice, which represent the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are taken in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which fulfilled God the Father’s requirement of just punishment for our sins so that we can be in covenant relationship with Him. As we partake of the elements together, we remember the New Covenant and renew our devotion to Jesus.
(Matthew 26:26-29, 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:12, 36-38, 10:47-48; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-26; 1 Peter 3:18-22)
MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY The testimony of the inspired Holy Scriptures is that the marriage covenant shall be reserved only for one man with one woman.
(Gen 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Romans 1:26-27, Deuteronomy 23:1)
HEAVEN AND HELL Heaven is the place where God dwells; a place which will be reunited with a new earth at the end of the age. The new heavens and the new earth are the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ where we will fulfill or original purpose of ruling and reigning over God’s creation with Him and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Unbelievers have no share in the eternal life on the new earth, but are instead eternally separated from God.
(Matthew 25:41; John 14:1-3; 17:24; 1 Cor 15:26; Romans 8:18-25; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 9:27, 11:16; 1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 20:12-15, 21:8)
SECOND COMING We believe Jesus Christ will physically, visibly, and gloriously return to earth for the second time to establish His kingdom. This will occur at an undisclosed date.
(Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7)