We are a multi-national, multi-cultural church in Cape Town, South Africa. As Mowbray is a cosmopolitan area, close to the University of Cape Town, Medical School, and Cape Town University of Technology campuses, we have members and adherents from many different countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as the rest of the world. Our worship services are conducted in English, but many other languages are heard in and around the church as worshippers enjoy fellowship with one another. So, no matter who you are, or where you come from, you are welcome to visit us and, once you feel at home, become part of our church family. The church was constituted in 1903 in Observatory and moved into newly-built larger premises in Mowbray in 1979.
We are indebted to the saints that have gone before and are striving to be faithful in carrying forward the work they started in obedience to the command of Jesus Christ to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20.
We are a community of Christians who seek to glorify God by helping people
- to know Christ;
- grow in Christ;
- serve Christ; and
- share Christ.
The following extract from our Constitution will give you an idea of what we at Mowbray Baptist Church believe to be the basic teaching of the Bible.
Statement of Doctrine
- The Holy Scriptures. We believe that the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments in their original writings, is inspired of God, and is of supreme and final authority in faith and life. We believe in the supernatural as the vital element in the revelation and operation of the Christian Faith. (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20,21; Matt.5:18; John 16:12,13).
- The Godhead. We believe in one God eternally existing in Three Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; II Cor. 13:14).
- The Person and Work of Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, and that He is true God and true Man, and is the only Mediator between God and Man. We believe in the vicarious death of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins, in the resurrection of His body, His ascension into Heaven, and His personal, visible return to the earth; and that salvation is received only through personal faith in His shed blood. (John 1:1, 2, 14; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24, 25; 4:25; I Peter 1:3-5).
- The Personality of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the personality of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to reveal Christ to men in the regeneration and sanctification of their souls. (Rom.8:9; I Cor.12:12-14; Eph.1:13,14).
- The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that he sinned and thereby incurred spiritual death. (Gen.1:26, 27; Rom. 3:22, 23; 5:12; Eph.2:12).
- The EternalState. We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; that this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; II Cor. 5:8; Phil.1:23; II Thes.1:7-9; Jude, verses 6,7; Rev. 20:11-15).
- Church Ordinances. We believe that baptism is immersion of a believer in water; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; setting forth the essential facts in redemption—the death and resurrection of Christ, also the essential facts in the experience of the believer—death to sin and resurrection to newness of life. We believe that the observance of the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of His death until He comes and is to be celebrated at certain intervals; all members should endeavour to attend regularly. (Matt. 28:19, 20; I Cor. 11:23-28).
- The Responsibility of Believers. We believe that a New Testament Church is a body of believers thus baptised, associated for worship, service, the spread of the Gospel, and the gathering out of the Church from all the world. (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; II Cor. 6:14; 7:1; Acts 1:8; I Cor. 16:2).
- Marriage. We believe that God has ordained the only form of marriage as a heterosexual relationship between a natural man and a natural woman who are lawfully married to each other. (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18-24).
In addition to the above Statement of Doctrine, the Church identifies wholeheartedly with the following distinctive Baptist emphases. We believe in:
- The Church as a whole company of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The local church, being a manifestation of the universal church, is a community of believers in a particular place where the Word of God is preached and the ordinances of Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are observed. It is fully autonomous, except in so far as it binds itself through voluntary association.
- The Direct Lordship of Christ over every believer and over the local church. By this we understand that Christ exercises His authority over the believer and the local church directly, without delegating it to another.
- Believer’s Baptism as an act of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ and a sign of personal repentance, faith and regeneration; it consists of the immersion in water into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The principle of Congregational Church Government, namely, that each member has the privilege and responsibility to use his/her gifts and abilities to participate fully in the life of the church. We recognise that God gifts His Church Overseers, who are called Pastors or Elders, whose primary function is to lead in a spirit of servanthood, to equip the members and to provide spiritual oversight, and Deacons whose primary function is to facilitate the smooth functioning of the church. This principle further recognises that each member should participate in the appointment of the church’s leaders, and that a constituted church meeting, subject to the direct Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture, is the highest court of authority for the local church.
- The Priesthood of all Believers, by which we understand that each Christian has direct access to God through Christ our High Priest, and shares with Him in His work of reconciliation. This involves intercession, worship, faithful service and bearing witness to Jesus Christ even to the ends of the earth.
- The principle of Religious Liberty, namely, that no individual should be coerced either by the State or by any secular, ecclesiastical or religious group in matters of faith. The right of private conscience is to be respected, for each believer this means the right to interpret the Scriptures responsibly and to act in the light of his conscience.
- The principle of Separation of Church and State in that, in the providence of God, the two differ in their respective natures and functions. The Church is not to be identified with the State nor is it, in its faith or practice, to be directed or controlled by the State. The State is responsible for administering justice, ensuring an orderly community, and safeguarding the welfare of its citizens. The Church is responsible for preaching the Gospel and for demonstrating and making known God’s will and care for all mankind.