Fort Walton Beach First UMC: Prayerfully making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Connecting with people, Teaching God’s word and Living our faith through service. (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-13; Mark 10:43-45)
Our Beliefs & Values
We are Christians who are glad to be part of the United Methodist Church. As Christians, we hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. With other Protestant Christians, we believe in the triune God (one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the divinity of Christ, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
As Methodists, we are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in America. Methodists are known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in practical ways in the world. Among the unique beliefs and practices of United Methodism are:
- The centrality of grace in Christian experience.
- The practice of open Communion.
Wesleyan principles for understanding our faith and relationship with God. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, gave us four important principles for understanding and living out our faith:
- Scripture – The Bible.
- Tradition – The wisdom gained from church history and doctrine.
- Reason – We do not “check our minds at the door” in order to be Christians.
- Experience – God’s work in our lives today and in the lives of other Christians.
All four of these principles are important but, for us, the Bible has primary importance.
- A Covenant People – Members promise God and the congregation to uphold the church with their prayer, presence, gifts, service and witness.
- A Diverse Community – All persons are welcome in the United Methodist Church. We are committed to inclusiveness. Celebrating a diversity of people, ideas and cultures, we re enriched by our history.
- Biblical in Faith – Our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. For United Methodists, the Bible is the record of God’s people living out God’s promise.
- Ecumenical – For generations, United Methodists have cooperated with other churches to spread the gospel, care for those in need, alleviate injustice and foster peace. In national and interfaith groups, United Methodists reach beyond our own churches and communities to express concern and to share God’s love with people of many faiths.
- Mission-oriented, Socially conscious – We are aware of world events and strive to help those in need. For more on this visit the United Methodist Committee on Relief website at www.umcor.org
- Evangelical – The United Methodist Church continues a strong heritage of introducing and teaching people about Christ. Within each congregation is a vital center of biblical study and evangelism – a blending of personal study of God’s word and witnessing through service in our communities.
- Connectional – The United Methodist Church, which began as a movement and a loose network of local societies with a mission, has grown into one of the most carefully organized and largest denominations in the world. The United Methodist structure and organization began as a means of accomplishing the mission of spreading Scriptural Holiness over the land. John Wesley recognized the need for an organized system of communication and accountability and developed what he called the “connexion,” which was an interlocking system of classes, societies, and annual conferences.
For more information on our beliefs and the United Methodist Church, visit www.umc.org