We want you to feel at home here. Regardless of what you’ve been through or your circumstances today, God created you in his image, and he cares about you. We hope that our church can be a blessing to you somehow, whether through our online material, gathering with us for worship, or just being a place where you can find a friend.
Loving God & People
Jesus said that the greatest command in the Hebrew Bible is Deuteronomy 6:4-5. This begins with the declaration that “The Lord our God is one Lord.” Since there is only one God, it follows that nothing else should be served as a god. Yet, this is what people have always done. In ancient times, people worshipped things in nature. We’re more sophisticated today, but modern people also make idols. Living for God starts with deciding to love him over everything else. This means getting our values from him and caring about what he cares about. It means living in a way that honors him and making him the ultimate focus of all our devotion.
Jesus went on to say that the second greatest command in the Hebrew Bible is to love your neighbor as yourself. As it turns out, truly loving God means loving the other people that God made in his image (that’s everyone). In the New Testament, our Lord took this even farther by giving us a new command: That we love one another as he has loved us. We are inspired by the greatest act of love ever shown, that Jesus Christ gave his life for each of us, to reflect that love toward those around us to the glory of our Savior. Every moral principle comes down to this: Love God and love people.
Every person has sinned in some way. We’re all guilty. Yet, Jesus Christ died for us and rose again, and this declares there is hope. You may think you are too far gone, but God can cleanse you of your guilt. Peter told us to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. This means if we turn from our sins and we’re baptized in his name, our past wrongs will not be held against us. Such forgiveness alone would be amazing, but the good news doesn’t stop there. The Lord doesn’t just cleanse our past. He gives us the ability to live a different way.
Paul taught us that the reason we are baptized is so we can live a new life. This takes a miracle, so our God has blessed us with another gift. We can be filled with his Spirit to give us guidance and power for good. The Bible calls this receiving the Holy Ghost and says it’s like being born again. This lifegiving experience has happened in the New Testament Church from it’s inception until now. Even today, God calls people to new life and gives them the means to attain it. By his profound grace we can overcome what we were and discover what he made us to be.
The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith, but biblical faith is a much bigger idea than we might think. It is not just belief, but a relationship based on trust that produces faithful actions. Paul referred to these actions as the work of faith and James wrote that true faith doesn’t exist without them. The God who saves by grace also determined that believers would walk in good works in order to be holy. In the Bible, when something was holy, this means that it was set apart as special for God. It was found to be healthy and kept pure in honor to him.
Through faith, the Lord puts believers in such a place and inspires them to remain there (with his help). This holiness is not meant to create an exclusive club but a witness to how wonderful it is to live for God. The result should be that people see the glory of the Lord in changed lives and decide to have faith in him also. The goal is not to condemn but to invite people to experience the goodness of God for themselves. Faithful living is not a grudging duty that takes the joy out of life. It is a beautiful path that opens the door to true human flourishing.
In 1977, our founding pastor, Elder L. L. Godair, returned to his boyhood home to start a church, and the first service was held in December of that year. In all the time since then, our little church has carried on through the good times and through the trials. Other beloved brothers and sisters in Christ have joined in the work, and God has brought some great victories. There have been changed lives and wonderful memories of standing together in faith. Some have passed on, and some have moved on to the next work God has called them to. Some remain, excited to see what God has planned for our next chapter in Des Arc.
Joseph Fritts also calls Des Arc his boyhood home, growing up here since 1993 and attending our church from that time until today. In 2001, he began assisting in the ministry of the church in various ways, and he became its pastor in 2012. He is married to the love of his life, Alexandria, and they have four children together (two girls and two boys). Joseph and Alexandria want our church to be a healthy place that holds to faith in God and makes sure that everyone feels loved. The Fritts family warmly invites you to worship God with us this coming Sunday.