About Our Church
Counterslip Baptist Church is a group of people based in the south of Bristol who together are working out what it means to be disciples of Jesus, as revealed in the scriptures, at this point in history, right here where we live, work, love, strive, succeed, fail, celebrate, commiserate, mourn, laugh, cry.... and so on. We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and we believe that by His Spirit, and through His word, we can know Him and walk with Him today. As a community we seek to encourage each other to do just that in all the areas of our lives, in each and every moment.
In 1804 there were just two Baptist churches in Bristol, Broadmead Baptist & the Pithay. In this year, probably because of differences in theology the Pithay had started to decline in number. 49 of those who left planted their own church on 12th November. In 1810 the new church had grown and moved from Taylors Court to Counter Slip (a road just off of Bristol Bridge). The church continued to grow and in 1878 they moved to Victoria street where they built a chapel and a school room. In the 1930s new suburbs of Bristol were being built and the population was increasing there. So Counterslip began to look for a site in the south to continue its work across Bristol, and it acquired the site where we currently meet today. After the war, and the bombing of the chapel on Victoria street, the church decided rather than rebuild in town they would move the whole church to the new site.
SO WE'RE A BAPTIST CHURCH. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
THE BAPTIST CHURCH STORY GOES BACK TO ABOUT 1609 WHEN A GROUP OF CHRISTIANS LEFT THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND FOLLOWING THE REFORMATION, AS THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE THE REFORMATION IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH HAD GONE FAR ENOUGH.
BAPTIST'S GOT THEIR NAME BECAUSE THEY BAPTSTED ADULT BELIEVERS, RATHER THAN CHRISTENING BABIES. BUT THIS ISN'T WHAT DEFINES BAPTISTS. "BAPTISTS" WAS MORE OF A NICKNAME BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF BAPTISM THEY DID. THE REASON THEY DID THAT KIND OF BAPTISM IS AT THE HEART OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A BAPTIST.
AT THE ROOT OF THEIR ACTIONS WAS A DEEP DESIRE TO LIVE LIFE IN LINE WITH THE SCRIPTURES.
BAPTISTS BELIEVED, AND STILL DO TODAY, IN THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE AND SEE THE BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD. YES IT WAS WRITTEN BY HUMAN BEINGS, BUT IT WAS WRITTEN UNDER THE INSPIRATION, GUIDANCE AND POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHO IS GOD, A PART OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
JESUS HIMSELF AFFIRMED THE SCRIPTURES, AND DESPITE WHAT YOU MIGHT HEAR IN MODERN CONVERSATION HE NEVER DISAGREED WITH THEM OR CHANGED THEM - THAT IS A MISCONCEPTION AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE TEXT. JESUS WENT EVEN FURTHER THAN THIS AND TOLD THE DISCIPLES THAT ALL THE SCRIPTURES WERE ABOUT HIM (LUKE 24:25-27). AND THIS IS WHY WE HAVE SUCH A HIGH VIEW OF JESUS, BECAUSE OF JUST HOW INCREDIBLE WE BELIEVE HE IS AS HE IS REVEALED IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES (OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT).
THE BIBLE FROM BEGINNING TO END POINTS US TO JESUS. THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES WE DISCOVER WHO JESUS IS, WHAT HE IS LIKE, WHAT HE CAME TO DO AND THE LIFE HE CAME TO GIVE US. WHAT WE DISCOVER IN THE SCRIPTURES IS NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING. THAT IS WHY AS BAPTISTS WE LONG TO LIVE IN LINE WITH THE SCRIPTURES.
AND BECAUSE THE FOCUS OF THE WHOLE OF SCRIPTURE IS JESUS, OUR VISION AS A CHURCH IS:
TO BE WITH JESUS, LEARN FROM JESUS, AND BECOME LIKE JESUS.
AND THE PLACE WE DISCOVER AND UNDERSTAND JESUS FIRST AND FOREMOST IS IN THE HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRED SCRIPTURES, LIKE HE HIMSELF SHOWED HIS DISCIPLES.
AS BAPTISTS WE HAVE SOME STRANGE HABITS - DUNKING PEOPLE UNDER WATER AND CHURCH MEETINGS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, BUT AT THE HEART OF ALL OF THESE THINGS, AND THE REASON FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS, IS OUR DEEP DESIRE TO LIVE IN LINE WITH SCRIPTURE. WHATEVER WE FACE IN LIFE OUR PATTERN IS TO FIRST GO TO THE SCRIPTURES AND SEEK OUR GOD AS HE HAS REVEALED HIMSELF THROUGH HIS WORD.
THAT IS WHAT BEING A BAPTIST CHURCH IS ALL ABOUT.
A Prophetic Word
For Counterslip Baptist Church 2022
The breath (Ruach) of God is blowing a fresh wind through us - His church. God is already pouring out His love, overwhelming love. Some are already feeling it, some will begin to feel the ripple effects in due course.
God is revealing to us His holy nature by stripping back everything we once held on to so dearly, and He is calling us into true and humble identity in Him. There is a call upon the church to holiness, to acknowledge who God is, and submit to Him in all that we are and all that we do.
He is breathing life into us by His Spirit and is unifying us as one body. If God is for us, then who can be against us?
When we put our trust in the Lord we will be blessed, even when we don’t see anything happen, we can rely on Him. God has already torn down the strongholds and He is speaking through His prophets now, bringing the good news that the cleansing power of God is swift and easily accessed, and it is already available - now is the time! Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts in rebellion. Rather encourage one another daily and hold firmly to the confidence we once had. God is restoring to us what has been lost over 40 years of testing Him. This will draw some in, and cause some to pull away. He is calling us now to clear away the rubbish and walk in His Spirit.
He is calling us now back to our first love; to worship Him alone. He demands reverence, holiness, a set-apart people - even in the face of pressure to bow down to other gods or false beliefs. By the Holy Spirit we will be able to withstand the heat and still remain spiritually healthy, and produce good fruit, so that the light of Jesus will reach people outside the church and light their way to Him.
This signifies a spiritual awakening in the church that will reach into the community and draw others into relationship with God and union with the Spirit. This will be established, not by grand gestures, or a big show, but by God’s people giving all that we have in submission to Him by His Spirit. God is preparing us to partner with a global awakening, where He will pour out His Spirit upon the nations in new and unexpected ways.
There is a call to stand on Holy Ground with Jesus at the centre. He will shape and sustain who we are, and who we will become. We will become a place where people can grow and be nurtured, and we will be fruitful.
Counterslip - the Lord calls you courageous, respected, and a leader among the city’s churches. He declares over you that He has already granted you the victory through the precious blood of Jesus!
Zechariah 4:6 | Ezekiel 37:1-14 | Romans 8:31 | Hebrews 3:7-14 | Jeremiah 17:7-8 | John 11:11 | Exodus 3:5 | 2 Kings 5