August 22, 2010 we started our church, Firestone Baptist Church. We have had several good years as the Lord has grown the church. In the beginning of 2014, our church decided that we wanted to move forward with looking for a new location. We have been renting a school on Sundays since virtually the beginning of the church. Though we have been very thankful for a place to meet and for reasonable rent, the location is one that people commonly have a hard time finding. It is also a place where we cannot put out permanent signs on the building or surrounding area letting people know about the church. Several other variables also make it a less than ideal location. Ultimately, it is not a place we could call home, so we as a church decided it was time to move.
After several months of searching and after several locations NOT being willing to work as a church location and others just being way too expensive, we finally found the location that we are now meeting in. We are extremely excited about this new location! Our church is now located right in the HEART of the Carbon Valley area. It is also right in the middle of downtown Frederick, CO. In order to have a space big enough for the “auditorium” and to meet the codes required for an assembly by the town of Frederick, the inside of the building has required much remodeling. God has been more than gracious to us with this new building and has already given innumerable blessings. We would love to share some of those here:
- Professional volunteers hanging the 2 hour firewall
- Professional volunteers hanging drywall and texturing
- Professionals installing all wiring
- 110 padded chairs donated
- Pulpit donated
- Sound Equipment donated
- Floor donated
- Drop ceiling donated.
- Countless hours of labor by many from both inside and outside the church
We have been amazed to see God’s people from near and far come to help our little church! We thank the Lord for the many blessings that have been given to us! Below are a few pictures that relate much of the process of the rebuild. The pictures are followed by an explanation of some changes and future plans for our church, so please keep reading!
Again we are so thankful for the Lord’s graciousness to us during this transition.
Since the move we have had to make several changes. However, there are a few things that have not changed: our philosophy, teaching, preaching, and service structure. We are still a Bible preaching/teaching church focusing on discipleship. We have the philosophy of “Churches Planting Churches.” Our goal is to continue to evangelize and build relationships within the Carbon Valley community and then beyond. We strive to continually base every single thing we do upon the Word of God!
We want to let you all be aware of a specific change we have made as a church and explain why we have made that change. We have a new church name!
Let me explain some background. The area where we meet is often called tri-town or the Carbon Valley area. There are several towns in the immediate vicinity and two of them–Firestone and Frederick–blend together in most areas of the city. In other words, the boundaries overlap often, and few people know where one town ends and where the next one begins. The location where we previously met is located in a portion of town that is really confusing as to whether or not it is in the town of Firestone or whether it is in the town of Frederick. Needless to say because of the confusion, we had no worries about what we called our church before now. For four years, although we met in Frederick, our church was called Firestone Baptist Church. Since we had originally planned to meet in Firestone and had already named our church before moving to that building, we just kept the name. However, now we have moved to downtown Frederick. In all reality a building could not get more into downtown Frederick than where we are located! Everyone knows that our location is for sure in Frederick. As this is my first church plant, one of the lessons I’ve learned is to never name a church after a street, person, or city! Now we have to change the name. It would be quite odd to have a Firestone Baptist Church in downtown Frederick!
We have had to come up with a new name. Having to come up with a new name brought up several considerations: What lessons have we learned about names? What name do we want to name the church? What do we want to communicate to the community?
A Good Name
Scripture teaches us in Proverbs 22:1,
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
Our ultimate goal is to choose a name that honors the Lord, one we can stand behind, that we can present without questions, and one that will allow people from our own community to consider without having preconceived notions.
I would like to present a few words on preconceived notions: I find that few people really know why they believe what they believe. Many people have a stigma about certain things, although they do not really understand why they have that stigma. Typically the stigma is there because of the interpretation of an experience or because of what other people such as parents, former teachers, or peers have said. In reality individuals often do not have solid reasons why they hold onto a stigma! They do not know why THEY believe what THEY believe, but they place a stigma based on an experience or another’s opinion.
In 2009 as we were praying about what the Lord would have us call the name of the church when we first planted/started it, the choice was not really simple. It was actually stressful! Many thoughts presented themselves for consideration, including but not limited to, our true beliefs and agreement with Baptist doctrine, the area of the country we are ministering to, existing Baptist churches and their reputation in our area, and the perspective of our supporting churches. After much discussion and prayer, we decided to call the church Firestone Baptist Church. Even though we were concerned about the Baptist reputation in the area, we wanted to try to change the stigma because we believe Baptist doctrine is truly Biblical. We hold to the Bible first and foremost, and we believe the Baptist DOCTRINE agrees with that. (As a side note, please understand if you are reading this, that I said Baptist DOCTRINE!!! That does not mean we agree with every Baptist church’s stance on personal standards or every Baptist school’s “rules.” There is a HUGE difference, and many equate the standards and rules to the doctrine…That is another discussion for another time.)
To fast forward the story, let me tell you what we have done over the course of the last 4 years. Often we have surveyed people of the Carbon Valley community about several church related things. One frequently asked question which typically generates the same response is “What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Baptist’?” At first, the answer shocked me, but I eventually got used to it! Why? Because almost every time a person answered, “You mean like Westboro Baptist?” Now if you know anything about Westboro Baptist of Topeka, Kansas, you know this is NOT an association that any True Believer would want to be associated with! This thought struck me: “So the stigma that has been going around here in the Carbon Valley area, and probably beyond in this part of the West is that all Baptists are like those of Westboro Baptist.” Immediately I thought, “I do not want to be a part of that, which means we have a LARGE uphill battle to ‘convince’ people that even though we are Baptist, we are not the same as the stigma behind Westboro Baptist, or that of some other Baptist churches.”
What we have learned is that people will not allow even a chance for educating, convincing, or changing their preconceived stigmas. They already have biased opinions and will simply STAY AWAY! Numerous times throughout the last 4 years, we had people tell us that they would not visit our church JUST because we had “Baptist” in our name. As a church we felt like these facts were very important to consider in renaming the church!
We have also learned, that even many people who call themselves Baptist do not really know why they call themselves Baptist. They do not really know the differences between Baptists: Southern, Northern, Freewill, Landmark, Conservative, American, Independent, etc. For more on the list of the 100’s of Baptist Denominations, please go to this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baptist_denominations. To them the general denomination of Baptists is what that they have grown up with or around. They do not understand that there is a significant difference between each of those sub titles! Anyway, we wanted to make sure people knew where we stood, without having a misunderstanding of who we are! I know that sounds confusing, but that was a consideration.
We made several requirements for our new name.
- The name needed to Glorify God.
- The name needed to point people to a doctrinal standpoint.
- The name could not be one that already indicates a specific denominational agenda or fad moving through “church culture.”
Ultimately, after much prayer, consideration, and discussion, we chose the name Carbon Valley Bible Church. We do not apologize for this. May I go on further to say that we still have a strong Baptist distinctive. We love our Baptist Doctrine. We love the Historical Baptist Heritage. We love the roots of the Baptist History that span the last 2000 years. The history of the Baptists is rich. We do not however, really care for the direction of the modern Baptists. If we were to label ourselves, we would put ourselves more in the category of the Historical Baptists. Charles Spurgeon said the following:
“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome… and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect…” (From The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol.VII, Page 225) You can read that quote from our website at http://www.cvbiblechurch.com/wearebaptist.html.
We abide by the Baptist distinctives. If you are not sure what the Baptist distinctives are you can also purchase the book listed on that webpage as well. Yes, we are Baptist…we just do not have the name Baptist in our church name.
In addition, we feel that the changing of the name allows us to have better conversation with the people in our community as we try to consistently outreach in this area where God has placed us. Unfortunately, some churches and organizations may think that this needs to be a point of separation from us. They may believe that we are becoming liberal. They may believe that we are becoming progressive. May I assure you . . . we are not! We are not changing our preaching. We are not changing our use and saturation of Scriptures throughout our preaching and teaching. We are not changing the course of our music. We are ONLY changing the name…and well, our building location.
We again make no apologies for changing the name. This is one of the beautiful things about being an independent church. We are able to act upon what we believe God wants us to do. We do not feel that changing the name is a point of separation. However, if other organizations, other churches, or other believers choose to do so, we will be saddened. I would ask them at what point does Scripture say the word “Baptist” has to be a part of our name? Often, people or organizations who separate over these types of issues make problems within the church and within Christianity anyway. They focus on minor standard and preference issues instead of the solid doctrines that God wants them to focus on. Those types of attitudes can ultimately allow Satan to get a foothold in Christianity and make a widespread problem where there should be no problem. I challenge you not to get hung up on minor issues! Don’t worry more about man and what man thinks; rather, put your thoughts on what is truly right and acceptable unto the Lord. Division over minor issues does not bring true Glory to God! We feel, if anything, we would rather be more grounded with a name of Bible than the name of Baptist. You can’t argue with the Bible! Yet, we are still Baptist…Independent Baptist, and have no apologies for that fact either.
From this point forward we will be Carbon Valley Bible Church. This name gives us the commitment to reaching the entire Carbon Valley Community. This area consists of Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, and Erie. We also have the ability to reach Fort Lupton and Longmont. This name also allows the community to see that our foundation is based solely on the Word of God, and not on the tradition of men.
You can see that there really has not been many changes to our church! Feel free to check out our new website CVBibleChurch.com. If you are in the Carbon Valley Area, we would love for you to drop in! We preach Christ Jesus Crucified and Resurrected. Our foundation is the Word of God. If you have any questions, please feel free to call 303-736-9959 or you can email at email@example.com.
Pastor Jason Kokenzie
Carbon Valley Bible Church
9:30AM Sunday School/Bible Study
10:00AM Morning Worship
7:00PM Wednesday Small Group Bible Study
*Programs for ALL Ages!