The Church of Truth Ministries was founded on February 23rd, 2008 by a group of believers with a vision of Bible education and outreach. This church was reorganized in the state of Ohio as a nonprofit 501c3 Corporation on April 3, 2008. By June of 2008, the church grew out of its original small office building and moved to a larger building in Harbor Lights Landing – both of which were in Port Clinton, Ohio. By June of 2009, we were able to purchase the former Portage Elementary School building. With 38,000 square feet of space to work with, God has given us the room and the opportunities to reach out to our local communities through dozens of different ministries. The many different ways that the church serves the local community is what truly defines the purpose of Truth Ministries.
Outreach and Serving Others
At Truth Ministries, we try to create a contagious and fulfilling love for serving people in need. This value is very important to us because most of what Jesus did was not in a church setting; it was in homes, in the streets, and in many hostile places. We understand that before we can lead, we must serve. Christ sets this example for us to follow in Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”. We serve our community through many different ministries. Some of these ways include our community service work program, our food pantry (which targets mostly elderly and disabled people), our resale store, the community use of our gymnasium, our free community dinners, helping people in need, and visiting/praying for the sick. Although we don’t always see the impact on the lives we touch, we know seeds are being planted and roots are being spread out through our area. Serving our area through outreach shows that we are an extension of God’s love to many people who don’t know Him.
Accurate Biblical Education
Our church is non-denominational and is independent of any forced or pre-determined doctrine. We strive to only follow the most accurate of doctrinal beliefs, while leaving the traditions to a minimum. It’s neither our personal experiences nor our church past but it’s the Word of God that drives our entire belief system. With so much emphasis on good works, spiritual gifts, legalism, and rituals, it may be difficult to value the most important part of our Christian faith – learning the Bible! In Romans 10:17, we read about the direct connection between knowing the Bible and growing our faith; “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Since this is true, we put a strong emphasis on teaching the stories and writings of the Bible. We explain the Bible in its cultural context in order to understand what God wants us to learn from it in today’s life. As we learn more, our faith grows proportionally. Since Biblical education is such an important part of a committed life to Christ, it only stands to reason that one of the Holy Spirit’s greatest gifts to us is to impart the perfect Word of God into our human understanding (John 14:26). In turn, we will be better equipped to represent Christ to the lost in a supernatural and effective way (Acts 1:8).
Accountability seems to be a dying virtue in many churches today and may account for such a decline in American church morality. Although we get no pleasure in bringing correction to the people we care about, we find that it is a necessary part of our Christian growth as evident in the 1st century church. We also find that accountability is commanded by God in several places in scripture. Galatians 6:1 tells us – “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” If we love people and we see them making choices which will bring about a destructive end, then we MUST hold them accountable for their actions in a loving way. Supporting sinful behavior does not define God’s love in 1st Corinthians 13:6 – “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” The world only loves people enough to see them happy, but the church should love people enough to see them get to heaven. Accountability is often what separates society’s definition of love from God’s love. Ministry leaders at Truth are held to a higher standard of accountability as they represent God from a greater platform.
Discipleship is a core value of ours because we understand that the church was created to multiply. Jesus spent over 3 years discipling 12 men so that they could create disciples after He was gone. Our goal is to do the same thing here at Truth. It’s not enough to just present the plan of Salvation and see someone make a decision for Christ. We need to help the spiritual transformation of a new believer as they go from worldly minded to Godly minded. Romans 12:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Truth Ministries makes strides to create a culture and a non-stop cycle of creating disciples for Christ within the church. This discipleship comes through attending church services, mentoring, Biblical education, living as a positive example, many different small group studies, serving others, and through encouraging a life of prayer and intimate worship.
We value unity at Truth Ministries because it is our witness to the lost (John 17:20-23). If unbelievers or new Christians see our church members engaging in gossip, slander, racism, badmouthing and negativity towards others, then they will either never return or they will assume it is acceptable church behavior. Instead, we strive for a loving family environment where we rejoice with one another in the good times, and we grieve with one another during the hard times. We believe in creating unity between age groups as well by engaging in each other’s lives. It is our goal at Truth to make everyone we meet feel the love of Christ by our church members even when we disagree. We desire to create an atmosphere of a united church body. By doing this, we show our community what the family of God looks like. Anything divisive or slanderous is unwelcome.
At Truth Ministries, we value God’s design of family. It begins with a loving, committed marriage of a man and a woman. We strongly believe that a married person’s first love should be God, but their first ministry is to their spouse. This is backed up by the fact that their spouse is the only person in which God makes them one with! Husbands and wives are encouraged to minister together as a team. We do our best to encourage our members to never let there be an option for divorce, but rather put God first knowing that He can restore all things. In addition to marriage, we strongly value a Godly family as it pertains to raising children. Children are to be loved and provided for, both physically and spiritually. Again, ministry leaders at Truth are expected to display these family values as an example to the rest of the church. This is based off of Paul’s instructions to Timothy in chapter 3, verse 5. “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”
1. The Word of God:
– We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to humanity, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the complete (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (Jeremiah 23:28-29; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
– We believe the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32).
2. The Trinity:
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. (Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19-2 0; Ephesians 4:5-6).
3. Salvation through Christ:
– We believe in the deity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension into heaven and in His personal future return to the earth.
– We believe that the only means of being free from the sins is through faith in the death, resurrection and sacrifice of Jesus Christ followed by repentance of sins (Titus 3:4-7, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 12:1-2).
There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life (1 Cor 15:20–23), for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment of death and eternal punishment (John 5:28–29).
5. Church Ordinances:
– We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church; baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
– We believe that Christian baptism after salvation is the full immersion of the accountable believer in water into the name of the triune God.
– We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death and should be celebrated on a periodic basis of at least once a month.
– We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not believe these ordinances are necessary unto salvation but are to be done as commanded by God (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe in marriage as it is defined by God in scripture (Mark 10:6-9). Therefore Truth Ministries will not perform any marriage ceremonies for atheists, unequally yoked couples (2nd Cor 6:14), or two people of the same sex (Romans 1:26-27).
7. End Times:
– The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be conducted in two stages; Rapture and Revelation.
– The Rapture of the church will precede seven years of Tribulation followed by the revelation (return) of Christ to set up His kingdom on the earth for 1000 years.
– Following the Millennial reign of Christ will be the Great White Throne judgment before a final restoration of a new heaven and earth.
It is the position of this church that God created and sustains the universe and everything in it.
9. Women in Ministry
This church believes that God has established the husband to be the spiritual head and covering of his wife and children (Ephesians 5:23).In accordance with 1st Timothy 3, the church is to be managed in similar fashion to the family. Elders and deacons are to be men who meet the guidelines listed in the above scripture.This church recognizes and welcomes women who are gifted in teaching, leading worship, leading other ministries or edifying the body of believers as long as it is in line with biblical church authority (1st Timothy 2:12).
10. Spiritual Gifts
– We believe in all of the Spiritual gifts listed in the Bible but we also emphasize church order. We realize that the use of many of said spiritual gifts come with specific biblical guidelines in which to follow.
– The outreach design of our church attracts many unbelievers and new believers. There has been a history of these people being turned away from the church due to past incidents of speaking in tongues. 1st Cor 14:23 says, “Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?: Due to the nature of our church’s purpose of outreach and due to the history of uninterpreted messages in tongues (1st Cor 14:28) followed by a mass of confusion, it is the position of this church that we be more concerned for the salvation of the lost rather than the edification of the saved through a message in tongues (1st Cor 14:4). For this reason, we would ask that any speaking of tongues would be done privately and quietly in conjunction with 1st Cor 14:33.
11. The Doctrine of Salvation
– We believe in cases of apostasy such as the example given in Hebrews 6:4-6, a person who has committed their life to Christ may fail in fulfilling that commitment.
– In such a case of apostasy, it is not a punishment from God taking the gift of salvation away as “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29), but rather the surrender or “walking away” by the former believer from his or her faith before they were judged by God.
– It is not the position of this church to promote losing one’s salvation as the completed work of salvation will take place in heaven and at that time can never be lost (Phil 3:20-21). In this life, we strongly encourage our members to “endure till the end” as instructed by Jesus in Matthew 24:13.
12. The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit
– This church believes that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a person’s born again experience into the Body of Christ (Matt 3:11, Acts 8:16).
– Baptized is not the same as being filled with Holy Spirit (Acts 8:16-17) as baptized means “submerged” which happens on the outside, while “filled” is something that happens on the inside. Although the two are separate events, we believe they can be simultaneous (Acts 10:44-46).
– Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a supernatural endowment of God’s power for the sole purpose of being a more effective witness for Christ (Acts 1:8). The initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit may be a renewed compassion, prophesying, boldness (Acts 4:31), supernatural faith, wisdom and many other gifts that would enable a person to more effectively reach the lost. There should not be any one gift that is sought as an evidence of this endowment of God’s power.
– This church believes that God fills us up with this power from on high at certain times in our lives and we seek Him for it. We do not remain Spirit-filled every second. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit on different occasions as the witness for Christ necessitated it (Acts 2:4, 4:8).
– This church will love, welcome, and treat people equally regardless of their faith, race, appearance, marital status, age, or gender.
– We will also love and welcome anyone regardless of their sexual orientation, their ideology, or any other factor.
– At the same time, we are a church that believes in accountability, and we will love people enough to encourage repentance, and to live a life of purity and Biblical Truth.
– Truth Ministries will not support or encourage sinful behavior in any way.