Brief History of Downeast Baptist Church
After moving back from Portland to Machias in 1994, God placed on the hearts of Rick and Katherine Ramsdell the vision to start Downeast Baptist Church. During their years in Portland, the Ramsdells were active members of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Scarborough, Maine, a church planting ministry of Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
When God led the Ramsdells to return to Machias in 1994, they did not have a nearby local Baptist church to attend. Although it would be eleven years before Downeast Baptist Church would be established, God used that time to prepare them for future ministry by directing Rick to serve as a lay pastor in 2 Baptist churches.
After much prayer and careful consideration, God directed the Ramsdells to hold the first church service in their home on Sunday, May 1, 2005. Approximately 20 people attended. On May 27, 2005, 10 charter members drafted a charter and adopted a constitution, officially forming Downeast Baptist Church.
In the summer of 2005, a realtor in Machias called Rick Ramsdell about a parcel of land on Route 1 in Machias she owned, but she didn’t want to list it. She called Rick because she knew that “he would make a good neighbor” and wanted to give him the first opportunity to buy it. Although it was a good location, the church did not have the resources to purchase the land and build a facility. After much prayer, God directed the Ramsdells to purchase the land and build a building for the church’s use. The land purchase closed in July 2005, and the construction of the facility began on September 19, 2005. In approximately 4 months, Downeast Baptist Church held their first service on Sunday, January 29, 2006. Pastor Bob Philbrick from Clinton Baptist Church was the guest speaker, and Pastor John Good and his family were there to help with special music. Approximately 50 attended.
By the spring of 2007, over 40 people were regularly attended. On Mother’s Day of 2007, over 70 people attended. By the summer of 2007, the church began to focus on calling a fulltime pastor. On December 11, 2007, the church called Terry Swanson as its pastor. Downeast Baptist Church held its first missionary conference in August of 2007 and starting support missionaries.
Currently, Downeast Baptist is seeking to call a pastor. Please pray for God’s direction as we seek His will.
Statement of Faith
Doctrine of the Bible
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant, plenary, verbally inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21;John 6:63) and is to be the sole rule of faith and practice (Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:105; Matthew 4:4; John 17:17; Romans 10:17). It is God’s infallible, completed revelation to mankind Revelation 22:18-19). It is inspired (2 Peter 2:20-21) and illuminated (John 14:26; 1Corinthians 2:14) by the Spirit of God and should be interpreted literally.
Doctrine of God
We believe that Yahweh is the one true God (Isaiah 44:6) and that He possesses one divine essence which is entirely indivisible (Deuteronomy 4:25, 39, 6:4; Isaiah 45:21-22; 44:6; John 17:3; 1 Timothy 2:5). Within the Godhead unity there are three eternal distinctions or persons: God the Father (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 11:25; 27:46; John 5:32, 37; Galatians 4:4), God the Son (John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20), and God of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). These three persons of the Trinity are coexistent, coeternal, and coequal (Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:2). We believe that God created the universe out of nothing (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3) in six literal days (Genesis 1-2) and continues to exercise His sovereign control over it (1 Chronicles 29:11; Daniel 5:21), preserving it until the day of judgment (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7).
Doctrine of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s divine Son (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 1:16-17; Galatians 4:4). We believe in His incarnation (John 1:1, 14; Luke 2:1-20; Philippians 2:7-8) and virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:16, 22-23; Galatians 4:4); that He is eternal in His existence (Colossians 1:15-18), yet at the time of His incarnation was entirely God and entirely man: one person with two distinct natures (Matthew 3:17; John 1:1-14; Romans 1:3-4); that He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15); and that He shed His blood vicariously (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:23-35) for mankind (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22). He died, was buried and arose bodily the third day from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), ascending back to heaven forty days after the resurrection (Luke 24:50-51). He currently makes intercession for believers (Hebrews 4:14; 7:24-25) and is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18-19). He will physically return for His own at the rapture (1Thessalonians 4:15-17; Acts 1:11) and for unbelievers in judgment at His Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (John 14:16, 26; Ephesians 4:30). He is coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with God the Father and God the Son (Luke 1:35; Matthew 28: 19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14). He is not simply a force but is a person with characteristics such as intellect (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:11), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotion (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 4:30). He was involved in inspiration (2 Peter 1:21) and creation (Genesis 1:2) and currently involves himself in reproving the world of sin (John 16:8-11), glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:12-14), imparting life (John 6:63), restraining sin (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7), regenerating unbelievers (John 3:6), indwelling believers (Romans 8:9), baptizing believers into the 3 body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), sealing believers (Ephesians1:13-14), and filling or empowering believers for service (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:8). He gives gifts to men (1 Corinthians 12:1-14, 40; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:7-11) in order that they might serve Him and others. We oppose any form of the modern Charismatic Movement and its teachings regarding tongues or other spiritual manifestations which detract from the Lord Jesus Christ, replace Biblical salvation, or are inconsistent with Scripture.
Doctrine of Sin
We believe that sin began in heaven with Satan leading a rebellion against God among the angels (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-19) and upon earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12). We define sin as the transgression of God’s law or will (1 John 3:4). We believe that sin brings physical (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12), spiritual (Romans 5:21; Ephesians 2:1, 5), and eternal death (Matthew 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 21:8) upon man. We believe that men who reject God’s Son as Savior go to a literal place called hell (Matthew 11:23; Luke 16:23) to await the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-13) and their eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15).
Doctrine of Man
We believe that God instantaneously created man without sin (Ephesians 4:24) in His own image (Genesis 1:27, 2:7) and that Adam willingly chose to transgress God’s law (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7), bringing sin, depravity, and judgment upon the entire human race (Romans 3:9-12, 23; 5:12, 19). Thus, man is born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:12) which apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ will bring forth God’s eternal judgment (Romans 6:23; John 3:16).
Doctrine of Salvation
We believe that salvation cannot be earned through merit or good works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) and that unless the Spirit of God convicts a man’s heart (John 6:44), he will not turn to Christ in saving faith. We believe a person must acknowledge his sinfulness before God and his belief in the resurrection of Christ and personally place his faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to inherit eternal salvation (Acts 4:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Isaiah 53:5-6; 1 John 1:29; 1 John 2:2). We believe at the time of a man’s conversion he is freed forever from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:1, 10; Hebrews 10:10). From that moment on, God seeks to transform him into the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:8-12) and upon his death or the Lord’s return frees him from the presence of sin (1 John 3:2).
Doctrine of the Church
We believe the church is a “called out” assembly of believers from the world which began on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2). We believe that membership of the local church is limited to individuals who truly know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have been baptized by immersion (Acts 2:38-41). We believe the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice. We believe in the priesthood of believers (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15-16; 1 Peter 2:9) and in the autonomy of the local church. We believe in two church ordinances: baptism by immersion after salvation for those truly receiving Christ as Savior (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Acts 10:47-48) and the Lord’s Supper for all obedient believers (1 Corinthians 11: 23-26). We believe that baptism is an outward picture of the new birth which identifies a believer with Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21) and that the Lord’s Supper commemorates the death of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), symbolizing His sacrifice for our sins. Neither baptism nor the Lord’s Supper possesses any power to save man from his sins. We believe in two church offices: pastor (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13). We believe in the separation of the believer from sin and the world (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:11); in separation from false teachers, including all forms of unbelief such as Modernism, Neo-Orthodoxy, Liberalism, and organizations (e.g. World and National Council of Churches) supporting such movements (Matthew 7:15-20; Galatians 1:8-9); and in separation from disobedient brethren (Matthew 18:15-18; Titus 3:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).
Doctrine of Angels
We believe that God created spiritual beings called angels (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16-17) who because of Satan’s revolt in heaven (Isaiah 14:13-14; Jude 6; Revelation 12:3-4) became divided between good and evil angels. Angels are incorporeal (Hebrews 1:14), are without sex (Matthew 22:30), and are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). Although neither omniscient nor omnipotent, they do possess superior knowledge and strength to man (Matthew 24:36; 2 Peter 2:11). They also exist in angelic ranks (Ephesians 6:12). We believe that Satan is a real angelic being who exalted himself against God (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-19). He is a wicked liar (John 8:44) and the great tempter (Matthew 4:1). He desires to have the worship of all beings (Matthew 4:9) and to destroy believers (Luke 22:31). Satan is the god of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and the prince of the air (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12). He rules a host of demons who tempt believers (1 Thessalonians 3:5) and at times possess unbelievers (Matthew 12:22). In the end, God will cast Satan and his demons into the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).
Doctrine of the End Times
We believe Bible prophecy should be interpreted from the pre-tribulational, premillennial viewpoint (Daniel 9:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-10; Revelation 20:1-6). We believe the next imminent event on God’s prophetic timetable is the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 5:1-6). Following the rapture, all believers will return to heaven for the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive their rewards according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11) and to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-8). After the rapture, the next event upon the earth will be seven literal years of the Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 5:1-18:24). At the end of these seven years, Christ will physically return to earth in His Second Coming with His saints (Zechariah 14:4-5; Revelation 19) to judge the beast and false prophet and to initiate a literal Millennial Kingdom, upon the earth (Revelation 19:19-20:6). At the end of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, Christ will release Satan “for a little season” to deceive the nations of the earth for a final time (Revelation 20:7-9). At the end of this “season,” God will cast Satan into the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10) and will resurrect the unsaved dead to face the Great White Throne Judgment and to be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15). However, God will cause believers to dwell with Him in the New Heavens and the New Earth for all eternity (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-22:5).