- Salvation makes us members of God’s church. We believe that the church is composed of every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. We enter into the life of the church, not by joining a denomination or a human organization, but by committing our lives to Christ (John 3:1–7).
- Christians are called to be one. We believe that God calls all followers of Christ to live in unity and peace, regardless of who they are or the church they attend (Gal 3:28). While we may not agree on everything, we can rally around our subject, Jesus.
- We must be holy. We believe that followers of Christ have been called to live a life of love, purity, and godliness. We are called to live like Christ, taking on a new nature (2 Cor 5:17).
We also embrace these biblical principles:
- The Lordship of Jesus. There is one Lord, who is God’s Son Jesus Christ, over the church. Christ is the church’s ultimate authority on all matters (Acts 2:36).
- Making Disciples. Each of us is called to fulfill Matthew 28:18–20, making fully devoted followers of Christ—disciples—who will then teach others to follow Christ.
- Loving God and Neighbor. We are called to fulfill Matthew 22:37–39, not only loving God with our entire being, but also loving all that he loves.
- The Work of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit equips believers with unique gifts that enable us to carry out the mission of Christ in the world. At the same time, the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in every believer (Galatians 5:22–23), which demonstrate the Spirit’s presence within us.
- Stewardship. Since God is the source of life, all of life is to be used for the honor, glory, and service of God (Psalm 24:1).
You will find a great diversity of convictions and practices within the Church of God. Though we have differences, we share a common story of faith, growing together into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). We worship and serve as citizens of God’s kingdom. We celebrate our life in Christ and accept our call to be the body of Christ in our world—all to the glory of God. The First Church of God of New Bethlehem, PA is affiliated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana.
- Evangelism and Mission Outreach
“We exist to share the good news of new life in Christ with those in our community, surrounding area, and throughout the worlds.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Education and Discipleship
“We exist to enable members to move toward Christian maturity and to equip them for effective ministry.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
- Worship and Prayer
“We exist to worship God publicly and to cultivate personal daily devotions.” (Romans 12:1, John 4:24)
- Fellowship and Congregational Life
“We exist to support, encourage, and share with each other as members of the family of God.” (Acts 2:42, I John 1:7)
- Ministry and Service
“We exist to serve others in the name of Jesus and to minister to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those in our church, our community, surrounding areas, and our world.” (I Peter 4:8-11, Galatians 5:13)
Statement of Faith
Randall Hopper – Associate Pastor Randy was raised in the New Bethlehem area all his life and in 1978 married the love of his life, Carman (Schreckengost). They have two grown children: Bridgit Gillis and Tyler Hopper. Bridgit is married to Ryan Gillis; they have a son, Tysen and live in Kenai, Alaska. Tyler is married to Michelle (Crissman) and they live in Putneyville, PA. Randy has worked at secular jobs throughout his life, most recently as a self-employed contractor. He has taught Sunday School and youth for more than 30 years. In 2006 after a youth convention in Anaheim, California, Randy felt God’s call to further his involvement with the Church of God. In 2007 Randy was employed by the First Church of God as a part-time Associate Youth Director. After completing a four year program of licensing and Church of God doctrinal studies, Randy was ordained by the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana in 2010. In 2014 Randy was brought on board as a full-time Associate Pastor/Youth Director.