Where do you worship when there is no Reformed Baptist church nearby?


We had a question come in that we’d like to farm out to the community.

“I need a Reformed congregation closer to home. The closest strong reformed Baptist church is two hours away from our home. What suggestions do you have if there is not a reformed church nearby?”

Are you in an area without a 1689 subscribing congregation? Where do you worship and why?

Let us know in the comments, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, or Twitter!

Thanks in advance!

34 Replies to “Where do you worship when there is no Reformed Baptist church nearby?”

  1. Interested to hear suggestions on this. We live in Japan near a US Navy base (Yokosuka). There are no nearby reformed fellowships of any kind. There are some presbyterian churches in Tokyo and Chiba. I’m actually working with a PCA church planter in the US to try and gather enough interested folks to start a local church, even though I’m not PCA myself. Finding an actual reformed baptist church would be astonishing. I can’t even find any reformed baptist missionaries in Japan. If anyone is interested in coming out here to start a church, let me know. We’ll be here for the next 5 or 6 years until my son graduates, God willing.

    1. Hello. Read your post/question and I might ( emphasize the word ‘might’ ) have an idea. There is a guy ( an MK btw … and he stayed in Japan , his siblings are Stateside ) , named Eric Swanson. He has an English language teaching school in Fukuoka, Japan. On The Lord’s Day he has ( had ) Church services at the place. I just “binged” him and there is a mention of the school , but … the only kind of a “Church” is a L.D.S. ( Mormon ) mission. iirc — there may be a R.C.C. in that city also. Eric’s Dad was a Presbyterian Missionary in Japan , and one of his sons is a OPC pastor in Colorado. I left him a phone message, & my number . If he calls back , and has address & phone info for the English School / Chapel ? in Fukuoka , I will try and pass it on to you. Eric made a presentation ( slide show ) at TRBC, an aarbca church in La Mirada , Cal. several years back …

      1. Thanks for the thought, but Fukuoka is quite far from where we are. If he’s looking to relocate over here of course we’d welcome him. We are also interested in making contacts with other ministries in Japan for our eventual relocation away from the base, so happy to get in touch. My email is jesse dot cadd at gmail dot com if you think of passing it on. Thanks again!

        1. I am Reformed and Baptist missionary looking for some like-minded people in Japan also. They are hard to find! We are located in Kyoto.

          1. PCA via MTW is working in Tokyo and Chiba areas, which are nearest to us (1 – 2 hours). They also are in other big cities (i.e. Nagoya with Christ Bible Seminary). I’m working with http://www.ministrytothemilitaryinternational.com, which is PCA also, to try and start a church in our area (Yokosuka). The Okinawan PCA church (which is great BTW, I visited once) is affiliated with Ministry to the Military, and possibly the one in Korea…I had heard they were looking for a pastor. But there are lots of presbyterians in Korea already, there could be any number of them.

            Lately we’ve been meeting with another couple on Sundays at 3pm for a bible study that we hope to eventually grow large enough to merit a pastor. We’ve pretty much given up on finding any viable churches near us after 3 years of trying several for 3 – 8 months each. The church plant website is http://yokosukachurchplant.blogspot.jp/. We’re hoping that with the carrier change over this year there will be a large influx of new people looking for a church, some of whom would be willing to commit to the project. The trouble with military members is that, aside from being gone on ships during much of the year, are also inherently impermanent. Getting an actual board of elders is going to be interesting.

            If anyone would like to pray for us, we would appreciate it!

          2. Hi Jesse, ( re:posting because of wrong link, please refer to this link: http://www.thebridgejapan.com )

            Not sure if you’ve heard of The Bridge Fellowship, a new Gospel-centered church plant in association with City to City and Vision Nationals, coming up soon in Shimokitazawa- ministering in an artistic bohemian neighborhood (in Odakyu Line). The Bridge is currently in their formative stages with outreaches, and ready to launch officially around 2016 Summer. We are not officially a “Baptist” Church but Reformed in Soteriology, Continuationist in Pneumatology, Credo-Baptist, Historic Pre-mil in Eschatology. You may want to check us out: http://www.thebridgejapan.com

          3. Bummer, we just passed by Kyoto last weekend as we visited Hiroshima for vacation. Shoot me an email and maybe we can meet up next time either of us is close by. jesse dot cadd at gmail dot com.

          4. Funny, here we are 4 years later, 6 years in Japan now and the situation hasn’t really changed as far as reformed churches in the Yokosuka area. Every now and then I do a search for churches nearby to see if the situation has changed and inevitably I find this thread again.
            These days we are part of a presbyterian church plant in Tokyo (Tokyo International Presbyterian Church http://www.tokyoipc.com/) going on our second year. It’s about an hour’s commute on the toll roads and we meet only twice a month at the moment, soon to expand to 3 times a month. It’s a great church and we’re glad to be involved, but it’s a bit tough being so far from everyone. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to move closer in the coming years.

    2. hi jesse, u may want to know of this RB church in toyko: tokyo bible church. http://tokyobible.com/en/

      i’m in contact with bro shiro. he had graciously helped translate from english to japanese my pastor’s sermon (for a school girl from japan who was visiting singapore). he and another brother is heading out to us in Apr for a conference. join us? :)


  2. I typically send people to http://www.rblist.org/ to check to see if there are any they just haven’t found yet.

    I’d rather support a RB church than not if I was near a choice (for various reasons including keys of the Kingdom, who’d I’d be covenanting with in membership [infants!?], etc…).

    I also try to caution against a form of commercialism when choosing churches, but with all that said I understand there are very different situations that folks are in that I have never been in and thus never had to think through.

    On a side note, this was a question we asked Jeff Johnson on episode 16 and his answer was:

    “Move… which do you love more, money, your job, or your family?… The local church should be so important than where you live is secondary…” [53 minute mark] http://confessingbaptist.com/podcast016/ (of course with the caveat of understanding there are different situations.)

  3. OPC. The Westminster Confession is so similar to the 1689, and as long as they don’t mind us not baptizing out children, it usually works out pretty well. Our local OPC church has been a tremendous blessing.

    1. I feel the same way, grace. My family has moved around quite a bit, and where there has been no RB church we attended a PCA or OPC.

  4. We live in an area where there are plenty of churches to attend (a seminary city), though there are only two churches holding to the 1689 Confession of Faith, yet are not within a distance of us that would make it feasible for us to drive to weekly. One is an hour southwest of the city and the other is southeast of the city. Yet if they were the exact same church in a much closer proximity to us we would still have difficulty picking on or the other. One is a pronounced RB church and hold to the said confession, yet they do not align themselves with a denomination. I could say more in more detail but I will not. The other is a pronounced SBC church that recently adopted the 1689 Conf. of Faith and has acquired a new pastor.

    The basic reasons we don’t go to either is that one is a secluded congregation that doesn’t associate with churches that are like-minded publicly. We are uncomfortable with joining a church that doesn’t associate with other RB churches officially and publicly. And the other is a church that it ‘recently’ adopted the Conf. and gained a new pastor, yet is not itself a RB church. In defense of what I am saying, many churches can hold to the 1689 Conf. of Faith and yet not be a RB church, and some can hold to the 1689 Conf. and hold to it so hard that you don’t associate with others that are 1689er’s and RB churches.
    I hope this makes sense, and for what doesn’t please ask me to clarify. I only ask that you show grace and not butcher what I am saying since this is the first time I have articulated this in a public forum.

      1. Jason,

        Thanks for the comic relief! I was not trying to ask the internet for anything, but I am glad that my comment made sense. I would be curious to hear what would say to me engaging the conversation and situation.


    1. Amanda, your post is very clear and I feel I am in a similar situation. Sadly, the one church that is RB and holds to the 1689 Confession and is within driving distance mishandled a situation involving my daughter so badly that we couldn’t stay for her safety. It is a hard decision to find something else, but we chose OPC for the reason that grace marshall said in a post below. We have been extremely blessed to be in our church as members and it is quite a joy to worship in a confessional church.

    2. Amanda, your comment is spot on. From what I can gather, there are at least four types of churches who “hold” to the 1689 confession.

      1. ARBCA churches.
      2. “Independent reformed baptist” churches that don’t joyfully associate with churches (as spelled out in chapter 26 of the confession).
      3. Churches that “hold” to the confession but associate with other churches less on the confession but more on other, non confessional issues (family, KJV onlyism, etc)
      4. Formerly non-confessional churches that have recently adopted the LBC. (Usually SBC.)

      They absolutely aren’t the same, even though they all “hold” to the confession. I would encourage you to hold out for an ARBCA church, or to do as we did, and to find other like-minded believers locally (via Facebook if nothing else), start gathering for a study, and then find a relatively close ARBCA church to help you get planted into a real congregation.

      1. Hey Dane, just a bit of a clarification: what exactly does “hold out for an ARBCA church” mean? Refusing to attend any of these other 4 types of churches until an ARBCA one is planted?

        1. No, not necessarily, and not in every case. In Amanda’s case, she didn’t want to attend one of the other reformed baptist churches locally, and I wanted to encourage her that her reasons were probably valid.

  5. For about a year, I attended an Evangelical Free church that was strong in community, but unfortunately allowed for (a) Predestination and Free Will; (b) Calvinism and Arminianism; and (c) Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology, and Dispensationalism to be taught. The contradiction and lack of antithesis (not to mention the “Bible Prophecy” class that utilized material from Tim LaHaye and David Jeremiah) was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Fortunately, by God’s providence, my ministry partner in the Northwest Ohio Reformation Society (an Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals ministry) was called to Pastor a church about 15 minutes away from me. The church had it’s share of difficulties in the past (including two splits) and was dispensationalist (most likely Arminian as well), but after a year of Reformed doctrine and expository preaching, we are on our way toward revitalization. We’ve had a few challenging months, but we are close to appointing officers, accepting new members, and reconstituting (I have the pleasure of writing and editing the constitution) and reforming the church. I am pretty sure the Elders will have to affirm and subscribe to the 1689 LBCF, but as far as associating with ARBCA… that is up in the air.

  6. I realize that this is a post that was a year ago, but I’m curious, are there efforts of planting reformed baptist churches?

  7. We also live in N. Charleston. We find the drive to Christ Church Presb. too far and we have problems with paedo ‘covenant and eschatology. The rest of the churches here are new calvinist which is a no for us also. Is there NO church in N. Charleston or Summerville that is solid? I also have found many affirm theistic evolution which is also a NO for us. It’s a very sad area church-wise. Anyone help??

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