Since 1959, Northlake Church has been sharing the good news of God’s love with people throughout the Three Rivers Region and to the ends of the earth.
What makes northlake unique?
1. Northlake was planted in 1959 by the Kelso First Baptist Church. It operated under the name The American Baptist Church until changing its name to Northlake Baptist Church in 1984, reflecting our early roots when the congregation met in the Northlake Elementary School in Longview, Washington. The congregation has had a rich history of high impact ministry in our community and in other parts of the world. Since 1966 the church has been the overseer of Longview Christian School and Child Development Center with over 500 children in attendance; in 2000 the school merged with Cornerstone Community Christian School, a local junior/senior high school with an enrollment of 120, to become Three Rivers Christian School. We are in the planning stages for major facility development on our campus to house the school and development center. The church also operates a retirement home ministry, Campus Towers Affordable Senior Living—founded in 1971 in partnership with HUD, a 91-unit independent living facility for low-income seniors.
2. In 1997, Northlake began a transition to cell-based ministry. We presently have 17 groups meeting throughout the weeks in homes. Our youth ministry is also cell-based. We host an annual regional equipping event for cell churches at which we have had the joy of the leadership of Larry Kreider and Ron Myer, both of DOVE Christian Fellowship International (see www.dcfi.org) and cell church researcher Joel Comiskey. At present we have about 200 connected at some level with our cells and an additional 70 or so folks who call our congregation home, but have not yet become fully assimilated in the church’s ministry. Our main children’s ministry takes place on Sunday mornings with about 35 children in attendance on average. We also have a very active senior adult ministry, NorthlakeSeniors, which averages about 40-50 at their monthly gatherings.
3. Northlake has entered into sister church relationships in, Tecate, Mexico, Uganda, the Philippines, Israel, and Peru. We have a long-term vision for reaching unreached people groups. Believing the Lord has called us to relationships of mutual ministry (Romans 1:12), we send teams to these nations on a regular basis and have had the joy of hosting several of our sister church pastors here at Northlake. Our teams are led by apostolic leaders. The DOVE Uganda Children’s Fund (www.ducf.org) was established in 2004 primarily to support children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Presently, over 350 children are sponsored in partnership with several other congregations. We also support local missions through our Mission-of-the-Month giving, education and sending strategy, including the Caring Pregnancy Center, Community House on Broadway homeless recovery ministry, FISH food bank, Three Rivers House of Prayer, Campus Towers Retirement Home, and Three Rivers Christian School.
4. We transitioned to elder oversight in 1997, with a ministry administered by the pastoral staff that includes: Mark Schmutz, senior pastor; Christian Schmutz, pastor of worship and spiritual growth; Joshua Wenzek, youth pastor; Lise Taylor interim children’s pastor; Aileen Stanford—assistant pastor for pastoral care; Erin Hart, Three Rivers Christian School Superintendent; and Marchelle Knapp, Campus Towers Retirement Home administrator. Committees are kept to a minimum, choosing rather to operate essential ministries by “ministry teams”: Finance and Stewardship Ministry Team; Worship Support Ministry Team; Grounds Ministry Team; Fellowship Ministry Team; and Missions Ministry Team. Pastoral staff lead most other aspects of ministry. We are also blessed by a part-time Buildings and Grounds Supervisor, Coy Woods (since 2014).
5. While we would not perhaps call ourselves a “Charismatic” congregation, we do believe in and affirm all spiritual gifts (charismata) mentioned in the Bible as valid and necessary for the life and health of the church. We do not require a particular sign gift to demonstrate baptism in the Holy Spirit—tongues, for example, is one of the gifts of the Spirit that is still active today; however, we do not teach that it is the only, or primary, evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:30; 14:39). The use of spiritual gifts most broadly finds expression in the context of our cell groups, which we call Life Groups. We believe we are conservative in theology, but embrace all spiritual gifts as valid and helpful and encourage the congregation to explore and develop any of the gifts. A Prophetic Ministry Team was established in 2009 and offers ministry on a regular basis. The team is trained and directly overseen by the senior and associate pastors and accountable to the elders. We also engage in prophetic worship as a foundation each Sunday and on alternating months at First Watch an extended corporate prophetic worship experience in which we seek the message of the Lord togethe
6. We are an active participant in the “City Church” of Kelso-Longview, believing that the local church is comprised of all the “life-giving congregations” of the community. We regularly take part in community ministries and services. Our staff pastors are encouraged to see their ministry as a call to pastor the community together with pastors from other congregations and community ministries.
7. The ministry of training and teaching is accomplished through Biblical preaching every Sunday and a series of classes called Northlake Essentials offered through Northlake U, which also offers exciting electives each quarter. We also host community outreach/equipping seminars on a regular basis (e.g., parenting seminars). With a deep commitment to Every Member Ministry, we encourage every member to personally be in the Word of God and to pray on a daily basis, seeking to grow as a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ who will eventually be used in leadership to some capacity.
KNOWING GOD | HELPING PEOPLE
Knowing God, fulfilling His Kingdom come
...helping people help people...in our homes, in our city, in our nation, and to the ends of the earth!
Helping People Know God
It is our deepest desire that everyone come to know our Creator who loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins that we might be forgiven and have the gift of eternal life through faith in Him.
Helping People Love One Another
Sharing life together in Life Group community, we seek to learn how to love one another in every relationship in life. God gives us His Holy Spirit to empower us to live lives of love.
Helping People Experience Freedom
We are all given power in Christ Jesus to overcome! Through Him we overcome sin, selfishness, bondage, addiction, loneliness, hopelessness, despair, ...even death!
Matthew 22:37-40; John 17:3; Matthew 6:10, Acts 1:8-9; Acts 5:42; John 5:19; John 8:28. John 12:49-50; John 15:5; Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:1; Romans 8:21; John 8:32
Statement of faith
The Authority of Scripture:
The Bible is the inspired, authoritative and infallible Word of God and is our sole rule of faith and practice. It is the standard by which all human conduct and creeds should be tried.
There is only one true and living God who is manifested in three eternal and coequal persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God possesses holiness, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, love, mercy, and all other perfections. All humankind owes to Him supreme faith and obedience.
Humankind has been created in the image of God but through Adam’s fall is now sinful, lost and condemned. By deliberate choice all participate in sin, which is open rebellion to God’s law. Notwithstanding the fall, all human life through creation has value and dignity.
Justification by Faith:
Human beings can be forgiven of sin and justified solely through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ who died for sinners and rose again from the dead. Only by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ the Lord can acceptance with God be attained.
Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit by which the believer receives a new nature from God. Christian growth or sanctification is the continuation of the new life principle which begins in the new birth.
The church in its widest sense includes all believers of all ages. The church is manifested visibly in the local body of baptized believers who covenant together to worship, observe the ordinances, and evangelize.
Jesus Christ will eventually return visibly at which time He will raise the dead and judge all people. Believers will enjoy an eternal state of blessedness in heaven while unbelievers will experience eternal separation from God in hell.
Evangelism and Social Concern:
The church has been called to preach the gospel so that individual people can receive salvation. Also the church is to become involved in the improvement of society by advocating Biblical principles which militate against poverty, racism, violence, and all forms of injustice against humankind.
God’s design is that man and woman either be joined together in a perpetual monogamous relationship or live in a single state. The practice of extra-marital sex, adultery or homosexuality is inconsistent with biblical teaching.
Our Focus: Relationships
We are committed to Every Member Ministry where every member gathers each week as a large group for worship and to be equipped for ministry that is lived out in small group community called Life Groups where we can:
Help People Know God,
Help People Love One Another, and,
Help People Experience Freedom!
Ephesians 4:16; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 5:42; Acts 20:20
Northlake Baptist Church is a people...
Helping People...Know God by fully responding to the Great Commandment
Helping People...Love One Another by fully engaging in the Great Commuinity
Helping People...Experience Freedom by fully participating in completing the Great Commission
Our practice of all five equipping gifts: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher gives us unusual dimensions of fulfilling the mission of Christ, and our embrace of the City Church puts us at the center of what the Lord is doing right here in the Three Rivers region!
Matthew 22:37-40; Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 28:18-20