Who We Are
A church that accepts and affirms my gay son? Yes.
A church that believes that my daughter can preach? Yes.
A church that talks about, and is learning how to repent from, systemic racism? Yes.
Our starting point.
As a progressive congregation, we believe that the God who created the universe, as told through the poetry of Genesis, created human beings out of a place of Love. As scripture tells us in 1 John 4:8, "God is Love." This is our starting point as individuals, a community, and a world.
In other words, all of God's creatures and all God's people are wonderfully and fearfully made, reflecting the diverse and eccentric Image of God - individually and collectively. No race, gender, or sexuality stands superior to another.
We believe that God created the world and all things in it. God has appeared throughout history in several forms - a burning bush, a pillar of fire or cloud, a human being, and a Spirit. We worship the Trinitarian God, that signifies the relationship God wants to have with all of Creation.
Creator || God is not contained to a place, a gender, or a people. In our worship, we intentionally try to incorporate inclusive language for God, not limiting God to our human constructs of male or female. Jesus spoke to God as "Father" to convey the importance of the relationship between human beings and the Creator; God was not distant, but near and loving, as a parent.
Redeemer || Because God loved the world, God became flesh - who we know as Jesus. Jesus Christ was born to Mary, lived thirty-three years on this earth to teach us about how deeply and broadly God loves humanity, was crucified on the cross, died, and after three days, resurrected. Jesus appeared to his disciples another 40 days before ascending into heaven to sit with God.
Sustainer || After the ascension of Jesus, at the day of Pentecost, all believers were gathered together. We believe that the Holy Spirit came to the church as a wind and a fire. That same Spirit hovered above the waters at Creation, and continues to sustain us as the modern Church. The Spirit reminds us that God is still moving, still working, and still changing us.
In January 2021, Pastor Molly challenged the congregation to intentionally become more inclusive with our language around God, not limiting God to a gender. We are not perfect, but we are continuing to develop and be attentive to our language so all may know the Love of God.
Jesus, the human Son of God, has called each of us to walk closely with him as disciples. We believe this officially begins through the waters of Baptism. At Ridgewood, we practice believer's baptism, meaning someone has reached an age where they can make the decision to follow Jesus on their own behalf, or make a "profession of faith." This is often done after conversation with the Pastor or other trusted adults.
We believe baptism is an ordinance, because Jesus "ordered" his disciples to baptize others in the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. This is one of two ordinances, the other being communion, that we practice at Ridgewood.
However, if you have been baptized as an infant or at any church prior to Ridgewood, we believe that God was present and working in your baptism.
In July 2019, Ridgewood unanimously adopted this amendment to our Constitution and Bylaws:
"Article 1. Membership, Section 2. Candidacy, Subsection (3) By statement of previous Christian experience and meaningful baptism, regardless of tradition, and upon the recommendation of the pastor and/ or the deacons."
If you have been baptized before as an infant, child or adult, or if you imagine baptism may be a step for you in the future, you are welcome here.
On the night that Jesus gave himself up for us, he had one final meal with his twelve disciples.
He offered them bread, to represent his body. And when the meal was over, he offered them a cup of wine, to symbolize his blood that he would pour out for them.
At Ridgewood, once a month, we participate in Communion together to remember what Jesus did for us, and to look forward to eating with Jesus. We believe Communion is an ordinance, because Jesus "ordered" his disciples to have this meal together Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. This is one of two ordinances, the other being Baptism, that we practice at Ridgewood.
When Jesus at this meal with his disciples, he was sharing with Judas, who would betray him; Peter, who would deny him three times before the sun rose; and others who would desert him in his greatest hour of need. In following the example of Jesus, we believe that no one, no matter your past or your future, falls short of the grace offered freely by Jesus Christ.
We have an open table, meaning it doesn't matter if you belong to Ridgewood, the church down the street, or no church at all. You are welcome to share in the meal of grace.
We believe that scripture tells us about the origins of our faith by way of poetry, prose, narrative, lament, prayer, psalms, and letter. We believe scripture holds truth, beauty and guidance for our lives, though it is not free of error. We believe that all scripture is inspired by God, but was written by human hands. The Spirit continues to progress us forward in how we read, interpret, and live out scripture in daily life.
As Ridgewood Baptist Church, we belong to the universal Church, but practice autonomy of the local church. We pray, worship, eat, and read scripture together often, as did the early Church. We are a unique congregation, set in Southwest Louisville on Greenwood Road, that seeks to utilize and employ the gifts within our congregation to reach a hurting world.
The church, we believe, also exists as a refuge, a safe place, and a place to heal. Engaging in relationships takes work, but is how Jesus trained his disciples. We hope you'll find a place to plug in -- through worship, a small group, or another ministry opportunity.
We believe that as people who love and follow Christ, Jesus calls us to be his hands and feet in the world. Ridgewood has participated in several area ministries through donations and volunteers hours. We also support and pray for the children, families, and staff of our Childcare Development Center.
In the summer of 2020, Ridgewood collectively read "The Cross and the Lynching Tree" by James Cone. It revealed a lot to us, and compelled us to assess how we function as a primarily white church in a diverse community. We are still learning how to do and be better. We'd love to welcome you to that conversation.
Not "That kind" of baptist.
We believe that all genders are equally called to leadership, and people of all sexualities equally reflect expressions of the Divine.
Because of these, Ridgewood is associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the American Baptist Church, both supporting these same values. We contribute financially to each one and also participate in regional and statewide meetings and fellowship. We believe these partnerships enhance our worship and community.
For more information on these Baptist organizations, see the links at the bottom of our page.