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The Church Which Christ Built

We find in Matthew chapter 16 beginning in verse 13, When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" The disciples answered with what others said as to Jesus’ identity; "Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets" (vs. 14). However, Jesus then turned the focus of the question on them, "But whom say ye that I am?" (vs. 15). Peter then confidently answered: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (vs. 16). Jesus commends Peter stating; "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (vs. 17). Jesus then expresses to Peter: "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (vs. 18). (Matthew 16: 13-18)

Fifty days after the death of Jesus, the church was established in the city of Jerusalem. The record of this is found in the second chapter of the book of Acts. The time is specifically identified as the day of Pentecost. The power of the Holy Spirit was poured out supernaturally upon the apostles and for the very first time in all of history, they began to proclaim the basic facts of the Gospel message: Jesus had been crucified for the sins of humanity; He was buried in a tomb and on the third day, He arose from the dead; and then, forty days later, ascended back into heaven to be at the right hand of God.

Peter, the leading spokesman on that occasion, suggested that those who were assembled in the city, the Jews, were responsible for having put Christ to death and, therefore, they were guilty of sin. He said to them: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Luke, the writer who recorded the events, said "they who gladly received Peter’s words were baptized, and there were added together, that day, about 3,000 people" (Acts 2:41). His closing statement in this chapter is: "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

From that day forward, members of Christ's church have followed what Jesus commanded His disciples to do in Matthew chapter 28, verse 19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19).

It is the "Good News" and the teachings found in the New Testament which have kept that same church, established on that day of Pentecost, alive and well even today. Members of the churches of Christ use the Bible as its only source for authority in religious matters, maintaining the precious church which Christ built.

For more information, please see: About the church of Christ

River Street Congregation

The congregation of the Lord's church now known as the Forrest Park church of Christ in Valdosta, Georgia, had its beginning in 1942. The congregation which met on Cental Avenue in Valdosta held a Tent Meeting on the west side of town in an effort to establish a congregation in that area. The meeting was very successful and for a short period of time, the newly formed congregation met in member’s homes and a store front. Later, two lots were donated to the church and a building was erected on River Street in 1945. The River Street congregation experienced subtancial growth over the next twenty-two years and plans were made to build in the northeast area of Valdosta.

Forrest Park Congregation

On February 2, 1964, the congregation held its first worship service in its new building on the corner of Forrest Street and East Park Avenue. The Forrest Park church continued to worship, work and grow for the next forty years and once again plans for a larger facility were needed. In January of 2005, the congregation moved to its present location on Inner-Perimeter Road between Forrest Street and Park Avenue. (Map Us)