Thanks for visiting the Downtown Baptist Church web site. Whether you’re a member, a tourist to our fabulous Old Town historical area, or looking for a church home in the Alexandria area, we welcome you and hope you’ll take time to learn more about us.
Keep reading to discover more about us, or jump ahead to one of these topics:
Who we are
The Great Commandment and The Great Commission serve as the foundational support for all we seek to be and do in the Kingdom of God.
The Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind….Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law & the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
The Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
To love God, love others and make disciples.
To grow from baby believers to fully devoted and developed followers of Jesus Christ.
We value Relationships because of The Great Commandment
Relationship with God
Through Bible study and prayer
Relationship with all people
Through honest communication, selflessness, authenticity, and mutual accountability
We value Worship because of The Great Commandment
Worship in unity
Through praise, obedience, and music
Worship through prayer
By confession of sin, praising God for who He is, praising Him for what He has done, listening to the Holy Spirit
Worship through proclamation of the Word of God
Scripture is the God-breathed Word; Jesus Christ is the only way to God;
God desires deep personal relationships
Worship through giving and serving sacrificially
Time, money, talents, gifts, and skills
We value Response to The Great Commission
Response through developing personal discipleship
Through prayer, study and application of scripture, and pursuing holy living
Response through making Christ known interpersonally
Through prayer and relationships
Response through making Christ known locally
Through prayer and community service and involvement
Response through making Christ known internationally
Through prayer, awareness, and personal and church-wide involvement
We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to have been written by men divinely inspired by God. It is God’s revelation of Himself to man. The Bible is the only inspired authoritative Word of God. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ. (II Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 15:4)
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is all-powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Genesis 1:1; Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:16-17)
Christ is the eternal Son of God. We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. Christ is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. (John 1:1-18, 29; Colossians 1:15-20; I Timothy 2:5-6)
The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired men to write the Scriptures. Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. He convicts people of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls people to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling
The Downtown Baptist Church of Alexandria was organized on June 15, 1954, with two objectives – to maintain a Southern Baptist Church in downtown Alexandria and to preserve the oldest Baptist edifice in the city. Originally built in 1803 by the Alexandria Baptist Society, the church sanctuary building was rebuilt in 1830, following its destruction by fire. During the Civil War, the Union Troops interrupted a worship service to take over the church for use as a hospital.
The plan for the establishment of the church originated early in 1954. Aware that First Baptist Church was moving to a new location on King Street, a small group of Baptist decided that the downtown section of Alexandria should not be without a Southern Baptist witness. On the date of organization, there were 61 charter members, but the list quickly grew to 125 before it was formally closed. The assets of the group initially consisted only of large amounts of faith and enthusiasm. However, with personal loans from the members, assistance from Virginia Baptists, and cooperation of a local bank, the sanctuary building was bought back from the contractor into whose hands it had fallen for $76,500. It was then necessary to completely refurnish the church with pews, organ, office furniture, communion service, offering plates, hymnals and many other items. With generous help from members and friends, this was done rapidly. In a short time, it became apparent that the educational building was needed to effectively carry out an adequate ministry program, so this building was rented. In 1957, it was purchased at a cost of $125,000. Renovation and redecoration of the property became a community project. The enthusiasm of members as well as non-members of various faiths who assisted in the work was such that it was accomplished in a remarkably brief period.
Chaplain James Kelly, formerly Rear Admiral and Chief of Navy Chaplains, now retired, first filled the pulpit of Downtown Baptist. The first full-time pastor was the Reverend Eslie Phillips who served from 1955 to 1961. He was succeeded by the Reverend Jack Coffey who served until 1967. In August 1967, the Reverend Don Bowen accepted the pastorate of the church and served for 30 years until his retirement in August 1997. At that time, the Reverend Dale Seley was called as the fifth pastor of the Downtown Baptist Church and he served until July 2009. Under the leadership of Pastor Seley, the church expanded ministries and we saw growth in our membership, especially among families with young children, youth, and young adults.
During our 50 years, God has led the Downtown family to become a diverse, close-knit community which seeks to minister to people from all walks of life. Our mission is to love God, love others, and make disciples. The DBC family seeks to fulfill our calling by striving to be “caring people….close at hand.” From the historic, old site at 212 S. Washington Street, the gospel light continues to shine forth – for the glory of God.
Step 1: You must repent of your sins and confess Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
We are all sinners by nature and by choice.
- “...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
We cannot save ourselves.
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God has provided for the forgiveness of our sins.
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
God’s provision is Jesus Christ.
- “For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Every person must repent of their sins.
- “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
Every person must place their faith in Jesus.
- “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Read this prayer and see if it says what you want to say to God. If so, then pray it to God.
“Dear God, I know that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that He died on the cross for me. I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. I know that I have sinned against You and need Your forgiveness. I am willing to turn from my sins and receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Thank You God, for forgiving me of my sins, and for giving me the gift of eternal life. Amen.”
Step 2: Contact either a minister [link to people] with your decision. If you need to be baptized, the minister will explain the requirement of baptism and answer any questions you may have regarding this ordinance.
Step 3: You are introduced to the Downtown Family at the conclusion of a worship service. You are free to come forward any Sunday to join.