Why I Attend Wyatt Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas
I am a member of Wyatt Baptist Church, and it is a great place to worship. I have to say that I don't get to attend as often as I would like because my employer requires Sunday work sometimes, but when I am able, I attend Wyatt. Now Wyatt is on the west side of El Dorado, AR about 45 minutes from my house. I live just west of the Magnolia, Arkansas area. Sometimes I run across folks in the Magnolia area that will poke fun at my Sunday journey to El Dorado. Most folks will make a "drive by" comment like: "That sure is a long way to go to church!" or "You drive all the way over there?!!" I understand what they are thinking: "Why go to church in El Dorado when there are plenty of Baptist Churches in Magnolia?" Well, I'll tell you.
#1 - Doctrine: The number one reason anyone should join a church should be the teachings that they hold to. Any other reason should be secondary. I once visited a church where I knew a lot of the people and were friends with them. However, the church doctrine was horrible! As a result, my wife and I didn't join. The first reason anyone should join a church is their doctrinal stance. Now I will say that I wish our assembly held to the 1689 Baptist Confession, and if a church in Magnolia ever rises up that does, I will most likely be there. However, Wyatt is the closest to that in our area. You can access our doctrinal statement here.
#2 - Tolerance Concerning Secondary and Tertiary Doctrines: I mentioned this in the opening lines of this post. One example I can think of is the doctrines of eschatology (final things). I hold to the Amillennial position, but there are many who hold to the premillennialist, post-millennialists, and everything positions in between. As long as one holds to the "main things" concerning this doctrine, there is always room for discussion and disagreement. I recommend accessing our doctrinal statement.
#3 - Church Government: Our church is the only Baptist Church I know of in the area that seeks to hold to the historical church polity. In the early church, they had a plurality of elders (pastors, bishops) and deacons. Elders were primarily charged with the teaching and care of the souls of the congregation. We have three elders, and I am hopeful for more in the future. They do a great job! Then the deacons were charged with benevolent ministries. Serving the "physical" needs of the church. Our deacons do it better than anyone I have seen. They are vigilant servants of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I had the privilege of being off of work Easter Sunday to worship. It was raining cats and dogs! Around here they would call it a "frog strangler!" Two of the deacons came out with an umbrella and walked me, my wife, and my kids to the dry. My wife later said: "What church does that?!" Our leaders are good models of New Testament church government.
#4 - Mission Driven: Our men and women love missions! They give and are involved in helping others around the world learn about the Good News of Jesus Christ. I have been told that our little fellowship gives more money than some congregations twice our size. I pray that this continues. Also, our people are actively involved in personally assisting and encouraging our supported missionaries.
#5 - Tolerance Concerning Issues of Christian Liberty: A little while back, the leaders at Wyatt realized that Scripture teaches that "drunkenness" is a sin and "moderation" is not. You see, at one time, someone who bought, sold, or took a drink of an alcoholic beverage was not allowed to serve or even join Wyatt! However, the men in our church read the Scriptures (Psalm 104:15) and realized that they would have to throw Jesus out if they continued to hold to that "prohibition era" doctrine. Therefore, I was welcome to join with no problem. I come from a line of moderate drinkers. I like to have a Shiner Bock every once and a while. Being from Texas, it is almost a requirement! lol!! I think abstinence is a wonderful thing if one's conscience leads him to it. However, Paul instructed the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 that they are free, but that they should be careful how they use it. Mainly, "whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (vs 31)." He teaches in there that "all things are lawful," but that we should exercise our freedom in love. Therefore, we are free, but we should exercise self-control. I am thankful for that.
There is probably more that I could say, but these are the top 5 that I can think of. Wyatt is worth the drive for us. They are a loving body of believers who would do anything to help if you needed it. They "really" love Jesus. I have never seen a group as committed to the Gospel as these folks are. I hope that if you are in the El Dorado, Arkansas area sometime, you will come and visit Wyatt Baptist Church. If you live in Magnolia, I recommend driving to El Dorado to church! It is worth the distance.