COMMUNITY OF BETHEL CHURCHES IS…The Community of Bethel Churches in Rwanda was founded in 1998 under the apostleship of François Nkurunziza, upon the principles of Christ as they are revealed in the Bible, the Word of God. It has its foundation of faith and practice in the Scriptures and the vital experience of its constituents is scripturally oriented.
CHRISTIANFirst and foremost, the Community of Bethel Churches is a determinedly Christian church. It is built upon the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The doctrines and practices of the church are based upon His teachings.
PROTESTANTThe Community of Bethel Churches is founded upon the principles of Protestantism, although it is not a traditional follower of any specific leader of the Protestant Reformation. The denomination stands firmly for justification by faith, the priesthood of believers, the authority of the Bible, religious freedom, and the separation of church and state. It stands against abuses and extravagance of ecclesiastical ritualism and dogmatism.
FOUNDATIONALThe Community of Bethel Churches subscribes to the following five foundational Christian doctrines:
- The inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible.
- The virgin birth and complete deity of Christ.
- The atoning sacrifice of Christ's death for the sins of the world.
- The literal resurrection of the body.
- Christ's second coming in bodily form to earth.
EVANGELICALEvangelical is the term used to describe those who affirm the primary doctrines revealed in the Scriptures. These doctrines include the inspiration and authority of the Word of God; the Trinity; the deity and virgin birth of Jesus Christ; salvation by faith in the atoning death of Christ; His bodily resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father; the ministry of the Holy Spirit; the second coming of Christ; and the spiritual unity of believers in Jesus Christ. The Community of Bethel Churches has aligned itself with the basic statement of faith ofthe mainstream of Evangelical Protestantism.
PENTECOSTALIn 1998, many members of the Community of Bethel Churches experienced a spiritual outpouring they identified as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Because it was so similar to the experience of the early Christians on the day of Pentecost, it came to be called a Pentecostal experience, an enrichment of the Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit that empowered believers to be effective witnesses of Christ. The principle distinctive of the Community of Bethel Churches of as a Pentecostal organization is its belief in speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance and that this is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
CHARISMATICThe charismata or gifts of the Spirit appeared early in the life and ministry of the Community of Bethel Churches. The gifts can be divided into three categories: the gifts of revelation, the gifts of power and the gifts of utterance or inspiration. The gifts of revelation are the gifts of the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge and the discerning of spirits. The gifts of power are faith, miracles, and gifts of healing. The gifts of utterance and inspiration are prophecy, tongues and interpretation. The Holy Spirit bestows these gifts and those who accept the validity of these gifts are called charismatic.
EVANGELISTICFrom its inception the Community of Bethel Churches has been a revival movement. Evangelism has been in the forefront of all its activities. The church has maintained an aggressive effort to take the message of Christ throughout the world by all means and methods. Every program of the church reflects an evangelistic attitude: revivalism, conferences, worship services, teaching, preaching and its missionary efforts.
ORGANIZEDThe magnitude of the Great Commission requires a united effort. This united endeavor is efficiently served by guidance, support, resources and leadership from a common center. The Community of Bethel Churches is a centralized government under the leadership of the apostle along with his apostolic team composed by all the ordained ministers. It helps facilitate the fulfillment of the mission of the church. The leadership of the Community of Bethel Churches is composed by the apostle, bishops, pastors, and other ordained ministers. The Benefits of a centralized government include the following: uniformity of doctrine and practice; principles that bind together local churches in the same manner; membership commitments in all churches; expansion and extension of fellowship; accountability; cooperative decision-making; and united efforts in evangelism and world outreach.
MINISTERSThe Hierarchy of Ministers in the Community of Bethel Churches are ranked as ordained: apostle, bishops, ordained pastors , ordained elders , ordained deacons, ordained helpers, ordained worship leaders, leaders in different departments in the Church . They achieve these levels of ministry through a profession of faith, commitment to the church, training, internship and fulfillment of credential requirements. The Community of Bethel Churches emphasizes the doctrinal position of the priest-hood of all believers and encourages all the church members to assume a Biblical role in local church ministry.
A CARING CHURCHFrom its beginnings, the Community of Bethel Churches has felt its responsibility to benevolence ministries in bringing care to the needy population.