Bath Christian Church was founded by a group of Bath townspeople in 1905 and has been a vital part of this community ever since. Ours is a small rural setting in the Inner Banks portion of the Coastal Plains in North Carolina’s oldest incorporated town. Our congregation is made up partially of family members of the founding families, partially of people who have lived in the Bath area all their lives, and partially newcomers to the community from many regions of our state and nation. We have a beautifully traditional church building, complete with bell tower stained-glass windows, and neatly landscaped grounds. We have a refurbished Sunday school building that once served as our parsonage and a Fellowship Hall that serves many uses for our congregation and for other community organizations. Our parsonage is located a short distance from our church.
Several years ago it was decided that we needed to take a serious look at our purpose and mission as a congregation and as a family of God. A majority of our membership participated in the process of “arriving” at such a statement. Our written statement is “To Serve the Living God, to Nurture our Personal Faith, and to Witness the good news of God’s Love to others”. This mission statement is truly the driving force of our church, a mission that we strive to enhance and one that we work diligently to exemplify to our community.
Community involvement and outreach are strong motivations for us. As member of a very small and close-knit town, it is relatively easy to know what is happening and the needs of others. We share with other churches and townspeople in Dockside Devotions (summer devotional programs), Easter Sunrise Service, Bible Studies, Easter Egg Hunts and Bible School for the Children. We also support the backpack project through the Episcopal Church, food distribution through the Church of Christ, the area’s home for domestic violence, foster children and mental health, Eagle’s Wings food pantry, and bereavement services and meals for church family and for others who do not have a church family. One of our strongest community outreach forces is the Foley Fund, a fund that provides immediate assistance to individuals for fuel, food and hardships of every kind. Service to others is one of our major ministries. Along with community outreach, our other major goals now and for the foreseeable future include retaining and expanding our current membership, increasing activities for our youth, and participation in studies that lead to spiritual growth.
We currently record 267 people on our church roll, with 166 considered to be participating members. Our average attendance for Sunday services is about 104 people. Nearly 65% of our members are retired. Though his fact makes us appear to be a senior group, we like to concentrate on the advantages allowed by more flexible schedules to be available for church projects and functions. We have some very valuable young adults and children, but this is an area in which we look forward to increases.