Monday, August 25, 2014


Pastor Ray Rowland

The Bible
We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are given by God’s inspiration. We believe the Scriptures were written by God through people and therefore speak with the authority of God. They are the unique and final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.

We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. We believe he was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now acts as the only mediator between God and people.

The Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the third person of the Trinity, is to apply the saving work of Christ. He does this by bringing conviction of a person’s need for the forgiveness of Christ. He regenerates their heart and then permanently indwells them when they believe. His ongoing work is to guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

We believe that people were created in the image of God for a loving relationship with God. However, people have rebelled against God, actively or passively choosing to go their own independent way. As a result, we’re separated from God and suffer the corruption of our nature because of our sin. The effects of this fall from our intended relationship with God can be reversed through faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

We believe that Jesus Christ died as the substitution for the death penalty we owed. No amount of good works or human effort can restore us from our state of eternal alienation from God. It is only by God’s free grace that we are saved from this state of alienation, and this grace is appropriated by a change of heart toward God’s leadership in our lives and by faith in Jesus to forgive our sins.

The Church
We believe that there is only one true Church universal composed of all people who have asked Jesus Christ for forgiveness and made Him leader of their lives. The diversity of all believers working together, using their gifts to build up one another, form the parts of the body of Christ, the Church. The scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of God’s Word, using our gifts to build up one another, outreach, communion, and baptism. Wherever God’s people meet in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

Spiritual Growth
We believe that transformation, growth and life change are evidence of a person’s connection to God. As we continue to pursue a real relationship with God He will continue to change us to become more like Christ. It includes loving God, building character, loving people and being in the Body.


Sweet Prospect General Baptist Church in Dexter, Missouri

SweetProspect is a Bible believing, family focused church reaching out to those who need Christ in the Dexter community.  Pastor Ray Rowland preaches how the Biblical principles found in the Scriptures can offer hope and peace to people’s everyday life.  Sweet Prospect’s mission is taken from Jesus’s words in Matthew 28: 19 & 20 - to reach the lost in our community for Christ, and teach them to observe all Jesus’s commandments. 

Sweet Prospect is committed to seeing every person …believing in Jesus, belonging to family, becoming a disciple and helping to build God’s kingdom. We welcome all those who are searching for their true purpose in life.  Come as you are. Especially those who are, tired, broken, poor, addicted to porn, smoker, stressed, drinker, not good enough, busy, messy, alcoholic, questioning God, imperfect, divorced, ashamed, willing, looking for answers, don’t know God, lonely, rich, unhappy, straight, gay, unchurched, raised in church, afraid, judgmental, unhappy, or hungry, and you will be just like us. 

Our purpose as a church is simply to “Love God and Love Others.” That purpose comes from Mark, Chapter 12 when Jesus was asked, “Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” 

We want to be known as a church where people with all kinds of troubles, issues or problems can walk through our doors. A church where God can heal, restore and redeem our issues for significant life change. A church that draws outsiders in and insiders are known for their compassion and generosity. A church that turns our community upside down!

SweetProspect General Baptist Church was founded in 1910 and moved from rural Stoddard County into our present location at Dexter in 1971.