Our Beliefs + Denomination

What we believe about Jesus, the Bible, & the Church

Six affirmations

Our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, is unique in its posture toward doctrine. While we highly value the historic doctrines of the church and both the Nicene Creed and Apostle's Creed, we recognize first and foremost that Scripture takes precedent even over the doctrines of the church. The six affirmations below help give understanding and voice to this unique posture. This allows space for a 'charitable orthodoxy' with our beliefs, without granting us license to believe whatever we want.

1 // We affirm the centrality of the Word of God

We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy, and justice.

2 // We affirm the necessity of the new birth

The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.

3 // We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church

The early members of the Covenant Church movement were known as “Mission Friends”— people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice. We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.

4 // We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers

The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

5 // We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit

The Covenant Church affirms the historic biblical trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.

6 // We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ

The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.

Historic Creeds

Granite City Church and the ECC affirm the historic confessions of the Christian Church, particularly the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed (found below).  These creeds were written in response to specific historical heresies that arose in the early church, thus they are not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the doctrines that we defend in our faith, but they serve us well as summary statements of our Christian belief.  In spite of our affirmation of these creeds, we also say that we are 'non-creedal' because we emphasize the sovereignty of the Word of God over all creedal interpretations, essentially saying that the Bible itself is our primary creed.  Moreover, we do not believe that eternal life is given through assent to creeds alone, but through allegiance to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Apostles Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead;
on the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made, of one being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
on the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic* and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.


* means "universal" sometimes rendered "Christian".