Today we are working to cultivate the deeply rooted heritage of Christian theology known as Wesleyan Methodism. While principles and practices vary greatly among denominations within the world of Methodism, First Methodist Church of Shreveport upholds the traditional, orthodox versions of Wesleyan doctrine and discipline such as scriptural holiness as described by Methodism’s founder, John Wesley.
We believe the historic Christian faith, as documented in Holy Scripture, the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, offers a transforming relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. It cannot be replaced, reinvented or rewritten by individuals that seek to make their own version of personal truth, morality and understanding of righteousness.
Our church’s mission to embrace and extend God’s grace while passionately growing leaders has remained unchanged. While we all know our Vision Statement of Connect. Grow. Serve. Lead, we want to ensure that our choice of denomination affiliation will enable us to continue to live out our mission and vision locally as well as globally as we grow leaders for Christ. We are looking for an affiliation that will be connectional in nature, enable us to grow as a church, provide opportunities for FMCS to serve the denomination and lead in the formation and development of a denomination.
The overall operations systems and structures of First Methodist Church of Shreveport remain unchanged following its disaffiliation from The United Methodist Church. The church’s executive staff, discernment leadership team and lay-led Pastor Parish Relations Committee worked to ensure all members of the church’s pastoral staff were fully supported with benefits, pension plans and educational support following their departure from the UMC clergy connection.
Regarding governance, the church intends to maintain its existing model which provides robust lay leadership guidance, oversight and accountability, including active participation by lay members of the church in the following serving bodies: Church, Council, Board of Trustees, Staff Parish Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Nominations Committee, Staff Executive Team, Eternal Flame Foundation, etc.
First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA is Mission-Driven – We profess allegiance to Jesus Christ, and everything we do serves to proclaim Him crucified and risen. Advancing the Kingdom of God takes precedent above personal preference or pleasure. We strive for a steady recovery of a vibrant understanding of holiness of heart and life that is free from cultural correctness. We are about reaching the world for Jesus Christ, reforming the nation (and in particular the Church), while spreading Scriptural holiness across the land.
First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA has a Discipled Membership – It is filled with and governed by committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Our discipleship is explicitly tied to discipline and biblical faithfulness, which includes an expectation for both faith sharing and hands-on ministry to the hurting, the hungry, and the homeless. Reclaiming the historic practice of small group discipleship is absolutely critical as well. And a hallmark of our church is the focus on developing the next generation of Christian leadership.
First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA Worships – With multiple styles of worship in multiple languages, the regular worship of God is a defining characteristic of those who call themselves Christian.
A truly Wesleyan congregation cannot exist without connectional ties to other Wesleyan congregations on a variety of organizational levels, including pastoral leadership and lay involvement. There are both practical advantages and an enhanced spiritual and relational richness that exist among congregations within this community model.
By contrast, we believe there are leadership risks and organizational limits to the kingdom impact one church can make as a truly independent church. This is why, even after disaffiliation from the greater United Methodist Church, First Methodist Church of Shreveport seeks to maintain ties with other large Methodist churches with which it can remain in meaningful community.
Whether its future affiliation is an established, formalized Methodist denomination or an informal network of other large Methodist churches remains to be seen, but its leaders — both clergy and lay — agree in the virtues of external accountability and relational affinity that exist in the community of other, similar congregations.
“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” (Rev. 21:5).
Life at First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA is deeply Holy Spirit led, imbued with a transforming experience of Jesus Christ, and refreshingly reaching into new population groups... much like early American Methodism did. Current mainline Protestantism is experiencing a hospice situation, but nothing could be farther from the truth in regards to First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA. Our hopes and dreams (vision) for our church in this new season of ministry include:
· We experience transformation in, through, and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (people experience real conversion – 2 Cor. 5:17).
· We continue living into a new ethnic and cultural mix, with both a working class and middle-class constituency.
· We adhere to a high Christology combined with a strong sense of biblical authority.
· We display a growing awareness of the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
· We endeavor to develop Christian leaders who are formed spiritually and theologically.
· We commit firmly to historic Christian orthodoxy.