Visiting a new church can be a little scary and overwhelming. We invite you to explore the options below to make your visit something to look forward to.
We love God because He first loved us!
He loved through the greatest love act ever known—the Cross (1 John 4:19, Matthew 22:37-39). Because we love God, we desire to bring honor and glory to Him by obeying His commands and accomplishing His purpose for the church in Laramie, Wyoming.
Who We Are
We strive for an intentional culture of grace, vibrant worship, and discipleship.
To Adore God
It is our belief that all of humanity should adore God (Matthew 22:37-39, Deuteronomy 6:5). This may sound prideful, but God is the only example of perfection. He is perfect in his moral being (Righteous, Good) and perfect in his fatherly rule over creation. (He is Kind, Loving, Merciful, Gracious, Compassion, Slow to anger…) Further, Christ demonstrated His worthiness through his sacrificial death on the cross. (Revelation 5:9-10) The proper response to the magnificence of God is to adore the Triune Godhead. (Revelation 4:11)
To Glorify God
All of creation was formed to reflect God’s glory. (Psalm 8:1-9) The purpose of every person in every generation is to glorify God our Creator. Further, the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms every believer for the purpose of His glory. Therefore, the most basic purpose of the church is to love and glorify God. (1 Corinthians 10:31, 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesian 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:17, 2 Timothy 4:18; 1 Peter 1:7, Revelation 1:6 [and many more.])
To Proclaim Christ
The Church was also given a second mandate during the ascension of Jesus Christ. The believers were told to proclaim the good news of the Gospel and make disciples grounded in Jesus’s teachings. This mission is the primary mission of the church. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 1 Peter 2:9)
How We Accomplish Our Purpose
The transformation of the Gospel occurs through the renewing of the mind by the knowledge of Christ. (Ephesians 4:22-24) Thus, we accomplish our purpose by studying and applying His Word. (1 Timothy 3:14-17) The greatest need for every person is to know and trust in God’s Word. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Christ has literally bought us with his very blood. (1 Peter 1:19) Through the Cross we receive incredible riches of His grace including salvation, access to God, peace with God, and freedom from sin. (Romans 5:1-12; Romans 6:1-4) Such incredible blessings from God deserves praise and honor. It is our desire to express our heartfelt affections for His great gift. (Revelation 4:11)
The unique mission of the church is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) Christ established the mandate for the church to proclaim the good tiding and great news of the Gospel to our neighbors, community, state, country, and ultimately to the world. We as a church strive to be witness’s in our town as well as supporting mission projects in other parts of our nation and the world.
We are commanded in Scripture as believers to serve the church; corporately helping each member to grow in his dependency and usefulness to His savior. (Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:1-8; Hebrews 10:24-25). Therefore, we as a church strive to personally help each member grow into greater dependence and service for Christ.
The church is primarily a community of believers whose foremost feature is belief in the Gospel. Part of God’s purpose is for us to display the riches of Christ (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 3:8). These riches are displayed through loving one another with the grace we received from Christ. (Colossians 3; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:26; and others) Therefore, community is an important part of our church. We believe that every believer should join a body of like-minded believers for the purpose of helping one another grow in Christ. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
What to Expect
Walking into a church for the first time can be intimidating, so we want to help you know what to expect when you visit.
We promise not to embarrass you or point you out. If you wish you can fill out a connection card and we’ll follow up with you later. You can come knowing you are in the midst of a group of broken people, who all need God’s grace.
What to Wear
We have a diversity of people attend our services and are thankful for a congregation with a variety of dress. You'll find anything from very casual jeans and t-shirts to polos and slacks to suits. We encourage you to come as you are.
On Sunday morning at 10:00 am, we come together for Sunday School for all ages, where we learn topically about God’s Word and its application to all areas of life. Following Sunday School, we have about a 20-minute break with light refreshments and good conversation before our morning worship service begins at 10:00 am.
Preaching at is generally expositional, meaning that it seeks to systematically work through passages of Scripture, declaring the point of a particular Biblical passage, with practical application rooted in the redemptive story of Scripture. Sermons usually last around 45 minutes and are packed with material for reflection. Our sermon series regularly alternate between the Old and New Testaments. All preaching is driven by the Gospel, the Bible’s main message of God saving sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We are thankful to have a congregation with many children. We encourage all parents to train their children to worship as part of the church. We provide nursery for children up to age 2 for the entire worship service and dismiss children ages 3-8 for children’s church before the sermon. Some children remain in the service the entire time, and we welcome their presence.
Our service is intentional, in that it follows a deliberate order of worship, but it’s not formal in style. We sing several songs, offer congregational and pastoral prayers to God, hear Scripture read, and give our offerings and tithes. We close each morning worship service with a benediction, with the typical service finishing around 12:00 pm. An hour later, you might still find folks talking over the sermon and events of the past week.
We sing a blend of lyrically rich songs recent and historic. Those of us who are comfortable with music from one particular era have discovered that we come to enjoy other songs we had not previously encountered.
We strongly prefer congregational singing, which emphasizes the gathered body enthusiastically singing praise to God with one voice.
Meet the Pastor
Pastor Gary Skaggs retired from twenty-seven years of full-time ministry in 2014, but since then, has served as interim pastor on two occasions.
He continues to preach, teach, serve and help when needed in Bethel Baptist Church of Laramie, Wyoming.
Pastor Skaggs was saved in 1973 at the age of twenty-seven years. In 1975 he attended Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, Minnesota. He graduated in 1979.
What We Believe
We seek to be Word-centered and Gospel-driven.
The ministry of Bethel Baptist Church will, we hope, always keep God's Word central. Why? The Bible is God's written Word—how He's chosen to communicate to us Who He is, what He has been doing, and what He expects of us. The Bible alone holds the ultimate, most trustworthy, most authoritative answers to the questions of life and eternity. Thus, rather than magnifying the ideas of men and women, we look instead to God, trusting that He inspired and preserved His Word for His glory and our good. We believe that the written Word is a reflection of the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and that its contents are our reliable, sufficient rule of faith and practice. When a moral question is raised, or when we face a difficult circumstance, we choose to resort to the Bible for guidance, correction or comfort rather than falling back on our own experiences and opinions.
We seek to be timeless in our message.
We hold to historical Baptist and fundamental distinctives. Specifically, we are fond of The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. We gladly accept broken, unaccomplished, needy sinners like ourselves—but we are not seeker-driven. We do not believe that "doing church" is what God requires of men and women, and we do not believe that it is the local church's responsibility to water down nor add to the gospel of Christ in order to make it a more "comfortable" place to be. Do we want that gospel [good news] to be understandable? Yes. Do we ourselves want to be compassionate and inclusive? Yes. We want the broken people. People, like us, who know their sinfulness. We are here for those who know they need something more than what this life has to offer. We seek not to offer more of the same, but to offer something different. The person and work of Jesus Christ is enough for us. We invite you to come see why.
We seek to be relevant in our vision.
We maintain that the Bible is more than a collection of ancient writings, but rather it contains everything we need to face the problems of life in today's culture. Consequently, our teaching and preaching will include practical application to help us live as we ought. We are not an elite group of "the arrived," and we are committed to continual change. We rest on and submit to the absolute, unchanging truth of the Bible, and it in turn changes us. We hear and meditate on God's Word—and while we do that, we try to be doers of that Word, and not hearers only. We have found that the unchanging truths of the Bible affect our everyday lives, and we pray that we will become more and more like Jesus Christ as we submit to and obey His Word.
Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.
Of God's Purpose of Grace
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
Of the Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops (i.e., Elders), or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
Of Humanity and God's Design
We believe that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female; that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing; that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride, the Church; and that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.
Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
Of the Freeness of Savation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means–especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church.
Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the burial with Christ of a believer in water into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation. We believe that in the Lord’s Supper the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self- examination.
Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.
Of the World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.