Fourth Baptist Church exists for the doxology of God and the discipleship of man.
- By doxology, we mean the exaltation of God. Creation is for the glory of God (Ps 19). Redemption is for the glory of God (Eph 1). All that we do is for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). He must increase; we must decrease. In life or in death, Christ must be magnified. Publicly and privately. Corporately and individually. Everything that we do and say is for the “sake of His name.”
- By discipleship, we mean the evangelism and dedication of man. The Great Commission doesn’t call us to make converts, but disciples (Mt 28:18). Discipleship is a personal and persistent effort to walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:10).
Exposition of the Word
It is our practice to preach and teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), explaining each text in its context (2 Tim 2:15) and bringing it to bear upon the lives of the hearers (James 1:20).
Equipping of the Saints
God has gifted the church with pastor-teachers to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12). While Fourth Baptist Church is blessed with a plurality of pastor-teachers and employs other staff members, it is ultimately the members of the church that exercise their giftedness in the body.
Edification of the Body
From the numerous “one-another” passages in the New Testament, we recognize our responsibility to mutual encouragement and exhortation (Heb 10:24-25).
Evangelism of The Lost
As Great Commission Christians, our mission field must begin across the street and reach around the world (Matthew 28:20). We are not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to salvation (Rom 1:16).
Fourth Baptist Church began as a mission Sunday School of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. At that time, the congregation that would become the Fourth Baptist Church met in members’ homes until they grew large enough for their own building. Jewett Chapel, formerly on the corner of 11th Avenue North and Lyndale Avenue, housed the church until 1885, when they built a new sanctuary at 18th Avenue North and Dupont Avenue.
The church continued to grow and, in 1920, they built a new building on the corner of Fremont Avenue North and 21st Avenue. By 1954, attendance averaged over 700 for Sunday services. In 1974, a 2,000-seat auditorium was added adjacent to the original auditorium on Fremont Avenue North. In 1998, the congregation voted to relocate the church to the suburb of Plymouth. A new ministry, Family Baptist Church, was planted at 21st and Girard Avenues.
- From 1940 to 1982, Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters pastored the church and oversaw the establishment of Fourth Baptist Christian School, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and WCTS radio.
- Dr. Ernest Pickering provided a strong pulpit ministry from 1988 to 1993.
- Dr. Douglas McLachlan pastored the church on two different occasions — 1982-1987 and 1994-2007 — and superintended the relocation of the church from Minneapolis to Plymouth, as well as the planting of two new churches: Family Baptist Church in North Minneapolis and Bible Baptist Church in Elk River.
- Dr. Matt Morrell became the senior pastor in 2008, signaling a new and exciting chapter in the story of Fourth Baptist Church.