Stadia will apparently launch Genesis Christian Church in Gilbert, Arizona in the near future. The church has a web site giving information about the church and publicizing the new congregation's "Grand Opening." Genesis replaces Gilbert Christian Church which closed its doors this past fall. It will join an extension campus which Mesa's Central Christian Church recently opened. Gilbert should be an excellent location for a church plant since it is a rapidly growing suburb in the Phoenix metroplex.
Rumors abound that Stadia will not place leaders in new church starts who preach and teach baptism for the remission of sins. I checked out the church's web site and their statement of faith. Like many such statements, the language is sufficiently vague on many points. The section on salvation, however, is so vague as to say nothing. Individuals from any evangelical denomination can interpret it to suit their particular perspective. I rather expected this would be the case because the church planter selected for the church's start, although said to be a product of Mesa's Central Christian Church, was educated in a state university, Trinity Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Phoenix Seminary. In other words, unless well educated at Central, he has no solid background in the principles and plea of the Restoration Movement.
I emailed the church planter and asked him for a definitive response to his and the church's understanding of the purpose and place of baptism in salvation. I got back an email which gave an equivocal response. He also stated that he assumed I wanted to know how the church viewed the relationship between baptism and salvation and told me to "be straight with him." I responded without any equivocation and asked him bluntly if baptism had anything to do with salvation. To date the man who wanted me to "shoot straight" with him "because he could handle it" has yet to respond.
I know he has no obligation to respond to me but I always wonder what these guys have to hide. I asked an honest question and I hoped I would get an honest answer. I should have known better!