Prior to God’s call to pastoral ministry, he and his wife Robyn owned a Marketing and Business Development firm in Savannah, GA. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biblical Studies, Master of Theology (Th.M.), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.ThS.), a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Theological Studies and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theology. His post graduate research centers on the Immutability of God as the core attribute for Theological and Biblical interpretation and application. Further studies in preparation for a Th.D. in Historical Theology emphasize the importance of right doctrine as seen throughout church history as evidence of the boundaries of biblical interpretation. He is thankful for God’s Grace found in his wife and best friend Robyn who shares with James as the parents of FIVE wonderfully amazing children. He is thankful for God’s Grace found in his wife and best friend Robyn who shares with James as the parents of five wonderfully amazing children.
His theology centers around the biblical truths reclaimed during the Protestant Reformation and holds to the foundations of God’s sovereignty in all things, especially salvation. Pastor Tippins serves across the US working with young pastors and church planting strategists to equip men for the ministry who are actively preparing for church planting in Georgia, Virginia, Texas and California. He serves as the Dean of Grace School of Theology and Pastor’s Seminary that began Spring of 2015 and as the founding pastor of GraceTruth Baptist Church.
James has served on church staff as a worship pastor, children’s pastor, youth pastor, executive pastor and sr. pastor for nearly 20 years. His ministry began in South Georgia in Evans and Chatham Counties then moving to Brunswick GA. Afterward in 2002, he moved to Virginia to be a part of a church plant as a part of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and then to the East Bay/Oakland, San Francisco California where he was Sr. Pastor of First Baptist Church Newark California for over four years. His pastoral experience has always been in Southern Baptist Churches and GTC is a affiliated church of the SBC Association of Churches with the Daniell Baptist Association and the Georgia Baptist Convention of Churches.
His heart is to encourage and warn all who will hear of the extreme joy that comes through Christ alone and that Jesus is the only means by which a man can find the treasure of the universe who’s name is Jesus Christ and prays that through the planting of new churches many will come to faith and grow deeply in love with Christ. Plans are under way for a School of Theology to be a training ground for Christians and pastors.
If you have any other questions about James’ beliefs please visit www.gracetruth.org and read the elder’s statement of faith.
Affiliations & Endorsements:
- 9 Marks Ministries Supporting Church | Affiliation
- Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals Member
- Founders Ministries Member Supporter
- National Center of Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC) Covenant Supporter
- Together For the Gospel (T4G) Active Supporter
- The Gospel Coalition Active Supporter
- International & North American Mission Boards of the SBC Member
- East Bay Baptist Association Member | Executive Board Member
- Sacramento Reformation Fellowship Society (Pastors Fraternal)
- Together East Bay (Fellowship of Churches)
Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)Sola Scriptura is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, is the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all — that is, it is clearly understandable and self-interpreting.
Sola Fide (“by faith alone”)Sola Fide is the teaching that justification is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though saving faith is always evidenced by good works.
Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”)Sola Gratia is the teaching that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God for Jesus’ sake.
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”)Solus Christus is the teaching that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other means except Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria (“To God, alone, the glory”)Soli Deo Gloria is the teaching that all glory is to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. God is worthy of all praise and adoration.
These “five Solas” and their can be understood as explained in The Cambridge Declaration written by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals of which FBC Newark is a cooperating body. Other teachings and understanding of our thoughts and theology can be found on Founders.org website, a ministry of teaching and encouragement promoting both doctrine and devotion expressed in the Doctrines of Grace and their experiential application to the local church.
Articles of Faith / Elder’s Statement of Faith
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 there is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all humans conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tied.
Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, 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 but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Of the Fall the 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 constrain 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.
Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatory 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 form the dead he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenders sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Savior.
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 thought faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of 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 the Freeness of Salvation
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 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 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 o the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears inn the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life.
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.
Of God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe that the 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.
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 mans, especially, the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
Of the Preservation of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers a endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mar 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 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 A Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenanting 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/Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus.
Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, 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 pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and wine are to commemorate together the undying 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 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 hi his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.
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.