Elder Sylvester Hassell’s voluminous “History of the Church of God,” expresses as well as any document the faith and practices of Primitive Baptist Churches like Bay Branch.
The exclusive and supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures; the exclusive headship of Christ over His church; the three-oneness of God as Father, Son, and Spirit; the total depravity of all mankind since the fall of Adam; the special and effectual electing love of God the Father, redeeming love of God the Son, and regenerating love of God the Spirit, manifested, in due time, to all the vessels of mercy.
The baptism of believers, and the partaking of the Lord’s supper by those properly baptized and in gospel order; salvation by grace and faith alone; a regenerated and orderly-walking church membership; the universal priesthood and brotherhood of believers; the divine call and divine qualification and equality of the ministry, who feed and care for the flock of God with a ready mind, not as being lords over God’s heritage, but as ensamples to the flock.
The independence and yet cordial brotherly association of gospel churches; the separation of the church from the world, and the notions—such corrupting associations being pointedly forbidden in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures; the separation of church and state; the liberty of every human being, so far as other people are concerned, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
The resurrection of bodies both of the just and the unjust; the final and general judgment of the world by the Lord Jesus Christ; the everlasting blessedness of the righteous, and the everlasting punishment of the wicked.
Elder Sylvester Hassell (1842-1928)
From the introduction to History of the Church of God, 1886