For many folks, finding a church or synagogue is very important to any relocation.
But how do you find a good church, especially in a rural area?
First, consider your must-haves.
- Are you willing to drive a long ways to reach a good church you’ll love? Because if it has to be Reformed Baptist (as one example) you might be driving a long while because there’s simply not as many of those. It’s a very specific and uncommon distinction.
- Are you willing to go to a denomination slightly different form what you are used to? If Reformed is important, it is not uncommon to see Baptist and Presbyterian crossover because while baptismal beliefs are a key point of difference, it is not one to part ways over when Christian and Reformed are considered more important identities. Also, non-denominational churches can be hit or miss depending on their effort to stay true to the Bible. Sometimes they can be shaky, but other times they are rock solid in biblical doctrine and can be a real win for a solid church-home.
- Related to the above, what doctrines are must-have and what doctrines could you get along with even if the majority of the church body believed differently from you? You should never compromise your faith, but you should also recognize where honest men striving to follow the Bible might differ in opinion without falling outside the realm of “Christendom.”
There are two ways to go about searching for a church: knowing where to look online, and doing your looking in the local area.
The best way to find some solid churches to check out is to know some solid church associations and organizations, which keep registries of churches in their databases online. Most of these databases will point out that they do net vet any of the churches listed. Simply put, a church emails in saying they agree with the association statements and documents, and they get added to the map and listing. There are several large associations out there, but they are not all inclusive and their are many great churches who either choose not to list themselves with these associations for certain good reasons (maybe more independence), or sometimes local churches don’t know about these associations even if they would largely agree with the statements and documents.
For any of these associations, check out the documents that describe what they stand for, because for churches to list with them they are supposed to agree with those documents. If you don’t agree with the association doctrines, you probably wouldn’t like the church, so make sure you like what the association stands for.
We’re listing the databases rather than specific churches because churches change, just like people, and tomorrow there might be several new churches and several removed churches for various reasons. So you’re best off looking at the latest these associations have listed.
Here are some databases you could check to generate a checklist of churches to look more closely at.
- ARBCA (Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America) – Typically, these are Baptist churches holding to Reformed doctrines and agree with the London Baptist Confession of 1689.
- NAPARC (North American Presbyterian And Reformed Council) – This one lists 13 “member churches.” However, each “member church” is actually a whole church association which itself contains many member churches. These spread all over North America and only a few are limited to specific geographic regions, so it is worth checking all the lists unless they obviously don’t apply or are obviously not to your denominational tastes.
- 9Marks – This one is named for the founding idea: 9 marks of a healthy church. There are many, many churches in this database, and that means a reasonable amount to choose from in the Redoubt.
- TGC (The Gospel Coalition) – Founded by some solid, biblical pastors, this group has since grown to global scope. There are a few churches listed here from the American Redoubt.
- The Master’s Seminary – They keep a list of churches founded or pastored by their alumni. Many are listed within the borders of the Redoubt.
- The American Redoubt welcomes and will shelter and protect the Jews from radical Islamic terrorists. Find your Synagogue and come to the Redoubt!
If you work through that whole set of databases, you should have at least a dozen solid churches to choose form within an hour drive or less. Keep in mind, the lower the population density of your ideal retreat location, the less choice of churches you might have.
This is the common sense point, but it merits explanation.
One of the advantages of the Redoubt as a safe and secure area to raise your family is the low population density. Not only does that mean fewer churches to choose from than downtown in a major metropolis. It also means that a given church has less population participating in the church body. That means less chance that a church has a member with IT knowledge to build and maintain a website for them. Or that the church is less likely to have the budget to hire an IT person to build a website.
So when you know what region or locale you are interested in, ask around locally when you go to check the area out. You’ll see many churches as you drive around – churches with no web presence but that might be great biblical churches to attend. Locals will also know the churches in the area and can tell you about some. It might not be firsthand knowledge, but it will help you catch those good ones that slip through web searches.
Reformed Churches in The American Redoubt States:
Note: This list has been graciously reprinted with the permission of James Wesley, Rawles from his own website Survivalblog.com. Mr. Rawles has no affiliation with our website.
- Columbia Bible Church, Meridian (An anonymous congregant wrote: “Columbia Bible Church is definitely Reformed Baptist in outlook, strong on families, home-schooling, and business minded, as well as many who are preparing. The church’s emphasis is the spread of the Gospel, by word and actions, so any “prep” outlook is based upon developing a comprehensive Christian worldview. Some of us help in that direction.”)
- Valley Life Community Church, Meridian
- Cloverdale United Reformed Church, Boise
- The Well, Boise
- All Saints PCA, Boise
- United Reformed Church of Nampa, Nampa
- Twin Falls Reformed Church, Twin Falls
- New Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Idaho Falls
- Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston
- Christian Reformed Church, Grangeville
- Christ Church, Moscow
- Calvary Independent Baptist Church, Post Falls
- Lordship Church, Coeur d’Alene
- Victory Baptist Church, Sagle
- Grace Sandpoint Church, Sandpoint
- Providence Bible Presbyterian Church, Bonners Ferry
- Christ Covenant Reformed Church, Billings
- Bozeman Christian Reformed Church, Bozeman
- Grace Bible Church, Bozeman
- Old Paths Strict Baptist Church, Choteau
- Liberty Fellowship, Kalispell (Pastor Chuck Baldwin agrees with the Redoubt concept.)
- Covenant Reformed Church, Missoula
- Fellowship Baptist Church, Sidney
- Three Lakes Community Bible Church, Troy
- Wolf Creek Baptist Church, Wolf Creek
- Yaak Community Church, Yaak
- Laramie Reformed Presbyterian Church, Laramie
- Sovereign Grace Church Casper
- Trinity Bible Church, Powell
- Providence Reformed Church, Rock Springs
- Living Water, La Pine
- Grace Reformed Church, Clarkston
- Trinity Reformed Church, Pullman
- Marble Community Fellowship, Northport
- Covenant Of Grace Protestant Reformed, Spokane
- Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA), Walla Walla