The word “church” is used so often, by so many people and in so many different contexts, it often makes sense to question whether everyone is referring to the same thing when they use the word.  What do we mean when we use the word “church?”  Is it a building? Does a church cease to exist in the event of a tragedy such as a fire that destroys a building?  On Sunday night, February 5, 1961 at 11:40 pm, a fire actually destroyed the church building of Ooltewah Baptist Church. All that was left of the church was the bell, which now hangs on the sign outside our current church building.  

The church is not a place, it is a people.  The church is not an organization, it is an organism. In an organization, maintenance becomes the focus, but in an organism, life and growth is the focus. 
Ooltewah Baptist Church is a community of redeemed believers who realize that the secret to living is not "trying", but "dying". 

We seek to flesh out the motto:  “NOT I, BUT CHRIST,” because we understand that before we were saved, we tried to do things our own way and it led us to dead end after dead end and futility upon futility.  Like the apostle Paul, we seek to be led by Christ as He lives through us. In Galatians 2:20, he wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

The church’s mission is “Making disciples by following Christ's example.”  A maturing disciple of Jesus Christ is one who “Embraces the Gospel,” “Ingests His Word” (both corporately and individually) and “Engages Their Platform.” 

A member at Ooltewah Baptist Church is someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and who has followed through with believer’s baptism by immersion; who is committed to our beliefs, purpose, and values; and who is actively involved in four essentials: worship, community, growth, and service.