About Level Green Christian Church
Level Green Christian Church began when a church covenant was made on August 20, 1836, as they “met and sat in church order at Giboney’s Storehouse” (believed to have been part of the parking lot near Route 42).
It is told that a log church/schoolhouse was erected prior to 1836 where the current church stands. “Huffman’s School”, as it was known, became the meeting place for the church.
In the late 1800’s, the log building was moved to make room for a new sanctuary to be built.
The main structure of the current building was built in 1895-1896, with the new building being dedicated on May 17, 1896.
The rear addition to the church was added in the spring of 1958. The parsonage was completed in 1963. The front addition was completed in 1974.  In 1993, the parsonage was renovated to be used as a fellowship hall, being used for various church and community events.
As a church of the “Restoration Movement”, the Level Green Christian Church strives to follow the example of the church found in the New Testament.
The New Testament church:
  • Was established on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-29)
  • Worshipped together weekly (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
  • Partook of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7)
  • Practiced baptism by immersion (Acts 8:38-39)
Beginning in the second and third centuries after Jesus’ ascension, the beliefs of the church began to incorporate many different ideas. Martin Luther rejected many of the ways of the church.
In America, in the early 1800’s, what is known as the Restoration Movement began. Barton Stone, a Presbyterian minister, tired of the divisions within the church, began this movement with the desire to restore the church to the apostolic teachings of the New Testament.
In the 1820’s, Stone’s movement merged with a similar movement by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, who also were Presbyterian ministers. One of Alexander Campbell’s primary objectives was to achieve unity among all Christians. He felt that this unity could only be obtained by Christians forsaking all man-made creeds and traditions and returning to the forms, structures, and doctrines of the apostolic church. To this end, the members of the Campbell-Stone movement returned to the early Christian practices of weekly communion, congregational autonomy, and a plural ministry in each congregation.
The churches of Christ, Christian Churches, including Level Green Christian Church, and Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), all trace their roots to the Campbell-Stone movement. While there are some differences between the churches, all of the churches hold to the ideas proclaimed by the Campbell-Stone movement:
  • “We have no creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the Divine.”
  • “Where the scriptures speak, we speak. Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent.” (Thomas Campbell)
  • “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
Becoming a Christian — The Scriptural Plan of Salvation
The Bible teaches a rational plan of salvation. Do what Jesus and the apostles commanded and you will be saved. The Scriptures do not teach us to look for lights and signs and listen for strange voices, and expect to be picked up bodily. The religion of Jesus Christ is intended for all people, and is made plain so that all people can understand it. Conversion is simply a change. Yes, a change of the heart. The Bible says we think and reason with the heart; that is, the intellect (Luke 9:47; Mark 2:8). It says we love and hate with the heart; that is, the affections (Matthew 6:19, 21). We purpose with the heart; that is, the will (2 Corinthians 9:7). It says that the heart condemns and approves; that is, the conscience (1 John 3:20, 21).
So when someone is converted they are completely changed in intellect, in affections and will. They have done their duty, and hence the heart or mind approves of what they have done, and their conscience is at ease. Faith changes our way of thinking; repentance, our will; and baptism, our state; and all combined changed our relation toward God and make us a Christian. One who hears the gospel, believes on Christ, repents of their sins, confesses Christ, and is baptized into Christ is a Christian. We have met Christ where Christ promised to meet us. We must then continue faithful unto death and will receive a crown of life.
Some say, “It is easy to become a Christian.” This remark is sometimes carelessly made to prospects for conversion. It is not true, for the matter of surrendering one’s life to Christ, facing up to sin, and submitting to Christian baptism require much courage and humility.
It is more accurate to say that it is simple to become a Christian. The steps by which a person may obtain forgiveness of sins and receive the hope of salvation are reasonably simple.
Here are the steps to become a Christian (the plan of salvation):
  1. Hearing
    • In the parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15), Jesus indicated the necessity of proper hearing, and responding to the message heard.
  2. Faith or Believing
    • In Romans 10:5-17, Paul goes into great detail about faith and belief being a result of the heard message about salvation coming through Christ.
  3. Repentance
    • Repentance is perhaps the most difficult and most misunderstood step to salvation. It is difficult because it involves a change in a person’s attitude and way of living. It is a step in which he/she must admit their sin and resolve to banish it from their life. This step need not be misunderstood, for it is again not a complex response, but simply a definite break with the old life.
    • Peter commanded the multitude on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38 to repent as part of their response to the message of the gospel.
    • Paul spoke to those in Athens, saying in Acts 17:30, that now that Jesus has come, there is no overlooking mankind’s ignorance. God commands that all come to repentance.
    • Peter later writes in 2 Peter 3:9 that God is patient with us, waiting and wanting all to come to repentance.
  4. Confession
    • Faith, in order to save, must be expressed in acts of obedience. So God included to essential acts of obedience — confession and baptism. Confession is a public declaration of the faith in Christ. Paul notes the importance of confession in Romans 10:9-10.
    • Jesus also indicates the importance of confession our faith in Him. In Matthew 10:32-33, He says if we confess Him, He will acknowledge us as His in Heaven before the Father. If we do not, He will not.
    • The statement the repentant believer is asked to make publicly is not lengthy or involved. It is the same confession that Peter made to Jesus near Caesarea Philippi in Matthew 16:16: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  5. Baptism
    • We do not believe baptism is any more important than faith, repentance or good works. Neither do we believe there is any virtue in the water. But, we believe baptism is an act of obedience commanded by Christ in order to receive salvation.
      • Baptism is by immersion:
        • According to scripture, requires much water (John 3:23)
        • Requires going down into the water and coming out of it (Acts 8:36-39)
        • Is compared to a burial and a resurrection (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12)
      • Baptism was commanded by Jesus when sharing the good news of the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20).
      • Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, and the receipt of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
  6. Walking in a new life
    • When one has given their life to Christ, and followed the steps of salvation, they have become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    • The new Christian needs to not only be a hearer of the word, but a doer of the word (James 1:22-24).
    • All believers are to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
    • All believers are called to share the good news of Jesus with the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
    • When sin appears in our lives, we must make confession and repentance, asking God to forgive our sins, and help us to again walk on His path of righteousness.
Some question the requirement for baptism, citing, for example, the thief on the cross, to whom Jesus said would be with Him in paradise. Is this a way to salvation without being baptized?
In his “Practical Commentary on the Gospels”, Greek and New Testament scholar, Dr. Donald Nash, highlights several key points:
  • Baptism for salvation was not required until after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the establishment of the church on the Day of Pentecost.
  • Consider Mary Magdalene and the Samaritan woman. Neither have any mention of being baptized, but were both followers of Jesus. Jesus forgave them both.
  • Baptism became the means of contacting Christ’s blood, shed for our forgiveness under the full gospel message. The same Scripture that says the robber wasn’t baptized is the one which says he was.
Becoming a Member of Level Green Christian Church
Those desiring to follow the plan of salvation may reach out to the minister, elders, or other Christian members of the congregation for guidance and encouragement. Those who have worked through the plan of salvation, and are seeking baptism may come forward during the invitation hymn during a normal worship service or contact the minister or elders outside of the normal worship service.
Anyone who has “put on Christ” by immersion, after having first believed in Jesus, repented of their sins, and publicly confessed Him as their personal Savior, as revealed in the New Testament Scriptures, will be received into the fellowship at Level Green Christian Church as a member of this congregation.
Those coming other congregations, desiring to place their membership with the Level Green Christian Church, having previously experienced New Testament conversion through faith in Jesus Christ as the revealed Son of God, repentance upon the basis of that faith, confession in Him as their personal Savior, and baptism by immersion will receive the “right hand of Christian fellowship”. We ask that those seeking to place their membership with the congregation come forward during the invitation hymn during a normal worship service. The minister or designee will simply ask the believer to confirm their intention and confession of faith. A letter from the other congregation is not required. However, it is tradition that the Level Green Christian Church will notify the former congregation of the change in membership.
  • “Facts Concerning the New Testament Church” by P. H. Welshimer“
  • Simple Steps to Salvation” by Kenton K. Smith
  • Practical Commentary on the Gospels by Dr. Donald Nash, © 2015, The Christian Restoration Association
  • “Rules and By-Laws of the Level Green Christian Church”
  • Article from “The Roanoke Times”, from 1986.
  • In and Around Craig Count 2012: Churches of Craig County, Virginia Past and Present by Craig County Historical Society, © 2012, Clyde and Nathalie Givens