We believe Pastor Mark first used the phrase “Imperfect Church” 

(He says, “That’s right, blame me!"), but an extended group had been grappling with the “façade of perfection” problem: people outside of church often think you have to be perfect (or at least clean up) to get involved in church - you know, church is for “nice people!” And people inside church think they have to appear (almost) perfect, and fail to admit when needing help.

We had to change. God loves us just as we are, and church is meant to be a healing place where people, “outsiders” and “insiders” alike, come just as they are. Don’t get us wrong - God created church as a place to grow, and He never intended us to become complacent about imperfections! As John Burke puts it, “Come as you are, but don’t stay that way.” But bottom line: we knew that “façade of perfection” ideas of church were perverting it into something God never intended. So “Imperfect Church” is meant to convey a simple Biblical truth; all of us are imperfect and need to grow. If you’re into theology, it’s called “progressive sanctification” which means that we’re all works in progress.

And, yes, we do have a church history before “Imperfect Church.”

In the late 1950’s, a neighboring church “loaned” their pastor and a few families to start a home Bible study in Camillus, a western suburb of Syracuse, New York. At the end of a year, the group was asked how many wanted to continue, and all but two said no. If Frank and Ruth Gillet hadn’t stayed, we wouldn’t be a church. We think that’s pretty cool and we’re grateful. We outgrew the local home, so we purchased and remodeled a local farmhouse into a church. Then in 1963, we built our very own building, with members doing much of the work. (We don’t know what it means, but we recently found four 60’s era Genesee beer cans in a wall. They were wedged in pretty good, but since the wall didn’t fall we presume they weren’t holding up the structure!)

Some things have changed in 40 years: our Sunday worship service is at 10:00 instead of 10:35. It takes twice as many cars to get the same number of people to church. Our modern sound system compensates for bad acoustics. And only a few men wear suits, let alone ties.

Some things stay the same: We’re still “A Growing Place, Rooted in God’s Word.” We like to eat. We love God and strive to become like Jesus. We like to talk. We love people, and we have a nice mix from rugrats through the “greatest generation.” We especially like to talk *and* eat!

And we’re still a community of imperfect people (sinners), just like the followers Jesus had on earth. Jesus is growing us to be like Himself, and just like his followers, we don’t always cooperate. We welcome you with borrowed words: “Come as you are, but don’t stay that way.” The Bible tells us Jesus didn’t just tolerate imperfect people, He sought them out. He kept them around even though they often failed Him. He took the risks and tolerated the mess because He loved them. He poured Himself into them so they could grow.

We believe that Jesus meets us where we are - imperfect people pursuing a relationship with the creator of the universe. We’re continually surprised that God loves us - but we’ve staked our lives on it.


Beliefs start somewhere - ours come from the Bible.

The Bible is...

  • God’s communication to us, including the Old and New Testament. Understandable! Otherwise, what’s the point? (see below)
  • accurate and without error in its entirety-otherwise how could we trust it? It's our foundational principles for all of life: marriage, children, finances, sex, relationships, whatever. 
  • the final authority on matters of Christian faith and practice.

The Bible says much about God—but especially that He’s…

  • one God, perfect and exists eternally as Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit.
  • the creator of all things.
  • worthy of honor and fame.

The Bible says much about Jesus, who...

  • is God’s son, virgin born as a real human baby.
  • lived a perfect life.
  • died on a cross (a cruel 1st century form of punishment), although He didn’t deserve it. Why? To take the punishment we deserve for our sins.
  • became physically alive again and ascended to heaven.

The Bible says much about people, who...

  • were created in the image of God and made for a loving relationship with God.
  • are sinners (sinner includes being imperfect, the opposite of a perfect God) and choose either actively or passively to rebel against God.
  • therefore suffer the consequences of our choices, and are estranged from God.
  • are offered salvation from the consequences of sin, and restoration of the relationship through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • can do nothing to earn this forgiveness, but can recognize our need and receive it as a free gift.

The Bible says much about church, which...

  • is composed of all people in all generations who have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • shows itself in history through local communities such as Imperfect Church.
  • pursues God’s purposes including evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship.
  • is self governing with two servant offices, pastors and deacons


This is the “plain English” version of our most basic beliefs. If you want to read our formal, complete statement of faith please contact the church.

We invite questions. Our "Lets Get Acquainted" class covers more basic beliefs and practices, and one-on-one discipleship delves into the basics in much greater detail.


People ask, if the Bible is meant to be understandable, why are there so many interpretations? We think there’s a simple answer: because we read it in strange ways we would never impose on other books. Here’s what we mean: How do we read a history book? Like history! How about poetry? Like poetry. What if a book has sections of poetry, myth, and history? We read each section as the AUTHOR wrote it- as poetry, myth, or history. The Bible’s like that: there’s an overall theme, but the parts are different. The part called Genesis is written as history, and we read it as history. The part called Psalms is written as poetry - and we read it as poetry. It makes no sense to read poetry like we would narrative, history like myth, or doctrine (teachings) like poetry! But that’s what people often do, and of course it’s confusing. When we listen to the author, and read simply as the author intended, even children can understand much of the Bible.