Church Check: Washington Heights Church in Ogden, Utah

Updated: May 21



Church Website: http://whc.faith/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WHCutah/


Questionnaire


1. Did the church answer the Questionnaire?


No.


2. What is your church's official position on tithing?


While we see no mentions of tithing on the website, we did notice the following statement worth noting in the church’s Statement of Faith (emphasis mine):


“...We further believe that they (Christians) should be faithful stewards of their possessions and that they should seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ…”


3. Does your church have an official membership with a membership agreement or contract?


While we see many opportunities to give, get involved in the church, serve, volunteer, and join small groups and other ministries with WHC, we don’t see anything on the site to suggest that this church has official memberships with agreements or contracts. Of course, it’s possible that they do, but since we don’t have confirmation from the website or church yet, we don’t know for sure.


4. Is your church transparent with its financial information? How much does your church bring in through donations and tithing, plus additional income, and how is that money distributed?


As usual, this isn’t a question very many churches are willing to answer, and until we get a response from WHC, if we even get one at all, we don’t know the answer to this.


5. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?


Google describes WHC as a non-denominational Christian church, and we don’t see anything on their website or Facebook to suggest otherwise.


6. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?


This I’m not sure about yet. When I tried emailing the church directly, both email addresses came back as undeliverable. When I PM’ed the church’s Facebook Page, they suggested I contact a woman named Angie. She did email me back within a few days to let me know that she’d pass my questions on to the proper member of the staff, but whether that’s the pastor or someone else, I don’t know.


Whether I’ll ever be able to speak with pastor Roy directly has yet to be seen, but he does have an email address available on the church website (http://whc.faith/about-us/our-staff/).


If/when we receive some answers to our questions, perhaps we’ll know more.


7. How is your church's doctrinal flexibility and tolerance regarding minor, non-essential doctrines? If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a certain doctrine, how is it handled?


While the church’s Statement of Faith seems pretty straightforward and mainly focuses on the major essentials of Christian doctrine, there are topics mentioned in much more non-essential areas that are liable to cause contention and confusion within this church.


For example, Christian Conduct and the Church. How the church handles disagreements in these areas I’m not sure, but if they do have an official membership wherein congregates must agree with the statement of faith in order to be members of this church, I’d imagine there isn’t much flexibility. We’ll just have to wait and see in the coming days as we continue our emails with WHC.


8. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?


On the Next Steps page of WHC’s website, you can see their page on Baptism. Here we find what I believe to be the church’s official position on baptism:


WHY DO WE BAPTIZE?

Because Jesus was baptized and asks us to follow His example:
 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20a)


DOES BAPTISM “SAVE” ME?

Baptism does not gain us any extra favor with God. Baptism is done in obedience to Christ. It is merely an outward, public expression of our relationship with Jesus Christ.


HOW DOES WASHINGTON HEIGHTS CHURCH BAPTIZE?

The original word in the Bible for baptized is “baptizo” and its specific meaning is “to immerse in a body of water.” So we do just that.


Below these statements we find that if you’d like to get baptized at WHC, they do in fact have a Baptism Class that you must take in order to be baptized.


9. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.


As we’ve already pointed out in the Website Review, WHC is very focused on making attendees of the church comfortable, caffeinated, and entertained. They teach topical sermons, not verse by verse studies through the Bible.


On the New Here? Page of the website, we read this about what their services are like:


WHAT TO EXPECT

Our goal is that you feel right at home the minute you walk through the doors at Washington Heights. Feel free to dress as casually as you like, and make sure you grab a cup of coffee or a smoothie before heading into the auditorium. If you have kids, pre-teens, or teenagers, volunteers with a nametag can help you check them in to fun environments especially designed for them, or you're free to experience a service together if you prefer. We'd love for you to be a guest this Sunday!


10. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?


You can see the church’s staff on their Staff page of the website, but whether this list includes all volunteers, paid staff, or neither, we don’t know yet.


11. What is the pastor's educational history?


While the church website doesn’t provide any of Pastor Roy Gruber’s educational history, his Facebook Page says that he attended Northeastern Bible College in Essex Fells, New Jersey and Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.


12. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?


Another question we won’t know the answer to without getting a response from the church, or inside intel from attendees of the church itself. The website doesn’t mention any official memberships, nor do they appear to hold a membership class, so it’s unclear whether there is an official policy regarding this issue or not.


13. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?


We will have to wait and see how financially transparent this church is, including regarding the pastor’s income, if/when our questions are answered over the next few days.

14. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?


While we don’t know the size of the church building itself, we can see that the church’s Facebook Page has over 3,000 likes and follows, which means it probably has somewhere close to 1,000 regularly attending members. We may be able to get a more accurate number if/when someone answers our questions.



Have you been to Washington Heights Church in Ogden, Utah? Have something helpful to add? Let us know!

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