Who We Are

 
Who We Are

Who We Are

We are a gathering of people who desire to live out our unique purpose and pursue something greater than ourselves. To be valorous means to be courageous, brave, bold, audacious, valiant, and victorious.

With an unshakable hope in Jesus, we are a church that believes we can face and experience victory over any challenge that comes our way. Our mission is to bring people into a relationship with Jesus, help them discover who God says that they are, and equip them to live victorious lives that bring others to Jesus.

To the warriors and the weary, the courageous and the curious, the families, and to those who feel on the outside: we welcome you.

Pastors Clay & Kim NeSmith

Pastors Clay and Kim NeSmith are the Founding and Senior Pastors of Valorous Church. Fresh out of seminary and sent into a new city by a God-ordained connection, Clay and Kim began a Bible study in their North Myrtle Beach home in October of 2003. For over 18 years, their heart for showing hospitality and making the name of Jesus known to their community has continued from that humble place into what is now called Valorous Church.

They have dedicated their lives to sharing the gospel, building the local church, and encouraging all people to discover and live out their God-given purpose. They are blessed to be able to lead in ministry with their son, Cole, alongside their pastoral team. If you see the NeSmiths around town during the week, keep an eye out for their goldendoodle, Jetson!

Clay is a dynamic, high-energy speaker with a heart and vision to reach the world. He is gifted in leveraging resources for the greatest impact and creating environments for people to discover all that God has created them to be. He is known for his ability to captivate and challenge the audience by delivering the Word of God in a way that is relevant to our world today.

Kim is a gifted communicator and encourager, with a heart for genuine hospitality. She is also a Registered Nurse with experience in administration, care and leadership development. Kim now uses her time and energy to serve full time at Valorous Church as Co-Senior Pastor, but is always ready to jump into action to use her nursing skills.

Pastors Clay and Kim are mission-oriented, filled with an audacious spirit, and passionate about making Christ known in North Myrtle Beach and beyond.

What We Believe

What We Believe

We believe there is one God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created mankind to have fellowship with Him, but because sin entered the world, that fellowship was broken. To restore a relationship with Him, the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life as a man on earth in order for Jesus to die as a worthy substitute for the penalty of sin.

Through the power of God, Jesus rose from the dead and now sits on a throne in heaven as King. In His death and resurrection, eternal salvation was purchased for mankind—it is only through God’s grace that we are saved.

Those who have turned to Jesus and trusted His finished work receive the Holy Spirit to drive the transformation of becoming more like Jesus, and as a result, attract non-believers to God. It is our purpose on earth to represent God and share this message of forgiveness and restoration.

Our Foundational Beliefs

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness.” --2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

The sole basis for our belief is the Bible. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was uniquely inspired by God, it is truth without error, and the final authority on all matters on which it speaks. We believe the Bible is completely relevant to our daily lives.

God is called by many different names in the Bible because of the different dimensions of His personality, but God is one. God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent. God is love, sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. While God is one, He is also a tri-personal being known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life. We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘new birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives. We believe that Jesus established and is building His Church in preparation for His return. We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s plan is that all believers regularly meet together for worship, fellowship, service, and instruction in the Word of God.

God is all powerful, all knowing, ever present, unchanging, completely worthy of our trust, and above all, Holy. It is in Him that we live, move and exist. God is good. He is our Father. He is loving, compassionate, and faithful to His people and His promises.

The Holy Spirit’s presence assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides believers into all truth and exalts Christ. He convicts people of their sin, God’s righteousness, and the coming judgment. He comforts us, gives us spiritual gifts, and makes us more like Christ. We believe that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers to equip them for witness and ministry. The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts as enumerated in I Corinthians 12-14 and as manifested in the Early Church. The Holy Spirit dwells within a Christian and helps them in their weakness and defends against the enemy. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live an overcoming life and to become who God created us to be.

The blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the only way of salvation through the forgiveness of sin. Salvation occurs when people place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation is a gift from God, and it cannot be earned through our own efforts. When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the temple of the Holy Spirit, we become citizens of heaven, we are given eternal life, we are adopted and become children of God. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten.

The Church is a local community of baptized believers unified through faith in Christ. It is committed to the teachings of Christ and obeying all of His commands, and it seeks to bring the Gospel to the world. The Church works together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ. As Christians, “WE” are The Church and our mission, privilege and responsibility is to share the good news with other people and bring them into the family of believers.

Baptism is a symbol. It’s meant to show the world that that you love, trust and have put your hope in Christ. It’s like a wedding ring. The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized by immersion. Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. Baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It’s a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. We believe in baptising children when they are old enough to understand what it means and make a personal declaration of belief. Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that.

The Lord’s Table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. These elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation. Communion began on the annual celebration of Passover when Jesus told his disciples to remember his sacrifice as they ate the bread and drank the wine. Holy communion uses bread as a symbol of the body of Jesus and wine (or juice) as a symbol of his blood. The act of taking communion does not save us, it is an act of worship and remembrance.It’s an opportunity for a believer to examine himself and experience the forgiveness we possess in Christ.

The Covenant of Marriage between a man and a woman is holy, sacred, and beautiful. We view marriage as God’s divine design of a sacred covenant (a supernatural bonding) between a man and a woman. In our fallen and broken world, relationships are often fragile. Yet, we believe that with the grace and power of God–along with the guidance of Scripture and a faithful community of believers–there is hope to have healthy marriages and to experience healing from past relationships. According to Scripture, marriage reflects the relationship between Jesus and the Church. Just as Jesus lovingly and sacrificially gave His life for His bride, the Church, the husband plays the role of Jesus by giving his life for his wife. And the wife responds to the husband’s sacrificial, loving initiatives by trusting his leadership in her family’s life, just as the Church responds to Jesus by trusting His leadership.

Through marriage, God created a place for sexual intimacy to be enjoyed through a man and a woman coming together as one. Although culture and customs have evolved in their definition of marriage, God alone, through Scripture, has the ultimate authority regarding marriage relationships.

Valorous Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a homosexual lifestyle nor do we affirm lifestyles that involve sexual intimacy within premarital relationships, or polyamorous relationships, as well as bisexuality, adultery, bestiality, incest, or pornography. Because of this, we do not knowingly have actively homosexual people or anyone participating in sexual intimacy outside of marriage in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid within our church.

Sadly some also use Christianity to alienate and even condemn those who identify as gay or otherwise and dismiss their desire to pursue happiness. God created humanity with free will. He has called us as Christians to love all people including those who believe differently to us. Jesus came to save, not condemn.

So if you are gay or participating in any type of premarital sexual intimacy, are you welcome at Valorous Church? Absolutely. You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted. Can you take an active leadership role within our church? No. We understand that this stance won’t make everyone happy, which is why we like to be upfront about what we believe. Our goal is to avoid hurt and to demonstrate love. We are a welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms lifestyles of sexual immorality according to biblical standards.

For Christians, these issues are a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views. We believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in Scripture on the subject of homosexuality and sexual immorality are clear.

Furthermore, there’s a difference between temptation (attraction) and unrepentant sin (action). Jesus was tempted in all ways as we were, yet He never sinned. We, too, don’t have to give in to sexual temptation or be held captive by sexual immorality but can walk in His forgiveness, grace, and power on a daily basis—sanctification.

In regards to sexual identity, we believe that since the human body is a creation of God where sexual identity is biologically determined, disagreement with one’s biological sex or gender identity only leads to emotional chaos and spiritual confusion, and is regarded as sinful in its intent.

Though sexual intimacy outside of marriage (one man and one woman) is sinful, the Gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, and receive love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

At Valorous Church, we’ll be a safe place for any person struggling with sexual temptations of all kinds. For those struggling with temptation, repenting of sin, and desiring to walk in who God called them to be, we will provide grace, love, care, and direction to encourage each of us to walk in God’s upward, inward, outward love.

For helpful information on understanding homosexuality and other sexual identity labels from a Christian perspective, check out this resource..

At Valorous Church we believe that women who are called by God and are equipped can lead, teach, preach, and pastor in the church. Women have contributed much to the ministry of the Church throughout its history. However, their role in this area has never been free from controversy. Today, most church bodies are discussing the place of women in their ministries.

The New Testament clearly portrays that the early church had a varied and faithful ministry arising from the fact that all of God’s people were “gifted” by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building up one another. Any person who was called and gifted by God and affirmed by the body of Christ could exercise ministry. Some were set apart in leadership positions and some were assigned specific tasks to accomplish, but the differences among ministries were not distinctions of kind. Eventually, certain types of affirmation were combined with certain functions of ministry to produce our current understanding of ordination.

Modern debates over women leading in the church often miss the crucial and basic issues of the holistic concept of the ministry of the Church reflected in the New Testament. Of course, no person should be ordained or given any responsibilities of ministry within the Church because of gender or for the sake of a “point.” On the other hand, we have affirmed in the Church that no person, called and gifted by God, should be denied any role of ministry or leadership in the Church because of one’s gender.

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” --Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

Jesus is the pathway to the peace that the human heart needs to make a better world and a better humanity. In a world that is desperate for hope, we have The Living Hope. We believe that the Bible and its principles are the ultimate truth on which we should build our church, our nation, our world, and our individual lives. We believe that the primary mission of the Church is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world and worship Him. Reaching out, helping those in need, and standing up for the broken is an integral part of bringing all people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

At Valorous Church we believe that the structure of the church should not be determined by culture, business practices, or even denominational traditions. The nature of the church determines its structure.

Board Oversight: A group of pastors and other spiritual leaders hold our church leadership accountable.

Pastor Led: The Lead Pastor sets the spiritual direction and vision for Valorous Church. Other pastors lead various areas of the ministry based on the gifts God has given them.

Team Driven: A ministry team is comprised of a pastoral leader and numerous volunteers who serve together to fulfill the purpose and vision of the church.

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