CLC began as a church in 1969. “Love Inn” (the original name) was begun as a coffeehouse and resident program, a ministry directed primarily toward helping the young people of the late 60’s drug culture. Scott Ross, founder and first pastor of CLC, had a radio program on the CBN station then located in Ithaca. This unique program played rock music and used it as a vehicle to discuss the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One evening as Scott began sharing his thoughts he mentioned the need for a facility for young people to meet and share together. Peg Hardesty, a widow, had been listening to the Scott Ross Show when she was healed of arthritis as Scott prayed over the radio. Soon after that healing she offered her old dairy barn in Freeville to this newly developing ministry. The barn was over 100 years old and needed a lot of work. Young people began to arrive and started volunteering to convert it into a facility where meetings and events could be held. Many of those who helped gave their lives to Jesus.
The ministry has grown from those few believers into a mature church with many families and individuals influencing our area with the Word of God. The name of the church was changed to Covenant Love Community in 1982 to reflect our growth and development. Today CLC supports Covenant Love Community School and Hardesty House (a ministry to support single women).
Statement of Faith
1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God; that God, through the Holy Spirit, moved upon the authors of the Scriptures in such a way that they faithfully, accurately, and completely recorded all that God intended them to record; that the Scriptures are a reliable, accurate, and a fully trustworthy account of God’s nature and character, His actions in human history, His laws, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We affirm that the Scriptures are to be the standard of faith and practice by which the life of the Church and the lives of its individual members and their families are to be governed. We also affirm that the Scriptures are the standard by which all revelation and tradition is to be judged.
2. In one Triune God, revealed in the Bible, as the only true, eternal, and living God. He is infinite in being and perfection; He is spiritual, immortal and invisible; He is an intelligent and personal Being. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and complete within Himself. He is infinite in holiness, goodness, faithfulness, mercy, righteousness, justice, and all other perfections; and is due the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He is Creator, Redeemer, and Sovereign Ruler of creation. He accomplishes all things according to His righteous will for His own glory.
He reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father determines all things after the counsel of His own will. The Father sovereignly governs His creation and human history by His wise and holy providence.
God the Son is Jesus Christ who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He took upon Himself human nature and identified fully with humanity yet remained holy without sin. Through His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of all who would believe in Him. He was raised from the dead and appeared to His disciples. He ascended into heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father reconciling man to God and allowing believers access to the Father.
God the Holy Spirit is the dynamic Power of God Who brings these things into being. He exalts Christ, convicts the world of sin and brings righteousness and judgment. He will guide believers into truth and declare the things that are to come. The three Persons act out of one will.
3. Mankind was created in the image of God as the crowning work of His creation. They stood in a unique relationship with their Creator and were commissioned to rule the earth under God’s headship.
Through the temptation of Satan, mankind transgressed the command of God and fell from their unique relationship to God; thus, all people inherit both a nature and an environment twisted by sin. Because of sin, mankind is separated from God and without hope of reconciling themselves to a just and holy God through any of their own efforts. Only the grace of God can restore them to their original calling: to live in fellowship with God and to fulfill the purposes for which they were created.
4. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is available only in and through Jesus Christ. It is offered to all people, and is appropriated and experienced by those who respond in faith to God’s call to submit to His Son as Lord and Savior. Jesus, through the shedding of His blood, obtained eternal redemption for those who through faith believe in Him. This faith is a gift from God and is preceded by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, who enables a person to repent of his sin and self-determinism. Repentance is usually followed by baptism in water and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. The gift of righteousness enables the believer to live a life of obedience to God’s law, to cultivate and maintain right relationships, and to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
5. God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. Through covenant God binds Himself to His people and His people to Himself. God has extended covenant to us in Jesus Christ. This covenant encompasses both His promises which make available to us the inherited riches belonging to Christ, and His demands which are to be faithfully met. Entering into God’s covenant involves entering into covenant with God’s people. The primary demand of the covenant is that the people of the
covenant love one another. This is the command of the Lord Jesus.
6. The Church is the people of God who are participants in God’s covenant in Jesus Christ. The Scripture gives us several pictures of the Church, each illustrating an aspect of the Church’s nature and function. The Church is Christ’s body, with Him as its Head. It is His family, with Him as the Firstborn. It is His workmanship, with Him as its Craftsman. It is His temple, with Him as its Cornerstone. It is His army, with Him as the Captain. It is His bride, with Him as the Bridegroom. The goal of the Church is to reflect the glory of God and to make disciples of all the nations.
7. God has provided certain Ordinances and Transactions which are to be a part of the Church’s life:
Baptism – in which a believer partakes of the death and resurrection of Christ and is transferred from the government of darkness to the government of God’s dear Son.
The Lord’s Supper – in which the participants affirm and renew their covenant with God and His people, remember and acknowledge the death of the Lord Jesus on their behalf, and share in the life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Marriage – in which a man and a women are joined as husband and wife.
Ordination – in which a believer, called by God into leadership in the Church, is confirmed in their calling and authorized for their office.