We are an independent, Bible-believing, local church. We accept the Bible as our final authority and seek to build a community of believers who encourage and edify each other to grow in the grace of God. The best way to experience this is to join us in one of our services.
We are passionate about God, the Bible, and eternally impacting people’s lives. At Central Baptist Church of Orange County you will find:
- Straightforward, relevant Bible preaching and teaching,
- Loving and safe childcare and youth ministries,
- Enthusiastic God-honoring congregational music, and
- A loving place to grow and serve.
Thank you for visiting us online. Please accept our warm invitation to also visit us in person. We would be honored to meet you and worship the Lord with you.
We understand that visiting any church for the first time can be an awkward experience. Well, we would like to put you at ease. At Central Baptist we welcome and love each guest as a part of our growing family.
We want you to feel “at home” while experiencing uplifting music, helpful teaching and preaching, friendly people and more. To help make your visit more comfortable we have provided some answers to common questions people ask before visiting our church.
We look forward to meeting you soon!
Your Friends at Central Baptist Church
When/where are your services?
9:00am All-ages Bible Classes (Sunday School)
10:00am AM Worship Service
5:00pm PM Worship Service
7:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study
7:00pm Master’s Clubs (3 to 12 years old-September through June)
2323 N Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
What do you believe?
Check out a summary of our beliefs here.
What Should I expect on my first visit?
As a young, growing church we value our friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. A friendly and helpful usher will greet you when you arrive at our property. The usher will escort you to our Welcome Center where you can enjoy fresh coffee and refreshments before the service begins.
During the service you will enjoy singing wonderful time-tested hymns. The focus of our worship is a clear, practical, and inspiring Bible message from Pastor Gehlken. The service is a little more than an hour in length and you are invited to connect with new friends in our Welcome Center before and after each service.
If you have any questions during your visit please feel free to ask any usher or Pastor Gehlken.
Where do I take my children?
Starting with loving, safe, and clean nurseries, youth ministry is very important at Central Baptist Church. Children twelve and under enjoy a fun, Bible-centered “Junior Church” during the Sunday AM Worship Service, Age-targeted Sunday School Classes, and a challenging Master’s Club on Thursday nights.
As a new church, we have unlimited vision to equip our young people with the skills they need to succeed in the Christian life. We believe ministering to youth is the cornerstone of building healthy and happy Christian homes of tomorrow. We offer age-targeted youth classes and activities, and partner with other churches of like-faith to provide camps and other faith-building adventures.
How should I dress?
We do not have a dress code for members or guests. Our ministry leaders and many of our church family dress in more traditional “Sunday” dress – the men in a dress shirt and dress slacks, typically with a tie, and the women in modest dress; however, our main goal is that you would feel welcome and comfortable during your visit here at Central Baptist!
Who is Pastor Gehlken?
Pastor Aaron Gehlken started Central Baptist Church in 2009 after serving as a military officer and owning his own consulting firm. Read more about Pastor Gehlken.
Am I Expected to Participate in the Offering?
No. We don’t invite you to Central Baptist Church for your offering. We want our service to be a gift to you. We hope you will find in this place a warm family spirit, truth from God’s Word, and a place where you can grow in God’s grace. Please don’t feel any obligation to participate in the offering as a guest.
If we’ve missed something on this list, just give us a call, or ask someone when you arrive. Whether you’re new to the area and looking for a church home, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve attended church at all, we hope your first visit at Central Baptist will be awesome! We exist to serve you and your family, and we are looking forward to meeting you personally. We hope you’ll feel right at home from the very first moment you step into our facility! Let us know how we can serve you better, and we hope to meet you this Sunday!
After working in politics for a few years, Pastor Gehlken joined the US Air Force. While serving, Pastor Gehlken studied the Persian-Farsi language at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he met his wife-to-be, Shannon, who was studying Vietnamese.
The military afforded Pastor Gehlken many wonderful opportunities. As an Intelligence Officer, Pastor Gehlken built and managed a national award-winning Operations Security program; led anti-terrorism operations at a forward Middle Eastern air base after 9/11; and supported national-level intelligence operations. Pastor Gehlken’s military assignments took the Gehlkens to Texas, California, Maryland, and Idaho.
In 2001, God started working in Pastor Gehlken’s heart about surrendering to full-time ministry. In 2005, Pastor Gehlken separated from active duty, and was the security program manager at a utility company before launching a small consulting firm. All the while, he continued formal and practical ministerial training. He earned Bachelor and Master of Divinity degrees while serving in various ministry positions at one of the largest Bible-believing Baptist churches in the Northwest.
The Gehlkens, who married in 1996 are grateful parents of six beautiful children.
In 2009, the Lord led Pastor Gehlken to return to Southern California to plant Central Baptist Church as an independent, Bible-believing church in the heart of Orange County.
Pastor Gehlken has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics and Government from the University of Maryland as well as Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Divinity degrees.
Central Baptist Church of Orange County exists to preach transforming truths that create growing and reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)
Learn the Truth
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Live for Others
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:11)
The following is a summary of our beliefs. Please contact us for a complete doctrinal statement.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all. human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. This Bible is preserved for us without error in the King James Authorized Version of 1611 A.D. (Psalm 12:6,7: 119:89; Isaiah 8:20; I Thessalonians 2:13; 5:21; II Timothy 3:15,16).
We believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable. We believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; I Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; I John 4:4, 1 John 5:7).
We believe Jesus Christ to be the one and only Savior of mankind. We believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s kingdom. We believe Jesus Christ never relinquished any attributes of His Deity, but merely veiled them. We believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection. We believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25; Romans 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Timothy 2:5; I Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; I Peter 1:19, 2:2; I John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity. We believe the Holy Spirit has always been involved in the affairs of mankind. However, we believe He has a special ministry during the present church age. This ministry includes convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit was also sent to regenerate, sanctify, seal, and fill all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:5-6; John 14:16; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:15; I Corinthians 3:16; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Corinthians 12:13).
Sin and Salvation
We believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam. We believe that because of his nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power. We believe the only hope of deliverance for man is a total change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it, and a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Savior. We believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin. We believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Savior are already condemned to an eternity in the lake of fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:10-23; Romans 5:6-12; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
The Local Church
The local church is a visible, autonomous (independent) assembled body of born-again, baptized believers carrying out the great commission under the leadership of a pastor. The local church is God’s chosen vehice to reach the world with the Gospel in this age. The three main functions of a church in connection with the great commission are exalting the Saviour; edifying the saint; and evangelizing the sinner. The Holy Bible and leading of the Holy Spirit are the only valid authorities for the doctrines and practices of the local church (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:47; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28: Romans 16:5; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23)
The Last Days
We believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context. We believe the rapture of the church precedes the seven-year tribulation. We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule of one thousand years. Following these one thousand years is the Great White Throne judgment and then the new heaven and new earth (I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Thessalonians 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).