Northland Bible Church
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Winning Alaska's Capital City for Christ

Northland Bible Church Constitution 

             

Preamble

 

Placing our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and believing in the teachings of the Holy Bible as the plenary and verbally inspired inerrant Word of the Living God, we have affiliated ourselves with one another as a body of immersed believers, desiring to faithfully serve the Lord Jesus Christ, to foster the spirit of harmony, to promote good order in the church, and to better set forth our position before the world, we do adopt and submit ourselves to the following articles as a declaration of our convictions so that we may carry on the work of the Lord, decently and in order.

 

Article I – Name

 

This congregation of believers shall be known as Northland Bible Church, of Juneau, Alaska and shall be incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Alaska. Throughout this document it shall be referred to as “this church” or “the church.”

 

Article II – Purpose

 

Northland Bible Church exists to glorify God through the implementation of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, daycare centers, and camps; the evangelizing of the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; the educating of believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; and the maintaining of missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country.

 

Article III – Mission

 

The mission of Northland Bible Church is five-fold, and is outlined in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) and in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20).

 

The mission of this church is to:

 

1. Love God with all our hearts,

2. Bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,

3. Incorporate them into the membership of the church,

4. Teach them to live in obedience to God’s Word, and

5. Equip them to use their spiritual gifts in service to others.

 

We will endeavor to fulfill our mission by implementing the following biblical priorities:

 

1. WORSHIP - honoring and celebrating Christ in our lives through godly living as individuals and through regular worship and study of God’s Word together as a church family. (Psalm. 95:6-7; Matthew 22:37-38; John 4:24; Acts 2:46-47; Ephesians 5:19-20; Hebrews 10:25)

 

2. OUTREACH - sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible in our community and throughout the world, with a heart of compassion to meet their needs. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:47; Second Peter 3:9)

 

3. RELATIONSHIPS - fellowshipping, encouraging, supporting, praying, caring for, and in other ways, edifying one another in personal family life and in the family of God. (Matthew 22:39; John 13:34-35; Acts 2:42,46; Romans 15:5-7; Hebrews 10:24-25; First John 1:7)

 

4. GROWTH - developing in maturity, love, discipline and integrity as individual believers, through a lifestyle of Bible study, prayer, giving and spiritual accountability, that leads to greater outreach, richer worship, deeper relationships, increased service and discipling of others. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-13; Second Timothy 2:2; Second Peter 3:18).

 

5. SERVICE - ministering unselfishly to others both in the church family and outside of it, through discovering and using the gifts and abilities God has given us to meet their spiritual, physical and emotional needs. (Matthew 25:34-40; Galatians 5:13; I Thessalonians 5:11; First Peter 4:10-11)

 

All ministries of the church will be initiated, supported, and evaluated in light of these priorities.

 

Article IV – Association

 

 

A.            This church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing Jesus Christ as its Head and the Scriptures of the Holy Bible as its only rule for faith and practice, this church shall not be subject to any other authority.

 

B.            We recognize, however, the blessings and privileges of fellowship with other local bodies of believers of like faith and practice. Since a New Testament Church cannot join anything outside itself, but can only affiliate on grounds of fellowship, this church declares itself to be in fellowship with Twin City Bible Church of Nitro, West Virginia and the American Council of Christian Churches.

 

C.            If at any time the church shall deem it advisable to withdraw from these or any other group, it may be accomplished by a majority vote of all members present and voting at any quarterly or annual business meeting providing the intention of such vote is announced at a previous quarterly business meeting and on two consecutive Sunday morning services prior to the vote.

 

D.            This church shall not associate with nor cooperate with any group that is a part of or approves of theological liberalism, neo-evangelicalism, the charismatic movement, secret societies or cults. (Romans 6:17; 16:17-18; Second Corinthians 6:14-17; First Timothy 6:3-5)

Article V - Articles of Faith

 

The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.

1.            Concerning the Scriptures

 

We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, and that it is inspired by God, both verbally (every word) and in its entirety, in its original writings (Second Timothy 3:16-17), and is therefore infallible and inerrant in all matters to which it speaks (Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17; Revelation 22:18-19). It was communicated through Spirit-controlled men (Second Peter 1:19-21; Acts 3:21; Hebrews 1:1-3), and is preserved in the totality of the existent manuscripts.

 

We believe the Bible is the complete revelation of God’s will for mankind and is sufficient for all matters pertaining to life and godliness (Second Peter 1:3-4) with salvation being its chief end (Second Timothy 3:15; First Peter 1:10-12; John 5:38-39). We believe the Holy Scriptures are the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried, and therefore it should serve as the Christian’s supreme and final authority in faith and practice.

 

The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning.  For the sake of unity, it is our practice to use the King James Version in our services. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)

 

2.            Dispensationalism

 

We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)

 

3.            Concerning the True God

 

We believe that there is only one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4,5; Jeremiah 10:10), infinite (Psalms 147:5), eternal (Isaiah 57:15), self-existent (Exodus 3:14), holy (Isaiah 6:1-5), perfect (Matthew 5:48), and spirit (John 4:24). He is a personal being, the creator, sustainer and ruler of the universe (Genesis 1-3; Psalms 2). God is a "Tri-unity", three persons in one Godhead. There is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Matthew 3:16-17; Second Corinthians 3:14; John 1:1; John 5:18; Acts5:3,4). Each is equal in essence, power, glory, and every divine attribute (John 10:30; John 17:5;10 Philippians 2:5-6; First Corinthians 8:6), while executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (John 3:16; John 15:26).

 

4.            Concerning Jesus Christ

 

A.            We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)

 

B.            We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; First Peter 2:24; First Peter 1:3-5)

 

C.            We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; First John 2:1-2)

 

 

5.            Concerning the Holy Spirit

 

A.            We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)

 

B.            We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; First John 2:20, 27)

 

C.            We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)

 

D.            We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary and have ceased. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)

 

 

6.            Concerning Creation

 

We believe the Genesis account of creation is a literal, historical account and is not to be understood figuratively nor as an allegory or myth (Genesis 1:1, 2:25; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3 Colossians 1:16-17; Psalms 33:6-9; Nehemiah 9:6; Revelation 4:11); that all animal and vegetable life was made by the direct creative act of God and that they bring forth only "after their kind" in accordance with God's established law, (Genesis 1:11,12,21,24). Man was created in God's image by the direct act of God (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 19:4). All men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis 1, 2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3)

 

7.            Concerning Satan

 

We believe that Satan (the devil) is a literal and personal individual created by God as an angelic being who through pride and rebellion fell from his original estate and became the enemy of God (Isaiah14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:14-17). He is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), man’s great tempter, the unholy god of this age, the ruler of all the powers of darkness, and the author of sin. He is a murderer from the beginning, the father of lies, and the accuser of the brethren (John 8:44; Revelation 12:10). There is absolutely no truth in him. He is a deceiver and blinds the minds of men to the end that the light of the gospel and glory of Christ may not dawn upon them (Second Corinthians 4:4). Demons are other angels who sinned and are now Satan’s helpers. These evil spirits have the ability to make people sick and try to cause them to disobey God. Christians cannot be possessed by demons but they can be influenced by them. Satan was defeated by Christ on the cross and is destined to an everlasting punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

 

8.            Concerning the Fall of Man

 

We believe that man was originally created in the image of God in innocence and without sin (Genesis 1:27, 31; Ecclesiastes 7:29). The first man, Adam, voluntarily chose to disobey God and thereby sinned, incurring a curse upon himself and the whole of his posterity (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12,15-19; First Corinthians 15:22) so that all humanity is now sinful by state, disposition, and willful act (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:9-18; John 3:5; Galatians 3:22). Each is born with a sinful nature and is thoroughly a sinner in thought, word, and deed. Having sinned, man incurred the punishment of both physical death and spiritual separation from God. He is alienated from God and is utterly unable to remedy his lost condition being totally depraved and spiritually dead (Ephesians 4:18; 2:1,5). He can only obtain salvation and spiritual life through faith in Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 16:31; Titus 3:5).

 

9.            Concerning the way of Salvation

 

We believe that man, because of his sin and lost condition, needs a Savior and cannot get to heaven on his own. Therefore, the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated, wholly of grace, and is made possible only by the substitutionary, atoning death of God's son, Jesus Christ, who having fulfilled all the righteousness of the Law died in the sinner's place (Romans 3:21-26; First Peter 1:18-19; 2:22-24). Only his shed blood and resurrection can provide the ground for our justification before God. This salvation is wholly apart from any works or good deeds performed by man, and is received through genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift from God (Romans 6:23) with both repentance and faith being gifts of God extended to the sinner in grace (Acts 5:31; Ephesians 2:8,9).

 

Those who trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross are born again into the family of God by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, and become the recipients of a new divine nature. They are declared righteous before God on the basis of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to them (Second Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:17,19; Philippians 3:9; Romans 3:24-26; 4:22-25; First Corinthians 1:30).

 

Because his salvation is dependent upon God and his promises, the believer's salvation is secure, he himself being sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. He can never be separated from God (Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 4:30; John 10:27-28; First John 2:19; Jude 24-25).

 

10.          Concerning the Blessings of Salvation

 

We believe that each who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ inherits all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 8:32). He has a righteous standing before God (Romans 3:24-26; 4:22-25; 5:17-19; Colossians 1:13); forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), adoption into God's family having been reconciled to God (Galatians 4:5,6; Ephesians 1:5). He is baptized into the universal Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13), and awaits to reign with him in his millennia kingdom, being a joint-heir of the Father's riches (Galatians 4:7; Colossians 1:12; Ephesians 2:7). He is in-dwelt presently by the Holy Spirit who acts as teacher, guide, and intercessor (John 14:16,17; Romans 8:26), and is thereby a partaker of the divine nature (Second Peter 1:4; Romans 8:9), and has access to commune with God through his only High Priest, Jesus Christ (First Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15-16).

 

11.          Concerning the Security of the Saints

 

A.            We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; 38-39; First Cor. 1:4-8; First Peter 1:4-5)

 

B.            We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)

 

12.          The Eternal State

 

A.            We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)

 

B.            We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)

 

C.            We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)

 

 

 

 

13.          Concerning the Local Church

 

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head, and all regenerated persons are members. We also believe the Scriptures teach that the visible representation of this Body of Christ is a local church (Matthew 18:17; Acts 5:11) with an organized congregation of believers who have been immersed upon a credible confession of faith in Jesus Christ, having two offices (pastor and deacon), sovereign in polity, and banded together for work, worship, the observance of the ordinances, and the worldwide proclamation of the gospel; governed by God’s laws (Ephesians 4:22,23); and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by the Word (Ephesians 4:11; First Corinthians 12:4). The Holy Scriptures clearly outline the qualifications, claims, and duties of pastors and deacons, and teach that these officers are limited to men only (Acts 6:1-6; First Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).

 

We believe the local church has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament (First Timothy 3:15; Revelation 2,3); and that each congregation recognizes its own self-governing structure as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ (First Timothy 3:1; Matthew 18:15-18; Acts 6:3-5; First Corinthians 5:4,5,13).

 

We believe the true mission of the local church is to glorify God through fulfilling Christ's Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20) in each part, no part being less important than any other in doing so.

 

14.          Concerning Ecclesiastical Separation

 

We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord.

 

We believe the Scriptures teach the Christian should be separated from all forms of apostasy, heresy, and theological compromise as exemplified in ecclesiastical organizations such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, the charismatic movement, and those who teach contrary to the Word of God and this statement of faith such as the National Association of Evangelicals.

 

We believe Scripture teaches that true believers are to: evaluate all teachings of men to determine their compliance with Scripture, to identify those whose teachings do not conform to the Word of God, to rebuke those who embrace such false teaching, to have no fellowship with them, to withdraw from them, to receive them not, and to separate ourselves from them. We believe ecumenical evangelism which involves apostates and compromises violates the principles taught in God’s Word (First John 4:1; Romans 16:17; Titus 1:13; Ephesians 5:11; Second Thessalonians 3:6; Second John 10, 11; Second Thessalonians 3:14; Second Corinthians 6:17).

 

 

 

15.          Concerning Civil Government and Religious Liberty

 

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of society (Romans 13:1-7); and that those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; First Peter 2:13,14; First Timothy 2:1-3).

 

We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to him alone in all matters of faith. Each local church is to be an independent entity that is autonomous in nature, and able to decide and govern its own affairs, free from interference by any denominational or political authority. Yet, it is also proper for biblical churches to partner and work together in order to promote the cause of Christ.

 

Disobedience to civil authority should only come when the civil authority demands action in opposition to the revealed will and word of God (Acts 4:18-20; 5:29), as the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of kings and Lord of lords on the earth (Matthew 23:10; Psalm 2:1-12; 72:11; Romans 14:9-14).

 

Also, that church and state should be separate (Matthew 22:21); having no ecclesiastical group or denomination being preferred above another by the state; nor imposing taxation for the support of any form of religion; having a free church in a free state being the Christian ideal; each has different functions and is to fulfill its own duties, free from dictation or patronage of the other. (Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 5:28-29; Acts 15:1-35)

 

16.          Concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper

 

We believe in two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord's Supper, also known as communion. We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of the believer in water (Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 28:19), done "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Baptism follows conversion and has no atoning merit (Acts 10:47,48). It is a picture identifying the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:12,13). Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ’s command and is a prerequisite to church membership. It is denied to infants who can neither repent nor believe in Christ (Matthew 28:19,20).

 

We believe that the Lord's Supper is a divinely ordained memorial, void of atoning merit, commemorating the substitutionary death of Christ, whose body and blood are symbolized by the bread and fruit of the vine (First Corinthians 11:26; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20). The Lord's Supper is extended to all Christians who have solemnly examined themselves for known sin prior to partaking according to the scriptural instructions (First Corinthians 11:23-34).

 

These ordinances should be observed under the authority of the local church and are only symbolic memorials, and are not to be regarded as a means of salvation.

 

17.          Concerning Progressive Sanctification and Christian Living

 

We believe that sanctification is progressive having its past, present and future aspects (Ephesians 5:26-27).  There is the past aspect which was accomplished by the blood of Christ, and frees the believer from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 2:1:10). There is the present aspect which is accomplished by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God which frees the believer from the power of sin (John 14:26; 17:17; First Peter 1:22; Psalms 119:11, 133). There is the future aspect of sanctification which is realized at the believer's glorification which frees him from the presence of sin (Second Peter 3:13; Revelation 19:8,9). Then and only then does the believer lay aside his Adamic nature (Philippians 3:21; First Corinthians 15:42-54).

 

We believe the Scriptures teach that every believer should be separated unto God from sin, striving at all times for holiness of life and good works which are the proof and result of genuine saving faith (Ephesians 2:10), and by the aid of the Holy Spirit should walk in Christian love exhibiting qualities such as honesty, integrity, kindness and forgiveness.

 

We also believe the believer’s body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” and therefore should be used to glorify God (First Corinthians 6:19-20); furthermore believers are not to love the world nor the things of the world (First John 2:15), but are to flee sinful desires, avoid every kind of evil, and refrain from questionable practices which would harm one’s testimony, offend one’s brother, or fail to glorify God.

 

Believers in Christ are to “grow in grace” (Second Peter 3:18) through prayer, Bible reading, and by “putting off” the “old man” with its sinful desires and habits while “putting on” the “new man” with its God-centered focus, and by renewing their minds through the application of biblical truths to their daily lives (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:8-10).

 

18.          Concerning Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

 

We believe men and women are spiritually equal in position before God; yet He has ordained distinct and separate functions for each in the home and church.

 

We believe God ordained marriage and the family as the foundational institution of human society, and that the only legitimate marriage is a sacred and permanent covenant relationship between one man and one woman, symbolizing the union of Christ and his Church. The husband is to be the servant leader in the home and is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and the wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-25).

 

We believe God hates divorce and intends a marriage to last until the death of one spouse (Malachi 2:14-16). Divorce is due to the hardness of individual hearts and has no biblical grounds except in cases of sexual infidelity or abandonment (Matthew 5:32; 19:8,9; First Corinthians 7:15). Remarriage is permissible when there is genuine repentance and every effort to reconcile has been exhausted or when one spouse dies or remarries. Both divorced, and divorced and remarried persons may hold positions of service in the church, but shall be ineligible for the offices of pastor and deacon (First Timothy 3:2,12; Titus 1:6).

 

19.          Concerning Human Sexuality

 

We believe God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity is to be engaged in outside of the marriage of a man and a woman. Any form of child molestation, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, bisexuality, incest, pedophilia, or pornography is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:22-24; 19:5,13; Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:26-29; 7:2; First Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; Gal. 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-23; First Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)

 

20.          Concerning Abortion

 

We believe children are a heritage from the Lord, and that human life begins at conception, and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable.  (Psalm 127:3; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; Exodus 21:22,23; Luke 1:44).

 

21.          Concerning Euthanasia

 

We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)

 

22.          Concerning Love for One Another

 

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; First John 3:17-18)

 

23.          Concerning Lawsuits Between Believers

 

We believe Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes since it is better to suffer wrong than to harm the name of Christ.

 

Disputes and disagreements should be submitted to the spiritual leaders of the church for resolution through binding arbitration in accord with the principles outlined in Matthew 18:15-17 and the guidelines of this church’s policies and procedures manual. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (First Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31,32).

 

 

24.          Missions.

 

We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)

 

25.          Giving

 

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made and accepted. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; First John 3:17)

 

26.          Concerning the Righteous and the Wicked

 

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 12:26; Romans 6:15-18); that only those who are justified through faith in Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, are truly righteous in God’s sight (Romans 1:17; 6:16; First John 2:29); while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked and under the curse of sin (Isaiah 55:5,6; John 3:36; Romans 6:23); this distinction holds among men both in life and after death, and results in the everlasting happiness of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (Proverbs. 14:32; Matthew 25:34,41; John 8:21; Revelation 20:11-15).

 

27.          Concerning the Resurrection, Ascension, and Related Future Events

 

We believe that Christ arose bodily from the grave (Matthew 28:6,7; John 20:27; First Corinthians 15:4); that He ascended bodily to the Father's right hand (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 3:21); that he is our great High Priest (Hebrews 12:17; 4: 14-18; 5:9,10); that he is coming again (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; James 5:8); and that when he comes, he will come to rapture his church before the "tribulation period" (First Thessalonians 4:13-5:11).

 

We believe in the resurrection of the righteous dead at the time of his coming (First Corinthians 15:42-44, 51,54; First Thessalonians 4:15-18); and that those living in Christ will be transformed (First Corinthians 15:51-53; Philippians 3:20,21; First Thessalonians 4:13-18). Furthermore, we believe that Christ will reign on earth upon the throne of David (Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29,30; Isaiah 9:6,7) for a thousand years (First Corinthians 15:25; Revelation 20:1-4; Isaiah 11:1-5), after which the wicked will be forever punished in hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

 

28.          The Second Advent of Christ

 

We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)

 

29.          Concerning Israel and the Church

 

We believe that Old Testament Israel is to be distinguished from the New Testament Church. Yet both Jews and Gentiles must be saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. We believe in the literal fulfillment of the Scriptural prophecies and promises that foretell and assure the future restoration of Israel as a nation. God in His sovereign selection has chosen Israel as his eternal covenant people, though they are now dispersed because of their disobedience and rejection of Christ. They will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the Second Coming of Christ. (Genesis 13:14-17; Jeremiah 16:14-15; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:1-32; 10:12-13)

 

 

Article VI – Authority of Statement of Faith

 

This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in this church and its related ministries shall not be in disagreement with this Statement of Faith.

Article VII – Membership

 

Section 1 – Qualifications for Membership

 

A.            Upon a majority vote of the members present at any regularly scheduled church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; who renounce sin; who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord; who fully subscribe to the Statement of Faith contained herein; who enter into the church covenant contained herein; who agree to submit to the authority of the church and its leaders as set forth herein; and upon compliance with any one of the following conditions:

 

1.            By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;

2.            By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;

3.            By testimony of faith, having previously been baptized by immersion; or

4.            By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the church membership of the sin or sins involved, and satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the pastor (or the board of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant).

 

Membership shall never be denied to any person on the basis of race, color, sex or social status.

 

 

B.            All persons desiring to unite with this church shall first meet with the pastor and deacons, and shall give testimony of their conversion, baptism, and Christian experience. Candidates shall be given a copy of the constitution, covenant, and Statement of Faith of this church to review in advance so that, in conference with the pastor and deacons, they may ask questions regarding the church’s doctrines and practices. Only those who are in agreement with these documents may be received into membership.  At the discretion of the Pastor, a prospective member may be asked to complete a membership class before being recommended to the Deacons.

 

C.            Upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons, candidates shall be presented to the church for acceptance into membership. Candidates may be asked to give the congregation a brief verbal or written testimony of their salvation experience. They shall be received into membership upon a majority vote of the members present and voting.

 

Section 2 - Associate Membership

 

College students, military personnel, members of special care homes, and others temporarily residing in the community who desire fellowship with the church and to serve some capacity, may apply for associate membership. Applicants must meet the same requirements and follow the same procedures as would an applicant for regular membership. They will not be eligible to be elected to an office nor have voting privileges. When an associate member makes a permanent move from the area, they are automatically removed from our associate membership roll.

 

Section 3 – Expectations and Responsibilities of Membership

 

A.            As Christians, members of this church are expected to show love to each other in word and deed (John 13:35); to accept one another regardless of race, sex, education, social standing or level of spiritual maturity (Romans 15:7); to readily forgive one another when offenses occur (Colossians 3:13); to willing serve others in the work of the ministry (Galatians 5:13); and to encourage the rest of the church family (First Thessalonians 5:11).

 

B. In joining this church people are committing themselves:

1. To cooperate with leadership of the church by adopting the church’s goals and philosophy of ministry as their own (First Corinthians 1:10);

2. To actively participate in the life and ministry of the church through faithful attendance and the acceptance of ministry assignments so as to further the church’s various programs and help maintain its properties and facilities (Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 4:11,12);

3. To contribute financially to the support of this church through their tithes and offerings as God prospers them (First Corinthians 16:2).

 

B.            Members should honor those in authority in the church, pray for them, submit to their leadership, and assist them with wholehearted cooperation.

 

 

Section 4 – Privileges of Membership

 

A.            Members in good standing who are eighteen years of age or older, and who are physically present at duly called meeting of the church shall be entitled to vote. Absentee and proxy voting is inadmissible and shall not be allowed in this church except that Proxies may be accepted up until the time that there are 20 active adult members. Once this happens the exception for Proxies shall be deleted from all subsequent printed copies of the constitution and bylaws.

B.            This congregation is to function under the headship of Jesus Christ and the direction of the pastor and deacons, and in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this constitution. While congregational in nature, the church is not a pure democracy. Determinations of the internal affairs of this church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the church’s own rules and procedures.

 

The pastor is the spiritual and administrative leader of the church, and is responsible to exercise oversight of all aspects of the church while relying upon the counsel and assistance of the deacons (Acts 20:28; First Peter 5:2).

 

C.            Membership in this church does not afford the members with any property, contractual, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Although the general public is invited to all the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property.  The pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of deacons) has the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person, including a member, to enter or remain on church property. If after being notified of such a suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on church property, the person may, in the discretion of the pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of deacons), be treated as a trespasser.

 

D.            A member may inspect or copy the prepared financial statements of the church and the minutes of the proceedings of church meetings and of board meetings, provided he shall have made a written request upon the church and the church has received the written request at least five business days before the requested inspection date.

 

i.              A member may not, under any circumstances, inspect or copy any record relating to individual contributions to the church, the list of names and addresses of the church members, or the accounting books and financial records of the church.

 

ii.             The church may impose a reasonable charge, covering the costs of labor and material, for copies of any documents provided to the member before releasing the copies to the member.

 

Section 5 - Discipline of Members

 

A. The purpose of church discipline is multi-faceted and includes, but is not limited to helping errant members recognize and repent of their sins so they may be restored to fellowship with the Lord and this church (Galatians 6:1); to protect the good testimony of Christ, and to maintain the purity and the peace of this church by removing those who are unrepentant toward their sins (First Corinthians 5:7,11); and to restrain others from committing sin (First Timothy 5:20).

 

B. The pastor and deacons shall serve as the discipline committee, and shall have sole authority in determining when disciplinary action is required. Any church member or professing Christian in regular fellowship with this church who engages in conduct that in the opinion of the pastor and/or deacons is not in harmony with what the Bible teaches, deviates from the Statement of Faith or violates the church covenant shall be encouraged to repent and forsake such conduct. Sinful conduct necessitating church discipline shall include but not be limited to:

1. Divisiveness which is detrimental to the spiritual welfare of the church (Titus 3:10);

2. Immoral behavior, including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest (First Corinthians 5-6);

3. Questionable financial conduct (stealing, tax fraud, misuse of funds or assets, etc. – First Corinthians 5:11, 6:10);

4. Questionable doctrinal views that are heretical or that stand in direct opposition to the teachings of this church and its Statement of Faith (Second John 7-11); and

5. Unrepentant attitude over offenses (Matthew 18:15-17).

 

C.  The disciplinary committee shall move with promptness in dealing with any member who is reported to be involved in immorality, dishonesty, public scandal, or who is disturbing the peace and unity of the church by promoting false doctrine, slander, gossip, conspiracy or other unbiblical behaviors.

 

D. If the pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the discipline committee, but shall be entitled to the same steps as other members and shall be subject to the same discipline. The ultimate goal of any form of church discipline is the spiritual restoration of the erring member, and not the punishment thereof.

 

E. It is recognized that while the minority has the right of private opinion in all questions, and the right of appeal in any constitutional and proper manner, it shall not have the right to engage in secret or open propaganda, or of deliberately disturbing the peace and interrupting the work of the church so as to undermine or harm its ministry. It is further recognized that when the church by regular order and proper vote, has determined upon a course of action, that course becomes the duty of every member of the church. If any member cannot conscientiously follow the decision of the church, he/she is to quietly and peacefully withdraw from the membership.

 

F. Members who are absent from the services of this church for a period of three months (thirteen consecutive Sundays) without a legitimate excuse (as determined by the discipline committee) shall automatically forfeit their privileges of voice (speaking in business meetings), voting, holding office or serving in any leadership position. (Written notice of this action shall be sent to the member in question.) Restoration of these privileges may be granted in accordance with Article VI and Section 7 of this constitution.

 

G. Members who are absent from the services of this church for a period of six months (twenty-six consecutive Sundays) without a legitimate excuse (as determined by the discipline committee) shall be removed from membership by vote of the church at the next quarterly business meeting. This latter action shall not apply to members who are in military service, on a temporary work assignment, students away at school, those who are unable to attend because of age or illness, or missionaries who maintain contact with the church at least once a year.

 

H. Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders either the individual’s spiritual growth and testimony or that of the church, every effort is to be made to resolve the problem(s) according to the principles of Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1. The concerned member is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes, he should first examine himself to ensure that his attitudes and motives are right. He should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.

 

I. If reconciliation is not reached, a second member or the pastor or a deacon is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self-examination and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.

 

J. If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (G) and (H) have been taken, the matter should be brought to the attention of the discipline committee to hear the matter as the church’s representatives. Charges must be submitted in writing and duly signed by the accuser.

 

K. If the matter remains unresolved after the hearing before the discipline committee, the matter shall be presented to the church at a special business meeting called for that purpose, and the members shall be encouraged, after their own careful self-examination, to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.

 

L. If the matter remains unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (G), (H), (I) and (J) have been taken, the matter shall be brought to the church a second time at a special business meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action against the unrepentant member that may include but shall not be limited to removal from office, loss of voting privileges or expulsion from membership.  Persons placed under discipline shall have no right to make claims upon any church property in their possession. Such property shall be returned immediately.

 

M. No matter may be heard by the discipline committee or the church unless the steps outlined in subsections (G) and (H) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense. In each case the pastor and deacons shall review the case and make recommendation to the church for action, having sole charge of these matters initiation.

 

N. The procedures provided in this section are based on Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 16:17-18; First Corinthians 5:1-13; Second Corinthians 2:1-11; Galatians 6:1; First Thessalonians 5:14; Second Thessalonians 3:6, 10-15; First Timothy 5:19-10; and Titus 3:10-11.

Section 6 – Termination of Membership

 

Removal of members from the church roll shall be accomplished by the following means:

 

1)            Death – Any member who has died shall be removed from membership roll at the next quarterly business meeting.

2)            Letter of Transfer – Any member of this church in good and regular standing may be granted a letter of transfer to another church of like faith and order upon its request by majority vote of members present and voting.

a)            The letter will be sent to the church and cannot be given to an individual.

b)            No letter of action by majority vote of members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose commendation will be sent after six (6) months of absence unless directed and approved by the Pastor.

c)            No letter of commendation will be given to a person uniting with a church of unlike faith or practice.

 

3)            The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the church in the preceding six months. Upon good cause being shown to the pastor, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the pastor.

 

4)            No member of this church may hold membership in another church. The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member unites in membership with another church.

 

5)            The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member states that he or she is actively involved in any conduct described in Article V Section 19 or files a lawsuit in violation of Article V Section 23.

 

6)            No provision contained in this section shall be subject to or governed by the procedures regarding discipline of members set forth in Article VII Section 5.

 

7)            A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such resignation, except at the discretion of the pastor.

8)            Termination of membership - A member may be removed from the membership of this church as a disciplinary action by majority vote of members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose.

 

Section 7 – Restoration of Membership

 

Individuals who have lost their membership privileges may be restored to full membership upon the recommendation of the discipline committee, if there is satisfactory evidence of genuine repentance, forsaking of the behavior in question, a public confession of the wrong doing, and the reaffirmation of the church covenant and membership responsibilities. Restoration to membership shall be by majority vote of members present and voting.

 

Article VIII - Officers and Staff

 

Section 1—Congregational Authority

 

This church follows congregation polity in which the final authority rests in the majority vote of the congregation in duly called business meetings.  The congregation shall, as it deems advisable from time to time, assign responsibilities and delegate authority concerning those responsibilities to its officers and auxiliary organizations in order to carry out its mission in an orderly fashion in accordance with this constitution.

 

Section 2 - Officers of the Church

 

A.            Elected Officers - The elected officers of the church shall be pastor, deacons, church clerk, and treasurer. The church may elect or appoint other members in good standing to other offices and/or leadership positions at its discretion as the need arises.

 

B.            Designation of Corporate Officers – As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the church, the pastor shall serve as the president of the church corporation; the chairman of the deacons shall serve as the vice-president of the corporation; the church treasurer shall serve as the treasurer of the corporation; and the church clerk shall serve as the secretary of the corporation.

 

C.            Membership Requirements for Officers -Everyone elected or appointed to a leadership position in this church shall be a member of this church in good standing for at least six months, except by vote of the church upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons.

 

D.            Qualification of Officers - All officers, leaders, teachers, and other staff personnel shall be spiritually mature, of unquestionable Christian character, loyal to the Word of God, dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the spiritual and material welfare of this church. They shall give annual signed consent of their agreement with the church’s Statement of Faith, philosophy of ministry, goals, and mission statement.

 

They shall also be faithful in attendance at the regular services, business sessions, and special meetings of the church. Their moral conduct shall be beyond reproach and free of carnal indulgences or worldly practices that may cause offense such as the smoking of tobacco, drinking of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs.

 

E.            Election and Terms of Office – The election of officers shall take place in the month of April during the annual business meeting. The term of office shall be for a period of twelve months unless stated otherwise in this document.  Vacancies occurring in any office (except pastor and deacon) may be filled at any regular business meeting of the church.

 

F.            Duties of Officers – The records of all officers are considered to be church property and are to be maintained in good order. All officers shall prepare a written report of their work for the annual business meeting and shall turn in any records in their possession to the church clerk at the close of their term of office or give them to the succeeding officers as soon as practical for safekeeping.

 

G.           Dismissal of Officers - Any officer or staff member unable or unwilling to fulfill the duties of his/her office shall graciously submit his/her resignation to the pastor and deacons. If any refuses to subscribe to the Articles of Faith, church covenant, or constitution, his resignation shall be requested. If it is not received within a reasonable time, the office shall be declared vacant by vote of the church, and a replacement secured.

 

Section 3 - The Pastor

 

A.            Pastoral Qualifications – The pastor of this church shall be a fundamental Baptist or Non-Denominational  minister  that adheres to Baptist distinctive of the male gender who meets the qualifications of a pastor (elder or bishop) listed in First Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. He shall be a spiritually mature man who evidences a burden for lost souls and shall be in agreement with the covenant, constitution, and Articles of Faith of this church. He shall be a man who has never been divorced.

 

B.            Pastoral Candidature – A pastor shall be chosen and called by ballot vote of the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The deacons shall constitute the Pulpit Committee and shall, without unnecessary delay, begin searching for pastoral candidates. Each candidate for the pastorate shall be carefully examined by the pulpit committee as to his salvation, doctrine, Christian conduct, and call to the ministry. If he has served in other churches, his ministry there should be explored for evidence of the Lord’s blessing.

1. He shall submit in writing to the pulpit committee any disagreements or differences he holds concerning the church’s covenant, constitution or Articles of Faith. He also shall state differences relating to groups, and associations, and fellowship as it relates to this church.

2. Candidates shall have opportunity to question and be questioned by the church membership.

3. The pulpit committee shall present only one candidate at a time for consideration and vote by the church.

C. Pastoral Call - A call to be the pastor of the church may be extended to a candidate at a meeting of the church called for that purpose and announced from the pulpit for two Sundays immediately preceding the date of the meeting. A four-fifths majority vote of those present and voting by ballot shall be necessary for a call.

1. The pulpit committee shall inform the candidate of the church’s decision as soon as possible.  If favorable, a written call and agreement shall be presented to the prospective pastor, giving details of church-pastoral relationship, including salary, housing, insurance, vacations, and any other pertinent items

2. Written acceptance or rejection by the candidate shall be required.

3. The pastor shall serve for an indeterminate time, and shall continue in office as long as it is mutually agreeable to him and the church.

4. The pastor and his wife shall become members of this church upon the assumption of their duties (except in the case of a missionary pastor) and shall remember that they are accountable to church congregation. They shall be careful not to be “lords over God’s heritage,” but shall be examples unto it (First Peter 5:3).

 

D. Pastoral Duties – The pastor shall serve as the spiritual and administrative leader of the church and shall exercise oversight of its various ministries; he shall preach and teach the Word of God and have charge of the stated services of the church; he shall appoint the choir director(s), song leader(s), and musicians for the worship services; he shall administer the ordinances and perform the usual duties of a minister.

 

1. The pastor shall preside as the moderator of all regular and special business meetings of the church. No business meeting of the church may be held without the pastor’s knowledge. He may appoint an assistant pastor, deacon or another person to represent him at any meeting.  The chairman of the deacons shall serve as moderator of business meetings if the office of pastor is vacant.

2. The pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all boards and committees of the church with the right of choice to attend all meetings. He shall have access to all the records of the church, boards, and committees, except the personal giving records of individuals.

3. The pastor, in cooperation with the deacons, shall secure speakers and programs for the services of the church, which shall be in accord with the Statement of Faith of this church.

4. All church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the pastor who shall have the authority to recruit, appoint, or dismiss the same in consultation with the deacons. The hiring of paid staff shall require the approval of the congregation upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons.

 

E. Pastoral Compensation – The pastor’s salary, housing, car allowances, insurance, etc., shall be reviewed annually by the deacons and a recommendation shall be submitted as part of the church budget at the annual business meeting. He shall have not less than three weeks paid vacation each year, the dates and extent to be agreed upon by the pastor and deacons.  Other absences from the stated services of the church shall be by mutual consent of the pastor and deacons including, when expedient, and at the church’s expense, the conferences of any regional and national fellowships with which the church may be affiliated. This time away from the church shall not be considered vacation time.

 

F. Pastoral Termination

1. The pastor may announce his resignation at any time, but shall give the church written notice not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days of his intention to resign as pastor of this church. The Pastor shall notify the Deacon Board immediately if he feels that he is being called elsewhere.  He shall continue his duties for at least thirty days after his announcement or until a time mutually agreeable both to him and to the church. He may receive up to eight weeks severance pay when his duties end.

2. A pastor may be dismissed, upon the unanimous recommendation of the deacons, by a majority vote of the eligible voting members present at a special meeting called for that purpose, and announced from the pulpit on the two preceding Sunday mornings prior to the date of the meeting. The pastor shall be notified two weeks in advance of the pending action.  He shall receive sixty days salary and have thirty days use of the parsonage

3. In cases where the pastor admits to or has been proven guilty in a duly called church proceeding of engaging in some unbiblical, immoral, illegal or unethical practice that brings reproach upon the name of Christ, he may be removed from office immediately by majority vote of the church without notice being given in advance. He shall receive two weeks pay and have thirty days use of the parsonage.

 

Section 4 - Deacons

 

A.            The Role of Deacons - The biblical role of deacons is one of loving service, ministry, and assistance to others. Their name (“diakonos”) describes their work - they are ministers of mercy who visit widows and those less fortunate, care for various tasks assigned to them, and seek to lighten the load of their pastor(s) so they (the pastors) can focus on other vital aspects of the ministry. Deacons are servant helpers who are chosen by the church, but work in an advisory capacity under the authority and supervision of the church and its spiritual leader.

B.            Qualifications of Deacons – The deacons of this church shall be men who fulfill the qualifications of a deacon as stated in Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. They shall have servant hearts and teachable spirits, and be in agreement with the church’s philosophy of ministry as outlined in its purpose and mission statements. Potential candidates for the diaconate shall have been members of this church for a period of at least six months and shall have completed such training as may be deemed appropriate by the church leadership.

 

C.            Election of Deacons – The election of deacons shall take place during the annual business meeting of the church from among those qualified individuals who are members in good standing. The number of deacons shall be determined by the needs of the church and may be changed by majority vote of eligible voters at any business meeting.

 

D.            Term of Service – Deacons shall serve for a term of three years, at the expiration of which they shall be required to take a one-year recess before being eligible for re-election. Terms of service shall be arranged to end alternately to provide for a smooth transition of leadership. If a deacon is unable or unwilling to complete his term of office, a special business meeting may be held to choose another qualified individual to complete the unexpired term.

 

E.            Duties of Deacons – Deacons are servants of the church who have no authority unless given herein.  Their primary ministry is to care for the temporal needs (“wait on tables”) of the church family and to assist the pastor through godly council, supportive prayer, and such means as he may request. The deacons shall function as an advisory council to the pastor.

1. Deacons shall promote the spiritual welfare of the church through their personal example by faithfully attending the services of the church, being involved in servant ministries, sharing their faith with others, and giving of their time, energy, and resources in support of the church.

2. The pastor and deacons shall meet monthly or at the call of the pastor. The pastor shall chair all such meetings. A vice-chair and a secretary shall be selected from among themselves, and shall keep minutes of their meetings in a permanent record. Reports shall be provided to the church at the quarterly meetings. If the church is without a pastor the vice-chairman of the deacons may call the deacons together and serve as moderator.

3. The deacons shall assist the pastor in exercising prudent watchcare over the membership of the church; visiting the sick and shut-ins; offering help and assistance to the needy where possible; calling on prospective and delinquent members; participating in the examination of candidates for membership; helping with the administration of the ordinances; and distributing any benevolence funds as is deemed wise.

4. The pastor and deacons shall serve as the trustees of the church for legal purposes, and as such shall be the representing agents for this church.

a. Subject to the church’s approval they shall have authority to purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the church, and to take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the church.

b. They shall have no authority to lease, buy, sell, give away or dispose of church property in any manner to exceed the value of $1,000.00; nor to mortgage or encumber the same with debt to exceed $1,000.00, except as the church shall order the same by corporate act.

c. They shall be responsible for arranging for the care and maintenance of the physical properties of the church including hiring a church custodian; superintending any improvements that are not entrusted to a special committee; and performing such business concerns of the church as shall be assigned to them. Deacons are servants of the church membership and subject to its corporate actions. Therefore, recommendations shall be submitted to the church for expenditures of more than $1,000.00.

d. They shall exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the church corporation if such action is mandated by a vote of the church membership.

5. The deacons shall constitute the pulpit committee, recommending candidates for the pastorate to the church. They may appoint additional members to this committee from the church membership, as they deem necessary.

a. They shall interview, along with the pastor, all candidates for salaried positions, making recommendation to the church concerning hiring of the same.

6. The pastor and deacons shall be responsible to appoint:

a Ushers for all services.

b. A financial review committee annually.

c. Any other committees deemed necessary.

7. The pastor and deacons shall serve as the discipline committee of the church and shall function in accord with the guidelines outlined in Article VI, Section 5 of this constitution.

8. The pastor and deacons shall be responsible for determining the literature to be used in the programs and ministries of the church is consistent with our statement of faith and appropriate for the intended use.

 

Section 5 – Clerk

 

A.            A church clerk shall be elected each year during the annual business meeting by the eligible voting members.

B.            The clerk shall be responsible for all official correspondence requiring an official signature, and shall keep minutes of all business meetings and an accurate record of all church business approved at each meeting.

1. A copy of these minutes shall be kept as a permanent record of the church.

2. Minutes of the last meeting shall be made available to the church membership prior to the quarterly and annual business meetings of the church.

C. The clerk shall maintain a record of the church membership; of the reception and dismissal of members; of baptisms, deaths, ordinations; issue letters to other churches of like faith and order; and other dates and action concerning members, as well as important events in the history of the church.

 

D. The clerk shall provide promptly a transcript of all minutes in which authority to grant disbursement or transfer of funds is dealt with, to the pastor, deacons, treasurer, and financial secretary. Annually, the clerk shall certify to the bank(s) the names of the officers authorized to have access to safety deposit boxes and to sign checks for the church. A copy of the minutes will be required along with this notification.

E. The clerk shall perform such other duties as properly belong to the office.

F. Upon retirement or removal from office, the clerk shall deliver to his/her successor or the chairman of the deacon advisory committee, all records, files and/or other papers belonging to the church, and shall present the same with all contents complete to the time of surrender.

 

Section 6 – Treasurer

 

A. The treasurer of this church shall be elected yearly at the annual business meeting by the eligible voting members present. He or she shall be responsible for keeping an accurate and permanent record of all financial transactions of church funds and shall make monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to the pastor, deacons, and church.

B. The treasurer shall be responsible for verifying all funds received from the financial secretary, and for depositing these and all other funds received in appropriate accounts at an approved banking facility

He or she shall write, sign, record, and mail checks in payment of church bills and routine expenses approved by the pastor and/or deacons as well as disburse funds and salaries as directed by the church. The pastor and deacons may require the treasurer to be bonded, at church expense.

C.            At least two trustees of this corporation shall be authorized to sign church checks in the treasurer’s absence. The Chairman of the deacons shall not perform this duty if functioning as the Financial Secretary. No person shall be permitted to sign checks written to themselves or their family members.

D.            The treasurer shall be a member of the Budget and Finance Committee.

E.            The treasurer shall keep the books of record in accordance with good business procedures and  in accordance with the written instructions issued by the financial review committee.

F.            Upon retirement, or removal from office, the treasurer shall deliver to his/her successor, or the chairman of the deacons, all records, files and/or other papers belonging to the church, and shall present the same with all contents complete to the time of surrender.

 

Section 7 - Financial Secretary

 

A.            A financial secretary shall be elected yearly at the annual business meeting by the eligible voting members present.

B.            It shall be the duty of the financial secretary, together with two other persons so appointed, to count and record in a permanent record all the monies received in offerings for the church. This shall be done following each service or day of services of the church.

C.            The financial secretary shall be responsible to convey in a timely manner all funds received to the treasurer for verification and deposit in the bank, including monies received from outside sources, and shall provide the treasurer with a record of all monies received, specifying the distribution into various funds as designated. A copy shall be provided to the pastor each week

D.            The financial secretary shall maintain a permanent weekly record of individual giving, and shall guard said records confidentially as a sacred trust. The financial secretary shall issue an official receipt to each contributor quarterly and at the end of the fiscal year. The pastor and deacons may require the financial secretary to be bonded, at church expense.

E.            Records shall be kept in accordance with good business practices, and approved by the pastor and deacon board.

F.            The chairman of the deacons, may assume the duties of the financial secretary in the absence of a financial secretary, unless already serving in the capacity of the treasurer.

 

Section 8 – Associate Pastors and Other Church Staff

 

A.            Associate pastors may be hired to assist the pastor in carrying out the various ministries of this church. Their qualifications shall be the same as the pastor of this church. Potential candidates shall be interviewed by the pastor and deacons, and shall be hired, subject to a majority vote of the eligible voting membership. They shall become members of this church upon assumption of their duties and shall serve for an indeterminate period of time. The pastor, after consultation with the deacons, may dismiss any staff person at any time.

 

B.            The pastor and deacons shall review staff compensation annually and a recommendation shall be submitted as part of the church budget at the annual business meeting. Staff personnel shall have not less than two weeks paid vacation each year; the dates and extent to be approved by the pastor. The pastor shall also approve any other absences from the stated services of the church.

 

C.            All church staff, whether compensated or volunteer, shall be active members of this church and under the direct supervision of the pastor.

 

 

Article IX – Meetings and Administration

 

Section 1 - Public Worship

 

A.            It shall be the purpose of this church to conduct a regular schedule of meetings to the end that

God is glorified through the teaching of God’s Word, the edification of the saints, and the evangelization of the lost world. Public services shall be held regularly for corporate worship, prayer and praise, fellowship, biblical instruction, the preaching of the Bible, observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and appropriately distinctive Christian music. The pastor, as the chief administrative officer of the church, shall have the oversight of all the public services of the church.

 

B.            It shall be the intent of this church to maintain its integrity, testimony, and distinction as an independent  church with a ministry to the people of this community. To that intent, cooperative services with churches of other denominations shall not be made.

 

C.            Use of the church property or facilities for events other than church sponsored activities must be approved by the pastor and deacons. No secret societies or groups who cooperate with or are members of any religious organization not in agreement with Statement of Faith of this church shall be permitted to use the church property or facilities.

 

D.            Special meetings may be held at the discretion of the pastor and deacons.

 

Section 2 - Business Meetings

 

A.            The official year of the church shall run from the 1st day of January and close the 31st day of December.

 

B.            The annual meeting of the church, for election of officers and transaction of other business, shall be during the month of April at time set by the pastor and deacons. Public notice of said meeting shall be given from the pulpit for two successive Sundays immediately preceding the meeting.

 

C.            Quarterly business meetings shall be conducted during the months of April, July, and October at time set by the pastor and deacons. Public notice of said meetings shall be given from the pulpit for two successive Sundays immediately preceding the meeting.

 

D.            Routine business, such as receiving members or granting letters, may be transacted at any regular meeting of the church.

 

E.            Special business meetings may be called at any time by the pastor and deacons or upon the written request to the pastor and deacons by seven unrelated voting members. The purpose and intent of the meeting shall be stated in the request.

 

 

Section 3 – Procedures at Business Meetings

 

A. All items for church action shall first be submitted to the pastor and deacons for their consideration and recommendation. If an item is rejected by the pastor and deacons, it may be re-submitted in written form with the signatures of seven unrelated voting members and shall be placed on the agenda of the next quarterly business meeting.

 

B. The pastor shall moderate all business meetings. If the pastor or pastor-related areas are to be discussed in a business session, the pastor shall temporarily relinquish his position as moderator to the chairman of the deacons. This pastor and his family may remain in the meeting and may participate in the proceedings.

 

C. If the office of pastor is vacant, the chairman of the deacons shall serve as moderator.

 

D. The moderator, using fairness and common sense shall provide all eligible members present with reasonable opportunity to be heard on a matter. He shall have full authority to require non members to leave the meeting room and to order the immediate removal of any member of other person present who is deemed to be disruptive to the proceedings by act or presence.

 

E. The above notwithstanding.  In order to give everyone as full a voice as possible, should an item or items become contentious, the Chairman shall invoke Roberts Rules of Order. 

 

Section 4 – Voting at Business Meetings

 

A.            For conducting church business, the presence of twenty (20%) percent of the voting members shall constitute a quorum, except when amending the constitution and calling or terminating a pastor, in which case the quorum must be fifty (50%) percent of qualified members. Active members eighteen years of age and older shall be eligible to vote. Voting shall normally take place during corporate business meetings. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed unless there are fewer than 25 active members in good standing.

 

B.            All elections and matters of business shall be decided by majority vote of the members voting unless otherwise stated in this constitution.

 

C.            Election of deacons shall take place at the annual business meeting. Special elections to fill unexpired terms shall be held as the nominating committee recommends. Newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities at the close of the business meeting during which they are elected.

 

Section 5 - Policies and Procedures Manual

 

A policies and procedures manual shall be maintained in the church office. It shall outline the various policies, guidelines, and procedures to be followed in carrying out the various ministries of the church and in implementing the provisions of this constitution. It shall be accessible to all members upon request, but shall be kept in the church office.

 

Section 6 - Special Occasions

 

A. Baptism.

1. Believing that baptism ("immersion"), properly called "believer's baptism," is the public identification of the individual believer with the Lord Jesus Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection, it shall be observed in a public service as a testimony of one’s faith and as an encouragement to fellow believers.

2. Those professing faith in Christ, shall upon authorization of the church, be immersed by the pastor or someone appointed by the church. Only those being received into the church membership shall be baptized. Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership. This church shall not practice infant baptism.

 

B. The Lord's Supper.

1. It shall be the practice of this church to observe the Lord's Supper, also known as Communion, on a regular basis for the purpose of "remembering the Lord's death till He comes." It shall be open to all who profess to be born again believers, following a time of personal examination. None shall be barred, as it is the Lord's Supper. The Scriptural order, meaning, and purpose of the ordinance shall be explained at its observance.

2. It shall be the responsibility of the pastor and deacons to determine the time for the observance.

3. It shall be administered by the pastor and deacons or someone else authorized by the church.

4. The elements of bread and grape juice shall be used for its observance.

 

C. Marriage Ceremonies.

1. Marriage ceremonies using the church facilities or grounds shall only be performed by the pastor of this church or by ministers in agreement with the doctrinal position of this local assembly, and who have been approved by the pastor and deacons.

2. Marriage shall be between one man and one woman only.

3. The pastor shall have the right to set whatever premarital prerequisites he deems appropriate and may refuse to marry any couple.

4. Permission for the use of the church building for weddings must be approved by the pastor and deacons.

 

D. Funerals

 

1. Funeral services may be officiated by this church as part of its ministry when called upon to render such services.

2. Only those in agreement with the doctrinal position of this church may officiate at funerals conducted within this church.

3. No practices shall be permitted as part of funerals which are contrary to the Bible or the position of this church.

 

E. Child Dedications.

1. Child dedications may be conducted as a part of the regular worship service wherein the parents dedicate a child unto the Lord and commit themselves to bringing up that child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2. The church family shall be challenged to their responsibility to pray for and be involved as good role models for the child.

 

Article X – Finances

 

Section 1. General

 

A.            The fiscal year of the church shall begin on January 1st and end on December 31st of each year.

B.            This church and its ministries shall be financed through the tithes and offerings of God’s people. No sales, suppers or other commercial means shall be used. All monies are to be placed in the General Fund under a unified budget. Additional monies may be borrowed when approved by vote of the church.

C.            The salaries of the pastor and staff personnel shall be paid from the General Fund and shall be reviewed at least once a year with consideration being given to the rising cost of living.

D.            All expenses for special meetings and speakers shall be paid from the General Fund with speakers being reimbursed for their travel expenses. They shall receive honorariums determined by the pastor and deacons.

E.            The annual church budget will be prepared by a budget committee and presented to the congregation for approval.

F.            No financial obligation shall be placed upon the church either as a mortgage, note, or outstanding bill, or in any other form unless money is in hand to meet the same, except by corporate act of the church.  However, the pastor and deacons shall have the authority to make reasonable and proper expenditures without special permission from the church.

 

Section 2. Building Fund

 

A building fund shall be maintained for the purpose of acquiring properties, constructing and maintaining the facilities of the church.

 

Article XI – Committees

 

Section 1 – General

 

A.            The church shall have authority to establish any and all committees deemed important to the function of this church. Such committees may be appointed by the pastor and deacons or established by vote of the church

B.            All committees shall be in accordance to the standards set forth in this constitution as to their composition, accountability, and authority. No committee or subsidiary organizations shall engage in any practice or conduct contrary to the position and policies of this church. All committees shall be ultimately responsible to the church body, through the pastor and church leadership.

C.            Each committee chairman shall submit a written report of discussions, decisions, and plans to the pastor and deacons and shall submit written quarterly and annual reports to the church.

D.            Committees shall make available upon requests all records and materials to the pastor, deacons or church. The pastor and deacons shall have the right to overrule any plans or decisions made by the committee.

E.            Committee members may remain on the same committee for no more than three consecutive years. A year must intervene following the third year on the committee before reappointment to the same committee is permissible.

 

Section 2 - Budget and Finance Committee

 

A.            The budget committee shall be composed of the pastor, two deacons, the treasurer, and one member chosen at large from the church membership by the pastor and deacons.

B.            The budget committee shall be responsible to review the needs of the church and to prepare a proposed annual budget for the ensuring church year to be presented for approval by majority vote at the annual meeting. The proposed budget shall be made available to the church membership at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting.

 

C.            The Committee shall be appointed at the third quarter business meeting, and shall function throughout the year to recommend budget revisions to the membership as may be deemed necessary.

 

Section 3 – Financial Review Committee

 

A.            A financial review committee of three members of the church shall be appointed annually by the pastor and deacons at least thirty days prior to the annual business meeting. All financial records, except individual giving records, shall be made available to the financial review committee for review. The pastor and treasurer may be present to answer any questions the committee may ask.

B.            A written report of the committee’s findings shall be submitted to the church at the annual business meeting. The committee shall provide written recommendations to the church treasurer and financial secretary for improving their record keeping, if changes are deemed necessary.

C.            The church membership may at any time vote to authorize an audit of the church’s financial records by an outside professional auditing firm.

 

Section 4 - Nominating Committee

 

A.            The pastor and deacons shall function as the nominating committee of the church. All nominations shall be presented through this committee for the elected positions of the church. There shall be no nominations from the floor.

 

B.            Church members shall provide the committee with their suggestions for nominations for each position, at least three weeks prior to the annual meeting, to ensure the committee has time to determine if candidates for nomination are qualified and willing to serve. The nominating committee may remove from consideration any name they deem to be unacceptable.

 

C.            A list of available and qualified candidates shall be made available to the church membership for their prayerful consideration at least two weeks prior to the annual business meeting. All candidates shall have given their consent prior to being placed on any ballot as a candidate.

 

D.            The committee shall be responsible to provide ballots for the election of all officers.

 

Section 5 - Missions Committee

 

A.            This church shall support only missionaries and mission agencies that are Baptist in name and practice who engage primarily in evangelism, the training of national church leaders, and the establishment of churches of like faith and order in the United States and in foreign countries. The church may also make contribution to non-profit Christian schools, camps, social agencies, literature services, rescue missions and youth organizations that are known to be in agreement with the Statement of Faith of this church, both in doctrine and in practice.

 

B.            The Missions committee shall consist of the pastor, chairman of the deacons, the ladies mission group president, and two members from the church membership, appointed by the pastor and deacons at the annual meeting.

 

C.            This committee shall make recommendations as to missionary projects, missionaries seeking support, and other mission related areas. Suggestions from the church membership shall be taken under consideration.

 

D.            It shall maintain contacts with missionaries supported by this church and encourage the church to pray for, communicate with, and be involved with the ministries of the missionaries. It shall also encourage church wide interest in missions in general.

 

E.            All missionary support shall be reviewed annually in concurrence with the preparation of the annual church budget. Consideration shall be given to the rising cost of living and other factors that impact support levels.

 

F.            Support for a missionary may be discontinued, upon recommendation from the Missions Committee, and by a majority vote of the eligible voting members at any business meeting of the church.

 

Section 6 - Hospitality Committee

 

A.            The Hospitality Committee shall be responsible for arranging housing and meals for visiting speakers; planning church banquets and meals; the sending of flowers, cards, and food in cases of sickness or death; and such other hospitality duties as shall be deemed appropriate.

 

B.            The Hospitality Committee shall consist of the pastor’s wife and two other women from the church chosen by her.

 

Section 7 – Music Committee

 

A.            The Music Committee shall consist of the pastor, the choir director, the song leader, and at least one deacon. The Music Committee, under the pastor’s leadership, shall be responsible to maintain a music ministry that is distinctively Christian in nature.

 

B.            They shall be responsible for arranging the special music for the services of the church; maintaining the musical instruments and sound systems; the purchase and storage of music and equipment; and ensuring that current copyright laws are understood and enforced.

 

C.            They shall submit a proposed music budget for the ensuing year to the Budget and Finance Committee at least four weeks prior to the annual business meeting.

 

Section 8 – Building and Grounds Committee

 

A.            The Building and Grounds Committee shall consist no less than three knowledgeable members appointed annually by the pastor and deacons.

 

B.            They shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of the church property. They shall make regular inspections of the property and make note of impending repairs, arrange for lawn maintenance and snow removal, resolve plumbing problems, be responsible for heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair any broken windows or other minor damage, plan church-wide cleanup days, and procure estimates for repairs and advise the pastor and deacons regarding the need and estimated cost of repairs in excess of $100.

 

C.            If the church begins a building program, this committee shall be expanded to ensure proper attention is given to specific details.

 

D.            This committee shall submit a proposed Building and Grounds budget for the ensuing year to the Budget and Finance Committee at least four weeks prior to the annual business meeting.

 

Section 9 – Additional Committees

 

A.            Other committees may be establish or appointed by the pastor and deacons when deemed necessary. Committee members shall be members of the church who are willing to faithfully fulfill their assigned duties.

 

B.            Committees shall have the power to carry out the established policies of the church, but shall not establish new policies. They may, however, make recommendations to the pastor and deacons.

 

Article XII - Church Organizations

 

Section 1 - General

A.            The church may recognize organizations whose primary purpose is to foster various phases of the life and activity of the church, as auxiliary organizations. Included in this group are missionary groups, men's and woman's groups, youth groups, Bible training activities, etc.

 

B.            These groups shall effect their own organization, elect their own officers and make their own regulations insofar as they do not come in conflict with this constitution.

 

C.            All officers of the recognized auxiliary organizations of high school age and over shall be members in good standing of the church.

 

D.            All projects shall be approved by the pastor and deacons.

 

E.            These groups shall make reports to the church at the quarterly business meetings and or as requested.

 

Section 2 – Sunday School

 

A.            Believing that Christian education, religious instruction, and the impartation of biblical truths to children is a vital part of the Great Commission mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ, this church shall establish and maintain a vigorous Sunday School and educational ministry for the purpose of winning every student to personal faith in Jesus Christ as his/her Savior, and to instruct him/her in Christian living as set forth in the Holy Bible.

 

B.            All officers, instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this church. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelists or ministers engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons, conducting revivals, or other special meetings on a temporary basis.

 

C.            All officers, instructors, teachers, administrators, educational programs, and courses of instruction shall be in agreement with the church’s Statement of Faith and philosophy of ministry. The church shall not hire, appoint or retain any employee or volunteer for its educational programs who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement therewith.

 

D.            A Sunday school superintendent shall be appointed annually by the pastor and deacons and shall serve as a member of the Christian Education Committee.

 

E.            The Sunday school superintendent shall have the general supervision over Sunday school.  He shall work closely with the pastor in organizing of departments and classes; overseeing the classes and teachers; offering suggestions, and help to the overall Christian education program of the church.

 

F.            The Sunday school superintendent shall work in conjunction with the pastor and deacons in the choosing of curriculum, programs, and materials, as well as other related areas, including teaching assignments. Teaching assignments shall be one year or less in length.

 

 

Article XIII – Licensing, Ordination and Commissioning

 

Section 1 – Licensing

 

A.            Any male member of this church, who in the judgment of the pastor, deacons, and eligible voting members, possesses the Scriptural qualifications of a pastor as outlined in First Timothy3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, has demonstrated an ability to teach and preach the Word of God, and expresses a desire to pursue ordination, may be granted a license to preach the gospel by a majority vote of the eligible voting members present at any regular business meeting.

 

B.            The license shall be valid for one year and is subject to review and renewal by the eligible voting members.

 

 

 

Section 2 – Ordination

 

 

A. Any male member of this church who in the judgment of the pastor, deacons, and eligible voting members possesses the Scriptural qualifications of a pastor as set forth in First Timothy 3:1-7 and

Titus 1:5-9, has demonstrated an ability to teach and preach the Word of God, and gives evidence of a genuine call of God to the work of the ministry, may be considered as a candidate for ordination

 

B. An ordination council of pastors and messengers of other churches of like faith and order shall be called by this church to thoroughly examine the Scriptural qualifications, call to the ministry, academic preparation, and doctrinal convictions of the candidate.

 

C.            Upon a positive recommendation by the ordination council, and a majority vote of the eligible voting members, this church shall proceed with an appropriate ordination service. Ordination shall be withdrawn when a man ordained by this church disqualifies himself by violating the Scriptural qualifications of a pastor or by rejecting the fundamentals of the Christian faith as set forth in the Statement of Faith of this church.

 

Section 3 – Commissioning

 

The church may conduct a commissioning service for missionaries from this church at the request of the missionary or his/her mission agency prior to departure for their field of service.

 

Article XIV – Indemnification

 

Section 1 - Indemnity Clause

 

Members of this church agree not to pursue civil litigation against this corporation, its members, its officers, its paid staff, its deacons or its pastor(s). This provision will not prevent a member from pursuing a claim for personal injury against an insurance company.

 

Section 2 – Insurance

 

The church may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in that capacity, or arising out of his status in that capacity, whether or not the church would have the power to indemnify him against liability under the provisions of this Article.

 

Section 3 – Actions Subject to Indemnification

 

A.            The church may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, including all appeals (other than an action by or in the right of the church) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church, against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding; and if that person acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful.

 

B.            The determination shall be made (a) by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of the pastor and deacons who were not and are not parties to or threatened with the action, suit, or proceeding; (b) if the described quorum is not obtainable or if a majority vote of a quorum of disinterested deacons so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion; or (c) by a majority vote of the members of the church.

 

 

Section 4 – Timing of indemnification

 

Expenses of each person seeking indemnification under this Article, may be paid by the church as they are incurred, in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit, or proceeding, as authorized by the board of deacons in the specific case, on receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent to repay the amount if it is ultimately determined that he or she is not qualified to be indemnified by the church.

 

Section 5 – Extent of indemnification

 

The indemnification provided by this Article shall be deemed to be discretionary unless otherwise required as a matter of law or under any agreement or provided by insurance purchased by the church.

 

Article XV – Binding Arbitration

 

Section 1 – Submission to Arbitration

 

Believing that lawsuits between believers are prohibited by Scripture, all members of this church agree to submit to binding arbitration any matters which cannot otherwise be resolved, and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bringing any civil disagreement before a court of law, except that judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

 

Section 2 – Notice of Arbitration

 

A. In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to this constitution or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as befits Christians and in accord with Matthew 5:23,23 and

Matthew 18:15-17.

 

B. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interests not to disgrace the name of Christ, seek to reach a just and equitable solution.

 

C. If they do not reach such solution within a period of sixty (60) days, then upon notice by either party to the other, disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be finally settled by mediation and/or arbitration as described in Sections 1 and 2 above, and such Procedures for Arbitration as are adopted pursuant to Sections 3 and 4 below.

 

Section 3 – Limitation on Arbitration Decisions

 

A.            Should any dispute involve matters of church discipline, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures for church discipline as outlined under Article VI, Section 5 were followed.

 

B.            Should any dispute involve the removal from office of the pastor or any church officer, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures set forth in Article VII, Sections 3 and 4 were followed.

 

 

Section 4 – Arbitration Procedures

 

The procedures for arbitration shall be as adopted by the pastor and the deacons of this church.

 

Article XVI – Property

 

 This church shall have the right to own, buy and sell tangible properties, both real and personal, in its own name and through properly elected officials, when authorized by majority vote of this church.

 

No part of the assets, holdings, net earnings or other transactions of this church shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that this church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for the services rendered.

 

Article XVII – Amendments

 

A.            This constitution or any part thereof may be amended, altered, revised or repealed at any quarterly business meeting, provided that notice of the proposed amendment or changes have been given in written form and notice of the amendment and meeting have been posted in the church and announced from the pulpit for two consecutive Sundays prior to the said meeting. The church may adopt from time to time such provisions in amplification hereof as may be necessary or desirable, and shall provide therein for amendment of the same

.

B.            Copies of the proposed amendment(s) or change(s) must be provided for each voting member of the church two (2) weeks prior to the business meeting.

 

C.            A special quorum of fifty (50) percent of the voting members shall be required to amend the Statement of Faith and the Constitution and Bylaws of the church.

 

D.            All amendments and changes to this constitution shall require the approval of three-fourths of the eligible voting members of this church.

 

Article XVII – Exemption and Dissolution Provisions

 

Section 1 – General

 

This church shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law or (b) by an organization, contribution to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law).

 

Section 2 – Discrimination

 

This church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin.

 

Section 3 – Dissolution

 

A. Upon the dissolution of this church, the trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of this church, dispose of all of the assets of this church to Twin City Bible Church of Nitro, WV.  In the event that Twin City Bible Church is no longer in operation, the trustee shall dispose of all the assets to independent, fundamental organizations which are in agreement with the Statement of Faith of this church, and are operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law), and the laws of this State, as the trustees shall determine.

 

Adoption

This constitution was adopted by unanimous vote of the Charter Members of this church on November 14, 2010.