Doctrinal Statement

Building a Church on a Firm Foundation

Core Beliefs

  • We believe the Bible is God’s infallible, completely trustworthy Word. It tells the story of God and mankind (2 Tim. 3:16).
  • The universe was created by God directly, by His own power (Gen. 1:1).
  • God made human beings to enjoy serving Him as His friends, but we fell from that original purity by rejecting God’s authority and refusing to believe His claims (Gen. 1:26, Gen. 3:6).
  • Now each of us is born in rebellion against God and we express that willfulness by choosing our own way over His. The Bible calls this sin (Rom. 5:12)
  • By nature and by choice, every person offends the holiness of God, earns His wrath, and is condemned to suffer that wrath forever (Rom. 6:23, 2 Thess.1:9).
  • But because of God’s great love and mercy, God the Son became human as Jesus Christ. Born without sin, Jesus lived a perfectly holy life, then willingly gave His life to satisfy the holy wrath of God. Now all who recognize their sinfulness and turn to Christ, trusting Him alone for salvation, God declares permanently and completely “not guilty.” They have eternal life (Rom.5:8, John 5:24).
  • After dying on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead, proving He has the power of eternal life. Before He ascended to heaven, He instructed His followers to tell this story to the world, forming churches of those who believe (Acts 1:8-11).
  • When the time is right, Jesus Christ will return to the earth in power and glory to reign forever. Then all will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rev.19:11).
Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

 For the Advancement of this church…

 We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines.

 As Christian Stewards…

 We contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

 Alone and at Home…

 We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to educate our children religiously; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.

 Before the World…

 We walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to

avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

 Toward One Another…

 We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and, mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay.

 When We Move…

 We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Constitution Preamble

We, being born-again and Bible-believing Christians by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; believing the Bible to be divinely inspired, authoritative and final authority for all Christian faith and practice; accepting the historic Baptist distinctives, that is, the sole authority of Scripture for faith and practice, the autonomy of each local church, regenerate church membership, baptism by immersion, personal and ecclesiastical separation, the priesthood of the believer, and separation of church and state; in the interests of growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ through worship and work; and that we might fulfill our responsibilities to propagate the Word of God both at home and abroad, and to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3); and that “all things might be done decently and in order” (I Cor. 14:40); we do, therefore, band ourselves together as a body of immersed believers in Jesus Christ and hereby adopt the following constitution as the statement of our faith and principles for the government of our local church.

Article 1: Name & Article 2: Purpose

Article 1:

The name of this organization shall be: FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.

Article 2:

The purpose of this church shall be to accomplish the will of the Lord Jesus Christ through the uniting of Christians in fellowship faithful to the Word of God, through the preaching of the whole counsel of God, for spiritual edification of saints, the winning of lost sinners to Christ, the propagation of the Gospel both at home and abroad, and for the observance of the ordinances.

Article 3: Doctrinal Position

SECTION I – STATEMENT OF FAITH

  1. The Holy Scriptures – We believe the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments only, to be the plenarily, verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts, authoritative, infallible and God-breathed; and that they are the only supreme and ultimate authority for faith and practice (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; I Cor. 2:10-13).
  2. The Godhead – We believe in one triune God, existing in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and having the same divine attributes and perfections; yet exercising them in varied offices (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:7-12; 16:7; II Cor. 13:14).
  3. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
    1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (Matt. 1:18-20; John 1:1,2,14,18; Luke 1:35).
    2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who receive Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25 I Cor. 15:3-4; II Cor. 5:21).
    3. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ and that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead; in His bodily ascension into heaven; and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Intercessor (Matt. 28:5,6; I Cor. 15:12-19; Acts 1:9; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:23-25; 9:24; I John 2:1,2).
    4. We believe in “that blessed hope” which is the PERSONAL, VISIBLE, PRETRIBULATIONAL, PREMILLENIAL and IMMINENT return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thes. 4:14-17; Titus 2:13; I John 3:2-3).
  1. The Second Coming of Christ – We believe in the personal, visible, pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth from the throne of David (II Sam. 7:12-16; Zech:14:4-11; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 15:14-18; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:6).
  2. The Personality of the Holy Spirit – We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; bears witness to the truth; is the agent of the new birth; and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer; that He baptizes them into the Church, the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon each one, and fills for service those yielded to Him. We believe that the Holy Spirit testifies concerning Jesus Christ and never leads any person, at any time, contrary to the teaching of the Bible (John 3:8; 14:16; 15:26-27;16:7-15; Acts 5:1-4; I Cor. 12:4-15; 13:8-11; Eph. 4:30; 5:18).
  3. The Total Depravity of Man – We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all mankind has inherited a sinful nature, became willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice, are totally unable to regain their former position, and are without excuse before God (Gen. 1:26; 3:1-2; Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 1:20; Eph. 2:1-6,12).
  4. Salvation, Regeneration, Eternal Security of the Believer
    1. We believe that salvation is a gift of God brought to men by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. Salvation is solely through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and, being a gift, is not earned by any works whatsoever.  All those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are regenerated and become sons of God (Eph. 1:7: 2:8-9; John 1:2; 3:5-7).
    2. We believe that the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that change in the soul by the Holy Spirit by which a new nature and spiritual life, not before possessed, are imparted, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus; and without it salvation is impossible (John 3:3-5; II Cor. 5:17; I Peter 1:23; Titus 3:5).
    3. We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by the interceding ministry of Christ (John 5:24; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,29,30,38,39; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25).
  5. Sanctification – We believe that immediate, positional sanctification is that act of God whereby believers are, at the time of regeneration, eternally set apart as belonging to Him by redemption, thereby being placed in the family of God as children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ (I John 3:1; Rom. 8:14-17; I Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10-14).

We believe that progressive sanctification is the process by which, according to God’s will, we are made partakers of His holiness and that it is progressive; that it is begun at regeneration; that it progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control; that it is carried on in the hearts of

believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, self-examination, watchfulness and prayer  (I Thes.4:3; 5:23; Prov. 4:18; I John 2:29; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 6:18; John 17:17).

We believe that ultimate sanctification will be the portion of every believer when finally in the presence of the Lord, complete and entire, with soul and spirit united in the resurrection body free from every trace of effect of sin and rebellion (I John 3:2; I Cor. 15:52-54; Eph. 4:30; 5:27; Phil. 4:20-21).

  1. Separation – We believe in the Biblical doctrine of separation which we understand to mean: 1) that we personally should not participate in worldly practices which may dishonor the Savior; 2) that we as individuals and as a church should not practice the Inclusive Policy, (that policy which is inclusive of belief and unbelief alike in spiritual endeavor); 3) that this local church should separate itself from all affiliation and fellowship with other churches or institutions denying any of this doctrinal statement; and 4) that we should maintain a separation of church and state (I Tim. 1:19; II Tim. 1:13; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 16:17-18; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Cor. 6:11-7:1; Matt. 22:17-21).
  2. The Eternal State – We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His Rapture when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but, that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery unto the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when spirit and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; II Thes. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15; 14:9-14; I Thes. 4:13-18).
  3. The Church – We believe that each local church is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed upon a credible confession of faith, and associated together by covenant for worship, evangelism, observance of the ordinances, and fellowship. It is a living, spiritual organism with Christ as its Head, and governed by His Word.  We believe the local church is intended by God to be the center of God’s program for this age, and that every believer is bound by Scripture to give his unhindered cooperation to the program of his local church.     (Matt. 16:16-18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-47; 20:17; I Cor. 1:2; 3:10-17; 5:1-5; 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Tim. 3:1-16; II Tim. 3:15-16; Tit. 1:5-11).
  4. The Church’s Ordinances – We believe that the Lord Jesus instituted two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to be observed by all believers until His return.

We believe that baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Christ, into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show forth by solemn and beautiful symbolism, the believers identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and that it is a Scriptural prerequisite to church membership (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36; Rom. 6:3-5; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:38-41).

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine, as symbols of Christ’s body and blood, commemorating His suffering and death for us and our continual benefit there from; and that participation should be preceded by careful self-examination (I Cor. 11:23-32; 5:1-5; Matt. 18:15-17).

  1. The Great Commission – We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned the church to take the Gospel to the world, and that evangelism at home and abroad should be primary in the program of the local church (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
  2. The Responsibility of Believers – We believe that all believers should seek to walk by the Spirit, not bringing reproach upon their Lord and Savior, exercising Christian liberty regulated by love, separated from worldly pleasures and practices, separated from organizational association with apostate groups (Rom. 12:1,2; Gal. 6:16; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; I Cor. 8:1-13).

We believe that it is the responsibility of all believers to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to assume responsibility for the propagation of the Gospel to all the world (Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8).

We believe that it is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the local church and its extension ministries in prayer, to support it with their tithes and offerings as the Lord prospers them, to participate in all regular services of the church as the Lord enables, and to voluntarily submit to the watch care and discipline of the local church (I Cor. 16:2; Heb. 10:19-25; 13:17,18).

  1. Creation – We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively; that the six days of creation in Genesis chapter one were solar, that is, twenty-four hour days; that all animal and plant life was made directly and God’s established law is that they bring forth only “after their kind”; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1:1-2,25; Ex. 20:11; 31:17; Neh. 9:6; Psa. 33:6-9; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 11:3; Rev. 4.11).
  2. Marriage and the HomeWe believe that the home was the first institution God provided for man, and that marriage is a sacred relationship and honorable for all. “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.”  Marriage is used as an emblem of the union of Christ and His Church.  Children are a special blessing from the Lord.

Parents are commanded to raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Marriage, further-more, is to be a contract and a commitment between a man and a woman.  Homosexuality is condemned in the Scripture as a deviant and wicked lifestyle (Genesis 2:18-24; Psalms 127,128; Mark 10:9; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians.7:2; Ephesians 5:21, 23; 6:1-4; Hebrews 13:4).

SECTION II – DOCTRINAL AGREEMENT

  1. The following persons shall be in agreement with the doctrinal position of the church : Pastor, all elected or appointed church officers, all officers, teachers, and leaders in the Sunday School, youth program, and all other church organizations. There shall be no unofficial church organizations, and all officers, teachers and leaders shall be members of this church.
  2. Should an individual included in Section II-A above, change his or her doctrinal position and become in disagreement with the Statement of Faith, that individual shall be obligated to resign from the place of responsibility. Should it come to the attention of the Pastor and the Deacons that such an individual has changed in doctrinal position but has not resigned, it shall be the responsibility of the Pastor and Deacons to recommend to the congregation the immediate removal of the individual from the place of responsibility and leadership.
Article 4: Associational Affiliations

This church is an autonomous Baptist church under the headship of Christ and the leadership of God-given pastors. Affiliation shall be only with such organizations and associations which manifest both by statement and practice their agreement with the faith and practice set forth in this constitution. Upon an announcement made at least two (2) successive Sundays prior to the date of voting and upon a majority vote of members present
association of churches, such affiliation shall be understood to effect in no way the rights, powers, and privileges of the church, and voting. The church may choose to remain unaffiliated with any group of churches. In the event that it does affiliate with an either as it relates to its property or the operation of its affairs. Withdrawal from any and all affiliation shall in no wise jeopardize its property.

Article 5: Membership

SECTION I – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP

Any person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and has been

baptized by immersion following his conversion, who also is willing to support the Church Covenant and Constitution of the First Baptist Church of Woodville will be considered a candidate for membership.

SECTION II – RECEIVING OF MEMBERS

An individual desiring membership in the First Baptist Church of Woodville may do so by contacting the pastor or one of the deacons.  The candidate, after meeting with the Pastor for membership instruction, shall then meet with the pastor and deacons to express their agreement with the instruction and to give testimony of salvation.  Upon the approval of the pastor and deacons, the candidate shall then be recommended for membership to the church.  They may be received by majority vote at any regular church service.

This church will not grant membership, elect to office, employ, or give leadership responsibility to anyone who is a practicing homosexual or who is sympathetic to the homosexual lifestyle (Romans 1).

SECTION III – DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS

Persons may be dismissed from the membership roll by a simple majority of eligible voting members present at any regular church service under the following circumstances:

  1. At the personal request of the individual, providing they are not under discipline.
  2. When the individual places membership in another church. If it is requested, and, if the other church is of like faith and practice, a letter of commendation shall be forwarded to the other church, provided the member is in good standing at the time of leaving.
  3. When the individual is dismissed from membership as part of disciplinary action taken in accordance with the provisions from the discipline of members given below in SECTION IV.
  4. When a member who has been repeatedly encouraged by the pastor, deacons, and other interested members to activity, refuses to become active or continues to be inactive in the church, for a period of at least 6 months, the pastor and deacons shall review his or her case and issue a letter of notification of dismissal proceedings. The proceedings will consist of being placed on an inactive membership list for 6 months with the loss of voting privileges. If inactivity continues, at the end of a year, the deacons shall recommend to the congregation that the member be dropped from the membership roll.  Reinstatement from the inactive list shall be after consultation with Deacons and Pastor.

SECTION IV – DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS

  1. If a member er in conduct or doctrine, all disciplinary action shall be conducted in accordance with Matt.18:15-18; Titus 3:10, and I Tim. 5:19.
  2. If a member err in conduct or doctrine, the member who has that knowledge shall, in brotherly love, attempt to admonish and correct him. If he does not heed this advice, the pastor and deacons shall be notified, who shall also admonish him.  If this fails, the pastor and deacons shall report the case to a business meeting of the church.  The accused shall be notified of the time and place of the church business meeting at which time these charges shall be preferred and shall be invited to answer these charges.
  3. If the member fails to respond to the invitation to answer the charges against him or her, the church may, upon presentation of the charges, withdraw from him the hand of church fellowship.
  4. The exclusion of a disciplined member must be acted upon by the church which alone has the authority. Any erring member, when admonition and reconciliation have failed, who is recommended for dismissal by the pastor and the deacons can written notification to the charged member and at a business only be dismissed by a majority vote by secret ballot of the voting members present.  Such a vote shall only be taken after meeting of the church whose purpose and time has been announced at least one week prior to it.

If a member who has erred in conduct or doctrine shall voluntarily confess it to the church, and manifest repentance, no further proceedings, except in the case of public scandal, shall be entertained against him.  If a person responds to the action of discipline and excommunication by demonstrating sincere repentance, he or she shall be given opportunity to confess publicly to the congregation and to request forgiveness.  Upon such spiritual restoration and at the recommendation of the pastor and deacons, the congregation may by majority vote restore the person to full membership.  In cases involving fornication, restoration shall not include the right to hold the office of pastor or deacon.

Article 6: Pastor

SECTION I – SCRIPTURAL QUALIFICATIONS

His qualifications shall reflect the requirements as stated in I Tim. 3:1-6 and Titus 1:5-9 (cf. also I Tim. 6:10-12; II Tim. 4:1-5; I Peter 5:1-3; Acts 20:17-35).

SECTION II – SELECTION OF A NEW PASTOR

  1. The Deacons, Chairman of the Trustees, Chairman of the Missions Committee, Sunday School Superintendent, and Clerk (without vote) shall constitute the Pulpit Committee to secure possible candidates for the pastorate when the need arises. The chairman of the Deacons shall be chairman of the Pulpit Committee.
  2. Each candidate shall preach in one or more of the public services in the church.
  3. Each candidate shall be voted upon before considering another. No vote shall be taken until at least one week has expired following the candidates appearance at the church.
  4. The pastor shall be called by a majority vote of the members present and voting. Notice of the meeting shall be given by the church clerk in at least two regular meetings of the church prior to the election.  The vote shall be by written ballot.
  5. The Chairman of the Pulpit Committee shall be responsible to notify the pastor-elect, to report his acceptance to the congregation, and to make arrangements for his moving.
  6. Parsonage requirements for the pastor’s occupancy shall be the responsibility of the Trustees.

SECTION III – DUTIES OF THE PASTOR

  1. Upon assuming his duties as pastor he shall become a member

of this church and shall be the Moderator of this church and an ex-officio member of all boards and committees.

  1. The pastor shall have spiritual oversight of all the work of the church, calling meetings of the church, within the limits of this constitution, as the need may arise.
  2. It shall be the duty of the pastor to devote himself and his time to the service of the church, preaching the Word of God and administering the ordinances. He shall watch over himself and his flock, visiting, as far as time permits, all the members of the church, especially the sick and shut-ins.  He shall lead the church in the work of evangelism and shall make himself available for pastoral counseling when needed.
  3. It shall be the privilege of the pastor to serve other pulpits without a loss of salary for as many as two (2) weeks out of any calendar year. In his absence he shall arrange for a pulpit supply, which supply is to be approved by the deacons.  Financial remuneration of the pulpit supply shall be the responsibility of the pastor.

SECTION IV – PASTORAL BENEFITS

  1. Parsonage – The church shall supply a parsonage adequate for the pastor and his family, incurring, in mutual agreement with the pastor, all expenses for the repair, improvement, maintenance, and insurance of the property. The parsonage shall be considered the pastor’s home without being subject to use for church activities, except by invitation
  2. Salary – The pastor shall receive a salary adequate for meeting the financial needs of him and his family, a sum agreed to by mutual agreement between the pastor and the church and paid in accordance with a mutual arrangement.
  3. Vacation – The pastor shall be granted an annual vacation with full pay, the length of which shall be determined by mutual agreement between the pastor and the church.
  4. Benefits – Benefits such as car expense, insurance policies, social security, retirement, book purchases, religious publications, and expenses in connection with church associational activities shall be considered and reviewed each fiscal year and acted upon as the church so chooses.

SECTION V – PASTOR’S TERM OF OFFICE

  1. The pastor shall serve for an indefinite period of time with the reciprocal rights to terminate his services upon thirty days notice.
  2. Accusations against the pastor shall be submitted to the deacons, and shall not be considered unless supported by the testimony of three or more witnesses (I Tim. 5:19). If he errs in doctrine or conduct, the deacons shall, in brotherly love, attempt to correct him (Gal. 6:1).  If this is not effective, the matter shall be referred to the church which alone has the authority to act.
  3. The pastor may be dismissed by majority vote of the eligible members present and voting, after it has been announced at two regular meetings immediately prior to this meeting. The vote shall be by written ballot.

If the pastor is dismissed, he shall vacate the pulpit immediately, but shall receive thirty days pay.  He shall vacate the parsonage within thirty days of his dismissal, or at the discretion of the church.

Article 7: Licensing and Ordaining

SECTION I – LICENSING

  1. Any male member, who, in the judgment of the church, has given evidence of his piety, zeal and aptness to teach, and that he is called of God to the work of the ministry, after having

preached in the hearing of the church, may be licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, provided a majority of the members present and voting at any regular church meeting shall agree thereto.

  1. The license shall be terminated by similar action of the church for conduct adjudged unbecoming a licensed preacher of the Gospel, or upon request by the individual, or upon his removal of his membership from the church.

SECTION II – ORDAINING

  1. Requirement For Ordination

This church recognized the fact that only God can call a man to the ministry of the Gospel, but believes it both Scriptural and wise to have such a man commended to the ministry of the Gospel by a local church.  The following are some of the normal qualifications to be met by those seeking ordination by this church.

  1. A personal knowledge of Christ as Savior.
  2. A high moral character with an evidence of spirituality in daily life.
  3. An adequate academic preparation, normally consisting of three years of seminary work and of sound spiritual and mental aggressiveness. This requirement may be waived if, in the judgment of the council and church, the candidate merits exception.
  4. A complete agreement with the doctrinal position of the church and with its constitution and covenant.
  5. A written statement of belief and practice regarding the doctrines of the Bible to be presented to all the members of the examining council.
  6. An oral examination before the examining council in which questions shall be asked relative to the candidate’s Christian experience, his call to the ministry, and his knowledge of the Bible and Christian doctrine.

 Procedure For Ordination

  1. When the church, by a majority vote of its members present at any regular church service, determines that one of its members possesses the Scriptural qualifications for full ordination, the church shall proceed in routine manner to call an examining council. Ministers and messengers from surrounding churches who are in agreement with this constitution may be invited to assist in the examining council.
  2. Upon the recommendation of the examining council, the church may ordain the candidate, inviting other churches to assist in the service also.
  3. Such ordination may be revoked for doctrinal defection and/or immorality by majority vote of the church.
Article 8: Church Officers

SECTION I – QUALIFICATIONS

 The character of officers shall reflect the requirements as stated in Acts 6:3 and I Tim. 3:8-13. No officer of this church may be a member of any sacred order or lodge nor may he use tobacco or alcoholic beverages in any form.  Persons divorced after they were regenerated must satisfy the pastor and deacons that the procedure was conducted in accordance with Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:9.

  1. The officers shall be members of the church and shall subscribe wholeheartedly to its doctrinal statement and constitution.
  2. The officers shall endeavor to be faithful in attendance of the weekly public services of the church.

SECTION II – THE SELECTION OF OFFICERS

  1. THE ELECTED OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH
  2. Pastor
  3. Assistants to the pastor, if and when required
  4. Deacons
  5. Trustees
  6. Treasurer
  7. Financial Secretary
  8. Church Clerk
  9. Sunday School Superintendent
  10. Assistant Sunday School Superintendent
  11. Head Usher
  12. Chairman of the Mission Committee (male)
  13. Chairman of the Social Committee
  14. Chairman of the Music Committee
  15. Sunday School Secretary

 

  1. THE APPOINTED OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH
  2. Ushers
  3. Auditors (if and when needed)
  4. Choir director, organist, pianist, and their substitutes
  5. Various committees deemed necessary shall be appointed. Such committees may be dissolved when it seems advisable.
  6. All appointive offices shall expire when newly appointed officers are installed.

 SECTION III – THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH OFFICERS

 Deacons – There shall be a minimum of three (3) male members of the church serving as deacons, if there are this many who possess the qualifications. Two deacons shall be added when the active membership exceeds sixty (60) and one hundred (100) respectively, and each fifty (50) thereafter.  The church clerk shall submit to the nominating committee the names on the membership roll prior to their meeting to select candidates for the annual election.

  1. Trustees – There shall be a minimum of three (3) male members of the church serving as trustees if there are this many who possess the qualifications. An additional two trustees shall be added when the membership has exceeded sixty (60).

SECTION IV – THE STANDING COMMITTEES

There shall be four (4) standing committees: Advisory, Missionary, Social, and Music.

  1. ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Advisory Committee shall consist of the Pastor (as moderator), Deacons, Trustees, Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, Missionary Committee Chairman, and Clerk (without vote).

  1. OTHER STANDING COMMITTEES

The chairman of the remaining standing committees shall be elected by the church each year at the annual meeting.  Other members shall be appointed by the pastor and deacons each year after consulting with the respective chairmen.

SECTION V – DUTIES OF OFFICERS

  1. Duties of Elected Officers
  2. Deacons –
    1. The deacons shall be ready to assist the pastor

in spiritual matters, including preparing and administering the ordinances, visitation, caring for the sick and needy, and such other duties as the church may delegate to them.

  1. The deacons shall elect a chairman from among themselves, and shall be responsible for the leadership of the church services in the pastor’s absence. They shall also elect an

assistant chairman who shall act as secretary and preside in the absence of the chairman.

  1. The pastor and deacons shall interview and examine each applicant for church membership.
  2. The chairman of the deacons shall call special business meetings of the church as needed when the church is without a pastor.
  3. The pastor and deacons shall be in charge of all disciplinary measures with regards to church members and shall carry out these measures in accordance with provisions of this constitution.
  4. The deacons shall fix the hours of all public services, subject to the will of the church.
  1. Trustees –
    1. The trustees shall elect a chairman and an assistant chairman to preside in the absence of the chairman and to act as secretary.
    2. The trustees shall direct the financial needs of the church, exercise proper supervision over church property, and arrange for payment of church salaries. The trustees shall not make disposition of, or purchase any property for the church, except as directed by the church at a business meeting.  This excludes repairs and other disbursements not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) on any one bill or related project except as already indicated in the budget.  Within this $1,000 limit, amounts exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) must be approved by two Trustees. 
    3. The trustees shall appoint one (1) person to assist the financial secretary to count the church offerings.
    4. The trustees shall annually review the church budget and finances and recommend a proposed budget for the coming year to the church for adoption at the annual meeting.
  2. Church Treasurer –
    1. The church treasurer shall maintain an accurate and auditable record of the finances of the church.
    2. The church treasurer shall receive from the Financial Secretary a record of all funds of the church and make disbursements as authorized by the church of Board of Trustees.
    3. The church treasurer shall make a written itemized monthly report of receipts and disbursements to the Board of Trustees, and of authorized bills not yet paid.
    4. The church treasurer shall present a written report of receipts and disbursements to each annual business meeting of the church.
    5. The financial records shall be audited annually following the close of the fiscal year and an auditor’s report presented to the church at the annual business meeting. The trustees shall see that the auditor’s report is presented.
  3. Financial Secretary –
    1. The financial secretary shall receive, count, record, and deposit all funds contributed to the church. All offerings shall be counted on the church premises before the money is deposited.
    2. The financial secretary shall distribute envelopes among the members of the church, and shall keep a complete record of all individual contributions. He shall be prepared to make reports to the pastor, deacons, or trustees at any time upon request.
    3. The financial secretary shall provide a written statement of gifts to each contributor annually.
  4. Church Clerk –
    1. The Clerk shall keep full minutes of all transactions of the church at its business meetings.
    2. The Clerk shall keep an accurate record of the membership of the church.
    3. The Clerk shall keep a record of the names of all who are baptized with the date of baptism.
    4. The Clerk shall keep a record of the admission, dismissal and death of the members, showing the date of event and note the same briefly on the register.
    5. The Clerk shall present annually a terse written report of the state of the church, giving an account of the members received, dismissed, and deceased.
    6. The Clerk shall conduct the correspondence of the church when so instructed.
    7. The Clerk shall be responsible for writing letters of transfer or dismissal upon instruction of the church.
  5. Sunday School Superintendent –
    1. The Sunday School Superintendent shall conduct the opening worship service of the Sunday School, and have general supervision of the Sunday School.
    2. He shall preside at the business meeting of the Sunday School.
    3. He shall, with the pastor, be responsible for selection of Sunday School materials and faculty, and for setting standards for teachers.
  6. Assistant Sunday School Superintendent –

He shall be responsible for the duties of the superintendent when he is absent.

  1. Sunday School Secretary –

He shall keep the Sunday School attendance and offering record and shall order all necessary Sunday School supplies.

  1. Head Usher –

The Head Usher and his assistants shall promote order, comfort, reverence, and unity in the public services of the church.  They shall constrain late comers from disturbing the services, collect the

offerings, seat the worshipers, keep an accurate record of attendance at all services and help maintain the dignity of the house of worship.  The head usher shall appoint a substitute in his absence and designate ushers for each service.

  1. Advisory Committee –

The advisory Committee shall consider and advise concerning all business involving church action not routinely required in this constitution before it is presented to the church, and any matter concerning which the pastor, officer, or group of officers may desire counsel.  Its function is to advise.  The unfavorable action of this committee on any question shall not prevent its being presented to the church.

  1. Chairman of the Missionary Committee –

With his committee, he shall seek to promote interest in missions throughout the church, and to implement the missions policy established in this constitution.

  1. Chairman of the Social Committee –

With his committee, he shall be responsible to arrange and implement the various social function of the church.

  1. Chairman of the Music Committee –

With his committee, he shall work with the pastor in providing a spiritual musical program for the services of the church, shall arrange for special music, and encourage the development and use of musical talent for the Lord’s glory.

  1. Duties of Appointed Officers and Committees

All appointed officers and committees shall execute the functions normally expected of them under the supervision of the pastor.  The pastor shall define for the appointed officers and committees their responsibilities.

Article 9: Elections

SECTION I – ELECTED OFFICERS AND THEIR TENURE

  1. All officers of elective status shall be filled at the annual meeting of the church.
  2. Tenure of office shall be one year, except for deacons and trustees, who shall be elected for a period of three years and in such manner that a third of their number retires each year and an equal number elected. They shall hold office until a successor is elected and installed.
  3. Deacons and trustees shall not immediately succeed themselves. All other officers shall not serve in the same office more than three consecutive years.  There shall be a lapse of at least one year before they shall be eligible for reelection unless there are not enough qualified nominees, based upon the discretion of the nominating committee.
  4. An individual may be elected to more than one office provided he is qualified and can fulfill all the responsibilities of each office held.
  5. Assumption of office shall be following the annual meeting.

SECTION II – NOMINATING COMMITTEE

  1. The Membership of the Nominating Committee

The nominating committee shall consist of the pastor (as chairman), the Sunday School Superintendent, one trustee and one deacon (elected by themselves), and one other to be selected by the church at any regular meeting.

  1. The Responsibility of the Nominating Committee
  2. The Nominating Committee shall select the candidates from the church membership at large whom it believes

 

  1. to be the best qualified for each elective office, one candidate for each office.  These candidates shall be notified and interviewed as to their agreement and ability to accept the office should they be elected.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall prepare an election ballot and post this in a conspicuous place in the church at least three weeks before the election. At a stated service, two weeks before the election, the church shall meet, and additional nominations can be made from the floor, thus eliminated any further nominations the night of the election.  The nominating committee shall interview each of these further nominees if they are agreeable to having their names thus placed, these names shall be added to the ballot.

 

SECTION III – VACANCIES

Upon any vacancies of office the pastor, with the deacons, shall appoint a qualified member to serve the balance of the fiscal year, at which time the church will elect a qualified member to fill the vacant office.  The appointment to fill an unexpired term of less than one year shall not be counted as part of the three-year term.

SECTION IV – REQUIREMENT FOR ELECTION

Candidates receiving a majority of votes cast shall be declared elected.

SECTION V – VOTE BY BALLOT

Elections shall be by written ballot.  The chairman of the meeting shall appoint tellers who shall collect and count the ballots, and report to the meeting the results of the election.

SECTION VI – RIGHT TO VOTE

Resident members eighteen years of age and over shall have the right to vote.  As required by law, no one under twenty-one years shall have the right to vote for trustees or legal matters.

Article 10: Meetings of the Church

SECTION I – WORSHIP SERVICES

  1. The church shall meet regularly every week for such public worship of the eternal God, and the proclamation of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as the church may designate.
  2. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at such regular intervals as the church may designate.

SECTION II – BUSINESS MEETINGS

  1. All business meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer.
  2. Annual Business Meeting. The annual business meeting shall be held annually at the churches discretion.
  3. Other Business Meetings
  4. Deacons and trustees shall hold business meetings as needed to carry out their responsibilities.
  5. Other business meetings may be called by the pastor, or chairman of the deacons as required when the church is without a pastor (cf. Art. VIII, Sec. V, A, 1, d.).
  6. Necessary church business may be conducted at any regular church service, except that any special requirements of this constitution may be met (cf. Art. V, Sec. IV, D; Art. VI, Sec. II, A, B, C, D ; Sec. V, C; Art. IX, Sec. II, B, 2).

 

  1. Rules of Order

Parliamentary Procedure at a Glance and/or Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the parliamentary procedure.

 

 

SECTION III – QUORUM

Twenty-five (25) percent of the voting member of the church, including two officers, shall constitute a quorum.

 

Article 10: Meetings of the Church

SECTION I – WORSHIP SERVICES

  1. The church shall meet regularly every week for such public worship of the eternal God, and the proclamation of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as the church may designate.
  2. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at such regular intervals as the church may designate.

SECTION II – BUSINESS MEETINGS

  1. All business meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer.
  2. Annual Business Meeting. The annual business meeting shall be held annually at the churches discretion.
  3. Other Business Meetings
  4. Deacons and trustees shall hold business meetings as needed to carry out their responsibilities.
  5. Other business meetings may be called by the pastor, or chairman of the deacons as required when the church is without a pastor (cf. Art. VIII, Sec. V, A, 1, d.).
  6. Necessary church business may be conducted at any regular church service, except that any special requirements of this constitution may be met (cf. Art. V, Sec. IV, D; Art. VI, Sec. II, A, B, C, D ; Sec. V, C; Art. IX, Sec. II, B, 2).

 

  1. Rules of Order

Parliamentary Procedure at a Glance and/or Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the parliamentary procedure.

 

 

SECTION III – QUORUM

Twenty-five (25) percent of the voting member of the church, including two officers, shall constitute a quorum.

 

Article 12: Church Buildings and Facilities

SECTION I – USE OF BUILDINGS

The church buildings and facilities shall be used only for such meetings and activities as shall promote the Gospel and honor of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

SECTION II – AUTHORITY FOR USE OF BUILDINGS

The pastor, deacons, and trustees jointly shall exercise the authority to permit the use of the buildings and shall refuse the use of the buildings for any meeting or activity contrary to church policy and belief.

SECTION III – WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS

The church building may be used by members for weddings and funerals.  Others desiring the use of the church and building for weddings and funerals must have the consent of the pastor and deacons.

SECTION IV – PROFIT MAKING

The buildings and facilities of the church shall not be used for profit making.

SECTION V – PROPERTY RIGHTS

Persons dismissed or who have withdrawn from the membership of the church have no right to make claim upon any of the church properties and any such properties in their possession shall be returned immediately.

Article 13: Financial Policy

This church shall be supported by the voluntary giving of tithes and offerings of God’s people. We believe that every Christian should seek to give systematically, regularly, proportionately, sacrificially, and cheerfully of his substance to the Lord’s work through the local church (I Cor. 16:1, 2; II Cor. 8 and 9). No means such as raffles, suppers, rummage sales or other similar methods shall be used by the church to raise money for its support.

Article 14: Memorials

The pastor and one each from the deacons and trustees (elected by themselves together with the donor or donors shall constitute a committee to consult together regarding details and acceptance of memorials.

Article 15: Missions

SECTION I – QUALIFICATIONS FOR SUPPORT

  1. The church shall support only missionary causes and educational institutions consistent with its own belief and practices.
  2. A representative from each educational institution and all missionaries supported by the church shall meet with the pastor and missions committee, or answer detailed questions through the mail indicating full agreement with the doctrinal position of the church by signing its Statement of Faith, and any other statements which the church at any time may deem wise, without mental reservations.
  3. The church shall support missionaries who are members of a fundamental Baptist church not in fellowship with any convention or association that permits apostasy, and who are engaged in founding Baptist churches on the fields where they are laboring, or who are engaged in some type of missionary endeavor which is directly contributing to the establishment of New Testament churches. The church shall not look with favor upon the support of “institutional” missionaries who are engaged in educational, medical, literature, linguistic, or other work unless that work is directly related to the establishment of local churches.  Missionary work is therefore recognized to be the establishment of local churches throughout the world, and all efforts are not directly related to this are not to be supported by the church.

 

SECTION II – CONTINUATION OF SUPPORT

  1. Missionary support for foreign missionaries shall be for one term only, and this shall be clearly stated to missionaries whom the church supports. At the end of each foreign missionary’s term on the field he shall meet with the pastor and Missions Committee of the church and be questioned concerning his doctrinal position and his work.  In cases where a personal interview is impossible, detailed questions shall be submitted to mail to each missionary.  No missionary shall receive further support from the church who does not satisfactorily answer such questions as may be asked of him.
  2. The missionary support of home missionaries, institutions, associations, etc., normally shall be reviewed every four years in the same manner as foreign missionaries, although the church may review their work at any time it deems necessary.

SECTION III – GENERAL PRACTICES

  1. Designated gifts will be honored only with the approval of the pastor and Missions Committee.
  2. No organization within the church (such as men’s, women’s, and youth groups) shall give occasional gifts of money or material goods to missionaries or Christian works not normally supported by the church without first receiving approval of the pastor and Missions Committee.
  3. Should any member discover that any missionary, institution, or organization supported by the church has departed from the faith and practice of the church, these facts shall be brought to the attention of the pastor and Missions Committee for review and action.
Article 16: Convening of a Council

In cases of difficulty, for the decision of which the church desires

the advice and wisdom of disinterested brethren, letters may be sent to neighboring Baptist churches by the Church Clerk at the request of the deacons, asking them to appoint messengers to meet with messengers from this church on a specific day. To this council, when organized, the case shall be referred and their advices shall be laid before the church by the deacons at the following business meeting for further action.

Article 17: Dissolution of the Church

In the event of dissolution, the property of this church (real, personal, and other assets) shall be disposed of according to the majority vote of the remaining members, in compliance with the Articles of Incorporation.  This church shall be considered dissolved when its membership shall have been reduced to five (5) in number.

Article 18: Amendments

Suggested amendments or additions to this constitution shall be presented to the pastor and deacons for their prayerful consideration. Upon recommendation of the pastor and deacons, any amendment may be presented to the congregation at the regular business meeting. Proposed amendments or additions shall be posted in the church for thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which they are discussed. The proposed amendment shall then be voted on at the next quarterly business meeting. Amendments and additions, except in ARTICLE III, may be adopted by a majority vote of the voting membership present. Amendments and additions to ARTICLE III may be adopted by a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the voting membership present.

Article 19: Dissolution

No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, director, and officer; nor shall any private individual be entitled to share in the distribution of corporate assets. Upon dissolution, any assts of the corporation must be distributed to one or more organizations of like faith and practice recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.

Article 20: Non-Political Activities

No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be to carry on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) and campaign of the behalf of any candidate for public office.

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