Church Constitution & Ministry Bylaws
Bible Baptist Church
321 Eva Ave. NE – Live Oak, Florida 32064
Article 1 – Name & Purpose
Section 1 – Name
This congregation of believers shall be known as the Bible Baptist Church.
Section 2 – Purpose
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, pastoriums, 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 Christ; the educating of believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Holy Scriptures, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; and the maintaining of missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country.
Article 2 – Statement of Faith & Covenant
Section 1 – Statement Of Faith
The following comprise the scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
1 The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, preserved and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and practice. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical/historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the pastor. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21). We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (II Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; II Timothy 3:16). We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; I Corinthians 2:7-15; I John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
2 The Fall. We believe that man was created in innocence and voluntarily transgressed God’s law and thereby fell from his holy and happy state, and that all men born thereafter are born in sin and are in need of a savior.
3 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. At least three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)
4 The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14, John 14:10, 26). We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7, I Corinthians 8:4); infinite, and all-knowing (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14) – each equally deserving worship and obedience.
4.1 The Person & Work of Christ.
4.1.1 We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten 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; II Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
4.1.2 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; I Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5)
4.1.3 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. We believe that Jesus is our Great High Priest, and we need no other to intercede for us. (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1-2)
4.2 The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit.
4.2.1 We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; 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; I Cor. 12:12-14; II Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
4.2.2 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 yielded to the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27)
4.2.3 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; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
4.2.4 We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and that 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 (I Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22).
5 Man. We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9). We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).
5.1 The Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19). We teach that, because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
6 Salvation. We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18-19). This forgiveness of sin is called the new birth (John 3:3), and all who are truly born again are kept by God. We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, are forgivable (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; I Pet. 1:18-19; Matt. 12:31-32; I John 1:9).
6.1 Sovereignty, Foreknowledge, Election & Predestination. We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; II Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).
6.1.1 We believe that the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God, along with predestination are clearly taught in Scripture (Rom. 8:28-30). Because God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, He knows all, sees all and governs all. We believe that there should be no teaching that minimizes or eliminates God’s sovereignty.
6.1.2 We teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; II Timothy 1:9).
6.1.3 We reject all five points of the T.U.L.I.P. as unscriptural. We judge fatalism and Calvinism to be an overemphasis and an exaggeration of the sovereignty of God to the point that it eliminates human responsibility in salvation, making it unscriptural.
7 Justification. We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; II Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10; I Corinthians 12:3; II Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; I Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (I Corinthians 1:30; II Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus (Romans 3:26).”
7.1 The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
7.1.1 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; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Pet. 1:4-5)
7.1.2 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)
8 The Church.
8.1 We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
8.2 We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (I Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).
8.3 We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
8.4 We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; I Thessalonians 1:1; II Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (I Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
8.5 We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; I Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; I Pet. 5:1-4).
8.6 We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are pastors (also called bishops, elders and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-5). We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (I Timothy 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their biblical leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
8.7 We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; I Cor. 11:23-26).
8.8 We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word of God (II Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; I John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).
8.9 We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8; I Corinthians 12:4-31; I Peter 4:10-11).
8.10 We believe that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Hebrews 2:3-4; II Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (I Corinthians 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (I Corinthians 13:13-14:12; Revelation 13:13-14). The only gifts in operation today are those nonrevelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6-8).
8.11 We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today, but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; II Corinthians 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; I John 5:14-15).
9 Sanctification/Separation. We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5). We believe that all Christians are called from a life of worldly and sinful practices, to be separated unto God and to a life that is useful unto Christ. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances, piercings, and bodily markings (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; II Tim. 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; Lev. 19:28; I Cor. 6:19-20).
9.1 We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; I Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; II Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; I Peter 1:2).
9.2 We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; II Corinthians 3:18; I Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).
9.3 We teach that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2, I Corinthians 5:9-13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11).
9.4 We believe that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh – but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9).
10 The Rapture of the Church. 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; I Thess. 1:10; I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
10.1 We reject the mid-tribulation, post-tribulation and pre-wrath rapture views as unscriptural. Each of these views respectively insist that saints await the coming of Antichrist instead of Christ. This false teaching leaves no room for the “at-any-moment” return of Christ for His church. The blessed hope of the church is the coming of Christ.
11 The Tribulation Period. We believe that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; II Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; II Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).
12 The Second Coming and the Millennium. We believe that, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth (Revelation 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).
12.1 We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17) to restore them to the land that they forfeited through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26), but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 11:25-29).
12.2 We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).
13 The Judgment of the Lost. We teach that following the release of Satan after the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.
13.1 We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (John 5:28-29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).
14 Eternity. We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (II Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (II Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (I Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (I Corinthians 15:28).
15 The Eternal State.
15.1 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)
15.2 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; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
15.3 We believe that all people who reach the age of accountability to God, who reject Jesus Christ as Savior, go to Hell at death. 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)
16 The Personality of Satan. We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
17.1 Holy Angels – We teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9).
17.2 Fallen Angels – We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).
18 Creation. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17). We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
19 Civil Government. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 2:13-14)
20 Human Sexuality.
20.1 We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
20.2 We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one natural born man and one natural born woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)
21 Family Relationships.
21.1 We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; I Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
21.2 We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; I Pet. 3:1-7)
22 Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
23 Abortion. We believe 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. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
24 Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. 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; II Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; I John 3:17-18)
25 Lawsuits Between Believers. We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. 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. (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
26 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; II Cor. 5:20)
27 Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. 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 the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:17-18; I John 3:17)
28 Summary. A Bible Christian is one who believes in a supernatural Bible, which tells of a supernatural Christ, Who had a supernatural birth, Who spoke supernatural words, Who performed supernatural miracles, Who lived a supernatural life, in supernatural splendor, Who intercedes as a supernatural priest and Who one day, will return in supernatural glory to establish a supernatural kingdom on earth.
Section 2 – Authority Of Statement of Faith
The 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 the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
Section 3 – Covenant
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
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; to 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.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
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 of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour, and to secure it without delay.
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.
Article 3 – Membership
Section 1 – Qualifications For Membership
Upon a majority vote of the members present at any 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 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 ministry of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant).
Section 2 – Duties Of A Member
On becoming a member of this church, in addition to the covenant contained in Article 2, Section 3, each one further covenants to love, honor, and esteem the pastor (Heb. 13:7, 17, 24); to pray for him; to recognize his authority in spiritual affairs of the church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the church; to support the church in prayer, tithes, offerings and with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with biblical commands, to support through a lifestyle walk affirming the beliefs and practices of the church.
Section 3 – Privileges Of Membership
1 Only members at least eighteen years of age who are physically present at a duly called meeting of the church shall be entitled to vote. There shall be no proxy or absentee voting. The eligible membership of the church has certain limited areas to exercise a vote. Members may not vote to initiate any church action, rather the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the church as determined by the pastor and the ministry of deacons.
2 This congregation functions not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the pastor as the undershepherd with the counsel of the ministry of deacons. 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 shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this church. The ministry of deacons shall give counsel and assistance to the pastor as requested by him.
3 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 of the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property. The pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the ministry 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 ministry of deacons), be treated as a trespasser.
4 A member, upon five-business days prior written request made upon the church, may inspect or copy the prepared financial statements of the church, the minutes of the proceedings of church meetings, and the minutes of the proceedings of committee meetings.
4.1 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.
4.2 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 4 – Discipline Of A Member
1 There shall be a discipline committee consisting of the pastor and the ministry of deacons. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the Statement of Faith and violations of the church covenant. If the pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the discipline committee. The pastor and deacons shall be entitled to the same steps as other church members and be subject to the same discipline.
2 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 spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes, he should first examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
3 If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a deacon or the pastor, 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.
4 If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (2) and (3) have been taken, the discipline committee, as the church representatives biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the discipline committee, the committee shall recommend to the members of the church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.
5 If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (2), (3), and (4) have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the church upon a majority vote of the membership present at a meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
6 No matter may be heard by the discipline committee or the church unless the steps outlined in subsections (2) and (3) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
7 If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the church membership, all contact with him/her from that point forward (except by family members) must be for the sake of restoration.
8 The procedures provided in this section are based on Matt. 18:15-20; Rom. 16:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Cor. 2:1-11; Gal. 6:1; I Thess. 5:14; II Thess. 3:6, 10-15; I Tim. 5:19-20; and Titus 3:10-11.
Section 5 – Transfer Of Membership
Members not under the disciplinary process of Article 3, Section 4 may request that letters of transfer be sent to another church.
Section 6 – Termination Of Membership
1 The membership of any individual member shall be automatically terminated without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the church in the preceding three 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.
2 No member of this church may hold membership in another church. If any member unites in membership with another church, that person is automatically terminated without notice from membership in this church.
3 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. Letters granting the transfer of membership will be issued to a church requesting verification of membership status.
Article 4 – Officers
Section 1 – Church Officers
The Bible teaches that there are only two recorded church officers in Scripture: pastor and deacons. However, as the needs of society have made it necessary to adopt other extra-biblical positions, the church shall do so as necessary, and as they can be justified with Scripture. The church officers, both corporate and scriptural, are pastor (see Article 5, Section 1), deacon (see Article 5, Section 2), minister of records (see Article 5, Section 3), minister of finance (see Article 5, Section 4). One person may not hold more than two offices, with the exception of the pastor. The pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other church officers, subject to a confirmation vote of the church membership.
Section 2 – Designation Of Corporate Officers
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the church, the pastor shall serve as president of the corporation; the minister of records shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the minister of finances shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the chairman of the ministry of deacons shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
Section 3 – Eligibility For Office
1 The church shall not install or retain an officer who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith. All church officers, upon request of the pastor, shall affirm their agreement with the Statement of Faith (as set forth in Article 2).
2 All church officers must be approved initially and thereafter periodically by the pastor in order for them to commence or continue in their offices.
3 Only church members in good standing are eligible for election or appointment to any church office or position.
Section 4 – Terms Of Office
1 The relationship between the pastor and the church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of a month’s notice, or less by mutual consent. The calling of a pastor or severance of the relationship between the pastor and the church may be considered at any regular church administration meeting, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the church two Sundays prior to said regular church administration meeting.
1.1 In the event of the church’s pastor resigning, a pastor for the church shall be sought for through the work of a pulpit committee appointed by the resigning pastor or the church body. The committee shall consist of male members only and one member shall be designated as chairman and shall make contacts with prospective pastors. There shall be no authority delegated to any member of the pulpit committee. At no time shall more than one candidate be under consideration for pastor of the church.
1.2 A three-fourths majority of the eligible members present and voting shall be required to call a pastor or to sever the relationship between the pastor and the church. Disciplinary removal of the pastor from office automatically terminates his membership. A restoration to membership after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements of Article 3, Section 1.
2 The term of service for all non-pastoral offices and positions in the church shall be left to the judgment and discretion of the pastor.
3 A vacancy occurring in any office or board other than the pastor may be filled at the discretion of the pastor.
4 All appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until their successors are duly appointed.
5 Members of the ministry of deacons may be removed from office for unbiblical conduct, as determined by the pastor, upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the ministry of deacons.
Section 5 – Qualifications For Office
1.1 I Timothy 3:1-6 and Titus 1:7-9 give the biblical qualifications for a pastor and these passages are to be obeyed in the consideration of the election of a pastor.
1.2 The life of the pastor and his family should be an example of godliness and spirituality. They should not indulge in worldly or sinful practices that will weaken the testimony of the church. No one who partakes in intoxicating liquor, drugs, or tobacco of any form, or who brings disrepute to the ministry through the use of sinful language, sinful practices, questionable associations, or organizations shall be considered for pastor. Those who have fallen into such shall not be retained as pastor, if such course is persisted in.
1.3 No man shall be considered for pastor if he is unwilling to commit to regular tithing, missions giving and necessary generosity to the funding of the church and its ministries.
1.4 No man shall be considered for pastor of this church who is affiliated with the National Council of Churches, or any of its ecclesiastical bodies or conventions.
1.5 No person shall be considered for pastor whose beliefs and teachings are not in accord with the statement of faith (as set forth in Article 2), or who will not declare himself to be a Baptist.
Section 6 – Appointment Of Officers
1 The appointment of officers shall be the responsibility of the pastor and their term of office shall be at his discretion.
2 The pastor shall be elected by acclamation (a standing, or raised hand vote). No secret balloting shall be allowed, and a 2/3 of the majority present shall be necessary for the election.
Section 7 – Pastoral Oversight Of Officers And Staff
1 Subject to the approval of the church membership and on the condition that they shall become a member of the church upon assuming their duties, the pastor may hire associates and assistants to assist the pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
2 All church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the pastor who has the sole authority to dismiss the same. No employee or volunteer shall be hired, appointed, or retained who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith (as set forth in Article 2).
Article 5 – Duties & Powers of Officers
Section 1 – The Pastor
1 The pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and shall be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the church, act as moderator at all church meetings for the transaction of church matters, supervise the teaching ministries of the church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
2 The pastor shall appoint the members of the various committees and officers. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall publicly inform all new officers of the particular function and the responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the church and perform such other duties as generally appertain to such a position. The pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry that God has given him.
3 The word “pastor” means overseer and under-shepherd. The pastor, according to the Scriptures is to oversee and manage the affairs of the church. He shall be responsible for the general supervision of the church and shall have unrestricted liberty in presenting any matter to the church that he deems necessary for its consideration or instruction.
4 The pastor shall be the moderator for the church and shall preside over all services and business meetings as such. No unauthorized meeting, called outside the presence of the pastor, will be recognized in the church body as official in any fashion.
5 The pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all committees with voting powers.
6 The pastor shall be in charge of the pulpit and shall be responsible for providing guest preachers when necessary.
7 The pastor shall appoint all teachers, church clerks, trustees, deacons, and various church workers who are subject to church approval.
8 All appointments for public worship and Bible study and the arrangements thereof, including time and place and the use of the property belonging to the church for purposes other than the stated appointments, shall be under the control of the pastor.
Section 2 – The Ministry Of Deacons
1 The word “deacon” means servant, attender, waiter and aid. The office of the deacon shall be to perform such tasks as necessary to free the time of the pastor for study and prayer (Acts 6:1-4).
1.1 The office of a deacon is not to be taken in any fashion as being an authoritative figure over the church or the pastor.
1.2 I Timothy 3:8-13 gives the biblical qualifications for deacons and their wives and they shall, by the help of the Lord, strive to live thereby.
1.2.1 The life of the deacon and his family should be an example of godliness and spirituality. They should not indulge in wicked and sinful practices which would tend to weaken the testimony of the church. No man who partakes of intoxicating liquors, drugs or tobacco of any form, or who brings disrepute on the church through vulgar language, practices, associations with any questionable organizations (secret or otherwise), shall be considered for the office of deacon. Gossiping, backbiting, undermining, holding grudges and violent uncontrolled temper are examples of disorderly conduct unbecoming of the office of deacon. If indulged in by a deacon, or his wife, this shall be grounds for dismissal.
1.2.2 No man shall be appointed as deacon who has not been a member of this church and been under the supervision and watch-care of the pastor for a period of one year. No man shall serve as deacon in this church who was ordained or appointed by another church until this church chooses to appoint him to the position of deacon.
2 The ministry of deacons shall assist the pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the church, in conducting the religious services, and in performing all other work of the church. They shall assist the pastor in building up the church numerically, financially and spiritually. They shall make provision for the observance of the ordinances of the church. They shall, if requested by the pastor, consider applications for church membership. They shall, in cooperation with the pastor, disburse the benevolence fund. They shall assist the pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the church. The ministry of deacons shall assist the pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the church’s various ministries as requested by the pastor. They shall provide the pulpit supply and choose a moderator for church meetings if the pastor is unavailable or the office of pastor is vacant. Upon the death, resignation, or dismissal of the pastor, the ministry of deacons may appoint a pulpit committee.
3 The pastor shall call all meetings of the deacons. The ministry of deacons, with the pastor’s oversight, shall assemble annually and elect, from their own number, a chairman who shall be vice president of the corporation, a vice chairman, and a secretary.
4 The ministry of deacons shall constitute the trustees of the corporation. The trustees shall exercise only the following specific powers, upon authorization by a majority vote of the members present at a duly called church administration meeting:
4.1 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;
4.2 To sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the church, to borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and the use of the church; to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges; and
4.3 To exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the church corporation.
Section 3 – The Minister Of Records
The minister of records shall:
1 Certify and keep at the office of the church, the original bylaws or a copy, including all amendments or alterations to the bylaws;
2 Keep at the place where the bylaws or a copy are kept a record of the proceedings of meetings of the ministry of deacons, with the time and place of holding, the notice of meeting given, the names of these present at the meetings;
3 Sign, certify, or attest documents as may be required by law;
4 See that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws. (In case of the absence or disability of the secretary, or his or her refusal or neglect to act, notice may be given and served by the pastor or by the chairman of the ministry of deacons.);
5 Be custodian of the records of the church, including the membership roll, baptisms, and certificates of ordination, licenses and commissions;
6 See that the reports, statements, certificates, and all other documents and records required by law are properly kept and filed;
7 Exhibit at all reasonable times to proper persons on terms provided by law the bylaws and minutes of proceedings of the ministry of deacons or the minutes of the meetings of the church members;
8 Keep an account of any special events in the life of the church which are of historical interest and give a report at the annual church administration meeting of the status of the church membership roll in the past year;
9 Keep all records at the office of the church and deliver them to any successor upon leaving office;
10 Serve as the secretary of the corporation.
Section 4 – The Minister Of Finance
The minister of finance shall:
1 Have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds of the corporation, and deposit all funds in the name of the church in banks, trust companies, or other depositories as shall be selected by the pastor or the ministry of deacons;
2 Receive, and give receipt for all contributions, gifts, and donations to the church;
3 Secure offerings during each service by counting the offerings in the presence of two appointed church members and securely preparing the offerings for deposit. At no time shall the church offerings be counted off site, or amended outside of the presence of the treasurer.
4 Disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the church as may be directed by the pastor, the ministry of deacons, or the budget adopted by the members of the church at the annual church administration meeting, taking proper vouchers for the disbursements;
5 Keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the church’s properties and business transactions including account of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, and capital;
6 Make all expenditures of the church (except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements) by check;
7 When and as requested, render to the pastor and the ministry of deacons accounts of all his/her transactions as minister of finance and of the financial condition of the church;
8 Present a written report of itemized disbursements at the regular quarterly church administration meetings and make a general report for the year at the annual church administration meeting;
9 Keep all church financial records at the office of the church and deliver them to any successor upon leaving office.
10 Serve as treasurer of the corporation.
Section 5 – Associate pastors
Under the direction and guidance of the pastor, the associate pastor(s) of the church shall assist the pastor in carrying out the ministries of the church.
Section 6 – Duties Of All Officers
1 All officers shall prepare a written report of their work for the annual church administration meeting and shall surrender any records in their possession to the minister of records at the close of their term of office to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the church. All records are the property of the church and must be kept in the church office.
2 Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the bylaws for a period of thirty days may be removed from his/her office at the discretion of the pastor, and another may be appointed by the pastor to serve the un-expired term.
Section 7 – Installation Of Officers
A public installation service in which all newly elected officers of the church are to be dedicated to their respective offices and the ordination of newly elected deacons shall be held at a public church service following their appointment or election.
Article 6 – Meetings
Section 1 – Meetings For Worship
Unless otherwise determined by the pastor, the church shall meet each Sunday for public worship and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer, except when circumstances forbid it.
Section 2 – Meetings For church Administration
1 The annual church administration meeting shall be held on the last Sunday in February, at which time the regular church administration shall be considered. A quorum shall consist of the members present.
2 All church administration meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer for divine guidance and blessing.
3 The moderator shall determine the rules of procedure according to his sense of fairness and common sense, giving all members a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a matter. The moderator is the final authority on questions of procedure, and his decision is final and controlling.
4 For any meeting under this article, the moderator, in his sole discretion, shall have full and unilateral authority to require nonmembers to leave the meeting room and to order the immediate removal of any member or other person present who is deemed by the moderator to be disruptive to the proceedings by act or presence. The moderator shall have full authority to order the removal of all children (ages to be determined by the moderator) if the moderator determines, in his sole discretion, that circumstances so warrant. If the moderator determines that compliance with his order of removal is unsatisfactory, the moderator may, in his sole discretion, revoke the disruptive person’s right to remain on the premises in accordance with Article 3, Section 3, Subsection 3 and treat the person as a trespasser.
Section 3 – Special Meetings
1 The pastor (or ministry of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant or the pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action) may call a special meeting by giving notice of such a meeting and the purpose for which it is called to the church from the pulpit at least one Sunday and not less than one week prior to said meeting.
2 Bible conferences, missionary conferences, and revivals may be held as the pastor deems beneficial.
Section 4 – Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
Article 7 – Ministry Of Education
Section 1 – Purpose
The church believes that it is to provide the members’ children with an education which is based upon and consistent with biblical teachings. The church believes that the home and church are responsible before God for providing a Christian education. To this end, the church shall engage in ministries in education in keeping with the following dictates.
Section 2 – Church Participation
All educational programs or courses of instruction formulated and offered by the church shall be primarily for the benefit of the members of the church; however, the pastor may permit non-church members to participate in church educational programs or courses of instruction if he deems it in the best interest of the church.
Section 3 – Staff Membership
All administrators shall be members of this church. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelists, or preachers engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons, conducting revivals, or other special meetings on a temporary basis.
Section 4 – Statement Of Faith Accord
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full accord with the Statement of Faith of the church (as set forth in Article 2). The church shall not hire, appoint, or retain any employee or volunteer for its educational programs who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith.
Section 5 – Unity
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of the church.
Section 6 – Teaching
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief which conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
Section 7 – Christian Walk
All administrators, instructors, and teachers shall continue or adopt a lifestyle consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
Article 8 – Ordination
Section 1 – Ordination Qualifications
Any male member of this church or its mission churches, who gives evidence of a genuine call of God into the work of the ministry and possesses the qualifications stated in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.
Section 2 – Ordination Procedure
1 Upon a conference with the pastor and after the pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith invited to participate in the examination of the candidate.
2 If the candidate is found worthy of ordination by two-thirds of the council, the ordination council may ordain the candidate on behalf of the church.
3 The pastor and the chairman of the ministry of deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
Article 9 – Church Policy
Whereas this church, in its desire for steady growth, and also spiritually in its determination to fulfill the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, recognizes the great need in these days of apostasy, of a thorough and complete understanding of principles and policies of the New Testament church; for the sake of perpetual unanimity of the Spirit, and that said determination of fervency be not impaired now or later, and thus bring reproach on the name of Christ in this place. Be it resolved that this church places itself on record as adopting the following altogether scriptural policy in relation to the church as a divine institution and its officers and members of the institution:
Section 1 – Listing of Governing Instruments
That the church possesses, operates, does its business, and governs itself under the guidance of the King James Version of the Bible and the following three instruments:
1 The Church Covenant.
2 The Church Constitution and By-Laws.
3 The Church Policy.
Section 2 – Independence
The local church is an independent body, and in all matters pertaining to its teaching, affiliation and policy is sovereign and responsible only to the members and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Section 3 – The King James Version of the Bible
The King James Version of the Bible shall never be subjected to ridicule nor brought into disrepute by any pastor, worker, officer, teacher or member of this church and those doing so shall be found in violation of the church’s statement of faith found in Article 2, and their relationship with this church shall be severed immediately and indefinitely.
Article 10 – Indemnification
Section 1 – Actions Subject To Indemnification
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. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or on a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner that 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 that his or her conduct was unlawful.
Section 2 – Expenses Subject To Indemnification
To the extent that a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit, or proceeding referred to in this Article, or in defense of any claim, issue, or matter in that action, suit, or proceeding, he or she may be indemnified against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding.
Section 3 – Limitations Of Indemnification
Any indemnification made under this Article, may be made by the church only as authorized in the specific case on a determination that indemnification of the pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent is proper in the circumstances because he has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in Section 1 of this Article. 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, both as to action of each person seeking indemnification under this Article in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding that office, and may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent and may inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of that person.
Section 6 – 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.
Article 10 – Committees
Section 1 – Standing Committees
The pastor (or the ministry of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant) shall appoint standing committees and designate a chairperson for each standing committee and, except when otherwise specifically provided in these bylaws, shall determine the membership of each standing committee. In addition to the discipline committee, the pastor may appoint other standing committees as he deems appropriate.
Section 2 – Special Committees
The ministry of deacons, in its discretion, may create special committees to provide the board with advice and information regarding matters submitted to the committee by the board for consideration. The committee shall have no authority to act on behalf of the corporation. The members of the committee shall be chosen by a majority vote of the board of deacons and shall serve solely at the pleasure of the ministry of deacons. The special committee shall be subject to the control and direction of the ministry of deacons at all times.
Article 11 – Special Contributions
From time to time the church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions, but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the pastor and the ministry of deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article 1 Section 2.
Article 12 – 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
In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to these bylaws or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as befits Christians. 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. 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 arbitration.
Section 3 – Limitations On Arbitration Decisions
1 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 3, Section 4, were followed.
2 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 3, Section 4 were followed.
Section 4 – Arbitration Procedures
The Procedures for Arbitration shall be as adopted by the pastor and the board of deacons.
Article 13 – Amendments
These bylaws may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular church administration meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing and announced from the pulpit fourteen (14) days before the vote is taken.
Article 14 - Use of Facilities Policy
Section 1 - The use of this Church and all of its facilities is restricted to its members in good standing.
Section 2 - All weddings are to be presided over by one of the Church's Pastors only.
Section 3 - All requesters for usuage must agree with the Church's constitution and ministry Bylaws.
These amended bylaws were adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the church in which a quorum was present.
These bylaws supersede any other bylaws of Bible Baptist Church.
November 1, 2015 ________________________________
Date President/Pastor Brent Whittle