ARTICLE 1 - NAME, PURPOSE, AND AFFILIATION
SECTION 1 - NAME
This church shall be known as
SECTION 2 - PURPOSE
Riverview Baptist Church 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 as the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day-care centers, camps, and foreign mission agencies; the evangelizing of the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; the educating of believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; and the maintaining of missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country.
This church resolves:
A. To stand unequivocally (without compromise) for the fundamentals of the faith as contained in the sixty-six books of the Holy Scriptures.† (Psalm 119:160; Galatians 1:8-9; II John 1:9-11; Jude 1:3-4)
B. To worship, exalt, honor, praise, and please the only true and living God.† (Psalm 5:11; 7:17; 9:1-2; 21:13; 34:1; 46:10; 57:5; 89:6-8; 92:1-2; 100:4; 107:32; 111:1; 135:13; Isaiah 44:6; John 4:23-24; Philippians 3:3; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16; Hebrews 2:9; 11:16; 1 Peter 1:7)
C. To fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus Christ by seeking the salvation of all persons through evangelism of the local community and, through missions, the world by the proclamation of the Gospel of the grace of God embodied in Jesus Christ.† (Matthew 22:37-40; 28:19; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 6:23; I Corinthians 15:3-4; I John 4:9-10)
D. To foster the growth and development of believers into mature disciples through instruction in the Holy Scriptures and training in the Christian walk and witness.† (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:12; II Timothy 2:2; -17; I Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)
E. To promote worship, evangelism, instruction, discipleship, love, fellowship, and stewardship among all believers.† (Psalm 96:9; Matthew 20:26-27; Matthew 28:19-20; John 4:23-24; John 13:34; I Corinthians 4:1-2; I John 1:7)
F. To encourage, as a servant of God, the employment of spiritual gifts in this church and throughout the world.† (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-14; )
G. To license and ordain men to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
SECTION 3 - GOVERNMENT
A.† This church declares itself to be an independent congregational church, embracing and †† conforming to the principles of congregational government by its members acting †††††††††† corporately.† The corporate membership does not relinquish, share, or delegate its ††††††††† authority over the church to any individual, group, body, or organization.
B. The spiritual and temporal administration of this church shall be under the supervision of the pastor and pastoral staff, church staff, deacons, and trustees, subject to the approval of its membership.
SECTION 4 - AFFILIATION
A. This church is independent in the governing of its own affairs, subject only to Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, and is not associated with any church, movement, or denominational organization.
B. This church may cooperate and associate with any ministry, movement, mission, organization, or individual whose doctrine, policy, and practice is not in contradiction with its own.
C. Any attempted persuasion to compromise in cooperation shall be dealt with.
SECTION 5 Ė MINISTRIES
Ministries of this church are approved by vote of the membership.
ARTICLE 2 -STATEMENT OF FAITH AND COVENANT
SECTION 1 - STATEMENT OF FAITH
I. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Bible, as written in the original languages:
A. Consists of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.
B. Is equally, fully, and verbally the inspired Word of God.† (John 16:12-13; I Corinthians 2:12-13, 16; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)
C. Is inerrant.† (Matthew 4:4; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:20)
D. Is the complete and eternal revelation of God.† (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:27, 44; I Peter 1:25; Revelation 22:18-19)
E. Is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed, and religious opinions shall be tried.† (Romans 15:4)
F. Has a purifying effect on the mind and heart when applied daily.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12)
G. Shall be interpreted according to its normal, grammatical, contextual, and historical meaning; all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the spiritual leaders of the church.
II. THE GODHEAD
A. There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; II Corinthians 13:14)
B. These three are co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, and co-equal in power and glory.† (Genesis 1:1-2, 26; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:21; Romans 8:11; Philippians 2:6;††††† Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 4:8)
C. These three, having the same attributes and essence, are worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence, and obedience.† (Exodus 20:3; John 10:30, 14:9, 16;†††††††††† Revelation 4:11)
D. These three perform distinct but harmonious functions in the great work of redemption.† (I Peter 1:2)
III. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE FATHER
A. As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, God the Father is sovereign in Creation, providence, and redemption.† (Psalm 102:25; 103:19; Romans 11:36)
B. God the Father orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. (Psalm 145:8-9; I Corinthians 8:6)
C. His fatherhood involves His designation within the Trinity and with mankind.†††††††††††††††††† † (Luke 11:13; John 1:12; 11:41-42; Romans 8:15)
D. As creator, He is father to all men.† (Acts 17:29; Ephesians 4:6)
E. He is spiritual father only to believers.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Romans 8:14-16)
F. He has decreed, for His own glory, all things that come to pass.† (Ephesians 1:11)
G. He continuously upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events.† ††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Chronicles 29:11-12)
H. He is not the author of sin nor does He approve of sin.† (Habakkuk 1:13)
I. He is not a respecter of persons; thus, all are accountable.† (Acts 10:34; I Peter 1:17)
J. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would save as His own.† (Ephesians 1:4-6)
K. He saves all who come to Him.† (John ; )
IV. THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST
A. Jesus Christ is all that God is.† (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 5:11-15; Luke 6:8; 11:17;†† †John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 11:38-44; 17:5)
B. He is the only begotten, eternal Son of God.† (John 1:1-2, 14; ; Hebrews 1:4-8)
C. He was actively involved in Creation.† (John 1:3; I Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2)
D. He took on a fleshly body and became man without ceasing to be God. ††††††††††††††††††††††† † (John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9)
E. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary.††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:31, 35)
F. He came to earth in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man.†††††††††††††††††† † (John 1:18, 14:8-9; Galatians 4:4-5; Titus 2:13-14)
G. He accomplished our complete redemption through the shedding of His blood on the Cross as a substitutionary sacrifice.† (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 10:12-14;††† †I Peter 2:24)
H. He made our justification sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.†† ††(Luke 24:39; Romans 4:25; I Peter 1:3-5)
I. He ascended into Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father.†††† ††(Acts 1:9-11; -33; -31; ; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1)
J. He is our high priest, intercessor, mediator, and advocate.† (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews ; -20; ; ; I John 2:1-2)
V. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. The Holy Spirit is God.† (Acts 5:3, 4; II Corinthians 13:17)
B. The Holy Spirit was actively involved in Creation.† (Genesis 1:2)
C. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.† (John 16:7-11)
D. The Holy Spirit is the supernatural agent in regeneration and sanctification.† †††††† ††††(John 3:5; I Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5)
E. The Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the body of Christ.† (I Corinthians 12:12-14)
F. Every unregenerate person, the moment he exercises faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, immediately possesses the Holy Spirit.† (Romans 5:5; 8:9; Galatians 4:6; I Thessalonians 4:8; Titus 3:5)
G. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer equally and permanently, sealing them unto the day of redemption.† (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13, 14; 4:30; I Corinthians 6:19; ††††††††††††††II Corinthians 1:21-22)
H. The Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth.†††††††††††††† † (Romans 8:14; ††I John 2:20, 27)
I. The Holy Spirit, according to His sovereignty, bestows spiritual gift(s) to each believer.† (I Corinthians 12:4-11)
J. It is the responsibility of each believer to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.†††††††††††† † (Ephesians 4:30; 5:18-19; I Thessalonians 5:19)
K. The Holy Spirit can be grieved and quenched.† (Ephesians 4:30; I Thessalonians 5:19)
A. The Genesis account of Creation is to be accepted and believed to be literal in all of its aspects.† (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Jeremiah 10:10-13; John 1:3; Acts , -26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 10:6)
B. God created all that exists in six days, each day being a literal twenty-four hour period.† (Exodus 20:11)
C. God, through the power of His spoken word, created all things.† (Genesis 1:1-31; 2:7; Hebrews 11:3)
D. All three persons of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) were active in Creation.† (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:3; I Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15-17)
E. Man was created directly by God, in Godís own image, and after His own likeness.† (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; I Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9)
F. Manís creation was neither a matter of evolution nor a matter of evolutionary change of species.† (Genesis 2:7, 21-23; John 1:3)
G. All animal and plant life was created by God and reproduces after its own kind. † (Genesis 1:11-12, 24-25)
VII. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
A. Satan is a created being who once enjoyed an exalted position in Heaven but, through pride and rebellion, fell into sin.† (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19)
B. Satan is the author of sin.† (Ezekiel 28:15; John 8:44; I John 3:8)
C. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man.† (Matthew 4:2-11; I Peter 5:8)
D. Satan is powerful, but he is not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent.† He cannot overcome the believer who is submitting himself in faithful obedience to Jesus Christ and His Word.† (Ephesians 6:11-12; James 4:7)
E. He is the god of this world.† (II Corinthians 4:4)
F. He is the prince of the power of the air.† (Ephesians 2:2)
G. Satan convinced one-third of all created angels to join in his rebellion and they also fell into sin. (Revelation 12:4, 9)
H. He retained all his power, and he uses demons (fallen angels), the unsaved, and carnal Christians to implement his plan.† (Job 1:6-7; John 8:44; Romans 8:7; I Corinthians 3:1-4; II Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 6:12; Titus 1:10-11)
Satan and his fallen angels shall be eternally punished
VIII. THE FALL OF MAN
A. Man was created without sin and in the image of God (mind, emotion, & will).†† † (Genesis 1:26-27)
B. Through Adamís voluntary sin, mankind fell into a state of sin.† (Genesis 3:1-19)
C. Man inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Psalm 14:1-7; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-19, 22-23, 5:12, 15; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12)
D. Man incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 6:23)
E. Man became subject to the wrath of God.† (John 3:36)
F. Man became inherently corrupt and, apart from divine grace, utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God.† (Romans 3:23; I Corinthians ; )
G. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.† (Romans 3:9-20)
A. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition for salvation.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9)
B. The salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of Godís grace.†††††††††††††† † (Jonah 2:9; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24, 25; Ephesians 2:8, 9)
C. Jesus Christ by appointment of the Father voluntarily took upon Himself the form of a man and was tempted in all points as we are - yet without sin in nature or deed.† He honored the divine law by His personal obedience.† By the shedding of His blood in His death, He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding our sins.† (Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; Romans 3:25; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews -17; ; I John 4:10)
D. Christís death was not a martyrís death.† It was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinnerís place: the just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing manís sins in His own body on the cross.† (Isaiah 53:11; John 10:17-18; Galatians 1:4; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 12:2; I Peter 2:24; 3:18)
E. The risen Christ is now enthroned in Heaven.† He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, all-sufficient Savior and mediator for all believers.†† † (Isaiah 53:12; I Corinthians 15:3-8; Hebrews 7:25; 9:12-15; 10:10,12,14,18; I John 2:2)
F. The result of salvation is a new creation in Christ Jesus.† (II Corinthians 5:17)
A. Repentance, with regard to unbelievers, is a change of mind coincident with (but not preceding) belief in Jesus.†† However, with regard to church saints, it is exercised as a separate act.† (Acts ; )
B. Godís desire is that none should perish, but that all unsaved repent in the sense of letter A above.† (Acts 17:30; II Peter 3:9)
Christ preached repentance to the lost sheep of the
D. In obedience to Christís commands, the early church preached repentance to all men.† (Acts -38; , 19; ; ; ; 26:20; Romans 3:25)
E. Repentance is accomplished by Godís work in the heart through the ministry of the Word, the goodness of God, reproof and chastisement, godly sorrow, and the realization of Godís holiness.† (Job 42:5-6; Acts 2:37-38, 41; 5:30-32; 11:18; Romans 2:4; †† ††††††††††II Corinthians 7:8-11; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Hebrews 12:6, 10, 11; I Peter 2:3;††††††††††† Revelation 3:19)
A. Justification is the judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ.† (Romans 3:24, 4:5; Philippians 3:9)
B. Justification is bestowed solely through faith in Christís shed blood.† (Romans 5:1, 9; Ephesians 2:8-9)
C. Justification is not based on any works of righteousness which we have done.†††† † (Romans 4:2-3; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)
A. Positional sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God.
B. Positional sanctification is an eternal act of God whereby the believer is set apart from the penalty of sin based upon the redemptive work of Christ.† It establishes the believer in a position of holiness the moment he trusts the Savior.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 10:10-14)
C. Experiential sanctification is a continuing process in which the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life of the believer for the purpose of conforming him to the image of Christ.† Thus, the believer is no longer under the dominion of sin in this present life.† (John 17:17; Romans 6:14; I Thessalonians 4:3-4)
D. The final accomplishment of this process occurs when the believer is set apart from the very presence of sin either when the Lord returns or at the death of the believer.†††††††††††††††† † (I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I John 3:2; Jude 1:24-25; Revelation 22:11)
E. Every Christian possesses an old and new nature during this present life.††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Romans 7:18-24; 8:12-13; II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:16-25)
F. Victory over the old nature is through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.† (Galatians 5:16; Romans 6:13; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:5-11; II Peter 1:3-4; I John 3:5-9)
G. The old nature cannot be eradicated in this life.† (Romans 7:15-25; I John 1:8-10)
A. Adoption is the voluntary act of God where He places believers into His family as His sons.† (Galatians 3:26; 4:6; Ephesians 1:5)
B. Adoption is made possible by the death of Christ.† (Galatians 4:4-7)
C. Adoption entitles believers to the full rights and privileges of being in Godís family.† (Romans 8:14-17)
XIV. ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS
A. All believers are kept secure forever.† (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; I Corinthians 1:4-8; †††††††††I Peter 1:5)
B. Salvation cannot be lost under any condition.† (Romans 8:1-2, 31-39)
C. It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of Godís Word.† (1 John 5:10-13; Psalm 119:41)
D. When Christians sin, they lose fellowship with God (not relationship) and must confess their sins to God in order to restore fellowship with Him.† (I John 1:5-10; 2:1-2)
We believe election is the divine act of God whereby, according to His sovereignty, God chooses man to salvation in accordance with His foreknowledge and apart from human merit.† (John 15:16-19; Romans 9:11-28; 11:5-7; Ephesians 1:4; 2:8-10; I Thessalonians 1:4;†††††††††††††††† I Peter 1:2; 5:13)
XVI. THE CHURCH
A. The body of Christ is composed of all persons saved from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture.† (I Corinthians 12:12-14)
B. The Church is the body and espoused bride of Christ.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 21:9)
C. The body of Christ began on the day of Pentecost and will continue until the Rapture.† (Acts 2:1, 41-47; I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
D. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.† (Ephesians 1:22-23; ; )
E. The church is a covenant people under the New Covenant.† (I Corinthians 11:25)
F. The Church could be formed only by the present ministry of the Holy Spirit in baptizing all members into one body.† (I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27)
G. The establishment and continuance of local church assemblies is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Acts 2:42; 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
H. This local church consists of born-again believers who have been baptized through immersion.† (Acts 2:41; -32; 19:5)
I. In the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control.††††††††††††† † (Acts 2:41-42; 6:5; 13:1-4; 20:28; Hebrews 10:24-25; I Peter 5:1-4)
J. Membership in a local church assembly has no part in salvation.† (John ; )
K. The leadership of this local church consists of two offices, pastors and deacons.†††††††††††† † (I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
L. Men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church.† Accordingly, only men are eligible for license and ordination by the church.† (I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9)
M. The mission of the local church is to glorify God by its members leading individuals to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and a growing relationship with Him.†††††††††††††††††† † (Matthew 28:19-20)
XVII. BAPTISM AND THE LORDíS SUPPER
A. Christian baptism is:
1. The single immersion of a believer in water.† (Acts 2:41; 8:36-39; 10:48; 16:33; 19:5; †I Corinthians 1:14-16)
2. To be performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.†††††††††††††††††† † (Matthew 28:19)
3. To show our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior.††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Colossians 2:12)
4. Performed under the authority of the local church and is necessary for the privilege of local church membership.† (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42)
B. The Lordís Supper is:
1. The commemoration of His death until He comes and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination.† (I Corinthians 11:23-28)
2.† Open to all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior; therefore, this church practices open communion.† (Acts 2:41-42)
A. Every Christian, as a steward of that portion of Godís wealth entrusted to him, has the privilege of supporting his local church financially.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Proverbs 3:9-10;† I Corinthians 16:2; I Timothy 5:17-18)
B. Every Christian is encouraged to give sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church and the spreading of the Gospel.† (Acts 4:34-37; II Corinthians 9:6-7)
XIX. HUMAN SEXUALITY
A. God commands that there be no intimate sexual activity between a man and a woman outside of marriage.† (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; Hebrews 13:4)
B. Any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography is sinful perversion of God's gift of sex.††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Genesis 19:5, 13; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)
C. God disapproves of any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance.††††††††††† † (Psalm 139; Genesis 1:27, 31)
D. Homosexuality and same sex marriages are an abomination to God.† (Leviticus ; ; Romans 1:26-27)
E. The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.†††††††††††††† † (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
XX. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY RELATIONS
A. Men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but God ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church.† (Galatians 3:28; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
B. God ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.†††††††††††† † (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:24; Exodus 20:12; Mk. 10:6-12; Ephesians 6:1-3; Hebrews 13:4)
C. God intends marriage to be for life.† (Malachi 2:11-16; Matthew 19:6; I Corinthians 7:10-11)
D. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.† (Ephesians 5:25)
E. Husband and wife are subject to God and each other.† The wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ.††††††††††† †† (I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; I Peter 3:1-7)
F. The husband is the leader of the home.†† (Colossians 3:18)
G. Children are a heritage from the Lord.† (Psalm 127:3-5)
H. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them through consistent lifestyle, example, and appropriate discipline, including scriptural corporal correction.† (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 19:18; 22:6, 15; -14; 6:1-4, Colossians 3:20-21)
XXI. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
A. God hates divorce; He intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies.††††† † (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12)
B. Divorce and remarriage are regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication or the willful departure of an unsaved spouse. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †(Matthew 19:9; Romans 7:1-3; I Corinthians 7:10-15)
C. Divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service.† Such individuals may not be considered for the office of pastor or deacon.† (I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
We believe human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.† Abortion constitutes the unjustifiable, inexcusable taking of unborn human life.† Abortion is murder.† We reject all teachings that abortion of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother is acceptable.† (Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
XXIII. MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS
A. God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts according to His own will, giving every Christian at least one gift.† These gifts are to be exercised for the perfecting of the saints of the Church Age for effective Christian ministry. Speaking in tongues and the working of authenticating miracles (the gifts of healing, raising the dead, etc.) gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority established.†††††††††† † (Romans 12:1-8; I Corinthians 1:22; 12:11; 13:10; Ephesians 4:7-13)
B. Spirit baptism is a union of the believer with Christ and His Church.† This union takes place at conversion, it is never repeated, and the Holy Spirit indwells the believer forever.† We also believe that speaking in tongues is not a sign of Spirit baptism.† The permanent gifts were given for the perfecting of the saints.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Romans 6:1-10; 12:6-8; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:11-16)
A. Separation is one of the important subjects of Scripture.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Exodus 33:16; II Corinthians 6:14-18)
B. A study of the Bible makes it abundantly clear that worldliness is something that should be shunned by the people of God.† It is a great enemy of growth and progress in spiritual life.† (Romans 12:2; Galatians 6:14; II Timothy 2:4; I John 2:15-16)
C. All Christians should live in such a way as to not bring reproach upon their Lord and Savior.† (Romans 12:1-21)
D. The world system is Satanís arrangement to attract manís sin nature.† Worldliness is an individualís submission to that arrangement.† (1 John 2:15-17)
E. Separation is a lack of complicity with the world system.† The need for separation does not come out of a list of negatives and prohibitions.† (Romans 12:1; ; II Corinthians - 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 2:11-14; I John 2:15-17)
XXV. LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe Christians are prohibited from resolving personal disputes by bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church.† We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christianís insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.† (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)
We believe it is the privilege and responsibility:
A. Of all believers to witness, by life and by work, to the truths of the Holy Scriptures.† (Matthew 5:16; II Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 4:11-16)
B. Of all believers to be equipped and trained for personal evangelism and to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind.† It is the responsibility of the church to formulate, institute, and implement means of equipping and training believers for personal evangelism.†††† † (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 13:2-3)
C. Of the church to pray for laborers.† (Matthew 9:37, 38; Luke 10:20)
D. Of the church to send out equipped and trained missionaries.† (Acts 13:2, 3)
Dispensationalism is derived from the proper
interpretation of Scripture which is in the natural, literal, grammatical,
contextual, and historical sense.† This
method of interpretation reveals that God has dealt with mankind in different
ways during the course of human history.†
Dispensationalism teaches that the Church,
B. A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect to obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.
C. Dispensations are distinguished by features which are distinctive to each. The different dispensations may have certain similar characteristics.
D. The outworking of Godís purpose within the different dispensations must be viewed from Godís viewpoint and not mankindís.† In a given dispensation, the conditions are instituted by God to try man.† The purposeful conclusion of the dispensation is brought about by God, and the overall purpose is to glorify God.
E. Salvation is always by grace through faith regardless of the dispensation in which the believer lives.† (Romans 4:3; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 1:10-12)
See also:† John 1:17; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24, 25; Hebrews 7:19; Revelation 20:2-6.
XXVIII. THE RAPTURE
A. In the imminent return of Christ in the air; He will receive His Church unto Himself.†††††††† † (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
B. At that moment, the dead in Christ shall first be raised in glorified bodies.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Thessalonians 4:16)
C. The living in Christ shall then be given glorified bodies without tasting death.†††††††††††††††††† †† (I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21) †Both groups (the living and the dead in Christ) shall be raptured (caught up) to meet the Lord in the air.††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Thessalonians 4:17)
D. This event will occur prior to the seven years of the Tribulation.† (Revelation 3:10)
XXIX. THE TRIBULATION
That following the translation of the Church there will
be the signing of the covenant between
This seven year period is the fulfillment of
C. It will be a period of judgment affecting the whole earth.† (Revelation 3:10)
Its purpose is to try all people on earth and to call
The latter three and one-half years of the Tribulation are
referred to as the Great Tribulation which begins when the man of sin breaks
the covenant with
XXX. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
A. The Great Tribulation will be climaxed with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth in power and great glory.† He will return with his bride, the Church, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom and to introduce the Millennial Age.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Zechariah 14:3-16; Matthew 24:29-31; Acts 1:9-12; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-21)
B. The devil will then be chained and the Lord Jesus Christ will reign in perfect righteousness for one thousand years.† (Revelation 20:1-10)
XXXI. THE FINAL JUDGMENT
A. The souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery in Hades.†††††††††††††††††††† † (Luke 16:19-26)
At the second resurrection, when soul and body are
reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, judged
according to their works, and then shall be cast into the
Those who are cast into the
A. There will be a bodily resurrection of all men.
B. All saved individuals who die, regardless of the dispensation in which they lived, will be resurrected to eternal life:
Testament Saints will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium. † (
2. Church Age Saints will be resurrected at the Rapture.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:51- 54)
3. Tribulation Saints will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium.† (Revelation 20:4-6)
4. Millennial Saints will be resurrected after the Millennium.† (Isaiah 65:20)
C. All unsaved individuals who die, regardless of the dispensation in which they lived, will be resurrected to judgment and everlasting punishment.† (Revelation 20:11-15)
See also: Matthew 25:46; John , 29; -26; Revelation 20:5-6.
D. The souls and spirits 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 soul and spirit are united with the glorified body to be forever with the Lord.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians1:23; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6; 21:1-6; 22:1-6)
XXXIII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
A. Civil government is of divine appointment.† (Romans 13:1-7)
B. Civil government is for the interest and good order of human society.†††††††††††††††† † (Genesis 9:6; I Timothy 2:1-2; Romans 13:3-7)
C. Government leaders are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed except in things opposed to the revealed Word of God.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Acts 5:29; I Timothy 2:1-2; I Peter 2:13-17)
God, according to His sovereignty, selected the nation
The nation of
The nation of
After the completion of the Church,
SECTION 2 Ė BIBLICAL AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith.† The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe.† We believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and is therefore, binding upon all members.
SECTION 3 - COVENANT
As members of this church, we commit:
1. † To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all respects, to be fruitful in every good work, and to increase in the knowledge of God.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians1:10)
2. † To present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and to present the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness to God.† (Romans 12:1; 6:13)
3. To love one another as Christ has loved us and to dwell together in unity.† (Psalm 133:1; John 15:12; Romans 12:10-16; 13:8; 14:19; Ephesians 4:3; Colossians 3:13)
4. † To contend for the faith and to defend and propagate the truths we believe to be embodied in the Statement of Faith, speaking the truth in love.† (Ephesians 4:15; Jude 3)
5. † To grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, always being ready to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in us.†††††††††††† † (I Peter 3:15; II Peter 3:18)
6. † To faithfully and voluntarily support the ministries of this church, with our attendance, our material goods, and our spiritual gifts as good stewards of His bounty.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † (I Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Hebrews 10:23-25)
7.†† To personally evangelize and fulfill the Great Commission which is the mission of this church.† (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21)
ARTICLE 3 - CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1 - MEMBERSHIP
A. The membership of this church shall consist of persons who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior, have been baptized by immersion subsequent to salvation, and are in agreement with the statement of faith and church covenant contained herein.
B. † Candidates for membership may be recommended by a pastor, deacon, and/or member who has discussed with them the qualifications for and the duties of being a member.
C. Individuals may be qualified for membership in one of four ways:
1. By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Jesus Christ.
2. By a letter of transfer or a satisfactorily written statement from another church of like faith and practice.
3. By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion.
4. By restoration.
D. Membership shall be recorded in the membership book by the church clerk and dated.
E. † Only members in good standing (as defined as not being under the disciplinary process in Section 5) shall be entitled to vote, hold office, or teach.
F. † During the last quarter of each fiscal year the pastors and deacons shall seek to review the ††††††† membership list.
1. † Members, who have been voluntarily absent for one year, shall be placed on the inactive membership list by the pastors and deacons.
2.†† Pastors, deacons, and members shall strive to restore those who are inactive.
3. † The pastors and deacons shall attempt to contact all members who are inactive to determine their desire concerning church membership.
SECTION 2 Ė PRIVILEGES OF A MEMBER
We believe that members out of their love for God are to:
D. Pray for the pastor, associate pastors, church staff, and leadership of this church.
E. Love one another.
F. Faithfully attend the services of the church.
G. Support the church by prayer, by exercising their spiritual gifts, and by financial support as the Lord enables.
H. Support the church through a life that affirms the beliefs and practices of the church, in accordance with biblical principles.
I. Support the course of action of the church as a unified body.
SECTION 3 - PRIVILEGES AND LIMITATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP
A.† Membership in this church does not afford the members with any property or contractual rights.
B.†† Although the general public is invited to all of the churchís worship services, the church property remains private property.† The pastor (or in his absence, an individual recognized by the deacons to have authority) has the authority, by vote of the membership, 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 suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on church property, the person may, under the direction of the pastor (or in his absence, an individual recognized by the deacons to have authority) be treated as a trespasser.
C.† If any member cannot follow the biblically correct decisions of the church, he is to quietly and peacefully withdraw from the membership.
D.† With the exceptions listed below, members of the church have the right to examine, at reasonable times, the financial records of the church.
1.†† Except those who are engaged in official church business, a member may not inspect or copy any record relating to individual contributions to the church or personal information of church members.
2. † Before releasing copies to the member, the church may impose a reasonable charge, covering the cost of labor and material, for copies of any documents provided to the member.
SECTION 4 - STANDARDS FOR MEMBERS IN POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP AND††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† AUTHORITY
A. This church functions as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the leadership of the pastor as the under-shepherd with the counsel of the associate pastors and deacons.
B. † This church reserves the right to set standards as deemed necessary and appropriate at any time.
SECTION 5 - DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER
A.† It is vital to the testimony of this church and the glory of our Lord that its purity be preserved and its peace protected.
B.†† In the event of differences between members, it is recommended that they be settled personally in accordance with Matthew 18:15-19.
C.† The pastor(s) and deacons shall seek to restore any member walking disorderly.
D.† The pastor(s) and deacons shall deal with anyone who is obstructing the work or disturbing the unity of the church.
E.†† If a member is walking disorderly or is involved in any known immorality and cannot be restored to fellowship through confession and correction of his sins, he shall be dealt with on the basis of Matthew 18:17, I Corinthians 5:11, and II Thessalonians 3:6-15.
1.†† His case shall be brought before the church by recommendation of the pastor and/or deacons.
2.†† He shall be given a statement of the charges against him, and he shall have opportunity to present his case before the church.
3.†† If the charges and evidence warrant such action, the members of the church may vote to remove him from the membership.
4.†† He shall be restored to membership, by vote of the membership, only after satisfactory evidence is given of repentance and confession.
F.†† If a member desires to prefer charges (including violations of covenant obligations or of immoral, improper, or unchristian conduct) against another member, such charges must be submitted to the pastor and/or deacons in writing and must be signed by the accuser.
G.† The pastor(s) and/or deacons may first hear the charges and details in any disciplinary †† case.† If dismissal is recommended by the pastor(s) and/or deacons, the recommendation ††††††††† shall be presented to the church for final action.
H.† Except those requested to be witnesses, non-members shall not be permitted to attend a disciplinary meeting.
I.††† No member may be dismissed except by vote of the membership.
J.††† If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the church membership, all fellowship with him from that point forward (except by family members) shall be terminated.
SECTION 6 - TRANSFER / TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A. Termination of membership shall be by death, letter of transfer, voluntary withdrawal, or ††††††††††† dismissal.
B. † Any member desiring to withdraw his membership shall notify the pastors or deacons in writing.† This letter shall include the date and the person's signature.
C.† Any member desiring to transfer membership to another church of like faith and practice may be granted a letter of transfer upon his or her request.† This letter shall be sent to the church with which the member wishes to unite.
D.† Any member may withdraw membership at any time.† A written statement of good standing may be issued, at the discretion of the pastor, upon such resignation.
E.†† 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.
ARTICLE 4 - THE PASTOR AND CHURCH STAFF
SECTION 1 - CALL AND DISMISSAL OF THE PASTOR AND ASSOCIATE PASTORS
A.† In the event of the resignation, death, dismissal, or incapacitation of the pastor, the following procedure should be adhered to:
1. The deacons shall establish a pulpit committee.
2. The pulpit committee shall consist of at least seven and not more than ten people from among the pastoral staff, deacons, and not less than three members-at-large.
3. The deacons, with approval of the membership, shall determine who will serve on the pulpit committee.
4. The chairman of the deacons shall oversee the pulpit committee.
5. The pulpit committee shall cease after a pastor is called.
B.†† A candidate for the pastorate shall be carefully examined by the pulpit committee as to † his salvation, doctrine, Christian conduct, and call to the ministry.
C.† If he has served in other churches, his ministry there shall be explored with those churches.
D.† He shall be required to state his acceptance of and adherence to the constitution of this church before the congregation.
E.† The pulpit committee shall present only one man at a time for consideration and church † vote.
F.†† If a candidate is presented for church vote, but is not called, he cannot be considered again for the position being offered at that time.
G.† A call to a pastor shall be extended at a meeting of the church called for that purpose.† A notice of the meeting shall be posted in the foyer and announced from the pulpit for two Sundays immediately preceding the date of the meeting.
††††† H.† Voting shall be by ballot.
I.††† Eighty percent (80%) of the votes cast shall be required to extend a call to a pastor.† Sixty percent (60%) of the votes cast shall be required to dismiss a pastor.
J.††† The pastor shall give the church not less than thirty days notice of his intention to resign as pastor.
K. The church shall give the pastor not less than sixty days notice of dismissal, except if the membership determines the conduct of a pastor justifies immediate termination of his ministry, the membership shall declare the pulpit vacant.
SECTION 2 - DUTIES OF THE PASTOR
A.† The pastor shall minister as the under-shepherd of Christ for the spiritual welfare of the † church.† He shall preach the Gospel, teach the Word, and lead the worship services of the †††††††† church.† He shall administer the ordinances and perform the duties of a minister.
B.† The pastor shall oversee the ministries of this church.
C.† The pastor shall be an ex officio member of all boards and committees and shall have voting privileges.† The pastor may assign an associate pastor to act in his place as an ex officio member of any board or committee, and he shall have voting privileges.
D.† The pastor shall be a member of this church.
††††† E.†† The pastor shall supervise all church staff and officers.
SECTION 3 - PASTORAL STAFF
Associate pastors shall be called or dismissed using the same procedure as for the pastor.
SECTION 4 - CHURCH STAFF
A.† Church staff (administrators, directors, etc.) may be hired by the church, upon the †††††††† recommendation of the pastor and deacons.
B.† Church staff must be approved by vote of the membership.
††††† C.† Staff members shall remain employed until they resign or they are dismissed by vote of the membership.
D.† Staff members shall give the church not less than thirty days notice of their intention to resign.
††††† E.†††††††† The church shall give the staff member not less than thirty days notice of dismissal, except if the membership determines that the conduct of the staff member justifies immediate termination, the membership shall declare the position vacant.
ARTICLE 5 - CHURCH OFFICERS
SECTION 1 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS
A.† The elected officers of the church shall be deacons, trustees, chairmen of boards and ††† committees named herein, clerk, treasurer, and Sunday School superintendent.
††††† B.†† Church members may submit nominations of officers (and members of committees) to the deacons.
C.† Only those who have been members of this church for at least six months may be ††††††††† nominated for office.
D.† All nominations for elected officers must be approved by the pastor and/or deacons prior to publication.
E.† The term of each office shall be two years, except for trustees, which shall be six years.
F.† Officers may be re-elected for successive terms.
G.† All officers shall be spiritually mature, of unquestioned Christian character, loyal to the Word of God, and dedicated and devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the spiritual and material welfare of this church.
H.† Except as otherwise provided herein, officers shall assume their duties on September 1.
I.†† A public installation service, in which all newly elected officers are dedicated to their respective offices and new deacons are ordained, shall be held at a church service following their election at the annual church administration meeting.
J.† Any officer who is unable or unwilling to fulfill the duties of his office shall resign.
K. Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in this constitution may be recommended by the pastor and/or deacons for removal from office by vote of the membership.
L.† In the event that an office is vacant:
1.†† If the remainder of the term of office is less than six months, a replacement may be appointed by the deacons.
2.†† If the remainder of the term of office is more than six months, a replacement must be elected at a church business meeting.
3.†† Replacements shall remain in office for the remainder of that term.
SECTION 2 - DUTIES COMMON TO ALL OFFICERS
A.† Each individual officer or group shall prepare a written annual report.
B.†† All records are the property of the church and must be filed as a permanent record of the ††††††††† work of the church.
C.† All officers shall be faithful in attendance and participation in regular services and †††††††††† administration meetings of the church unless providentially hindered.
D.† All officers, upon termination of service, shall release to the church all church records and church property in their possession.
E.†† All officers are subject to the lawful corporate decisions of the church at all times.
F.†† All officers are accountable to the pastor and\or deacons, and the congregation.
SECTION 3 Ė QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF CHURCH OFFICERS
A. Deacons shall:
1. Be members that are approved and ordained by the church, under the leadership of the pastor.
2. Meet the qualifications as outlined in I Timothy 3:8-13.
3. 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 other work of the church.
4. Make provision for the observance of the ordinances of the church.
5. Disburse the helps fund, in cooperation with the pastor.
6. Assist the pastor in visitation and all evangelistic efforts of the church.
7. Provide the pulpit supply if the pastor is unavailable or the office of pastor is vacant.
8. Elect a chairman, vice chairman, and secretary of the deacons at the first meeting of the fiscal year.
9. Meet once a month unless otherwise agreed upon.
a. No deacons meeting shall be held without the permission or presence of the pastor, except for the meeting to determine the pastorís salary, to discuss the dismissal of the pastor, or to declare the pastor incapable of performing his duties.
b. Deacons meetings are open to church members (except closed sessions when confidential matters must be discussed).
c. The pastor may call special deacons meetings as necessary.
10. Make recommendations to the finance committee each fiscal year for pastoral and church staff salaries.
11. Approve emergency expenditures of funds not specifically allocated in the budget, but necessary to continue the day-to-day operations of the church, in an amount not to exceed 2% of the annual budget.† Such expenditures must be submitted to the church for a budget amendment at the next business meeting of the church.
††††††††††††††††† B. Trustees shall:
responsible, as required by the
2.†† Execute, on behalf of the church, all contracts and perform such other duties that have been voted on and approved by the church including, but not limited to, the following:
a.†† Purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of †††††† the church and take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf †††††††††† of the church.
b.†† Sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of and mortgage, † pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of †††††††† the church; borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and the use of ††††††† the church; 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 secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges.
3.†† Exercise all powers enumerated in Article 11, Section 3.A. necessary for the dissolution of the ††††††† church.
4.†† Be in charge of the repair, maintenance, and preservation of the property and shall administer any changes or improvements to the property.
5. † Make recommendations to the finance committee each fiscal year concerning the operations and upkeep of the property.
6.†† Be responsible for the hiring and supervision of all contractors.
7.†† Elect a chairman of the trustees at the beginning of the fiscal year.
8.†† Meet as often as necessary.
††††††††††††††††† a.†† Trustee meetings are open to the church members.
††††† b.†† The pastor or trustees may call meetings as necessary.
††† † c.†† Minutes shall be recorded at all trustee meetings.
C.† The church clerk shall:
1. Certify the current constitution, including all amendments or alterations, and retain a copy.
2. Sign, certify, or attest documents as may be required by law.
3. Keep an accurate roll of the church membership with dates and methods of admission and dismissal.
4. Give an annual report to the church of the status of the church membership roll in the past year.
D.† The treasurer shall:
1. Keep an accurate account of all receipts and disbursements at all times.
2. Work with the finance committee, supplying the information needed to ensure that the budget is in order.
3. Keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the churchís business transactions including account of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, and capital.
4. Make all expenditures of the church (except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements) by check.
E.†† The Sunday School superintendent shall:
1.†† Be responsible for the equipping and functioning of the Sunday School and Childrenís Church ministries.
2.†† Be in charge of approving, obtaining, and distributing educational materials.
3.†† Be responsible for teacher recommendations and training.
4.†† Be responsible for special events relating to the Sunday School and Childrenís Church ministries.
F. The finance committee chairman shall:
1.†† Be in charge of the process of proposing the annual budget.
2.†† Make available any necessary budget information to members upon request.
3.†† Monitor the expenditures for each budget category.
4.†† Report the financial status of the church to the pastors and deacons each month.
G. The missions committee shall:
1.†† Be an elected committee of not less than five members, one of which shall be a deacon.
2.†† Be authorized to disburse Faith Promise funds as gifts to missionaries currently supported, in amounts not to exceed $500 for non-emergency requests and not more than $2,000 for emergency requests, per missionary per fiscal year.† These expenditures shall be reported at the next business meeting.
3.†† Not be authorized to disburse funds in amounts more than the present Faith Promise balance.
4.†† Be responsible for keeping the church informed concerning the missions work of the church, including all supported missionaries, projects, and church missions activities.
5.†† Recommend to the church new missionaries or projects for support.
ARTICLE 6 - FINANCES
SECTION 1 - CHURCH FISCAL YEAR
The official church year shall begin September 1 and close August 31.
SECTION 2 - DESIGNATED CONTRIBUTIONS
A.† The church may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals.
B.†† Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions, but all suggestions shall be deemed ††††††††† advisory rather than mandatory in nature.† If a contribution is designated in such a way †† that it cannot be used by the church (for doctrinal, practical, or any other reason), the contributor must be given opportunity to change the designation or have the contribution †††††††††† returned.
C.† No contribution can be used except for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2.
SECTION 3 - THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
A.† The finance committee shall consist of not less than five or more than nine eligible ††††††††† members including the finance committee chairman.
B.†† At least one deacon shall be on the finance committee.
C.† Except as otherwise provided herein, each member shall serve a term of two years.
D.† Committee members shall be elected by vote of the membership at the annual business † meeting at which a quorum is present.
E.†† The term of office for each member shall begin on September 1.
F.†† In the event of the resignation or dismissal of any one committee member before the ††††† expiration of his term of office, the remaining members may conduct business until the ††††††††† next business meeting of the church, at which time a replacement shall be elected. ††††††††† Replacements are elected for the remainder of that term only.
G.† In the event of the resignation or dismissal of more than one member, a special business ††††††††††† meeting of the church shall be called for the purpose of electing replacements. †††††† Replacements are elected for the remainder of that term only.
SECTION 4 - DUTIES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
The finance committee shall:
1.†† Establish and maintain an accurate system of accounting for income and expenditures.
2.†† Prior to the annual business meeting, present for the approval of the membership, a proposed budget for the next fiscal year according to the following:
a.†† The committee shall hold meetings during which church members may give input (either written or oral) for the budget.
b.†† The committee shall provide to the church a draft budget four weeks prior to the annual business meeting.
c.†† Church members then have 10 days to propose changes to the draft budget.
d.†† The committee shall then provide to the church a proposed budget at least ten days before the annual business meeting.
e.†† The final budget shall be presented to the church at the annual business meeting for vote. Any additional expenditure proposed at this time must be accompanied by a corresponding recommendation for a reduction in another budget item(s).
3.†† Assure during the course of each fiscal year that all church funds are being administered properly.
4.†† Provide for the investment or deposit of funds in excess of the daily needs of the church.
5.†† Handle in a timely manner any matter pertaining to income, expenditures, or the budget which may be presented to the committee.
6.†† A mandatory audit of the finances of the church shall be held at least every three years beginning with the fiscal year ending August 31, 2005.
7. † Require on all checks two signatures from among the treasurer, members of the finance committee, or a person designated by the finance committee.
ARTICLE 7 - MEETINGS
SECTION 1 - MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP
Unless otherwise determined by the pastor and/or the deacons, this church meets for public worship, Bible study, and prayer each Sunday, both morning and evening, and each Wednesday.
SECTION 2 - BUSINESS MEETINGS
A.† Business meetings shall be governed by Robertís Rules of Order except where they conflict with this constitution.
B.†† Prior to the annual church business meeting the deacons shall appoint a secretary of the meeting for the following fiscal year.† The secretary of the meeting (or a representative appointed by the deacons) shall:
1.†† Be present at all church business meetings.
2.†† Maintain an accurate record of the minutes of all church business meetings including all business transactions and church votes.
3.†† Read the minutes of the previous business meeting.
4.†† See that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws.
5.†† Exhibit at all reasonable times, the minutes of the church meetings, to members or persons authorized by law.
C.† Church business meetings shall be announced and posted in a conspicuous place at least one week prior to the date of the meeting.† The announcement shall consist of the date and time of the meeting and shall list all business to be conducted.
D.† Emergency meetings may be called when circumstances merit immediate action.† Such meetings should be held at the next regular service of the church.† If this is not possible, the meeting may take place after the service in which the meeting is announced.
E.†† Special business meetings may be called by the pastor or deacons as deemed necessary.
F.†† Business meetings will be moderated by the pastor (except a meeting called by the deacons for the purpose of calling or dismissing the pastor or declaring the pastor incapacitated).† In his absence, an associate pastor shall moderate the meeting.† If no associate pastor is present, the deacons shall appoint a moderator.
G.† If any pastor or staff memberís salary is to be under discussion in a business meeting, he and his family shall withdraw from the meeting for the duration of that discussion.
H.† Any church member may submit to the pastor or deacons a written request that a church business meeting be called.
I.††† If 10% of the active membership call for a meeting in writing, then within two weeks said meeting shall be called.† Said meeting shall be held within one month.†
J.††† A quorum shall be 5% of the active membership.
K.† All church business meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer for divine guidance and blessing.
L.†† The annual meeting shall be held by the next to the last Sunday in August to approve the annual budget, to elect church officers, and to address business items.
SECTION 3 - VOTING
A.† Only members at least eighteen years of age who are present at a duly called meeting of ††††††††††† the church shall be entitled to vote.
B.†† Inactive members may not vote.
C.† Voting on all candidates shall be by ballot.
D.† A simple majority shall be required to approve all resolutions (except for calling and ††††† dismissing a pastor or amending this constitution).
ARTICLE 8 -
SECTION 1 - THE SCHOOL
A.† The school shall exist until terminated by vote of the membership.† In the event of such termination, the school may continue in existence until the end of the school term in progress.
B.†† A student may be enrolled if both the parent (or person who is responsible for the student) and the student agree to comply with the current standards and policies.
C.† The school shall work in conjunction with the trustees of the church with respect to facilities and facility management.† The school shall abide by the decisions of the trustees.
D. Any changes in the statement of faith of the school shall be approved by the pastors and deacons.
SECTION 2 - SCHOOL BOARD
A.† The board shall consist of not less than five or more than seven members with no more than one member affiliated with another church.
B.†† Nominations for school board members may be submitted to the deacons.
C.† The deacons shall approve all nominees to the school board.† If the nominee is affiliated with another church, he shall be required to sign an agreement stating his acceptance of the policies of this church and school.
D.† Members of the school board shall be elected by vote of the membership of the church.
E.†† Elections shall be held by the third Sunday in May, at which time approximately fifty percent of the board shall be elected.
F.†† Members of the board serve terms of two years, such year to begin the first Tuesday after the spring semester ends.
G.† In the event of a vacancy, the board shall nominate a replacement to serve the remainder of the term of the member being replaced.
H.† A majority of the members of the board must be present to hold an official meeting.
I.††† All official actions of the board shall be by vote and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.† A majority vote of those present shall be required for the passage of any motion, except an 80% vote is required to employ or cancel the contract of a staff member.
J.††† Duties of the school board.
1.†† To enter into contracts, develop and
implement policies, and conduct the entire operation of
2.†† To provide to the church an annual report of the previous years budget, activities, and financial situation, as well as goals and operating budget for the upcoming year.
3.†† To refrain from committing the church to any expenditure of funds in excess of funds on hand plus funds reasonably expected to be received during the school year, without first receiving the approval of the finance committee and the church.†
4.†† To refrain from engaging in any activity that is prohibited by this constitution.
ARTICLE 9 Ė
SECTION 1 - PURPOSE
SECTION 2 Ė NONDISCRIMINATION
SECTION 3 Ė AFFILIATION
SECTION 4 Ė ORGANIZATION
The officers of
The school board shall consist of a minimum of five members and a maximum
of nine members.† They are elected for
three year terms and may be re-elected for additional terms.† The school board shall elect a chairman from
among its members.† The school board will
oversee the operations of the school under the direction of the chairman.† The school will work in conjunction with the
ARTICLE 10 - ORDINATION
SECTION 1 - QUALIFICATIONS
Any 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 by this church as a minister of the Gospel.
SECTION 2 - PROCEDURE
A.† Upon a conference with the pastor and after he has approved the candidate for ordination, the pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate.
B.†† The ordination council shall consist of ministers of like faith and deacons of this church.
C.† If the candidate is found worthy by the council, the ordination council shall recommend that the candidate be ordained.
D.† The pastor and the chairman of the deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
ARTICLE 11 - INDEMNIFICATION
Clarification Statement: Due to the legal complexity of this article, the following statement is given as a summary meaning of indemnification.
The church will use its best efforts, including but not limited to, the purchase of insurance, to protect its employees and volunteers against personal loss caused by legal or civil action against them caused by their legal actions in the performance of their assigned duties in an authorized ministry or activity of the church.† No indemnification will be provided to anyone who, in the name of the church, commits an act which they know, or should know, to be illegal or acts with gross negligence.† In no event shall the amount of indemnification exceed the actual monetary loss.† The amount of indemnification under this article shall be decided by the deacons, subject to ratification or change by vote of the membership.
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 1of 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.† No indemnification will† be provided to anyone who, in the name of the church, acts with gross negligence or commits an act which they know, or should know, to be illegal.
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, 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 12 - TAX-EXEMPT PROVISIONS
SECTION 1 - PRIVATE INUREMENT
No part of the net income of the church shall inure to benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for the services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article 1, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 - POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT
The church shall not engage in political endorsement or activities or permit its facilities to be used for the same.
SECTION 3 - DISSOLUTION
A.† Upon the dissolution of the church, the trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the church, dispose of all of the assets of the church to such organization or organizations formed and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law), as the trustees shall determine, which is (are) in accord with the beliefs of the church.† Assets may be distributed only to tax exempt organizations which agree with the churchís Statement of Faith.
B. † Any continuing, viable ministry of this church shall have right of first refusal of the assets.
C.† Criteria for dissolution: Financially unable to function or unable to elect officers.
SECTION 4 Ė NONDISCRIMINATION
The church shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin but retains the right, according to its beliefs and practices, to discriminate on the basis of sexual practice.
SECTION 5 - LIMITATIONS OF ACTIVITIES
Notwithstanding any other provision of these bylaws, the church shall not, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in the furtherance of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2.
ARTICLE 13 - AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION
SECTION 1 - AMENDMENTS
A.† This constitution may be amended by a three-fourths vote of active members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose.
B.†† A full statement of proposed amendment shall be posted in the foyer along with the announcement of the meeting.
ARTICLE 14 - DUTY
By virtue of his membership every member of this church subscribes to comply with the provisions of this constitution.
This constitution was adopted at a duly-called meeting of the church in which a quorum was present.
constitution shall supersede all constitutions, articles of faith, and rules of
Date: December 29, 2004††††††† †††††††††††