Constitution of the People's Baptist Church
Newfield, New York
Article I – Name.
The name of this Church shall be called the People's Baptist Church of Newfield, New York.
Article II - Covenant of the Church.
Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the public confession of our faith, having been immersed in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We purpose, 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 attend its services regularly; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to give faithfully of time and talent in its activities; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel throughout all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions; to train our children according to the Word of God; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct; to avoid all gossip, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to abstain from all forms of activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, cause stumbling to a fellow believer or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of Christ, our Savior; and to give Him preeminence in all things.
We further purpose to encourage one another in the blessed hope of our Lord's return; to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and, mindful of the rules of our Savior, to seek it without delay.
We moreover purpose that when we remove from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other Church of like faith and order where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word. In the event there is no such Church, we shall seek, with the Lord's help, to establish one.
Article III - The Character of the Church.
Section I - Government
The Government of this Church, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is vested in its members. Therefore, this Church is independent in relation to its internal organization, and the regulation of its affairs. It is answerable to no ecclesiastical body except by its own consent. It controls the admission, discipline, and removal of its members according to its own understanding of the Word of God.
The authority of the Pastors, Deacons, Officers, and Committees is derived from the Articles of this Constitution, or by resolution of the Members at a duly called business meeting. Any authority not so granted is specifically reserved in the Members.
Section II – Purpose
The purpose of this Church is to stand unequivocally for the fundamentals of the Faith as contained in the Holy Scriptures; to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at home and abroad; to teach the Holy Scriptures for the edification of those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior; to administrate the ordinances of the New Testament; and to worship and serve God by doing all things in the name of and for the honor and glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Article IV - Declaration of Faith.
1. The Scriptures:
We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally and plenarily inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the center of true Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct and opinions shall be tried. We believe that in the providential care of God, He has preserved the Scriptures for us so that they have remained unadulterated, by which we mean free from error (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:9-21).
2. The True God:
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, sovereign Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons; the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Exodus 20:2,3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11).
3. The Holy Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. The gifts of tongues and healing were "sign-gifts" until the Scriptures were completed. The "sign-gifts" ceased at that time (John 14:16,17; Matt. 18:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. l:l-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5,6; Eph. 1:13,14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Rom. 8:14,16,26,27; 15:19; Heb. 2:4; 1 Cor. 13:8).
4. The Devil, or Satan:
We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, and the ruler of all the powers of darkness, and destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).
5. The Creation:
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God; without any evolutionary process; that man, spirit, soul and body, was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1 & 2; Col. 1:16,17; John 1:3).
6. The Fall of Man:
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker; but by a voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam's fallen nature and are sinners by nature and by conduct; and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Gen. 3:1-6,24; Rom. 3:10-19; 5:12,19; 1:18,32).
7. The Virgin Birth:
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25;
Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Heb. 1:8).
8. The Atonement for Sin:
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in His own body on the tree (Jonah 2:9; Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:ll; Rom. 3:24,25; John 3:16; Matt. 18:ll; Phil. 2:7,8; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:4-7; 1 John 4:l0; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5-21).
9. Resurrection and Priesthood:
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest (Matt. 28:6,7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6,51; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 3:21;
Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:l; Heb. 2:17; 5:9,10).
10. Grace in the New Creation:
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sin is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the Holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:l; John 3:6,7; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph 2:1,5; 2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13; John 3:8).
We believe that justification is the judicia1 act of God whereby He declares us to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus; that justification includes the imputation of God's righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood (Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:ll; Zech. 13:l; 2 Cor. 5:l8-21; Rom. 5:1,9; 8:1).
We believe that repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit; that it is characterized by godly sorrow for sin as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul; and that true repentance is inseparably related to true faith (Luke 13:1-3; 15:7; Acts 8:22; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:l0; Acts 20:21).
13. Faith and Salvation:
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation (Acts 16:31).
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return (Heb. 10:10-14; 3:l; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:25,26; 1 Thess. 4:3,4; 5:23,24; Eph. 5:27; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24,25; Rev. 22:11).
We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons, in contrast with regeneration whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes a child of God. The full benefit of the position accorded by adoption as the sons of God awaits the glorification of the believer at the coming of the Lord (Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:1-7; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 John 3:1,2).
16. The Security of the Saints:
We believe that all who truly are born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6; John 10:28,29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude1).
17. The Church:
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church which is the Body of Christ, which was established on the Day of Pentecost, and that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Church by baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that this Church is manifested through the local Church which is a congregation of immersed believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His word; and that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scripture- We believe the true mission of the Church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local Church has the absolute right of self government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true Churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local Church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local Church is final (Eph. 3:1-6; 1 Cor. 12;12,13; Acts 2:41,42; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22,23; 4:11; Acts 20:17-28; I Tim. 3:1-7; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23,24; Acts 15:13-18).
18. Baptism and the Lord's Supper:
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, under the authority of the local Church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of Church membership. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination (Acts 8:36,38,39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 2:41,42).
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Thess. 1:9,10; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Rom. 16:17; 2 John 9-11).
20. Civil Government:
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of Kings (Rom. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:21,22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19,20; Dan. 3:17,18).
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be gathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second coming of Christ (Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37).
22. The Rapture and Subsequent Events:
We believe in the imminent, premillennial return of Christ for His Church, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seventieth week of Daniel (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Phil. 3:20,21; Rev. 3:10). We believe that the Great Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial reign (Dan. 9:25-27; Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 9:6,7; ll:l-9; Acts 2:29,30; Rev. 20:1-4,6).
23. The Righteous and the Wicked:
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (Mal. 3:18; Gen 18:23; Rom. 6:17,18; 1 John 5:19; Rom. 7:6; 6:23; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; John 8:21; Rev. 20:14,15).
24. Marriage and Family:
We believe that marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman united in a marriage covenant for life (Gen.2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; Eph. 5:18-33; I Tim. 3:4,5, 12; Mal. 2:13-16).
We believe that the roles of husband, wife, parent, and child are clearly defined in Scripture (Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:16-21; I Peter 3:1-7).
We believe that the sexual relationship is sacred, fulfilling, and acceptable only within the bonds of *marriage, and condemned outside the *marriage relationship (Romans 1:26,27: 1 Cor. 6:9-7:4; Heb. 13:4). * as defined above.
Revision and enlargement of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith.
Article V – Membership of the Church.
Section I - Qualifications
Any person shall qualify for membership who confesses the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and gives evidence of a changed heart; is baptized by immersion; accepts in its entirety the doctrinal statement contained herein, agrees to be governed in Church affiliation by this Constitution; upon due examination by the Pastor and/or the Deacons; is approved for membership by the Deacons.
Section 2 - Methods of Reception
All Candidates for membership so questioned and approved by the Pastor and Deacons as outlined in Article V, Section 1, shall be recommended to the Church at any regular service or business meeting of the Church. A candidate shall become a member upon 3/4 majority vote of those present and voting. No person shall be received as a member of this Church to whose admission there shall be openly stated objections, sustained by the Pastor and Deacons after investigation.
All candidates for membership shall be recommended to the Church for membership in one of the following ways:
A. By Baptism.
B. By Letter.
Members of other Churches holding the same faith as outlined in our Declaration of Faith and having been baptized by immersion may be received by letter of dismissal.
C. By Experience.
Persons who have been baptized by immersion in other Churches of recognized standing, but who are not members, or who are unable to obtain letters of dismissal from their Churches, may be received as members.
D. By Restoration.
Excluded or absentee members may be restored to membership after acceptable evidence of honest repentance and full confession of errors has been given to the Pastor and Deacons.
Section 3 - Membership Roll
The Church roll shall be divided into five sections as follows:
A. The Active List, which shall contain names of members 18 years or older; a regular communicant and contributor to the Churches support spiritually and financially. Those on the active list may act and vote in the transactions of the Church.
B. The Inactive List, which shall contain names of members who have absented themselves from services for a period of six months without explanation or communication with the Church, except in cases involving sickness- Members who have become inactive would be called on by the Pastor and/or Deacons at least twice before they are placed on the Absentee List by the Board of Deacons- Those on the Inactive List shall lose their privilege of voting at the current meeting.
C. The Absentee List, which shall contain names of members who have not been heard from in one year and who fail to reply to communications, and names removed from Inactive List as per above. Names would be kept in permanent file but would not be counted in the total membership. When people on this list become active, the Board of Deacons can recommend his restoration to the membership.
D. The Missions List, which shall contain names of any members of our church, who, when entering full time Christian service in another field, desire continued connection with this Church. Those on the Missions List will have no official vote, but voting privileges will be restored at any time they move back into the community.
E. Associate Membership, provides fellowship and opportunity for ministry for those persons who are in the area on a temporary basis, and who do not wish to drop their membership at their home church. They are received by the same procedure as regular members. They are granted the same privileges and responsibilities as regular members with the following exceptions:
1. Cannot vote, make nominations from the floor, or hold office in the church.
2. Applies to students, summer co-ops, industrial transferees, or others in the area temporarily;
3. Would be reviewed at the discretion of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.
4. Membership would cease on departure from the area.
Section 4 - Termination of Membership
Membership in this Church may be terminated by:
B. Dismissed. When a member of this Church, in good and regular standing, desires to unite with a recognized Christian Church of like faith and order, he shall, upon request, receive by vote of the Church a letter of dismissal to the Church of his choice. Letters of dismissal may be granted at any regular business meeting or special meeting called for that purpose. Each letter must be addressed to a particular Church, the name of which shall be stated therein. A letter of dismissal shall be valid for six months only, and shall be so stated in the letter.
C. Exclusion. If any member is guilty of misconduct which might scandalize the testimony of this Church, or if any member knowingly holds and publicly or privately teaches doctrines contrary to Article IV of this Constitution, their case shall be presented and examined by the Pastor and Deacons, to be judged in accordance with the principles set down in Matt. 18:15-17; I Cor. 5:3-11; Gal. 1:8,9 & 6:ll; II Thess- 3:6, 14, 15; Titus 3:l0,ll.
Item 1 - Order of Procedure
In case of exclusion, any member may present to the Board of Deacons evidence that they believe warrants exclusion of a member. The Deacons and Pastor shall examine the evidence and give the person so charged an opportunity to be heard and if the charge appears to be supported, make every effort to prayerfully restore the erring one. If there is insufficient evidence, or if the individual is restored, the matter shall be dropped. When there is sufficient evidence, and there is no repentance on the part of the individual, upon recommendation by the Board of Deacons, the matter shall be presented to the Church by the Pastor and the member may be removed from the Church roll by a 2/3 majority vote of the members at any regular Church business meeting. In all such cases, when there is evidence of true repentance and contrition and the matter has been made right before God and men, every effort shall be made by the Pastor and Board of Deacons to reinstate the erring one- This may be done upon the recommendation of the Board of Deacons at any regular Church business meeting or any meeting called for that purpose by a 2/3 majority vote of the members present.
Section 5 – Conditions and Duties of Church Membership
1. A candidate for membership must profess to be saved by grace, through faith. Only those who have received Christ as their own personal Savior have any right in the Church of Christ as members. Romans 1:17; I Cor. l:l; Eph. 1:l; Phil. 1:l.
2. A candidate for membership must have been baptized following their confession of faith in Christ, by single immersion in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit - its mode (Mark 1:10; John 3:23); its meaning (Romans 6:1-4; I Cor. 12:l3); its requirement (Acts 2:41,42; 8:12); its importance (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 10:48).
3. A candidate for membership must show evidence of a consistent Christian life so as not to bring reproach to Christ or to the Church and its members. I John 2:6.
4. A candidate for membership must affirm acceptance of, and adherence to the articles of faith constitution and covenant of the Church. Ps. 133:l; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:3; Phil. 1:27; 2:2.
5. A candidate for membership must faithfully attend the Church's stated services unless providentially hindered. Heb. 10:25.
6. A candidate for membership must be willing to uphold the ministries of the Church in prayer. James 5:16; I Tim. 2:1, 8; Eph. 6:16; Acts l2:5.
7. A candidate for membership should show a desire to do some definite personal service in the Church. Mark 13:34; Rom. 12:5-8.
8. A candidate for membership should have a desire to support the Church with tithes and offerings. Mal. 3:1-10; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6,7.
Article VI – Officers of the Church.
Section 1 - Permanent Officers
A. Titles. The officers of the Church shall be Pastor, Deacons, Trustees Clerk, Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, Missionary President, Missionary Treasurer, Missionary Secretary, Young People's Director, and Head Usher. The Church may if required, elect additional officers for special purposes and at such times as the work may require.
B. Official Board. The Official Board shall consist of the Pastor, the Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees. The purpose of this board is to deal with matters relating to the responsibilities of both the Deacons and Trustees.
C. Tenure of Office. The Deacons and Trustees, who have served three consecutive two year terms, shall not be eligible to re-election to the same office until the lapse of one year. No officer shall be elected for life, except in an honorary capacity.
D. Standing of Officers. No person shall serve unless he has been a member of the Church in good standing for at least one year before his election. All persons nominated must be willing to accept said position or office, be qualified for said position, show diligence in attendance, and be willing to promote harmony, peace and a spirit of cooperation among the members. They must be "of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom." Acts 6:3.
E. Doctrinal Standing of Officers. All officers of the Church shall be required to subscribe yearly, at the annual business meeting, or as soon as possible thereafter, to the Articles of Faith of the Church, and the Church Covenant. Upon refusal of any officer to do so, his office shall be declared vacant.
F. Vacancy of any Office. When the office of any elected officer becomes vacant by reason of resignation, death or removal, the Church shall hold at its next business meeting, or at a special business meeting of the Church called for that purpose, an election of a qualified candidate to fill the unexpired term of the person whose office has become vacant, due notice of such election having been given pursuant to the Constitution or according to the state law, as the case may require for the office to be filled. Said candidate shall have the same qualifications and shall be elected in the same manner as the officer whose office has become vacant.
Section 2 - Pastor
A. Qualifications. In the selection of a Pastor, the Church shall be guided by the Scriptural qualifications as outlined in I Timothy 3:1-7. The candidate with whom the pulpit committee is negotiating must give satisfactory evidence of his conversion and call to the ministry, and also subscribe gladly and without mental reservation to the doctrinal statement set forth in this Constitution. If any personal belief, preaching or teaching of the Pastor shall not be in full accord with the Doctrinal Statement of this Church, his services shall be terminated.
B. Duties. The Pastor shall watch over the spiritual life of this Church. He shall give himself to the ministry of the Word and the leadership of the congregation. He shall have general supervision of all the activities of the Church and shall be exofficio member of all committees and boards. The Pastor shall act as moderator when present in Church meetings for the transaction of business. He shall also employ and direct the work of such administrative and office personnel as the Church may authorize.
The Church shall recognize the Pastor as a servant of God, acknowledge his office in the church in its Scriptural authority, be willing to submit to his leadership as the Lord's under-shepherd of the sheep, provide for his physical needs and "to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. To esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake." I Thess. 5:12,13; see also Heb 13:17.
C. Election. A candidate for Pastor shall be considered only after he has subscribed in writing to the Doctrinal Statement and Constitution of this Church. The Pastor shall be elected upon the recommendation of the Pulpit Committee and by majority vote of 75% of the qualified members present and voting by secret ballot. The call shall be given in writing and signed by the Chairman of the Deacons and the Church Clerk. The pastor, his wife, and children, who have been baptized church members elsewhere, shall become members of the church without additional congregational vote on the same day as their ministry officially begins.
D. Termination. The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite term. When the Pastor wishes to terminate his ministry, he shall give to the Deacon Board written notice of at least thirty days. Unless alternate arrangements are agreed upon with the Deacons and congregation, membership of the Pastor, his wife, and children, will end without congregational vote on the same day their ministry officially ends. If at any time, the Deacon Board shall deem it wise and for the best interests of the Church that the Pastoral relationship cease, the Pastor's services may be terminated at any time upon the recommendation of the Deacon Board by a majority ballot of the Church members at any regular business meeting or any special meeting legally called for that purpose. The Pastor's services may be terminated thirty days after proper vote for termination by the congregation. However, if circumstances warrant such action, the relationship may be terminated immediately, providing that the salary for the aforesaid thirty days is paid to the Pastor. He shall also be privileged to occupy the parsonage for the said thirty days.
Section 3 - Assistant Pastor
A. Qualifications. If the Church authorizes at any given time the hiring of an Assistant Pastor, the Church shall be guided by the Scriptural qualifications as outlined in I Timothy 3:1-7. No assistant Pastor shall be considered unless he can gladly and without mental reservation affirm the Doctrinal Statement of this Church. If any personal belief, preaching or teaching of the assistant Pastor shall not be in full accord with the Doctrinal Statement of this Church, his services shall be terminated.
B. Duties. The duties of the Assistant Pastor shall be established in writing by the Pastor, in conjunction with the Deacon Board. The Assistant Pastor shall assist the Pastor in his duties as directed by the Pastor. In the absence of the Pastor, or the vacancy of the office of Pastor, the Assistant Pastor shall perform the duties of Pastor as directed by the Deacons.
C. Election. The Assistant Pastor shall be elected upon recommendation of the Pastor, the Deacon Board and by majority vote of 75% of the qualified members present, and voting by secret ballot. The call shall be given in writing and signed by the Pastor, Chairman of the Deacon Board and the Church Clerk. The Assistant Pastor, his wife, and children, who have been baptized church members elsewhere, shall become members of the church without additional congregational vote on the same day their ministry officially begins.
Section 4 - Board of Deacons
A. Qualification. To be eligible for the office of Deacon a man must be over 21 years of age; a member of the Church in good and regular standing; must be morally clean and of sound doctrine, agreeing with the Articles of Faith of this Church and must meet the New Testament requirements for the office of Deacon as prescribed in Acts 6:1-5 and I Tim 3:8-13.
B. Duties. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to assist the Pastor in the administration of all worship services and ordinances, to make provision for the supply of the pulpit in the absence of the Pastor, or in the event of his failure to do so, and to take full charge of all services not conducted by the Pastor; to cooperate with the Pastor in the shepherding of the membership of this Church; "to strive to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus;" reconcile so far as possible all differences; give counsel and comfort to the poor, the sick and afflicted; to take general supervision of the spiritual interests of the Church; to act with the Pastor in admitting and disciplining members; to keep order in the assemblies of the Church; and shall have charge of and administer the Deacons Fund.
It shall be the privilege of the Deacons to demand a sincere and honest accord on the part of the Pastor and/or Assistant Pastor with the Doctrinal Statement of the Church. If at any time the Deacons feel, with sufficient evidence, that the Pastor, and/or Assistant Pastor of this Church no longer holds to these fundamentals and preaches them, they shall be entitled to discuss the matter first with the Pastor and/or Assistant Pastor, and then with the Church membership for necessary action.
The Board of Deacons shall meet together at least once a month and at such additional times as they deem advisable for the best interest of the Church. They shall elect their own officers. The Pastor must be invited to all meetings.
C. Election of Deacons. A 3/4 majority vote shall be necessary for election. Board Members shall be elected or reelected at each annual meeting for a term of two years if the Board has four members or less, or three years if above that number of members.
D. Deacons Emeriti. A Deacon who has attained the age of 70 and has served at least nine years as a Deacon and who has been faithful and true in the performance of his duties may be elected a Deacon Emeritus for life. He will retain his privilege of meeting with the Deacons, entering into their discussions and lending to them his influence and experience in conducting the work of the Church. He will not be eligible to vote with the Deacons. Nominations to the honorary office may be made to the Church only by the Deacons.
Section 5 - Board of Trustees
A. Election of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall consist of not less than three, nor more than nine members, elected at each annual meeting to serve for three years. A 3/4 majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for election.
B. Duties of Trustees. It shall be the duty of the Trustees to hold in trust the property of the Church. They shall have the general care of the property of the Church, keeping the same in repair and adequately insured. They shall have general oversight of the finances of the Church; supervising the receiving, recording and deposition of all monies of the Church. They shall be the custodians of any trust funds belonging to the Church. They shall be included on every committee dealing with the expansion, improvement or the building of this Church. The Board of Trustees shall have authorization for discretionary expenditures of up to $1000.00 without a special vote of the Church body. They shall also have authority to make emergency expenditures necessary to keep the church building and premises in a condition that allows the holding of normal services. The Board of Trustees shall meet together with the Pastor at least once a month and at such additional times as they deem advisable for the best interests of the Church. They shall elect their own officers.
The board of Trustees shall not have power to close the House of Worship against the Church, the Pastor or any representative thereof under any circumstances. The Board of Trustees shall not have authority to mortgage or sell any of the Church property without the vote of the Church after a meeting for that purpose has been duly called according to law.
Section 6 - Church Clerk
A. Election of Clerk. A clerk of the Church must be a member in good and regular standing, and over 21 years of age. A clerk shall be elected at each annual meeting of the Church by a 3/4 majority vote of qualified voters present and voting.
B. Duties of the Clerk. The Clerk shall keep a complete record of the transactions of all members of the Church with dates of admission and dismissal or death, together with a record of baptism. The Clerk shall sign letters of dismissal to other Churches, and any other duties incumbent on the office. The Clerk shall act as Clerk of the Trustees, but shall have no voting power in their meetings. At all regular and special meetings of the Church, the Clerk must have on hand ballots for the purpose of voting. The Clerk shall have the minutes of all business meetings available to members fourteen days following that meeting.
Section 7 - Church Treasurer
A. Election of Treasurer. To be eligible for Church Treasurer a person must be a member of the Church in good and regular standing, and be over 21 years of age. A treasurer shall be elected at each annual meeting of the Church by a 3/4 majority vote of the present and voting.
B. Duties of the Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Church Treasurer to keep account of all monies passing through the Church; to pay all bills either by order of the Trustees or by Special vote of the Church. He shall be empowered to pay the budgeted expenses and commitments of the Church without order to cover the following items: Pastor's salary, utilities, janitor and regular expenses of the Church.
Section 8 - Head Usher
A. Election of Head Usher. To be eligible for Head Usher a person must be a member of the Church in good and regular standing, and be over 21 years of age. A Head Usher shall be elected at each annual meeting of the Church by a 3/4 majority vote of the present and voting.
B. Duties of the Head Usher. The Head Usher shall appoint his assistants. The service of the Head Usher is a ministry of great importance as he and his assistants are the hosts to the worshipers as they enter. They shall restrain the late comers from disturbing the service by caring for them during prayer and the reading of the Scriptures. The head Usher shall be responsible for the greeting of visitors and shall arrange for the courteous seating of worshipers during services of the Church. The Ushers shall collect the offerings, and help to maintain order and dignity in the house of God. The Head Usher will be responsible to the Deacon Board in performing his duties.
Section 9 - Sunday School Superintendent
A. Election of Superintendent. The Church shall elect a Sunday School Superintendent and an Assistant Superintendent at each annual meeting of the Church by a 3/4 majority of the votes cast. To be eligible a person must be a member in good and regular standing and be at least 21 years of age.
B. Duties of the Superintendent. It shall be the duty of the Sunday School Superintendent to conduct faithfully the affairs of the Sunday School; to open the Sunday School service each Sunday; to visit each class periodically; to substitute as a teacher only when necessary; to conduct teachers'; and officers' meetings; to arrange for obtaining sufficient subordinate officers; and to secure, train, and equip, with the Pastor and Deacons, an adequate staff of teachers.
C. Officers of the Sunday School. Officers of the Sunday School shall be elected by its membership at regular meetings or at meetings especially called for that purpose. These officers shall include Sunday School Treasurer, Secretary, and any other officer necessary to the most effective operation of the Sunday School.
Section 10 - Missionary President
A. Election of Missionary President. A Missionary President shall be elected by the Church at the annual meeting to serve a term of one year. A 3/4 majority vote shall be necessary for election. To be eligible a person must be a member in good and regular standing and be at least 21 years of age.
B. Duties of the Missionary President. The duties of the Missionary President shall be to preside over regular meetings of the Missionary Society; to assist the Pastor in arranging for the missionary speakers, and deciding worthwhile missionary projects and channels.
Section 11 - Missionary Treasurer.
A. Election of Missionary Treasurer. A Missionary Treasurer shall be elected by the Church at the annual meeting to serve a term of one year. A 3/4 majority vote shall be necessary for election. To be eligible a person must be a member in good and regular standing and be at least 21 years of age.
B. Duties of the Missionary Treasurer. The Missionary Treasurer shall record all monies deposited in the Missionary account of the Church and shall forward the same regularly to missionaries as designated by the budget or ordered by the Missionary Committee.
Section 12 - Missionary Secretary
A. Election of Missionary Secretary. A Missionary Secretary shall be elected by the Church at the annual meeting to serve a term of one year. A 3/4 majority vote shall be necessary for election. To be eligible a person must be a member in good and regular standing and be at least 21 years of age.
B. Duties of the Missionary Secretary. The duties of the Missionary Secretary are to keep a record of the proceedings of all Missionary Committee meetings; to send and receive all missionary correspondence; and to keep up to date files on all missionaries and mission boards.
Section 13 - Young People's Director
A. Election of Young People's Director. A Young People's Director shall be elected by the Church at the annual meeting to serve a term of one year. A 3/4 majority vote shall be necessary for election. To be eligible a person must be a member in good and regular standing and be at least 21 years of age.
B. Duties of Young People's Director. The duties of the Young People's Director shall be to counsel and direct the young people, to organize and produce spiritual and wholesome activities for the youth, and to help co-ordinate all ministries dealing with the youth of this Church except the Sunday School.
Section 14 – Heads of Budgeted Ministries
A. Description. All individuals heading up church ministries with annually approved budget lines.
B. Election. Elected by 3/4 majority vote for one year (unless prescribed differently elsewhere).
C. Duties. Ministry duties (unless prescribed differently elsewhere) shall be under the approval and guidance of the pastors and deacons, with ultimate accountability to the church congregation. Use of budgeted resources shall be under the supervision of the Trustees, with ultimate accountability to the church congregation.
Article VII - Subsidiary Organizations and Committees.
Section I - General Organization.
A. No subsidiary organization or society of the Church shall engage in any practice or policy contrary to the general doctrinal position of the Church itself.
B. There shall not be held in the Church Building or upon the property of the Church, or elsewhere in the name of the Church, or any group affiliated with the Church, any suppers, sales, programs, or anything else of any nature whatsoever for the purpose of financial profit. All money of the Church and affiliated groups or societies shall be raised by free will offering alone.
C. All subsidiary organizations and committees shall report quarterly and annually unless otherwise instructed.
D. All committee members must be members of this Church in good and regular standing.
Section 2 - Committees.
A. Pulpit Committee. The Pulpit Committee shall consist of the Official Board of this Church. They shall meet officially whenever another Pastor is to be called due to the resignation, death or dismissal of the present Pastor. It shall be the duty of the Pulpit Committee to contact and secure candidates for the pulpit. After making prayerful examination into his Christian experience, call to the ministry, doctrine and character; and being satisfied that he qualifies in all, they shall recommend him to the Church as a fit candidate for the pastorate. The Church shall then proceed according to Article VI, Section 2 of this Constitution.
B. Missionary Committee. The Missionary Committee shall consist of the Pastor, Missionary President, Missionary Treasurer, Missionary Secretary, one Deacon, one Trustee, one Sunday School Representative, and the President of the Women's Missionary Society who would serve for the duration of their positions. The representatives chosen from the Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, and Sunday School would serve from one to three years thus facilitating a three year cycle. The Committee would determine which of these last three positions would serve for one year, two years, and three years for the first cycle.
The responsibilities of the Missionary Committee shall be to have supervision of the Missionary Program of the Church; to further the missionary interest of the Church; to draft an annual missionary budget to be submitted to the Finance Committee; to recommend missionary projects and support commitments for the Church and the auxiliary organizations; to establish policy for operation of, and determining occupants of, the missionary apartment in coordination with the Board of Trustees; to plan and conduct an annual missionary conference. The Pastor, the Missionary President, and the Missionary Treasurer shall have the authority to determine the amount paid to individual missionary speakers.
The Missionary Committee may at no time support missions without the approval of the Church.
C. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the Pastor and six members. The six members shall be named at the third quarterly business meeting of the Church (October) and shall serve for one year. Two shall be elected from the Deacons, one from the Trustees, one from the Sunday School, and two elected from the Church at large. The Nominating Committee shall prayerfully solicit names of individuals willing to serve in the respective elected offices of the Church, and present a completed slate of officers to the Church for voting at the annual meeting. The committee must meet within thirty days after the October Business Meeting.
D. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall consist of the Pastor, the Church Treasurer, the Missionary Treasurer, the Recording Secretary, the Chairman of the Trustees, the Chairman of the Deacons, and two elected from the Church at large. The Chairman of the Trustee Board shall act as Chairman of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall entertain recommendations from the Official Board of this Church. It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to adapt the annual budget to be presented at the annual business meeting for adoption.
E. Additional Committees. Any other committees deemed necessary may be appointed by the Church at any regular business meeting or any special business meeting called for that purpose. The purpose and duration of new committees must be stated in the minutes of the business meeting.
Article VIII – Licensing and Ordaining.
Section 1 - Licensing.
Any member who, in the judgment of the Deacons, gives evidence by his piety, zeal, soundness of doctrine, "aptness to teach" and call of God; after having preached in the hearing of the Church, may be licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Section 2 - Ordaining.
If the Church by a 75% vote decides that one of its members or former members who is engaged actively in the pastorate or some other phase of the ministry and possesses the scriptural qualifications for full ordination, it shall call a council of ministers and brethren from other Independent Baptist Churches to examine the qualifications of the candidate. The Church upon advice of the Council shall proceed with the ordination.
Section 3 - Revoking.
The Church shall have the right to revoke the ordination license of any one who by scandalous conduct or heretical teaching is untrue to the principles and conditions under which he was licensed or ordained. He shall be notified by registered mail of the revocation. This action shall require a 75% vote of a duly called business meeting.
Article IX – Meetings of the Church.
Section 1 - For Divine Worship.
- Sunday. The Church shall regularly meet every Lord's Day for the public worship of Almighty God. Two services shall be held, one in the morning and one in the evening.
- Week Night. At least once in each week a service shall be held for Prayer and Bible Study.
- The Lord's Supper. The Ordinance of the Lord's Supper shall be observed by the Church at least once a month.
- Sunday School. A meeting shall be held each Sunday by the Sunday School for the teaching and study of the Bible.
Section 2 - For Business.
A. The Annual Meeting. The fiscal year of the Church shall be from January 1 to December 31. The Annual Meeting of the Church shall be held in the third week of January. This meeting shall be for the transaction of business and election of officers, to receive annual reports of the Officers of the Church and its auxiliary organizations. A written notice of the meeting, stating its nature and purpose, must be read from the pulpit two consecutive Sundays immediately prior to the date on which it is to be called.
- Quarterly Business Meeting. Quarterly meetings of the Church shall be held in the third week of April, July, and October at which time action shall be taken upon appropriations of money and other current transactions. Officers of the Church shall submit a report of their office at this meeting.
- Special Meeting. The Church may be called together to transact any legitimate business by the Pastor or other body within the Church in accordance with their authority and the nature of the business. Notice of such a meeting must be read from the pulpit on the Sunday immediately preceding, stating clearly the purpose for which the meeting is called. The agenda for said meeting shall be only that which is announced.
- A Quorum. The Church may transact any business with a quorum of 15% of active members, 18 years of age or over present, the exact quorum figure to be calculated following each annual meeting.
- Voting. If one or more members request, the voting shall be taken by ballot. The right to vote shall be restricted to members in good standing whose names are on the "Active List." Age requirements shall be 18 years or over except for such Officers as by state law must be elected by individuals 21 years of age or over.
Article X – Rules of Order.
Rules of Order for the Church, its boards, committees and subsidiary organizations shall be "Robert's Rules of Order."
The following order of business shall be observed at the regular, business meetings of the Church:
2. Reading of Minutes
3. Reception of Members
4. Dismissal of Members
5. Report of Officers
6. Reports of Standing Committees
7. Reports of Special Committees
8. Unfinished Business
9. Election of Officers
10. New Business
Article XI – Addendum.
For all matters not governed by these Articles, the Church shall consult the complete original edition of The New Directory for Baptist Churches, complete and unabridged by Edward T. Hiscox and The Doctrine and Administration of the Church by Paul R. Jackson.
Article XII – Amendments.
This Constitution may be amended at any annual business meeting by a 3/4 majority vote of the voters present and voting, provided notice of such proposed amendment shall be given in writing at a previous regular business meeting, and announcement made publicly from the pulpit for two consecutive Sundays immediately prior to the proposed meeting. The written notice and announcements of such meeting must state the nature of the proposed amendment and the part of the Constitution affected thereby, if any part is affected.
The Articles supersede and take the place of all rules previously existing.
Article XIII - Policies.
A. Memorial Fund Policy.
1. Church must approve all funds set up.
2. Trustees shall have responsibility of disbursements.
3. Memorial fund monies will go into existing funds unless the church allows other designation of monies. The donor will have the option to choose fund.
4. Once money is accepted, donor's name is not again acquainted with fund or monies.
B. Ministry of Service Policy.
All who serve in the ministry of the People's Baptist Church must be on the Active Membership List of the Church.
An apprentice type program may be initiated under the control of the Deacons.
C. Votes on Financial Matters. In all financial matters requiring a vote, a 2/3rd majority is required.
D. Bookkeeping Policy for Non-Missions and Non-Sunday School Finances
(1) All undesignated giving will go into the General Fund;
(2) designated giving must be to a membership approved standing fund;
(3) The rare exception for other designated giving will be to a temporary fund approved by the members; named so as to identify the intent; administered by the Trustees and Pastor(s); reported on quarterly/annually by the Treasurer; and depleted and terminated as soon as practically possible.
1/03 Congregationally Approved Revisions to:
Article VI; Sec. 2 – E "Termination"
Article VI; Sec. 3 – D "Termination"
Article XIII; C (addition) "Votes on Financial Matters"
1/20/06 Congregationally Approved Revisions to:
Article VI; Sec. 2 - C "Pastor's Election"
Article VI; Sec. 2 - D "Pastor's Termination"
Article VI; Sec. 3 - C "Asst. Pastor's Election"
Article VI; Sec. 3 - D "Asst. Pastor's Termination"
Article VI; Sec. 5 - Paragraph B - "Duties of Trustees"
Article VI; Sec.14 - "Officers of Church"
1/18/08 Congregationally Approved Revisions to:
Article VI; Sec. 4 - C "Election of Deacons" (removal of # of Deacons)
1/23/09 Congregationally Approved Addition:
Article IV; Sec. 24 - "Marriage and Family"
1/22/11 Congregationally Approved Revision to:
Article VI; Sec. 5 - "Board of Trustees" - Paragraph A - "Election of Trustees"
Article IX; Sec. 2 - "For Business" - Paragraph D - "A Quorum"
1/27/12 Congregationally Approved Revision to:
Article V1; Sec. 3 - "Assistant Pastor" - Paragraph D - (Remove) "Termination"
1/24/14 Congregationally Approved Revisions to:
Article V; Sec. 3; Par. E - Remove "Glory List"
Article XIII; Par. D (new) - Clarifying Bookkeeping Policy