Our Beliefs > Church Constitution
So that things may be done decently and in order in accordance with the accepted tents of other Churches of like precious faith, and that we may more readily help each other in our Christian service, we declare and establish this constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
On May 14, 1968 in the community of Federal Way, Washington, the congregation of people meeting under the ministry title of Bible Baptist Church incorporated as an Independent, Fundamental, Baptist Church. The Church body later moved into facilities purchased in Northeast Tacoma near the border of Federal Way, and by vote of the people accepted the new Church name of Faith Baptist Church.
Since its inception in 1968, the Church has purchased property, built buildings, and acquired vehicles and equipment to further aid in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Over the years, the Church felt it necessary to incorporate changes to the original by-laws and constitution.
This revision of by-laws and constitution was submitted to the membership of Faith Baptist Church for review on June 23, 2013, and became the official constitution of Faith Baptist Church after approval by the Church on July 7, 2013.
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1 - NAME:
This congregation of believers shall be known as FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH of Northeast Tacoma, WA.
SECTION 2 - PURPOSE:
(A) This congregation is organized as a Church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of Churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, cemeteries, and any other ministries that the Church may be led of God to establish.
(B) The Church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry; evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that the Church may decide, from time to time, to pursue in obedience to the will of God.
(C) The specific and primary purpose of this corporation is the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, according to the Bible. The object of the Church shall be the maintenance of public worship, the proclamation of the Gospel for the evangelization of the world, and the administration of the ordinances of the New Testament Church for the edification of its members. The Church, now and in the future, shall not become officially connected with any convention or association of Churches, but shall remain an independent, self-governing body which conducts its business in accordance with the Word of God.
STATEMENT OF FAITH AND COVENANT
SECTION 1 - STATEMENT OF FAITH:
(A) The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the Church (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the age of law, the age of the Church, and the age of the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).
(C) The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfection (Deut. 6:4; Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26). The Father is God (John 6:27; Rom. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2). The Son is God (Is. 44:6; John 1:1,14; John 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Jude 24-25; Rev. 1:17). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 3:16).
(D) The Person and Work of Christ
(1) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 3:17; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 9:26).
(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 2:24; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 13:12).
(3) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:3, 9-11; Heb. 7:25, 9:24; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:4; 1 John 2:1-2).
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
(1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:7-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:13-14).
(2) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
(3) We believe that through the power of the Indwelling Holy Spirit, God bestows spiritual gifts to every believer in accordance to Scripture. Also, that God, through His Holy Spirit, uniquely uses the ministry of evangelists, Pastors, and teachers to edify, teach, exhort, and challenge believers to do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:4-8; I Cor. 12:1-11; Eph. 4:11-12).
(4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Cor. 1:22, 13:8-10, 14:21-22).
(F) The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; John 3:18; Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12, 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19; Titus 3:5).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
(1) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1: 4-5).
(I) The Church
(1) We believe that the local Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again baptized believers (Mat. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41,42; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27).
(2) We believe that the establishment, order and continuance of the local Church is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Mat. 16:18; Acts 2:42, 14:27, 16:4-5, 20:17, 28-32; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local Church free of any external authority of control (Mat. 18:17; Acts 6:3, 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
(4) We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the Church in this age (Mat. 26:26-28, 28:19-20; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 6:13, 14; 12:1-2, 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-17, 7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
(K) The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. The Glorious Appearing at the end of the Tribulation when Christ personally and visibly returns with His saints to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom was promised to the Nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; Mat. 25:31-46; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).
(L) The Eternal State
(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2, 13; Mat. 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13, 21:1-9, 11-15).
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23, 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev 20:4-6).
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection. Then with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Mat. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15).
(M) The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a created being, the author of sin and the cause of the fall of man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. The person of Satan is an angelic creation of God, a cherub (Isa. 14:14) created as Lucifer, the anointed cherub who fell in pride and sinful rebellion to become Satan, the Devil (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:13-17; Mat. 4:2-11, 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, twenty-four hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
(O) Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: (1) the home; (2) the Church; and (3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
(P) Human Sexuality
(1) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24, 19:5-13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1, 6:9, 7:1-2; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(2) We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Gen 19:5-13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9, 7:1-2; I Thess. 4:1-8; I Tim. 3:2, 12; Heb. 13:4).
(Q) Family Relationships
(1) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the Church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leader (Pastors and Deacons) of the Church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the Church (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3: 18; I Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).
(2) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the Church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20: 12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; I Pet. 3:1-7).
(R) Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of Pastor or Deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Mat. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortion of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother, are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
(U) Lawsuits between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice, slander or libel (1 Cor. 6.1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local Church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spreading of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
SECTION 2 - AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH:
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.
SECTION 3 - COVENANT:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from worldly living and the support of or involvement in practices that promote ungodly lifestyles, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that when we remove ourselves from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other Church of like faith, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
SECTION 1 - QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP:
Presentation for Membership: Prior to presentation to the congregation, prospective members are required to review the Church constitution and covenants with the Pastor, or Deacons in the absence of the Pastor, and make verbal confirmation of the acceptance of and the adherence to this Statement of Faith and Covenant (Amos 3:3, Acts 2:47).
Upon a majority vote of the qualified voting members present at any Church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; who renounce sin; who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord; who fully subscribe to the Statement of Faith contained herein; and who enter into the Church covenant contained herein; upon compliance with either of the following conditions:
(A) By receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savior, and evidencing a testimony of obedience in Christ through believer's baptism by immersion, under the authority of this local Church.
(B) By Statement of Faith, acknowledging a new birth by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, and evidencing a testimony of obedience in Christ through believer’s baptism by immersion, under the authority of a local New Testament Church of like faith and practice.
(C) By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing Church of like faith and practice. This written statement testifies to the public acknowledgment of salvation and subsequent open profession of faith through water baptism by immersion, and the testimony of Christian conduct under the authority of that local Church.
SECTION 2 - DUTIES OF A MEMBER:
On becoming a member of this Church, in addition to the covenant contained in Article II, Section 3, each member further covenants to love, honor, and esteem the Pastor; to pray for him; and to recognize his authority in spiritual affairs of the Church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the Church; to support the Church in prayer, tithes, offerings, and other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands to support through a life-style, walk, affirmation of the beliefs and practices of the Church.
SECTION 3 - LIMITATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP:
This congregation functions, not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the Pastor as the undershepherd with the counsel of the Deacons. Membership in this Church does not afford those individuals with any property, contract or civil rights based on principles of democratic government.
Only eligible members at least eighteen years of age who are physically present at a duly called meeting of the Church shall be entitled to vote. There shall be no proxy or absentee voting. The eligible membership of the Church has certain limited areas to exercise a vote. Members may not make motion on or vote to initiate any Church action; rather, the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction for the Church as determined by the Pastor and the Deacons.
SECTION 4 - DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER:
(A) There shall be a Discipline Committee consisting of the Pastor and the Deacons. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the Statement of Faith and violations of the Church Covenant. If the Pastor or a Deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as member of the Discipline Committee. He shall be entitled to the same steps as other Church members and be subject to the same discipline. No accusation shall be brought against an elder except where the testimonies of two or more witnesses are in agreement (I Tim. 5:1,19).
(B) Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes, he should first examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of restoration (Matt. 5:23-25, 7:3, 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 4:29-32).
(C) If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a Deacon or the Pastor, is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self-examination and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration (Matt. 18:15-17).
(D) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, the Discipline Committee, as the Church representatives biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the Discipline Committee, the Committee shall recommend to the members of the Church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.
(E) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B), (C), and (D) have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the Church upon a majority vote of the membership present at the meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
(F) No matter may be heard by the Discipline Committee or the Church unless the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense to which there are two or more witnesses in agreement. (I Tim. 5:1,19) No information concerning parties not under examination may be discovered.
(G) If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the Church membership, all contact with him from that point forward must be for the sake of restoration. The breaking of fellowship is for restoration, not retaliation. Family members not associated with the offense or participants in refusal of restoration are not to be held accountable (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 3:14-15).
(H) A restoration to membership after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements set forth by the Pastor and/or Discipline Committee.
SECTION 5 - TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP:
Members, not under the disciplining process of Section 4, may request that letters of transfer be sent to another Church.
SECTION 6 - TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:
(A) The membership of any individual member shall be automatically terminated if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the Church in the preceding six months. Upon good cause being shown to the Pastor and the Deacons, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member according to the discretion of the Pastor and the Deacons.
(B) No member of this Church may hold membership in another Church. If any member unites in membership with another Church, that person is automatically removed from the membership of this Church, without notice.
(C) A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such resignation, except at the discretion of the Pastor and Deacons after review of the matter.
SECTION 1 - CHURCH OFFICERS:
The Church officers are Pastor (see Article V, Section 1) and Deacon (see Article V, Section 2). The respective duties of each Deacon are directed by the Pastor pertaining to ministry.
SECTION 2 - DESIGNATION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS:
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the Church, the Pastor shall serve as president of the corporation. The Pastor and Deacons shall choose from among the Deacons, a secretary of the corporation, a treasurer of the corporation, and the Deacons shall also elect a chairman who will serve as Vice President of the corporation. The Pastor and Deacons shall delegate the position of Church clerk to a qualifying member who shall maintain business records according to Article V Section 2 (D-4).
SECTION 3 - ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUANCE IN CORPORATE OFFICE:
(A) The Church shall not install or retain a corporate officer who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith. All corporate officers shall affirm their agreement with the Statement of Faith (as set forth in Article II) annually in the presence of each other with a signed statement.
(B) All corporate officers must be approved initially and thereafter annually by the Pastor in order for them to commence or continue in their offices.
(C) Only Church members in good standing are eligible for approval or appointment to any corporate office or position.
SECTION 4 - TERMS OF OFFICE:
The length of terms of office shall be as follows:
(A) The relationship between the Pastor and the Church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of a month’s notice, or less by mutual consent. The severance of the relationship between the Pastor and the Church may be considered at any regular Church business meeting, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the Church two Sundays prior to said regular Church business meeting. A three-fourths majority of the members present and eligible to participate shall be allowed to approve or disapprove the matter. Disciplinary removal of the Pastor from office automatically terminates his membership.
(B) The term of service for all corporate offices and positions in the Church, except the Pastor, shall be one year, at the expiration of which they may be removed or re-appointed.
SECTION 5 – ANNUAL APPROVAL OF CORPORATE OFFICERS:
The annual approval of corporate officers by the Church membership shall occur during the month of March at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 6 - PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF CHURCH STAFF:
(A) Subject to the approval of the Church membership and on the condition that they shall become a member of the Church upon assuming their duties, the Pastor may hire associates and assistants, to assist the Pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
(B) All Church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the Pastor who has the sole authority to hire, appoint, or dismiss the same. No employee or volunteer shall be hired, appointed, or retained who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith. The Pastor shall be actively involved as a member of every committee.
(C) The Pastor shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall appoint the members of the various committees at the annual Church administration meeting. He shall publicly inform all newly-elected officers of the particular function and the responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the Church and perform such other duties as generally appertain to such a position. The Pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry that God has given him according and consistent with the Holy Scriptures.
SECTION 2 - THE DEACONS:
(A) All Deacons are required to meet the Biblical requirements of the New Testament Church office as given in Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3: 8-13.
(B) The Deacons shall assist the Pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the Church, in conducting the religious services, and in performing all other work of the Church. They shall make provision for the observance of the ordinances of the Church. They shall, if requested by the Pastor, consider applications for Church membership. They shall, in cooperation with the Pastor, disburse the benevolence fund. They shall assist the Pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the Church. They shall provide the pulpit supply and act as leaders for Church meetings if the office of Pastor is vacant. The Deacons shall assist the Pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the Church’s various ministries as requested by the Pastor.
(C) Prior to the annual Church administration business meeting, the Deacons shall assemble and elect, from their own number, a chairman, who shall be vice president of the corporation, a treasurer and a secretary, who shall assume the designated responsibilities assigned to each position.
(D) The Deacons shall constitute the board of trustees of the corporation. The board of trustees upon authorization by an approval of the members present at a duly called annual Church administrative business meeting, shall exercise only the following specific powers:
(1) To purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and to take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the Church;
(2) To sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the Church, to borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and the use of the Church; to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the Church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges. (This is in accordance to the approval of the Church body by majority vote and in keeping with the principles of Church leadership as specified within this context.)
(3) To exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church Corporation, if such action is mandated by a vote of the Church membership.
SECTION 3 – CHURCH CLERK:
The Church clerk shall oversee the recording and preservation of all Church business meetings.
SECTION 4 – CHURCH TREASURER:
(A) The Treasurer shall account for all funds contributed to the Church. He will be responsible for the handling of the contributions, and the counting and depositing of the same.
(B) The Treasurer shall implement and maintain the policies, procedures and personnel as set forth in the Church Finance Manual as approved by the Pastor and Deacons.
(C) The Treasurer shall regularly review the financial reports and accountings.
(D) The Treasurer shall provide a financial report for the previous fiscal year at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 5 - DISMISSAL OF CORPORATE OFFICERS:
Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the constitution for a period of three months may be removed from his office at the discretion of the Pastor and Deacons, and another may be appointed by the Pastor to serve the unexpired term.
SECTION 1 - MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP:
Unless otherwise determined by the Pastor, the Church shall meet each Sunday for public worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed at the Pastor’s discretion through out the year.
SECTION 2 - ANNUAL CHURCH ADMINISTRATION MEETING:
An annual administration meeting of the Church shall be held in March at a Sunday evening Worship Service. The previous year’s annual ministry and financial report and the proposed budget, administration, ministry and business are presented for review and approval.
SECTION 3 - SPECIAL MEETINGS:
(A) The Pastor may call a special meeting by giving notice of such a meeting and the purpose for which it is called to the Church from the pulpit at least one Sunday, and not less than one week prior to said meeting. A special meeting may be called by the Deacons in the event the office of the Pastor is vacant, or the Pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action.
(B) A meeting for election of a Pastor may be called by the pulpit committee at any regular Church service with two weeks advanced notification.
(C) Bible conferences, missionary conferences, and revivals may be held as the Pastor deems beneficial.
SECTION 4 - VOTING:
(A) The system of voting shall be open public response by majority show of hands in approval or disapproval of any proposal and voicing of the Scriptural endorsement of “Amen”.
(B) Prior to a business meeting, eligible members of the congregation may present questions or suggestions of business matters to the Deacons for consideration. After review, the Pastor and Deacons may, at their discretion, make a recommendation to the Church. The Church approves or disapproves.
(C) A quorum must consist of at least one-third of the Church members in regular attendance, and all votes must be calculated by the majority of eligible voters.
(D) Eligible voters are represented by those 18 years and older who regularly attend, and faithfully and consistently manifest the beliefs of Faith Baptist Church.
(E) No voting action or recommendation of action can take place outside of the context of Pastor, Deacon and the Church body. No secret meetings shall be held. No vote can be considered outside of this pre-approved method of practice.
(F) The authority to act as representatives of the Church body is granted by the vote of approval to office by the Church. The authority to carry out the actions of the respective offices is therefore given in accordance to the by-laws, Church Constitution and Articles of Faith.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
SECTION 1 - PURPOSE:
The Church believes that it is to provide the members’ children with an education, which is based upon and consistent with Biblical teachings. The Church believes that the home and Church are responsible before God for providing a Christian education. To this end, the Church shall engage in ministries in education in keeping with the following dictates:
SECTION 2 - CHURCH PARTICIPATION:
All educational programs or courses of instruction formulated and offered by the Church shall be primarily for the benefit of the members of the Church; however, the Pastor may permit non-Church members to participate in Church educational programs or courses of instruction if he deems it in the best interest of the Church.
SECTION 3 - STAFF MEMBERSHIP:
All instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this Church in good standing. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelist, or preachers, engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons, conducting revivals, or other special meetings on a temporary basis complying with Church authority.
SECTION 4 - STATEMENT OF FAITH ACCORD:
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full accord with the Statement of Faith of the Church.
SECTION 5 - UNITY:
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of the Church.
SECTION 6 - TEACHING:
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief, which conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth, which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole, infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
SECTION 7 - CHRISTIAN WALK:
All administrators, instructors, and teachers shall continue or adopt a life-style consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
SECTION 1 – AUTHORIZED EXPENDITURES
(A) The Church authorizes the Pastor to make purchases beyond those that are either designated, pre-approved or recurring, on behalf of the Church, of up to a pre-approved amount without additional approval and up to a second pre-approved amount with the approval of the majority of serving Deacons and/or trustees. Purchases in excess of the second pre-approved amount must be presented to the Church in a regular business meeting for the approval of the Church. The first and second pre-approved amounts will be approved by the Church membership at the annual administrative business meeting.
SECTION 2 - FISCAL YEAR:
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
SECTION 1 - ORDINATION 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 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.
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 1 Timothy 3:8-12, may be ordained to the office of a Deacon.
SECTION 2 ORDINATION PROCEDURE:
(A) Pastors Ordination Procedure
Upon a conference with the Pastor, and after the Pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the Pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith and/or Deacons invited to participate in the examination of the candidate.
If the candidate is found worthy of the ordination by the council, the ordination council shall inform the Church of its decision and, upon the approval of the Church, shall ordain the candidate on behalf of the Church.
(B) Deacon Ordination Procedure
Upon a conference with the Pastor and after the Pastor and the Church approves the candidate for ordination, the Pastor shall appoint the Deacons and Pastoral staff for the purpose of ordaining the candidate to office.
SECTION 3 - COMMISSIONING PROCEDURE:
(A) The commissioning of ordained ministers from the membership displaying a particular calling upon their ministry is provided for the purpose of duly empowering said representative with the authority and support of the Church.
(B) The commissioning is an official recognition of said missionary, evangelist or Pastor as an outreach ministry of Faith Baptist Church under the same obligations of any other acting agent of said ministry.
(C) The Commissioning Service unites the Church family and the minister’s family in union of purpose and commitment, entitling the ministering family to rights and privileges afforded the members and officers of said Church.
SECTION 1 - PRIVATE INUREMENT:
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the 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 I, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 - DISSOLUTION:
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 organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Trustees shall determine. Assets may be distributed only to organizations, which agree with the Church’s Statement of Faith.
SECTION 3 - RACIAL NONDISCRIMINATION:
The Church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin.
SECTION 1 - ACTIONS SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION:
The Church shall 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 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 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 any, in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding.
SECTION 3 - LIMITATIONS OF INDEMNIFICATION:
Any indemnification made under this Article, may be made by the Church only as authorized in the specific case on a determination that indemnification of the Pastor, Deacon, officer, employee, or agent is proper in the circumstances because he has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in Section 1 of this Article. The determination shall be made (a) by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of the Pastor and Deacons who were not and are not parties to or threatened with the action, suit or proceeding; (b) if the described quorum is not obtainable or if a majority vote of a quorum of disinterested Deacons so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion; or (c) by a majority vote of the members of the Church.
SECTION 4 -TIMING OF INDEMNIFICATION:
Expenses of each person seeking indemnification under this Article may be paid by the Church as they are incurred, in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit, or proceeding, as authorized by the 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 any continue as to a person who has ceased to be a Pastor, Deacon, officer, employee, or agent and may inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of that person.
SECTION 6 - INSURANCE:
The Church may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a Pastor, Deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the Church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in that capacity, or arising out of his status in that capacity, whether or not the Church would have the power to indemnify him against liability under the provisions of this Article.
From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the Pastor and the Deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article I, Section 2.
This Constitution may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting, at any regular Church administration meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing and announced from the pulpit fourteen (14) days before the meeting.