First Baptist Church Dade City
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Honoring our leader, Jesus Christ, as a family of multiplying followers.

Bylaws/Artcls.of Faith

Constitution and Bylaws

First Baptist Church, Dade City, Florida, Inc.

Preamble
 

For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenets of Southern Baptist Churches, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of the Church and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to the churches of the same faith and order, we do declare and establish this constitution.


Section 1
– Name
This congregation of believers shall be known as First Baptist Church of Dade City, Florida, Inc. It is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Florida.
 

Section 2– Purpose
This congregation is organized as a Church exclusively for charitable, religious and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law) for such purposes including, but not limited to, the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; the establishing and maintaining of religious worship; the educating of believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture; and the maintaining of missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country.

The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and is the basis of our faith. This Church accepts “The Baptist Faith and Message” (Appendix 1) as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000, including  the statement on human sexuality as adopted by this body of believers on November 23, 2014 (Appendix 2).  This Church is a committed body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ and is committed to personally sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The Church follows our Lord Jesus Christ in the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

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

TO commit ourselves as members to honor, esteem, and love one another;

TO pray for each other constantly and to manifest tender regard for our reputation;

TO walk together in Christian love by the aid of the Holy Spirit; to strive for the advancement of this Church and its ministries; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines;

TO contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations;

TO encourage family and private devotions; to educate our children religiously; to seek the salvation of our relatives, friends, neighbors and associates;

TO walk worthy of our calling in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to engagements and exemplary in our behavior;  to avoid malicious use of the tongue; to keep our testimonies above reproach; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior;

TO watch over one another in brotherly love; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feelings and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation and, mindful of scriptural guidelines, to secure it without delay; and

TO pledge that when we remove from this place, we will unite with some other Church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

 
ARTICLE IV - Membership
 
Section 1 -- Candidacy and Membership

A.    Anyone may offer themselves as a candidate for membership in the Church in one of the following ways:

     1)    by profession of faith and baptism by immersion, or

     2)    by promise and receipt of a letter from a Southern Baptist Church of like faith and order, or

     3) by statement of prior conversion experience and believer’s baptism by immersion in another Church of like faith.

B. Membership is granted when the candidate:
     1) has satisfied the requirements above,
     2) has completed new members orientation,
     3) has signed the membership agreement (Appendix  3), and

     4) has been affirmed by Church vote.

Section 2 – Privileges  of Members

A.    Every member of the Church of at least sixteen (16) years of age is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the Church in conference, provided the member is present when the vote is taken.

B.    Every member of the Church is eligible for consideration as a candidate for elective position in the Church provided their life reflects the qualities essential for spiritual leadership and meets the requirements of the specific position.

Section 3 – Ordinances

A.    Baptism - A person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, shall be received for believer’s baptism.

     1)    Baptism shall be by immersion in water.

     2)    Baptism shall be administered by the Ministerial Staff or another person designated by the Senior Pastor.

     3)    Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship.

B.    The Lord's Supper - The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the Body of Christ, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.

     1)    The Lord's Supper shall be observed under the leadership of the Senior Pastor.

     2)    If the Senior Pastor’s position is vacant, then another member of the      Ministerial Staff will lead.

     3)    The Deacon Body shall be responsible for the preparation of the Lord's Supper.

Section 4 - Termination and Transfer of Membership

A.    Termination - Church membership shall be terminated by:

     1)    transfer to another Baptist Church,

     2)    becoming affiliated with another Church or denomination,

     3)    by written request of the member,

     4)    by death, or removal by action of the Church in accordance with Article IV, Section 5.

     5)    transfer - Members in good standing with the Church may, at the request of another Church, be granted a letter of transfer.

Section 5 - Discipline

It shall be the practice of the Church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure shall be taken to assist any troubled member. The Senior Pastor, other members of the Ministerial Staff, and Deacon Body are available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of the members shall be guided by restoration rather than punishment.

Should a condition exist where there is a breach of God's Word in action or teaching which would cause the member to become a liability to the general welfare of the Church, the Senior Pastor, other members of the Ministerial Staff, and Deacon Body will take every reasonable measure to resolve the matter in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17.

If it becomes necessary for the Church Body to take action to remove a member, a two-thirds  (2/3)  affirmative  vote is  required.    The Church  Body may then proceed to declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the Church. For such a meeting to take place, appropriate notice must be given pursuant to

Article IX- B. All such proceedings shall be in the spirit of Christian kindness and repentance.   The Church may restore to membership any person previously removed, upon the request of the removed member, evidence of the removed member's repentance and reformation, and by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the Church.

Section 6 – Inactivity

When a member becomes inactive for a period of six months, they should receive a visit by Deacon Body or a Ministerial Staff member to determine the situation. The purpose would always be to restore them to fellowship. It should be noted that if it is determined the reason for inactivity is just cause, the person would remain an active member.

After a period of one year, anyone defined as inactive after six (6) month evaluation, and continues to be so, will lose voting privileges until restored to fellowship.

 
Section 1 - Senior Pastor

A.          Duties of the Senior Pastor

     1)     The Senior Pastor is responsible for leading the Church to function as a New Testament Church.

     2)     The Senior Pastor is also the leader of the ministries of the Church. As such, he works with the Ministerial Staff and Deacon Body to:

          a)    lead the Church in the achievement of its mission and objectives,

          b)    proclaim the Gospel to the entire community and equip Church members to do likewise,

          c)    care for the Church's members and other persons of the community.        

     3)     The Senior Pastor or his designee shall act as moderator in all matters for transaction of business.

          a)    If the Senior Pastor position is vacant, the Chairman of the Deacons or his designee shall act as moderator in all matters for transaction of business.

     4)     The Senior Pastor or his designee shall be a non-voting ex officio member of all organizations and committees and his leadership shall be recognized in all of them.

B.      Senior Pastor Search Committee

     1)     When a vacancy in the senior pastorate exists, a Senior Pastor Search Committee shall be selected by the Nominating Committee and presented to the Church Body for affirmation to seek out a suitable Senior Pastor.

     2)     The search committee will be comprised of six members. The members will include two men, two women and one young adult between the ages of 21 – 30. The sixth member will be a member of the Personnel/Stewardship Committee.  

     3)          No Ministerial Staff person may serve on the Pastor Search Committee.

     4)          The Senior Pastor Search Committee and Deacons shall bring to the consideration of the Church only one (1) man at a time.

 C.     Election of Senior Pastor

The Senior Pastor shall be chosen and called by the Church
Body.  His election shall take place at a special Church Conference
 called for that purpose, and for which at least one (1) week's written notice shall be given through communications to Church members. Election shall be by written ballot upon the affirmative vote of 90% of those present and voting.

 D.     Tenure of Office of Senior Pastor

If the Senior Pastor relinquishes the office, he may do so by giving at least four (4) weeks’ notice at the time of resignation.

The Church Body may terminate the Senior Pastor or declare the office of Senior Pastor to be vacant if circumstances dictate. Such action shall take place at a special Church Conference, with at least two (2) weeks’ written notice given through communications to Church members. The meeting may be called only upon the recommendation of two-thirds (2/3) of the Personnel/ Stewardship Committee and three-fourths (3/4) of the Deacon Body.  The moderator of this meeting shall be the Chairman of Deacons or, in his absence, the Vice-Chairman of Deacons. The vote to declare the office of Senior Pastor vacant shall be by written ballot with three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of those voting, resulting in immediate termination.
 

Section 2Other Ministerial Staff Positions When the Senior Pastor and the Personnel/Stewardship Committee determine the need for any full-time or part time ministerial position, the Senior Pastor and Personnel/Stewardship Committee shall have the authority to nominate the candidate without the need of a Search Committee. Once a candidate for the vacant position is identified, the candidate may be employed by an affirmative vote of the Personnel/Stewardship Committee.

Any minister on staff, other than the Senior Pastor, who chooses to resign or retire, shall give at least two (2) weeks notice to the Church Body. A minister on staff, other than the Senior Pastor, may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Senior Pastor, confirmed by an affirmative vote of the Personnel/Stewardship Committee.

Section 3Support Staff

The Senior Pastor, along with the Personnel/Stewardship Committee, shall be responsible for filling all support staff (non-ministerial employee) positions. Termination, when required, shall also be at the Senior Pastor’s and Personnel/Stewardship’s discretion.

Section 4 – Screening and Background Checks

Appropriate screening and background checks shall be conducted on all employees before they are hired. All employees shall accept and sign Articles of Faith.

Section 5 - Deacons
A.   Definitions

     1)      Ordained Deacon – an individual duly ordained by a Southern Baptist Church or a Church of like faith and order.

     2)      Active Deacon – an ordained Deacon serving this Church for an elected term.

     3)      Yokefellow – one who is being mentored as a prospective Deacon for at least one year without voting privileges.

B.   Qualifications

     1)      Biblical qualifications (see 1 Timothy 3)

     2)       Church qualifications

          a)    Be 25 years of age or older.

          b)    Have been a member of this Church twenty-four (24) months prior to the election.

          c)     Be an ordained Deacon, providing, however, that any Church member meeting the other qualifications for Deacon may be elected to this office subject only to being ordained as soon as practical following the election.

          d)     Be an active participant in, and loyal to, the Church programs,   including the Church Covenant. The Church will also give consideration to the individual’s commitment and faithfulness to the following:

     (1)     Being a tither through this Church.

     (2)    Being regular in attendance to worship services and Bible study groups of this Church.

     (3)     Being willing to develop and use their God-given talents in service through this Church.

          e)      If nominated as a first time Deacon in this Church (even if coming from another congregation where he was a Deacon), he must serve as a Yokefellow for at least one year.

     (1)  Will be mentored for one year by a mentoring Deacon

     (2) At the end of the year, he will be interviewed by the Deacon Body for consideration as Deacon.

     (3)  If approved, he will be presented to Church Body as a Deacon.

C. Number of Deacons

The Church Body shall determine, from time to time as the need arises, the

number of active Deacons to serve this Church.

D. Term of Deacons

     1)    Active Deacons shall be elected for a three-year term, at the end of which they shall not be eligible to serve as an active Deacon for at least one complete year thereafter. 

     2)    Any Deacon serving one-year or less shall be eligible for an election to a full term.

E. Election of Deacons

     1)    The Deacon Body will function as the committee who will determine, on behalf of the Church, if those nominated meet the qualifications for an active Deacon. The function of this committee of Deacons shall be to interpret and carry out the directions and guidelines as set forth by this Church Body in determining the qualifications of an individual for active Deacon. The Deacon Body will determine whether those meeting the qualifications are willing to accept the responsibility and serve as an active Deacon, if so elected by this Church. 

     2)    The Deacon Body shall recommend all qualified and willing individuals.

     3)    Nomination forms will be provided to the Church on the third (3rd) Sunday in August. They must be received by the Deacon Body no later than September 15. 

     4)    Following receipt of all nominees on September 15, the Deacon Body will begin the review and interview process.

     5)   After due consideration, the Deacon Body shall then identify to the Church, two weeks prior to the 3rd Sunday Conference in January, the number of nominees, as required by the Church Body, who are qualified and willing to serve as active Deacons. 

     6)    The Church shall, during the January Church Conference, elect by secret ballot those nominated who receive a majority of the votes cast to the office of active Deacon. Each member is allowed to vote for as many of those nominated as each member may desire.

     7)    Those men selected to serve as Deacons will begin their three (3) year term of service on February 1. 

F. Quorum

     A quorum shall be a majority of the active Deacons.

G. Meeting of Deacons

     1)    The Deacons shall meet monthly, and more often if necessary, to fully serve the Church Body. A quorum shall be present in order to conduct business. However, in case of a quorum not being present at any scheduled or called Deacons’ meeting, those present may consider any matters in informal session, provided no official action is taken.

     2)    The Chairman of Deacons may call a Deacons’ meeting at any time, provided twenty-four (24) hours notice is given to all active Deacons prior to the called meeting. The Chairman of Deacons shall call a Deacons’ meeting at any time upon the request of six or more Deacons.

 
H. Officers of Deacons

The active Deacons shall elect their own chairman, vice chairman and secretary.   Elections for these officers shall be held annually.

 I.  Removal of Deacons
The Deacons shall discipline their own. The Deacons shall be granted the authority to remove a fellow Deacon by a 2/3 majority vote. Every effort shall be made to reconcile any or all Deacons with each other prior to any action by the Deacons with counsel of the Senior Pastor.
 
J. Function of Deacons

     1)  The Deacons shall promote the spiritual welfare of the Church Body and its individual members.

     2)  The Deacons shall counsel with and support the pastor and assist him in promoting the worship and ministerial activities of the Church.

     3)  The Deacons shall be responsible for the preparation of the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper.

 

Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Board of Trustees and Personnel/Stewardship Committee are nominated each year by the Nominating Committee from the membership of the Church and shall be at least 25 years of age.  

A.  Church Clerk

     1)    The Church Clerk shall keep accurate minutes of the regular and special called Church Conferences.

     2)    Clerk pro tem shall be appointed by the Church Clerk to act in his/her absence.

B.  Church Treasurer

     1)  The Church Treasurer, who is also the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, is the liaison between the Church Body and Finance Office. They are elected as needed with a maximum term of three years.

     2)  The  Church Treasurer shall ensure that an annual audit is conducted and shall report on the audit at the April Church Conference. 

     3)  The  Church Treasurer is responsible for overseeing and reporting the financial status of the Church at each Church conference.

     4)  The Church Treasurer is an ex-officio, non-voting, member of the Personnel/Stewardship Committee.

     5)  The Financial Assistant shall prepare quarterly financial reports and give them to the Church Body and the Board of Trustees in addition to any reports requested by the Trustees or the Church Treasurer.

     6)  The Church Treasurer or his representative shall report all capital expenditures and the operating budget in the quarterly Church conferences.

     7)  The Church Treasurer and Personnel/Stewardship Committee shall determine who will be authorized to withdraw funds from all bank accounts, and shall maintain a record of those authorized.

     8)  Two signatures shall be required on all checks.

 C.     The Board of Trustees

     1)  The Board of Trustees is created to hold title to the property of the Church and to put into legal form and effect the will and direction of the Church and to be responsible for business and financial affairs of the Church; and shall automatically constitute the election of the Church Treasurer as the treasurer of the Board of Trustees.

     2)  The Board of Trustees shall be composed of the Church Treasurer and six (6) members of the Church at least two of which shall be ladies of the Church, at least two shall be men of the Church and not more than two shall be active Deacons of the Church.

     3)  A quorum for the Board of Trustees shall be two thirds (2/3) of the Board.

     4)  Each year the Nominating Committee shall nominate two (2) persons for terms of three (3) years. Election of Trustees shall be conducted at the January Church Conference and the newly elected Trustees shall assume the office immediately.

     5)  The Board of Trustees shall obtain Church Body  approval on all capital transactions greater than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00)

ARTICLE VII - COMMITTEES AND MINISTRY TEAMS

A.  Responsibilities

     1) The Committees listed in Article VII, C. shall be Standing Committees

     2) Each committee shall meet as often as necessary for the adequate fulfillment of its responsibilities.

     3) Any committee may determine the use of money that has already been put in the regular Church budget for its area of work, after checking with the Personnel/Stewardship Committee to determine the availability of funds. 

B.  Election of Committees

     1) The members of the standing committees (as listed in Article VII, C) shall be elected for a three-year term on a rotating basis.

     2) No two people will serve on the same committee who are immediate family members to include spouse, child, parent, sibling.

     3) The Pastor, the Chairman of Deacons and Chairman of Trustees shall be nonvoting ex-officio members of all committees, as listed in Article VII, C. 

     4) The Nominating Committee shall recommend candidates to fill vacancies for unexpired terms of all standing committees. No Nominating Committee member shall nominate an immediate family member (see Article VII, B, 2).

     5) No member shall be re-elected to the same committee for at least one year, unless his present time on the committee shall be one year or less.

     6) Immediate family members to include spouse, child, parent or sibling shall not serve at the same time on either the Nominating or Personnel/Stewardship Committees.

     7) All committee members, with the exception of Personnel/Stewardship Committee (25 years of age), shall be at least 21 years of age.

C.  List of  Standing Committees

     1.     Nominating Committee- Six (6) members. 

          a)    The Nominating Committee will provide to the Church Body a list of all persons to fill committee vacancies two weeks prior to the Church Conference where the affirmation will occur

     2.     Missions CommitteeSix (6) members.

     3.     Personnel/Stewardship Committee– Nine (9) members

     4.     Properties Committee– Six (6) members

     5.     Transportation Committee– Six (6) members

D.  Committee Year

Committee year begins May 1

E.  Ministry Teams

     1)    Ministry teams shall be established by the Ministerial Staff to better serve and meet the needs of our members and our community. Ministry teams shall be responsible for providing ministry in their respective areas with accountability to the Ministerial Staff and Deacon Body.

     2) Screening and background checks

                  Screening and background checks shall be conducted on all volunteers working with children and youth.

 

A.  The members of the Church committees shall be nominated and elected at a regular or special called meeting. The list of nominees should be provided to the Church two weeks prior to Church Conference in April of each year.

 

B.  All elected standing committee members shall be members of this Church for at least one full year prior to serving on a committee and shall serve until their successor is duly elected or until they resign.

A.  Church and Fiscal Years

       Shall run from January 1 through December 31

B.  Notice
When “due notice” is required, the notice to be given shall state the purpose and shall not be less than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the meeting, and shall be announced in all services and shall appear in the Church bulletin.

C.  Church Conferences

Regular Church Conferences shall be held quarterly on the third Sunday of January, April, July and October. In case of a special event or service interfering with the holding of the regular meetings, same may be postponed until the fourth Sunday of said month. Special meetings may be called upon “due notice” by the Pastor or Trustees or Deacon Body.

D.  Quorum
The government of the Church Body shall be vested in the hands of her members, eighty (80) of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or special Church Conference. In all meetings of the committees of the Church, a quorum shall consist of not less than a majority of the voting membership of such committee, and the majority vote of those present and voting shall be effective to bind the committee.

 
 
The Bylaws of this Church may be altered, amended, or rescinded by the Church at any regular Church Conference or special called Church Conference for that purpose, provided that “due notice” shall be given and the substance of the proposed amendment or amendments shall have been stated in the “due notice,” provided further that all such proposed amendments must receive the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting, and provided there is a quorum present. Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation of the Trustee Corporation shall be as provided in the Articles of Incorporation.
  

APPENDIX 1

ARTICLES OF FAITH

Our living faith is established upon eternal truths. "Thus this generation of Southern Baptists is in historic succession of intent and purpose as it endeavors to state for its time and theological climate those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us." It is the purpose of this statement of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe.

I. The Scriptures

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

II. God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

B. God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1- 18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16. 

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3;Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

III. Man

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

IV. Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God. 

C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1- 18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9- 22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

V. God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

VI. The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19- 22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

VIII. The Lord's Day

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21- 24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

IX. The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.

X. Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

XII. Education

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

XIII. Stewardship

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

XIV. Cooperation

Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1- 16; Philippians 1:15-18.

XV. The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.

We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27- 37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

XVI. Peace and War

It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war. The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

XVII. Human Sexuality

(Added in Church Conference November 23, 2014 – see Appendix 2)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgenderism and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.

We believe that the term of “marriage” has only one, legitimate meaning, and that is marriage sanctioned by God, which joins one man and one woman in a single, covenant union, as delineated by Scripture. Marriage ceremonies performed in any facility owned, leased or rented by this church will only be those ceremonies sanctioned by God, joining one man with one woman as that gender was determined at birth.

Genesis 2:24; 19:5,13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 7:2; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4

 
 

CALLED BUSINESS CONFERENCE

NOVEMBER 23, 2014
 

The meeting was called to order with prayer by Dan Herndon, for the purpose of adding the Baptist Faith and Message Articles of Faith, plus a declaration concerning marriage, to our by-laws.

As required, due notice was given.

There are legal issues facing the church and we need to make clear what we believe and put it into our by-laws. Copies of the Articles of Faith have been made available for the past two weeks.


The request to add to our by-laws the Articles of Faith and a clause stating our belief that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman comes as a recommendation from the Pastor and Deacons, seconded by Mark Barnes. There were no dissenting votes and the addition to our by-laws was adopted.

Carried over from our previous regular quarterly conference, Dan Herndon, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, presented the following names to serve as Deacons: Don Carr and Daryn Partain.

Yokefellows from last year for ordination: Hugh Herndon, Jaye Duncan, Joey Knight, Keith McCarthy, Joey Bautista.

New Yokefellows: Robert Britton and Steve Woods.

Motion by Dan Herndon, seconded by Derek Rowell and Philip English, that the above nominations be approved.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer by Dan Herndon.

 

Submitted by,

Barbara Alford