Click here to download a printable PDF of this document.
BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH CONSTITUTION
So that things may be done decently and in order in accordance with Biblical principles, 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.
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1 – NAME
This congregation of believers shall be know as the Bible Baptist Church of Plattsburgh, New York, an Independent Baptist Church that fellowships with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International.
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, schools, day care centers, 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.
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 fully inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority of faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. We believe that God preserved His Word in its entirety throughout the ages. (Ps. 119:89). 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 English 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. (Gen. 1:28; I 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 perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10,26).
(D) The Person and Work of the Father
(2) We believe that god the Father is the father of all who believe. Among many features of divine undertaking in salvation, regeneration is one. This new birth is wrought by God the Holy Spirit and results in legitimate Fatherhood on the part of God and legitimate sonship on the part of one who believes. Each individual who is born of God through faith in Christ has thus become a son of God in the most vital and immutable meaning of sonship and has been received into the household and family of God. The regenerate one may say, Abba, Father – a term of father-child relationship (Heb. 12:9; Jam. 1:17; Acts 17:29; I Cor. 8:6; Ps. 103:13; John 20:17; John 3:16,17; Rom. 8:32).
(E) 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; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, and, 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 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
(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 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
(F) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
(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 God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:77-12).
(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; 14:21-22).
(G) 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; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
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).
(I) 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).
(2) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal .5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
(J) 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 persons (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
(2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 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 of this age. Our church offers communion to those who are members of Bible Baptist Church. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 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 sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
(L) The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will come in the clouds and rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation Christ will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the Nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; I Thess. 1:10; I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
(M) The Eternal State
(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people, the saved to judgment and eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
(N) The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolutionist teachings in any form or concept as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
(P) 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 should be 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).
(Q) Human Sexuality
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; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(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; Matt. 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 abortions 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; Ps. 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 foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 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. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (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 spread of the Gospel. We believe that a contributor relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; 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 our 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 Biblically 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 gossiping, backbiting, and excessive anger; to continue to grow in grace and to learn God’s will so that we can identify those activities that are not pleasing to the One who saved us with His own blood and those actions that would hinder our further spiritual growth. We acknowledge the Biblical principles of abstaining from the sale and use of intoxicating beverages and of tobacco in any form, from state-sponsored or privately-sanctioned gambling, from watching humanistic portrayals of life at the movie theater or in the home, from listening to music that controls the body with its beat or the mind with its humanistic rhetoric, and from free-will partnerships with unbelievers; and we further covenant to grow together in our Christian walk and testimony, encouraging and provoking one another towards the high Biblical principles here listed; to surrender to God’s will for our personal lives as outlined in the Scriptures; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
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 from this place, we will as soon as possible, unite with some other Church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
SECTION 1 – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Upon a majority vote of the members present at any Church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; who renounce sin; who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord; who fully subscribe to the Statement of Faith contained herein; and who enter into the Church covenant contained herein; and upon compliance with any one of the following conditions:
(A) By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;
(B) By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;
(C) By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion, once they have met with and been recommended by the Pastor and Board of Deacons (at least 50% of Deacons must recommend); or
(D) By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the Church membership of the sin or sins involved, and satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the Pastor and the Board of Deacons (at least 50% of Deacons must recommend).
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 one 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 with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands to support through a lifestyle the beliefs and practices of the Church.
SECTION 3 – PRIVILEGES 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. Determination of the internal affairs of this Church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the Church’s own rules and procedures. The Pastor shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this Church. The Deacons shall give counsel and assistance to the Pastor as requested by him. The membership of the Church has certain limited areas of exercising a vote. Membership may not vote to initiate any Church action, but rather the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the Church as determined by the Pastor.
SECTION 4 – DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER
(A) 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 examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
(B) If reconciliation is not reached, the Pastor or a deacon 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.
(C) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (A) and (B) 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 meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
(D) No matter may be heard by the Church unless the steps outlined in subsections (A) and (B) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
(E) If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the Church membership, all contact with that person from that point forward, except for that of family members, must be for the sake of restoration.
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. A transfer of membership will be sent upon request from a church of like faith and practice.
SECTION 6 – TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
(A) The membership of any individual member shall be automatically terminated without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the Church in the preceding six months. Upon good cause being shown to the Pastor, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the Pastor.
(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 terminated without notice from membership in this Church.
(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.
SECTION 1- CHURCH OFFICERS
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 Chairman of the Trustees shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the treasurer shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the chairman of deacons shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 3 – ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE
(A) All Church officers shall affirm their agreement with the Statement of Faith and Covenant annually.
(B) All Church 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 are eligible for election or appointment to any Church office.
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 a specially called Church business meeting, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the Church on two consecutive Sundays prior to said special Church business meeting. If a duly constituted quorum is present an 80% majority of the members present and voting shall be required to decide the matter. Disciplinary removal of the Pastor from office automatically terminates his membership. A restoration to membership after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements of Article III, Section 1(D).
(B) The term of service for all other offices and positions in the Church, except the Pastor, shall be one year, at the expiration of which they may be re-elected or re-appointed.
(C) A vacancy occurring in any office, except in the case of the Pastor, may be filled at any Church business meeting.
(D) All elected and appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until their successors are duly elected or appointed.
SECTION 5 – ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The annual election of officers by the Church membership shall occur the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving at the annual Church business meeting.
SECTION 6 – PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF
(A) The Pastor may hire associates and assistants, to assist the Pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities, subject to the approval of the Finance Committee and on the condition that they shall become a member of the Church prior to assuming their duties.
(B) All Church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the Pastor, who has the authority to hire, appoint, or dismiss the same with approval from the deacons.
SECTION 7 – CHURCH STAFF REMUNERATION
The remuneration of the church staff shall be determined by the finance committee.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 – THE PASTOR
(A) The Pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and shall be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the Church, act as moderator at all Church meetings for the transaction of Church matters except when his call, dismissal is involved, and shall supervise the teaching ministries of the Church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
(B) The Pastor shall appoint the members of various committees. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. 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.
SECTION 2 – THE OFFICE OF DEACON
(A) The deacons of the Bible Baptist Church will be qualified in every way as outlined in the Scriptures (I Tim. 3). They will assist the Pastor in the matters pertaining to the Church activities (Acts 6). They shall have charge of the religious services and the supplying of the speaker, in the absence of the Pastor, provided other provisions have not been made. The Board of Deacons shall consist of six members. The Board of Deacons shall consist of qualified members elected at the annual business meeting and serve for a term of one year. The Chairman of Deacons will be elected annually by the Deacons.
(B) Pulpit Committee – The deacons shall be the members of the pulpit committee. The pulpit committee will utilize any and all sources, such as individuals, fellowships, etc., in locating suitable candidates for consideration (meeting qualifications as set forth in the Scriptures – 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1:6-9). The call of a pastor shall come before the Church at a business meeting called for this purpose and shall be held after the Church has heard the man as a candidate from the pulpit. An affirmative vote of 80% of the members present and voting shall be required to extend the call to the candidate. If the candidate accepts the call, the call shall be for an indeterminate term.
SECTION 3 – THE OFFICE OF TRUSTEE
Trustees shall be a minimum of four in number. The Board of Trustees shall hold in trust all property belonging to the Church, and shall take all necessary measures for its protection, management, cleanliness, and upkeep. When the need arises special offerings may be taken to fund such upkeep. It shall when so instructed by the Church, secure the services of a caretaker, with wages determined by the Finance Committee. The trustees shall not have any authority to sell, lease, give away, or dispose of in any manner Church property to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) in value, except by the direction of the Church. The Chairman of Trustees will be elected annually by the Trustees.
SECTION 4 – CHURCH CLERK
The Church clerk shall keep a record of Church proceedings, of the membership roll, of all baptisms, of certificates of ordination, licenses and commissions as directed by the Church and preserve all documents, papers, and letters coming into clerks hands during clerks term of office. All records are to be kept in the Church office, and delivered to any successor upon leaving office. The clerk shall keep an account of any special events in the life of the Church which are of historical interest and should give a report at the annual Church business meeting of the status of the Church membership roll in the past year.
SECTION 5 – TREASURER and ASSISTANT TREASURER
The treasurer shall account for all funds contributed to the Church and shall disburse the same as ordered by the Church. He shall present a written monthly report of itemized disbursements to all members of the finance committee. He shall make a general report for the year at the annual Church business meeting. All expenditures of the Church except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements shall be paid by check. The treasurer shall also serve as treasurer of the corporation. In the absence of the treasurer, the assistant treasurer will assume the duties of the treasurer.
SECTION 6 – SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
The Sunday school superintendent will be nominated by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, and elected by a majority vote of the Church. The Sunday school superintendent shall supervise the Sunday school. In consultation with the Pastor he shall recommend the appointment of the teachers of the Sunday school. He shall preside at the teachers’ meetings, and should give a report on the condition of the Sunday school at the annual Church business meeting.
SECTION 7 – ASSOCIATE PASTORS
Under the direction and guidance of the Pastor, the associate pastors of the Church shall assist the Pastor in carrying out the ministries of the Church.
SECTION 8 – DUTIES OF ALL 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 after conferring with the chairman of deacons (also with the chairman of trustees if applicable).
SECTION 9 – FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Finance Committee will be composed of all deacons and trustees. The finance committee shall have spending authority without the approval of the church up to five hundred dollars ($500.00). The finance committee will prepare a proposed budget for presentation at the annual Church business meeting.
SECTION 10 – MISSIONARY COMMITTEE
The missionary committee will be composed of all deacons and trustees. The Church treasurer shall account for all funds that are received in the missionary account. He shall present a written monthly report of itemized disbursements to all members of the missionary committee. This report shall show what each missionary/project received for that month. He should make a general report for the year at the annual Church business meeting.
SECTION 11 – LAKESHORE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
(A) PURPOSE – It is the purpose of the Lakeshore Christian School to teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is to be preeminent in all life. This broad principle is the basis for every area of academic life, every activity, and all school life. The Bible is specific in stating about Christ, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth . . . and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. …that in all things He might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:16-18).
(B) The School Board will be composed of all deacons and trustees of Bible Baptist Church. A proposed budget will be presented each year no later than August 15 for the upcoming school year.
(C) Finances to operate Lakeshore Christian School shall be from tuition charges, and love offerings. A treasurer shall be appointed by the Pastor and approved by the school board. The treasurer shall present a written monthly report of itemized disbursements to the school board.
(D) Responsibilities and duties of the principal, supervisors, teachers, aides, and volunteers shall be under the supervision of the Pastor.
(E) Procedures for hiring and dismissal of school personnel will be the responsibility of the pastor and must be ratified by the school board. Personnel may be removed immediately by the pastor, if the situation warrants, and be put on paid leave until such dismissal is ratified by the school board.
SECTION 1 – MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP
The Church shall meet each Sunday for regular worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer. The Pastor shall determine when a Baptism service is to be held; also when the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper will be observed.
SECTION 2 – BUSINESS MEETINGS
(A) Annual Business Meeting: The annual business meeting of the Church shall be held on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This meeting shall be for the purpose of electing officers, and making presentation of the proposed budget. Members present shall constitute a quorum.
(B) Special Business Meetings: Special meetings may be called by the Pastor, or by written request of a quorum of the active members of the Church 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 meeting for election of a pastor may be called by the pulpit committee at any regular Church meeting of the Church at least two weeks in advance. Seven persons, or 15% of the qualified voters, whichever is greater, of the active membership shall constitute a quorum.
(C) Nomination Committee: The nomination Committee will be made up of the Pastor, chairman of deacons, chairman of trustees and one member at large, elected by the Church. Its duty will be to nominate candidates for office as outlined in Article 4 and 5. The member at large will be elected one month prior to the election. This committee will meet at least one week before the election for the purpose of nominating candidates for the offices to be filled. A nominating box will be in the foyer of the Church for nominations to these offices and no nominations will be taken the night of elections. Voting shall be by ballot. A majority of ballots cast is necessary for election. A group of three shall be appointed by the moderator for the counting of the ballots and the reporting of the results. No voting by proxy shall be allowed.
(D) Qualifications of Voters:
(1) All matters pertaining to the Church shall be voted on only by active members in good standing and who are 18 years of age or older.
(2) Members of the Church who are inactive or under discipline will not be granted the privilege of voting on any decisions. Members will examine themselves in light of the duties of a member listed in Article 3 Section 2 before voting.
SECTION 3 – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
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
SECTION 4 – STATEMENT OF FAITH ACCORD
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 and courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief which conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
SECTION 7 – CHRISTIAN WALK
All administrators, instructors, and teachers shall continue or adopt a lifestyle consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
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.
SECTION 2 – ORDINATION PROCEDURE
(A) Upon conference with the Pastor and after the Pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the Pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith invited to participate in the examination of the candidate.
(B) If the candidate is found worthy of the ordination by the council, the ordination council may ordain the candidate on behalf of the Church.
(C) The Pastor and the chairman of the deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
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 1, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 – POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Church shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
SECTION 3 – DISSOLUTION
Upon the dissolution of the Church, the trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the Church, dispose of all 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 4 – RACIAL NONDISCRIMINATION
SECTION 1- RECEIVING FINANCES AND PROPERTY
This Church is authorized to accept Tithes, Offerings, Bequests, Appointments contained in Wills, Trust Memorials, Gifts of Life Insurance, Securities, and other gifts including Transfers of property regardless of its location, provided Real or Personal Property, Income or Increase therefrom is to be used for purpose or purposes for which said Church was organized.
SECTION 2 – DESIGNATED CONTRIBUTIONS
From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the Pastor and the finance committee. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2.
This Constitution may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting, at any regular Church business meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing and announced from the pulpit fourteen (14) days before the vote is taken.
This Constitution was adopted by a three quarters majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly-called meeting of the Church in which a quorum was present.
This Constitution supersedes any other constitutions and/or by-laws of the Bible Baptist Church of Plattsburgh, New York.
Date Church Clerk
Each member of the Church shall be entitled to vote on all matters except those pertaining to the disciplining of members, the purchase or sale of real property, and the dismissal or calling of a Pastor, in which matters, only members at least sixteen years of age shall be entitled to vote.
All Church business meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer for divine guidance and blessing.
All appointments for public worship and Bible study and the arrangements thereof including time and place and the use of the property belonging to the Church for purposes other than the stated appointments shall be under control of the Pastor.
The date of the annual Church administration meeting shall be determined at the regular Church ministry affairs meeting is September of each year.
All literature used in the Church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
The following order shall be observed at the regular Church administration meetings.
(a) Devotions & Prayer
(b) Reading of Minutes
(c) Reception of Members
(d) Dismissal of Members
(e) Report of Officers
(f) Reports of Standing Committees
(g) Reports of Special Committees
(h) Unfinished Matters
(i) Election of Officers
(j) New Matters
These by-laws may be altered, suspended, or amended at a regular Church administration meeting by a majority vote of the members present and voting. 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. All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full accord with the Statement of Faith of the Church.All instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this Church, or a Church of like faith and practice (upon approval of the pastor and the board of deacons and trustees), and fully agree with and support the Church Statement of Faith. They will sign a statement to this agreement.
The Church officers are Pastor (see Article V, Section 1), deacon (see Article V, Section 2), trustee (see Article V, Section 3), church clerk (see Article V, Section 4), treasurer (see Article V, section 5), and Sunday school superintendent (see Article V, Section 6). One person may hold two or more offices, except that of Pastor. The Pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other Church officers, subject to a confirmation vote of the Church membership. (1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is the 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 16:9-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).(1) We believe that the designation of the First Person of the Godhead is God the Father and that He is Neither superior to nor inferior to the other Persons of the Godhead. The phrase “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the full title of the First Person of the blessed Trinity. The relation of the Second Person to the First Person has from all eternity been that of a son, and like all else related to the Godhead, it is not only eternal but unchangeable. Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten of the Father from all eternity, having no relation to time and creation than that He is the Creator of them.