So that things may be done decently and in order in accordance with the accepted tenets of other churches of like precious faith, and that we may more readily help each other in our Christian service, we declare and establish this constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1 – NAME:
This congregation of believers shall be known as Plainville Baptist Church.
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), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, and cemeteries, and any other ministries that the Church may be led of God to establish.
- 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 plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal seven 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. The first four are the Ages of Innocence, Conscience, Human Government and Promise (Gen. 1:1-Ex. 15). The remaining three dispensations – the Age of Law, the Age of the Church, and the Age of the Kingdom–are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).
(C) The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each as Deity, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:13; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10,26).
- The Person and Work of Christ
- 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 (Is. 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).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
- 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).
- The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
- We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
- 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).
- 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. 4:7-12).
- 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).
(D) 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).
(F) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
- 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).
- 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).
(G) The Church
- We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Cor 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
- 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).
- 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).
- We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the only two Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the Church in this age (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 worldly and 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).
(I) The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope”, the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. 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; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
(J) The Eternal State
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
- 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 gl orified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
- 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 Judgement, 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).
(K) 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; Is. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10). Though he may be permitted to bring great oppression against a child of God, he cannot indwell so as to possess a believer. Our adversary is always external to our being and our warfare is always defensive in nature requiring the believer to stand firm and to resist the wiles of the enemy, exorcism or deliverance is never necessary. (Eph. 6:10-18; Col. 4:12; Jas. 4:6-8; I Pet. 5:8-9).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
(M) Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions; 1) the home; 2) the Church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
(N) 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; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(O) 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 or abandonment. We believe that whenever separation or divorce does take place that God’s ideal is for the couple to seek and to pray for reconciliation and restoration of that marriage. 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, Elder or Deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 18:15-17, 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor 7:15,27,28; I 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; Is. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
(R) 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 Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; 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. Individual members may have personal convictions that set a higher standard for themselves and their families, but they must accept the Statement of Faith as the minimum standards to apply to their lives
SECTION 3 – COVENANT:
Our Church 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 Spirit, 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 covenant, 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 covenant to continually seek a closer walk with the Lord in the fullness of His Spirit by means of private and family devotions and by obedience to unchanging principles revealed in God’s Holy Word resulting in the fruit of a Godly character. No longer desiring to be conformed to the pattern of this world, we covenant to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so as to live lives worthy of God, who has called us into His Kingdom and Glory; growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the honor of His Word and the praise of His Glory.
We further covenant 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 covenant 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 are in complete acceptance of 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:
- By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;
- 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;
- By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion; or
- 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 (or the Board of Deacons if the office of Pastor is vacant).
- By Public testimony that the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God, and expression of a desire to pattern their lives after its words.
SECTION 2 – DUTIES OF A MEMBER:
On becoming a member of his 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 walk, affirmation of the beliefs and practices of the Church.
SECTION 3 – PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP:
This congregation functions not as a 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 Board of 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 Board of 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.
SECTION 4 – DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER:
- There shall be a Discipline Committee consisting of the Pastor, Elders and the Board of Deacons. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical or deceptive deviations from the Statement of Faith, the Holy Bible and violations of the Church Covenant. If any Committee member, their wives or children are the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the Discipline Committee. He shall be entitled to the same options as other Church members and be subject to the same discipline.
- Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes he should first examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
- If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a Deacon or the Pastor is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self-examination, and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.
- If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, the Discipline Committee, as the Church representatives biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the Discipline Committee, the Committee shall recommend to the members of the Church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.
- If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B), (C), and (D) have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the Church at a meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
- No matter may be heard by the Discipline Committee or the Church unless the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
- If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the Church membership, all contact with him from that point forward must be for the sake of restoration (except family members).
SECTION 5 – DISCIPLINE/DISMISSAL OF A PASTOR:
- If there is a violation of the Statement of Faith, then the Pastor shall be held to the same requirements as outlined in Article III, Section 4 of the Church Constitution. If the Pastor is before the Discipline Committee, then no one who is on the church payroll with reporting responsibility to him will be allowed to sit on the Discipline Committee.
- If there is a reason to consider discipline or dismissal other than a violation of the Statement of Faith, then the following steps must be taken:
- First, the member must not express his concerns to any other member. He must meet with the Pastor privately in an attempt to resolve the issue.
- Second, if the matter is still unresolved, then the member must schedule another meeting with the Pastor. The members must be accompanied by an Elder or Deacon and have at least two witnesses who can substantiate the member statements. Any witnesses must be known to all parties at least one day prior to the meeting.
- Third, if the matter is still unresolved then there must be a meeting of the Discipline Committee to re-hear the issues in the same manner as (B)(2). The Discipline Committee <[>as restricted, pursuant to Section A above] can make a recommendation but, if either the Pastor or the member is unsatisfied with the recommendation, then a special church meeting must be called pursuant to Article VI Section 3(A).
- Fourth, the Special Church meeting shall be chaired by a designee of the Discipline Committee. The sole purpose of the meeting will be to consider the Pastor’s discipline or dismissal. Both the member and the Pastor will state their positions and any eyewitnesses may address the meeting, then the Discipline Committee will state its prior recommendations. After which the church members will vote by secret ballot. Then the Discipline Committee shall retire to another room, count the votes, and return with the results. A pastor cannot be disciplined or dismissed unless three-fourths of the ballots recommend it.
- If the vote is to discipline the Pastor then the Pastor will be excused and three-fourths of the church members present, by secret ballot, must agree on what type of discipline is appropriate. If no agreement can be reached after two ballots, then the Discipline Committee shall decide what type of discipline is appropriate. If three-fourths vote to dismiss the Pastor, then he will be immediately dismissed, subject to Article IV, Section 4(A).
SECTION 6 – TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP:
Members, not under the disciplining process of Section 4, may request that letters of transfer be sent to another church.
SECTION 7 – TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:
- 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 three months. The Pastor will have first made a good faith effort to restore that member to fellowship. 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. The Pastor will be responsible for notifying the member by letter that the member will be removed from the church roll unless the member immediately contacts the Pastor and indicates his desire to remain a part of the church, and resumes consistent church attendance
- 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.
- A member may withdraw at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such withdrawal except at the discretion of the Pastor.
SECTION 1 – CHURCH OFFICERS:
The Church officers are Pastor (see Article V, Section 1), Minister of Music (see Article V, Section 2), Deacon (see Article V, Section 3), Minister of Records (see Article V, Section 4), Minister of Finance (see Article V, Section 5), Minister of Sunday School (see Article V, Section 5), and Elders (see Article V, Section 8). One person may hold two or more offices. The Pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other Church officers, subject to a confirmation vote of the Church membership.
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 minister of records shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the minister of finances shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the chairman of the Board of Deacons shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 3 – ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE:
- All Church officers shall affirm their agreement with the Statement of Faith as set forth in Article III, section 1 annually in the presence of each other.
- All Church officers except the Pastor must be approved initially and thereafter annually by the Pastor in order for them to commence or continue in their offices. (see Article IV, Section 4B)
- Only Church members are eligible for election or appointment to any Church office or position.
SECTION 4 – TERMS OF OFFICE:
The length of terms of office shall be as follows:
- 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 Congregation will have the option to pay the Pastor one months’ salary, but not allow him to continue as Pastor. 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 II, Section 1(D).
- The term of service for all church offices and positions, except those ordained as Pastor, Elder, or Deacon shall be one year, at the expiration of which they may be re-appointed by the Pastor, or if there is no Pastor, a majority vote of the Elders and Deacons.
- Any vacancy occurring in any office or board, except in the case of the Pastor, may be filled at the next Church administration meeting. An acting office or Board may be appointed by the Pastor, subject to confirmation by the members at the next Church administration meeting.
- 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 corporate officers by the Church membership shall occur during the month of January at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 6 – PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF:
- Subject to the approval of the Church membership and on the condition that they shall become a member of the Church upon assuming their duties, the Pastor may hire associates and assistants, to assist the Pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
- All Church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the Pastor who has the sole authority to hire, appoint, or dismiss the same.
SECTION 7 – CALLING A NEW PASTOR:
- As soon as is practical, after a vacancy is created, a Pulpit Committee must be appointed by the Elders and Deacons. The Pulpit Committee shall consist of:Five or seven members (at the discretion of the Elders and Deacons) at least one of which is not an Elder or a Deacon.The Pulpit Committee will then elect a Chairman, who may be an Elder or a Deacon.The Pulpit Committee will have the sole responsibility for recommending a candidate to the Congregation, but only if four of five, or six of seven support such a recommendation.The committee has sole discretion of how it selects a candidate, but it may solicit suggestions and recommendation from the Congregation, Elders or Deacons.
- If the Pulpit Committee decides that the current Pastor’s compensation is inadequate, then the Committee, with the approval of the Elders and Deacons may call a special meeting as outlined in Article VI Section 3(A) to consider the compensation issue only.
- After the committee has agreed upon a candidate a trial sermon shall be scheduled for the first possible Sunday morning as agreeable to the committee and the candidate. The committee will take all reasonable steps to notify every church member in the event that there will be less than one week’s notice. If there are two Sunday morning worship services, then the candidate will be required to speak at both services.There must be a special business meeting to consider the candidate the Monday night after the trial sermon, unless the Elders, Deacons and Committee unanimously agree to change the day.
- The meeting will be chaired by the Chairman of the Pulpit Committee. The sole agenda item is to consider the candidate. After the congregation has discussed the candidate, then the congregation must vote by secret ballot. The Pulpit Committee must then retire to another room, count the ballots, and report the results to the congregation. At least three-fourths of the congregation must vote to extend an invitation, before it can be offered.
- If the congregation votes not to extend an offer, then the Pulpit Committee must notify him immediately. If the congregation votes to extend an offer, then the meeting should be adjourned, and the Pulpit Committee will extend an invitation to the candidate. The Pulpit Committee must notify the congregation of the candidate’s decision as quickly as possible.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 – THE PASTOR:
- The Pastor (including Co-Pastors and Senior 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, supervise the teaching ministries of the Church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
- The Pastor shall appoint the members of the various committees at the annual Church administration meeting. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall publicly inform all newly-elected officers of the particular function and the responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the church and perform such other duties as generally appertain to such a position. The Pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry that God has given him.
- The Senior Pastor shall have all the same rights and privileges as the Pastor.
- The Pastor shall have all the same rights and privileges as the Senior Pastor, subject to the authority and guidance of the Senior Pastor.
SECTION 2 – THE MINISTER OF MUSIC:
The Minister of Music shall establish a standard of spiritual effectiveness and quality of church music. He shall structure a monthly calendar of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” which minister for God, stir the hearts of the congregation through worship and praise, and enhance the messages given. He shall organize special music, encourage the involvement of available talent, and orchestrate all practices. He shall design and conduct all evangelistic musicals throughout the year: Easter, Christmas, Patriotic, Missions, Thanksgiving and Encore – Anniversaries. He shall plan and arrange for visiting music ministries and shall be instrumental in maintaining our musical standards in their involvement. (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)
SECTION 3 – THE BOARD OF DEACONS:
- The Board of Deacons shall assist the Pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the Church, in conducting the religious services, and in performing all other work of the Church. They shall make provision for the observance of the ordinances of the Church. They shall, if requested by the Pastor, consider applications for Church membership. They shall, in cooperation with the Pastor, disburse the benevolence fund. They shall assist the Pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the Church. They shall provide the pulpit supply and act as leaders for Church meetings if the office of Pastor is vacant. The Board of Deacons shall assist the Pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the Church’s various ministries as requested by the Pastor.
- Immediately following the annual Church administration meeting, the Board of Deacons shall assemble and elect, from their own number, a chairman, who shall be vice president of the corporation, a vice chairman, and a secretary.
- The Board of Deacons shall constitute the board of trustees of the corporation. The board of trustees shall exercise only the following specific powers:
- To purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and to take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the Church;
- To sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the Church, to borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and the use of the Church; to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the Church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges.
- To exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church corporation, if such action is mandated by a vote of the Church membership.
SECTION 4 – THE MINISTER OF RECORDS:
The minister of records 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 his hands during his term of office. All records are to be kept in the Church office, and delivered to any successor upon leaving office. He shall keep an account of any special events in the life of the Church which are of historical interest and shall give a report at the annual Church administration meeting of the status of the Church membership roll in the past year. The minister of records shall also serve as the secretary of the corporation.
SECTION 5 – THE MINISTER OF FINANCE:
The minister of finances shall account for all funds contributed to the Church and shall disburse the same as ordered by the Church. He shall post a written report of itemized disbursements monthly on the Church sanctuary bulletin board and make a general report for the year at the annual Church administration meeting. All expenditures of the Church except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements shall be paid by check. The minister of finances shall also serve as treasurer of the corporation.
SECTION 6 – THE MINISTER OF SUNDAY SCHOOL:
The minister of Sunday school 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 report on the condition of the Sunday school at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 7 – THE MINISTER OF HOSPITALITY:
This section omitted intentionally.
SECTION 8 – ELDERS:
Under the direction and guidance of the Pastor, the Elders of the Church shall assist the Pastor in carrying out the ministries of the Church.
SECTION 9 – DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS:
- All officers shall present a written report of their work for the annual Church administration meeting and shall surrender any records in their possession to the minister of records at the close of their term of office to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the Church. All records are the property of the Church and must be kept in the Church office.
- Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the constitution for a period of one month may be removed from his office at the discretion of the Pastor and another may be appointed by the Pastor to serve the unexpired term.
SECTION 10 – INSTALLATION OF DEACON:
A public installation service in which the ordination of newly-elected Deacons shall be held at a public Church service.
SECTION 1 – MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP:
Unless otherwise determined by the Pastor, the Church shall meet each Sunday for public worship both morning, and evening, and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer. Except when circumstances forbid it, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed on the first Sunday evening of each quarter.
SECTION 2 – MEETINGS FOR CHURCH ADMINISTRATION:
A quarterly Church administration meeting of the Church may be held on the first Sunday evening of each quarter, at the discretion of the Pastor or the majority of the Elders and Deacons, at which time the regular Church administration shall be considered. A quorum shall consist of the members present.
SECTION 3 – SPECIAL MEETINGS:
- The Pastor (or Elders and Deacons, by majority consent) may call a special meeting by giving notice of such a meeting and the purpose for which it is called to the Church from the pulpit at least one Sunday and not less than three calendar days prior to said meeting.
- Bible conferences, missionary conferences, and revivals may be held as the Pastor deems beneficial.
SECTION 4 – 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:
All instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this Church. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelists, or preachers, engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons, conducting revivals, or other special meetings on a temporary basis.
SECTION 4 – STATEMENT OF FAITH ACCORD:
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full accord with the Statement of Faith of the Church.
SECTION 5 – UNITY:
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of the Church.
SECTION 6 – TEACHING:
All or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief which conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
SECTION 7 – CHRISTIAN WALK:
All administrators, instructors, and teachers shall continue or adopt a lifestyle consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
Any expenditures in excess of $500 and not authorized in the regular annual budget must be authorized by the Pastor and the majority of the Board of Deacons (or the Board of Deacons and Elders if the office of Pastor is vacant).
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 Tim. 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9, may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel or Elder or Deacon.
SECTION 2 – ORDINATION PROCEDURE:
- Upon a conference with the Pastor and after the Pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the Pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith invited to participate in the examination of the candidate.
- If the candidate is found worthy of the ordination by the council, the ordination council may ordain the candidate on behalf of the Church.
- The Pastor 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 I, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 – POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT:
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be the 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 the liabilities of the Church, dispose of all of the assets of the Church to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Trustees shall determine. Assets may be distributed only to organizations which agree with the Church’s Statement of Faith.
SECTION 4 – RACIAL NONDISCRIMINATION:
The Church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin.
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 Board of Deacons and Elders. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article I, Section 2.
This Constitution may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting, at any regular Church 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 two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly-called meeting of the Church in which a quorum was present.
This Constitution and By-Laws supersedes any other constitutions and/or by-laws of Plainville Baptist Church.
- 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 eighteen years of age shall be entitled to vote.
- All Church administration 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 public worship and bible study, shall be under the control of the Pastor.
- The date of the annual Church administration meeting shall be determined at the regular Church ministry affairs meeting in 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:
- Devotions & Prayer
- Reading of Minutes
- Reception of Members
- Dismissal of Members
- Report of Officers
- Reports of Standing Committees
- Reports of Special Committees
- Unfinished Matters
- Election of Officers
- 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.