CrossLife Church follows a constitution to ensure that our church follows what we believe. Starting from the pastor to the members, we strive to ensure that our practices will always be backed by our faith.
CONSTITUTION OF CROSSLIFE CHURCH
Preamble Covenant of Fellowship
III Doctrinal Statement
V Affiliation & Government
IX Ordinances & Blessings
Covenant of Fellowship
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 the Son, and 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.
We purpose, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge and holiness; 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 the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our family and acquaintances; to be men and women of integrity; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our word, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all gossip, back biting and excessive anger; to abstain from everything that will cause our brother to stumble or that will bring reproach upon the cause of Christ; to strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, that amidst evil and good report we will humbly and earnestly seek to live to the honor and glory of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further commit to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to
secure it without delay. (Accepted 03/14)
Article I – General
Section 1 – Name The name of the corporation shall be CrossLife Church.
Section 2 – Office
The principal office of the corporation shall be at 2 Ridge Road, Thiells, NY 10984
Section 3 – Seal
The corporation shall have a common seal, which shall contain the name of the corporation, the year of its organization and the words “Corporate Seal, New York.”
Article II – Purpose
This church is established for the following reasons:
To provide and maintain a place of worship of the One true God for all people, where Jesus may be glorified, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit honored.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5, 6 ESV
To proclaim by preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God; to provide for the Christian education of all peoples, children, and adults.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Dt. 29:29 ESV
To provide for Christian fellowship and spiritual growth in the context of love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
So if their is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Phil. 2:1-3 ESV
To provide for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ locally and worldwide for the salvation of lost persons.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
Article III – Doctrinal Statement
1. that there is one living and true God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though three distinct persons, equal in Divine perfections, they operate in such complete and total harmony that they are in fact one God. He is Creator and King of the universe, unchangeable in his Being, all-powerful, wise, holy, just, and loving.
2. that the eternal Son of God took upon Himself the form of a man by means of the virgin birth, lived a sinless life, performed miracles and healings, suffered vicariously for our sin bringing atonement by His shed blood, and finally, was resurrected bodily and ascended to the right hand of God where He performs the ministry of intercession and from whence He will return in power and glory.
3. that the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father, our Comforter, is sent to convict the world of sin; is the supernatural agent of God in the regeneration of the lost; indwells and fills believers, guiding them into truth and enabling them to live godly lives, imparting spiritual gifts to the church for its life, work and worship; and seals believers in the body of Christ for the day of redemption.
4. that the one true God revealed in the living Word, Jesus Christ, is revealed to us through the inspired scriptures, the written Word of God. The Old and New Testaments are inerrant and infallible in their original writings and are the supreme and final authority for faith and practice.
5. that man was created in the image of God with the purpose of glorifying God. Through disobedience, he sinned and was separated from God so that the entire human race shares in man’s lost and depraved nature, and stands guilty before God.
6. that man is powerless to save himself but is regenerated by the Spirit of God. Therefore, salvation is the gift of God by grace alone, received through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on our behalf. This faith is manifest in works pleasing to God.
7. That Satan is the author of sin, the cause of the fall and our continuing adversary and accuser. His defeat has been accomplished by the death and resurrection of Christ and he awaits eternal punishment at the second coming of Christ.
8. that the Church universal is composed of all regenerated believers everywhere without respect to race or denomination. The local church is comprised of born-again believers in a certain geographical area, uniting under God-given leadership in order to worship God, to edify the saints and to propagate the gospel.
9. that the ordinances of the church, by command of Christ are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Since these are outward signs of inward realities, they are administered to those committed to the
Lordship of Christ. Baptism by immersion symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ in His
death, burial, and resurrection. It is a public confession of Christ, performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the Lord’s suffering and death as well as a reminder of His spiritual presence among us. It is to be received in an attitude of reverence and
self-examination, regularly, “until He comes.”
10. That the continual filling of the Holy Spirit is a definite experience available to all believers, which occurs subsequent to the new birth. With this infilling there is an impartation of spiritual power,
and an opening of the believer to supernatural giftings.
11. that all of the gifts of the Spirit are for the church today and that through healing, miracles or any
other supernatural gift God may manifest His power and bring glory to His name.
12. that the consummation of all things is inaugurated by the visible, personal, glorious return of Jesus
Christ. His judgment will bring about eternal salvation and life for the believer and eternal separation and punishment for the unbelieving.
Article IV – Doctrinal Prerogatives
This Church shall have the right:
To govern itself according to the standards of the New Testament Scriptures, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace … until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:3, 13)
To have a membership which is determined by the Elders and the Assembly and to discipline its members according to the Scriptures.
To choose or call its Pastor, ratify its officers and transact all other business pertaining to its life and conduct as a church.
To establish and maintain such departments and institutions as may be deemed necessary for the propagation of the Gospel and for the work of the local Church.
To establish and maintain a school for the daily instruction of children. Its educational program shall provide the academic, social, physical, and spiritual training necessary to prepare children to successfully meet life’s challenges and to develop attitudes, values, and character consistent with the Word of God.
To purchase or acquire by gift, bequest, or otherwise, either directly or as trustee, and to own, hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose of any real estate or chattels as may be necessary for the furtherance of its purposes, all in accordance with its constitution and by-laws or as the same may be hereafter modified or amended.
To license and ordain ministers and Christian workers of this local Church, branch ministries and indigenous churches, either domestic or foreign.
Article V – Affiliation and Government
Believing that the Church of Jesus Christ is One Church, and is One Body, whose Head is Jesus Christ, this Church is pledged to work with all who love the Lord Jesus and look for His appearing. To this end, CrossLife Church shall be constituted as a non-denominational church, wherein all of those who love Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him may join in one common effort. As an independent fellowship the government of this Assembly is vested in the body of believers of which it is composed and it’s overseers. It is subject to no other ecclesiastical authority but maintains its inherent rights and sovereignty in the conduct of its own affairs while recognizing the Headship of Jesus Christ. In holding to the concept of local church autonomy as a New Testament principle, we also acknowledge the need for inter-church cooperation in carrying out the Great Commission. Thus, the prerogative of voluntarily entering into fellowship and cooperation with other assemblies of believers is maintained.
Article VI – Officers
Section 1 – Pastor
A. Role of the Pastor
Recognizing that Jesus Christ is the chief Shepherd, the senior pastor, called by God to be an under shepherd, shall be considered to be the spiritual overseer of the church (Eph. 4: 11, 12) and shall serve as President of the corporation. He shall have the authority to organize, guide, and direct all church activities in agreement with the elders of the church and in accordance with the Word of God, the Doctrinal Statement, the Church Covenant, and the stated purposes of the church. The Pastor shall be exofficio member of all committees. He shall be chairman of the Elder Board, the General Board and Church Council meetings, as well as Church business meetings. In his absence or when appropriate, the Pastor may appoint an acting chairman. He shall provide for all the services of the Assembly and shall arrange for all special meetings, conventions, or special activities. No person shall be invited to speak or preach without his approval.
B. Call of the Pastor
The Assembly shall call such Pastor or Associate Pastors, Assistant Pastors or other ministerial staff as shall be necessary to conduct the affairs of the Assembly. These shall be chosen after much prayer and consideration as to the will of God, relying on the Holy Spirit to make known His choice in this matter. The incoming Pastor, as well as the congregation, shall sense the leading and calling of God in this direction. The Board of Elders will recommend a candidate to the congregation for its approval. The Elders should be in unanimous agreement regarding God’s choice. Certainly, no spirit of contention shall exist in making this decision. A nominee receiving a two-thirds vote of approval by the members present at a duly-called corporation meeting shall be extended a call as Pastor. A Pastor thus chosen is expected to be a person of maturity in the Word and experience, holding valid ordination necessary to perform the duties connected with the office. The incoming Pastor shall be presented to the congregation and set in office with prayer. Upon acceptance of a call, the Senior Pastor and his wife shall automatically become members of this church.
C. Term of the Pastor
Pastors shall serve for an unlimited term, unless other arrangements are made at the time the pastoral call is given and accepted. Pastors shall give and be given a minimum of 60 days notice of intended date of termination of service unless such requirement is suspended by mutual agreement of the Pastor and Elder board.
D. Removal of the Pastor
The matter shall be presented at a meeting, duly called for this purpose by the Board of Elders, with at least a two-week prior notice being given to all members. All charges against a Pastor must first be presented in writing and signed by at least two persons and given to the Board of Elders (I Tim. 5:19), and the same procedure followed as explained in Matthew 18: 15-18. If the problem cannot be resolved by the Elders, or the Elders and Deacons in the General Board, then by majority decision they shall present the matter to the congregation for decision. It is due to the seriousness of the question that a majority vote of the total voting membership shall be necessary.
Section 2 – Pastoral Associates
Pastoral associates and staff shall be chosen by the Pastor to aid him in the work of the church as needed. His choice(s) shall be ratified by the Elders, and the details of their coming arranged for by the consensus of the Elder Board. Any associate or staff member may be dismissed by a consensus of the Pastor and the Elders. The title, length of service and job description of all church staff members shall be determined by the Pastor in consultation with the Elders.
Section 3- Elders
A. Head Elder The Pastor shall be head Elder and serve as chairman of the Board of Elders.
B. Church Staff
Associate Pastors shall be teaching Elders to work in conjunction with the Pastor and be a part of the Board of Elders. Other church staff may or may not be asked to serve as Elders, depending on their function of ministry within the Body at a given time and their own spiritual maturity.
Lay Elders shall be chosen by recommendation of the Pastor and approved by a majority vote of the membership. All Elders shall sense the call of God to this ministry, and they shall have given evidence of the call of God to fulfill this function. Elders shall be 21 years of age or older, baptized with the Holy Spirit and give evidence of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23). They shall be members of the church in good standing for a minimum of three years. Names of proposed elders shall be presented to the congregation for their prayerful consideration, questions, comments, and input at least 60 days before installation.
The direction and vision of the church shall come from the Pastor and the Elders whom the Holy Spirit has made overseers of the flock (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:1-4). They shall not act selfishly or as lords over God’s heritage but take the oversight of the Church with the spiritual well-being of the members in mind, as a loving shepherd caring for his sheep. They are to seek the will of God in all matters, to be led by the Spirit, and above all, follow the admonition of the Word. Major decisions shall be brought before the Church for prayerful consideration, and the Elders shall seriously consider the advice and suggestions of the congregation. In the event there is not a plurality of Elders to legally govern the Church, the DeaconTrustees, or church board shall function with the Pastor in this capacity.
D. Role of Elders
All Elders should be qualified according to the Scriptural standards explained in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:79. They shall assist and cooperate with the Pastor in feeding, overseeing, and leading the flock. Their main concern shall be the spiritual oversight of the church and its well-being. An Elder shall retain his office by virtue of his moral and spiritual fidelity to Christ, to the local assembly, to the Pastor and to the duties invested in the office of Elder, according to the qualifications set forth in the scriptures. (Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5: 1-3).
No Elder shall gather persons in loyalty to himself, but shall serve unselfishly to support the ministry of his office, the church, and the Pastor with whom he is called to work. Any gathering of a group unto himself personally shall immediately disqualify an Elder from further service to the Body, and he shall be relieved of the office and all attendant duties. Above all, an Elder shall promote unity and loyalty among the members, serving the Body in love.
Lay Elders of the church shall serve four year terms and then need to be reaffirmed by the membership, as long as their character and conduct in life and ministry are consistent with the accepted teachings and practices of the church. No complaint against officers or Elders of the church shall be received unless it is in writing and signed by two persons (I Tim. 5:9). It shall then be handled in the same manner as a complaint against the Pastor. Before being chosen, Elders, as well as Pastors, shall complete a selfevaluation to determine their willingness to serve, their call and giftings. This self-evaluation shall be periodically (preferably annually) re-done by Pastors, Elders and Deacons to ascertain willingness and ability to continue to serve. Should anyone feel no longer able to continue in office, it should not be considered a matter for condemnation, but taken as the leading of the Lord in this matter.
Section 4 – Deacon-Trustees A. Deacon Trustee Board
The Deacon-Trustee board shall be composed of a minimum of three Deacon-Trustees. These men shall be members in good standing in the church for at least one year, and at least 21 years of age. These men shall serve in a dual capacity as Deacons and Trustees. All property of the Church shall be deeded to the Church in its corporate name. The President (Pastor), the Chairman of the Deacon-Trustee Board, the
Secretary, and the Treasurer shall have the power to sign all legal documents for the Church.
B. Selection Process
Nominations for Deacon-Trustee shall be submitted in writing by any member to the Pastor or Elders at least 30 days before the annual business meeting. The Elders shall determine whether or not the individual meets the spiritual requirements as set forth in I Tim. 3:8-13 and Acts 6:3. Those who qualify and desire to serve shall be recommended to the body by the Elder Board and/or General Board.
Those recommended will be confirmed by a majority vote of the membership at the annual meeting. They shall serve for four-year terms. These shall be arranged so that an equal number of terms expire each year (those receiving the lower number of votes shall fill the shorter terms). Acts 6:2-6 provides a pattern for the selection of Deacons:
1. The Elders asked the multitude to seek out men meeting the qualifications of verse 3 for a ministry of service.
2. Qualified men were approved and appointed by the Elders as the need arose. Elders prayed over them with the laying on of hands to set them apart for ministry.
Section 5 – Deaconesses
Women with a special gift for service and maturity in their Christian walk may be appointed to the ministry of Deaconess. Deaconesses shall assist the Pastor and Elders in the work of the Church in specific, designated functions (as do the deacons) rather than in ruling and administration.
Section 6 – Chairman of Deacon-Trustee Board
The Deacon-Trustees shall select a Chairman. He shall chair the Deacon-Trustee Board at such times as they might meet apart from the Elders. He will follow-up on responsibilities assigned to members of the Deacon-Trustee Board.
Section 7 – Secretary
A secretary shall be chosen by the General Board to keep minutes of all the business sessions of the General Board and/or Board of Deacons. He shall keep current on legal documents and be custodian of the corporate seal. This secretary shall be considered Secretary of the Corporation.
Section 8 – Recording Secretary
A secretary shall be chosen from among the membership to keep a true and accurate record of all the minutes of all official corporate meetings of the church. He shall assist the Pastor in keeping current with all business proceedings. He shall be responsible for, and work in conjunction with, the church office secretaries, in keeping a record of the membership of the Assembly.
Section 9 – Treasurer
A Treasurer shall be chosen by the General Board to be entrusted with all the finances of the Assembly. He shall be responsible for, and work in conjunction with, the financial secretary to see that all funds are deposited in a responsible bank in the name of the Assembly and disbursed as authorized by the Pastor and Church Council. He shall see that an itemized account of the receipts and disbursements are kept. He shall make a report to the regular meetings of the General Board and summarized quarterly and annual reports to the Assembly. His accounts shall be audited annually, or as deemed necessary by the General Board, by an outside source. The Treasurer shall be considered an officer of the corporation and a Deacon-Trustee of the Church. The President (Pastor), the Chairman of the Deacon- Trustee Board, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall have the authority to set up accounts at banks and to supply signatures for the opening of said accounts.
Section 10 – Financial Secretary
To facilitate the duties of the Treasurer, a Financial Secretary shall be chosen by the General Board. He shall be a mature Christian able to keep confidential records. He shall keep a record of the giving of individuals and see that all funds are deposited in a responsible bank in the name of the Assembly. Offerings shall be counted and vouchers signed by two or more members of the Assembly and rechecked by the financial secretary before being deposited in the bank.
Section 11 – Vacancy of Offices
As President of the corporation, the Pastor, after discussing the matter with the Elders and reaching a consensus shall have the authority to declare any office vacant. Grounds for such action shall be:
2.Doctrinal departure from the tenets of faith;
3.Incompetency in office: 4.Failure to cooperate with the Church’s program and ministry.
Any incumbent under charges shall have opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing before the Elders, which may be followed by consideration of the entire Church Council. However, the decision of the Elders shall be considered final and the incumbent may have no further recourse. Any property, reports, and records of the Church in the possession of such person shall be returned to the church office. A vacancy in any office shall be filled by the Elder Board.
Article VII – Councils
Section 1 – Elders
The Elders shall consist of the Pastor as chairman, and the appointed Elders of the Church. There shall be no stipulated number of Elders to serve, although such a ministry ordained of God will be centered in a limited number of individuals, depending on the size of the Church. They shall meet on a regular basis to oversee the work of the Church.
Section 2- The Church Council
The Church Council shall consist of the Pastor as chairman, the Church ministry staff, the Elders, the Deacons, the Deaconesses, and others whom the Pastor may invite to serve. Their function is not to legislate, but to provide prayer, mutual fellowship as Church leaders, and counsel regarding any matter in which the Elders or Pastor wish assistance in arriving at a decision. They shall not meet together at stipulated times, but come together occasionally (at least annually) for fellowship and sharing.
Section 3 • The General Board
The General Board shall consist of the Pastor as chairman, the Elders as spiritual overseers, and the Deacon-Trustees as facilitators of the work and ministry of the Church. They shall meet at least monthly for times of prayer and business related to the coordination of ministry and practical needs to support such ministry. The General Board shall recommend to the Annual Assembly meeting a budget including salaries for the coming year. They may recommend non-budgeted expenditures provided such expenses do not exceed the amount represented by a figure that is 1% (one percent) of the current unified budget. Non-budgeted expenditures exceeding the amount represented by a figure that is 1% (one percent) of the current unified budget require approval of the church body.
Section 4- Deacon-Trustee Board
The Deacons shall consist of those appointed and approved to serve in this capacity. They shall meet at least monthly to attend to the duties of maintaining the church facility and overseeing expenditures within the church’s budget, normally carrying out this responsibility within the General Board meeting.
Article VIII – Membership
Membership in this fellowship of believers should be seen as a covenant. It is a pledging of one’s strengths, gifts, and abilities to the body while recognizing that the body is needed to help the individual in his/her weaknesses and deficiencies. It is an expression of commitment, which should be considered only after one has begun to develop relationships with other members of the body. Membership is simply a formalizing of bonds that already exist.
This concept is similar to the covenant of marriage. After two people have grown in their love relationship, they choose to formalize it through a public commitment. The covenant does not create the relationship but expresses what has begun to develop and declares intentions for the future. It opens the individual to all of the privileges as well as the responsibilities that come with commitment.
Every believer is part of the body of Christ spiritually. However, each believer is also to express that spiritual union in a visible way by committing himself/herself to a local body for spiritual rebirth. New Testament Christianity is individual in its beginning but forever after it is to be a community experience. Membership is a way to join together, in one Spirit, with other believers, in a given locality for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
Section 1 – Eligibility
Membership in this fellowship shall be available to all who give evidence of a personal living faith in the Lord Jesus and who voluntarily subscribe to its doctrinal statement and covenant of fellowship and agree to be governed by its Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 2 – Standard
The standard of membership shall be evidence of being regenerated by the Spirit of God (Jn. 3:3, II Cor. 5: 17), water baptism by immersion (Mt. 28:19, Acts 2:38) (unless that mode of baptism is clearly impossible), and a consistent Christian life (Heb. 12:14. Mt. 5:16).
Section 3 – Duties of Membership
Regular attendance at worship and teaching times and gatherings for prayer and fellowship as well as business meetings (Acts 2:42-47, Heb. 10:25) will be expected along with a willingness to contribute regularly to the support of the Church and its ministries with one’s tithes and offerings (Mal. 3: 10, I Cor. 16: 1, 2: II Cor. 9:6). The commitment of membership includes finding a place of service within the body and its outreaches (1 Peter 4:10. Rom. 12:1-8. Gal. 6:9.10). A loyalty and submission to God-given church leadership should be demonstrated through an openness to express grievances and concerns to them as well as a willingness to accept their counsel and direction (1 Thes. 5:12. 13: Heb. 13:17).
Section 4 – Responsibilities of Members
All members have responsibilities to themselves, their families, the pastors, fellow members and those outside this church.
A. The duties of members to themselves are: to acquire Scriptural knowledge. constant progress in their individual spiritual growth to Christ-like maturity. consistency of external conduct and the control and eradication of every unholy temper.
B. The duties of members to their families are: to maintain family devotions. to educate their children in Christian doctrine and to seek the salvation of their family.
C. The duties of members to the pastors are: to honor, esteem and love their pastors, to pray for them fervently and regularly. to submit to them in the Scriptural exercise of their official authority; to attend constantly upon their ministrations; and to manifest a tender regard for their reputation.
D. The duties of members to other members are: to cultivate and cherish brotherly love for all members of this church and to show this love by using all proper measures to promote their spiritual benefit and prosperity.
E. The duties of members to those outside this church are: to be exact in fulfilling obligations and performing promises and, as opportunity and ability enable, to commend the Gospel of Christ to them.
Section 5 – Types of Members
A. Regular members are those members in good standing who are regular Attendees and supporters, 16 years of age or older. A prescribed course of study including our tenets of faith will be completed by all those desiring full membership. Regular members must be 18 years of age to vote on Deacons-Trustees and matters of real estate.
B. Associate members are those members in good standing who are not able to attend regularly the church business meetings because of responsibility to a school. employer or young children. The associate member may attend church business meetings but will not have voting privileges so that his presence or absence will not affect the designated quorum. The associate member has met all the standards of membership and may return to regular membership by giving notice to the church secretary 30 days prior to any business meeting.
C. Probationary membership will be given to any individual whose desire is to be committed to this church and who recognizes the need of the body to give him strength and support but whose Christian life is inconsistent due to mental or emotional factors and/or sins in his prior life that continue to affect his behavior. It is the recognition that such an individual, if a part of the Kingdom, should be committed to a local body, subject to its spiritual leadership and discipline and. through the support given, finally realize complete deliverance. This individual’s continuance in sinful life style without repentance, sorrow for sin and attempts to correct his ways. will result in church discipline as outlined below. The probationary member may attend church business meetings but will not have voting privileges so that his presence or absence will not affect the designated quorum.
D. Honorary membership will be retained for any member who goes out into some form of Christian service and ministry and whose desire is to keep his ties with the home church. Such persons involved in ministry are viewed as sent forth from our body and are accountable to the home church.
Section 6 – Termination of Membership
A. Membership in the church may be terminated by voluntary transfer of membership to another church of like persuasion at which time the church shall issue a letter of transfer.
B. Any unruly or rebellious member may be expelled and his membership terminated after following Mt. 18:15.17 without results.
C. If any member decides to withdraw his membership because of an inability to continue with any of the standards and/or duties of membership as outlined above he should do so by contacting the Pastor and/or Elders personally or in writing.
D. If a member is absent from the church for reasons other than military duty, education, employment or health the Pastor shall, at the expiration of three months, write to him or contact him personally to ascertain if he intends to return to active membership. If he does not respond in the affirmative within thirty days, his membership shall automatically terminate.
E. Any regular member who misses three consecutive business meetings will be contacted by the Pastor to discuss his status in the Fellowship. If such an individual is unable to consistently attend business sessions for legitimate reasons he will be placed on the II associate membership” list.
Section 7 – Discipline of Members
A. Any member guilty of unscriptural conduct shall be dealt with according to Matt. 18:15.17. When made, charges shall be in writing, signed by the complainant and submitted to the Pastor and the Elders for consideration.
B. The Elders together with the Pastor shall be deemed competent to deal with all cases of discipline.
C. Removal from membership shall occur only after scriptural action to “restore such a one” has failed.Should a member no longer live in Christian conduct as explained in the Word and no longer give evidence of his faith, thus bringing a reproach upon the name of Christ and His Body on earth, he shall be removed from membership. A spirit of love and prayer for restoration shall prevail in these actions.
D.All members are responsible to assist the Pastor and the Elders with their prayers and sanction in carrying out this scriptural procedure. The action of Pastor and Elders shall be accepted as final by those being disciplined in such case.
Article IX – Ordinances and Blessings
In keeping with the doctrinal statement of this church, the ordinances and blessings shall be administered by the Pastor, the Elders or those they delegate, and are as follows:
ORDINANCES COMMANDED BY CHRIST
Section 1 – Water Baptism
The ordinance of water baptism is only for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are of responsible age, and is administered upon the candidate’s own confession of faith in keeping with the Great Commission of Jesus (Matt. 28:19). This is commanded by Jesus and the apostles for all who truly confess His name, and should take place as soon as possible after conversion. The act of water baptism is one of complete immersion in water of the person baptized, as a sign of the death of the old man, burial with Christ and resurrection to newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12-13).
Section 2 – The Lord’s Supper
The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly as a part of public worship, as commanded by the Lord (Luke 22: 19.20; I Cor. 11:23-26). This is to be taken by all true believers of responsible age, who are living in fellowship with the Lord (Matt. 26:26.29). The bread portrays the broken body and the fruit of the vine portrays the blood of Christ, shed by Him in His sufferings and death for our redemption. Together these emblems identify the participant with the death of Christ.
The blessings of these Ordinances are for those who are walking in fellowship with the Lord and are in right standing before the Lord, having confessed all sin and having made restitution, so that with cleansed, clear conscience one may partake in these ordinances. If a believer neglects the observance of either of these, he is disobedient.
ADDITIONAL BLESSINGS FOR BELIEVERS
Section 3 – Marriage
Marriage Marital unions will be consecrated and blessed by the church. Proper preparation for this lifelong union will be required. As a church committed to the inspiration of Scripture we embrace a definition of marriage that is evident in the Word of God (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5). Marriage is a GodOrdained, permanent, covenantal, sexually exclusive relationship of extraordinary care and intimacy between one man and one woman. Sexual relations are to be limited to this sacred union, thus any single person is called to celibacy. Not only leaders and staff, but all members are called to adherence to this standard.
Section 4 – Dedication
Infants and small children may be dedicated to the Lord in the Church, upon the request of the parents or guardians (Mark 10: 13-16; Luke 18: 15-16). This act is a promise by the parents to raise their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is a time when the body of believers joins the parents in praying for the child’s well-being, spiritually and physically, as well as for that child’s salvation
Section 5 – Prayer For The Sick
The laying on of hands by the Elders, accompanied by the anointing with oil and the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick, may be administered as requested and needed (James 5:14).
Section 6- Ordination
The setting apart for ministry by the laying on of hands of the Elders may be done as the call of God is evident on a person’s life for a particular ministry (Acts 13:1.3; I Tim. 5:22). This is especially practiced for those entering full-time Christian service.
Article X – Meetings
Section 1 – Worship Services
The stated meetings of the Church for public worship and instruction shall be on Sunday and during the week as provided for by the Pastor and Elders.
Section 2 – Prayer Meetings
In order to be led and directed by the Holy Spirit, this Church shall come together to pray for God’s will and for one another. The Pastor and the Elders shall designate regular times for the Church to meet and fulfill God’s purposes through prayer.
Section 3 – Bible Studies and Teachings
Realizing the importance of God’s Word in a Christian’s life for stability, growth, assurance and service to God, the Church will continue to emphasize meeting for the purpose of Bible Study (II Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17).
Section 4 – Business Meetings
The Church shall meet annually at a duly called meeting with notice being given at least two Sundays before the meeting. A financial statement shall be shared with the membership, as well as reports and business relative to the Church. This annual meeting shall be held in January at the location of the present meeting place.
Quarterly and special business meetings of the membership may also be called by the Pastor and the Elders as deemed necessary, with written announcement of all meetings being made two weeks in advance, and such notice including the purpose of said meeting.
Section 5 – Procedures for All Business Meetings
As a congregation whose emphasis is being led by the Spirit in accordance with the principles in the Holy Scriptures, we will conduct our business and all transactions in the same manner. We will, first of all, in a spirit of prayer and humility ask God to give us the mind of the Spirit, believing He can still speak to the hearts of people, giving them a spirit of wisdom and understanding. This is in keeping with honoring Christ as the Head of the Church and submitting to His will and direction as revealed through the ministry of the Spirit and Holy Scriptures.
Therefore, we do not believe that the scriptural method for church government is that of democracy, nor do we believe that democracy was practiced in the New Testament Church. Rather the Church is a theocracy in which God has chosen and ordained certain men who are given by Christ to the Church for the perfection, development, shepherding and leading of His Body. These men are Elders in the New Testament sense, who care for the flock of God and take the oversight thereof as commanded in the scriptures.
For this reason, meetings will not necessarily follow parliamentary procedure, with nominations and voting. but matters will be presented and the congregation will make its will known by consensus. thus enacting the procedure established by the Church in Acts, which concluded, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28). In certain matters, a vote will be considered necessary, i.e., the call of a Pastor, appointment and reappointment of Elders and Deacons/Deaconesses, the approval of budgets, the acquiring of real estate, and in other matters a vote of the membership may prove beneficial in order for the Elders to ascertain the support or lack of it for certain projects. A majority vote of those present and voting shall be the decision of the body. In a business meeting, 40 percent of those members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum.
Article XI – Auxiliary Organizations
Any organization or group regularly meeting in the church buildings and/or having the name of this church included in its official name shall be considered as an auxiliary organization of this church.
The constitution of any auxiliary organization shall be drawn so as not to conflict with the Constitution of the Church Corporation and shall be subject to the approval of the Elders.
Meetings of auxiliary organizations should be held at such times as not to conflict with the meetings of this church.
All auxiliary organizations shall provide an annual report for this church at the time of the annual meeting.
Section 5 Any anticipated special activities of auxiliary organizations shall be subject to the approval of the Elders.
Funds collected for any auxiliary organization (by offerings or dues) shall be considered donations to the church and held in the general fund designated for that organization’s expenses. Upon dissolution of such organization, any funds and/or property of that organization shall become a part of the church’s funds and/or properties. Article XII – Property
All property of the church shall be deeded to the assembly in its corporate name. The corporate officers (President, Chairman of Deacon-Trustee Board, Secretary, and Treasurer) shall have the power to sign all legal documents for the Church. They shall, with prior approval of the Elders and the Assembly, have the right and power to purchase, hold, lease, occupy, sell, convey, and mortgage such real and personal property of any kind or nature as may be necessary or convenient for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Assembly.
In case of organic division of membership, the property of this Church shall belong to the division of those members, regardless of majority, who abide by this constitution, upholding the sovereignty and independence of this Church.
The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious and charitable purposes. If a condition should arise at any time, when for any reason, the work of the Church cannot continue, and the Church’s property is to be disposed of, upon liquidation, dissolution or abandonment. all indebtedness is to be paid and the balance of the proceeds and value is to be given to another non-profit religious corporation (s) whose principles agree in general with this constitution and doctrinal statement, and the proceeds shall not accrue to the benefit of any private person or individual.
Article XIII – Amendments
This constitution shall supersede and make null and void all articles, agreements, traditions, written or verbal, which have been in force or practice prior this time.
This constitution, or any part or parts thereof, may be amended only by the Elders, provided that any such amendment be carried by the will of 2/3 of members present and voting at any business meeting called for that purpose. Proposed amendments shall be mailed to all active members no less than two weeks prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered.
Article V may not be altered, amended or repealed without a ninety percent vote of the active voting membership. 2