CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH OF LIVONIA, MICHIGAN
ARTICLE 1. – NAME AND MISSION
SECTION 1.01 – NAME
The name of this organization shall be … The Central Baptist Church of Livonia, Michigan.
SECTION 1.02 – MISSION
Mission Statement: Our objective is to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, baptize converts, and train believer to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as taught by the Holy Bible (KJV).
ARTICLE 2. – COVENANT AND ARTICLES OF FAITH
SECTION 2.01 – CHURCH COVENANT
Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with Central Baptist Church of Livonia’s statements, strategy and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with Central Baptist Church of Livonia church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following
I. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
i. By acting in love toward other members
ii. By refusing to gossip
iii. By supporting the leaders
iv. By following my pastor
Romans 15:19, Romans 15:5, I Peter 1:22, Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 13:17
II. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH
i. By being a witness
ii. By praying for its growth
iii. By inviting the unchurched to attend
iv. By tithing
Matthew 28:19-20, Proverbs 11:30, I Thessalonians 1:2, Luke 14:23, I Corinthians 16:2, Malachi 3:7-12, Luke 6:38
III. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH.
i. By discovering my gifts and talents
ii. By being equipped to serve by my pastors
iii. By developing a servant’s heart
I Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11-12, Philippians 2:3-4, 7
IV. I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH
i. By attending faithfully
ii. By living a godly life
iii. By warmly welcoming those who visit
Hebrews 10:25, Philippians 1:27, Romans 15:7, Leviticus 27:30
SECTION 2.02 – ARTICLES OF FAITH
A Bible-believing Baptist … is one who believes in a supernatural Bible, which tells of a supernatural Christ, Who had a supernatural birth, Who spoke supernatural words, Who performed supernatural miracles, Who lived a supernatural life, Who died a supernatural death, Who rose in supernatural splendor, Who intercedes as a super-natural priest and Who will one day return in supernatural glory to establish a supernatural kingdom on the earth.
(A) OF THE SCRIPTURES. We believe that … The Holy Bible (KJV) … was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tired.
1. By “The Holy Bible” – we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.
2. By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
3. The Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by … The King James Version Bible. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16, 28:25; Psalm 19:7-11, 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Luke 16:31, 24:25-27 & 24:44-45; John 5:39, 45-47, 12:48, 17:17; Proverbs 30:5-6; Romans 3:4 & 15:4; I Peter 1:23; Revelation 22:19; Isaiah 8:20; Ephesians 6:17)
(B) OF THE TRUE GOD. We believe that there is one, and only one. Living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 15:1 & 20:2-3; Genesis 17:1; I Corinthians 2:10-11, 8:6 & 12:4-6; Ephesians 2:18 & 4:6; John 4:24, 10:30, 15:26 & 17:5; Psalm 83:18, 90:2 & 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Revelation 4:11; I Timothy 1:17; Romans 11:33; Mark 12:30; Matthew 28:19; Philippians 2:5-6; II Corinthians 13:14)
(C) OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. (John 1:33, 3:5-6, 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:8-11, 13; Matthew 3:11 & 8:14, 16, 26-27; Acts 5:30-32 & 11:16; II Thessalonians 2:7, 13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; I Peter 1:2)
(D) OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN. We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness; destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Revelation 12:9-10, 7-9, 13:13-14, 19:11, 16, 20, 20:1-3 & 20:10; I John 2:22, 3:8, 4:3; Matthew 4:1-3, 13:39 & 25:41; Isaiah 14:12-15; John 14:30; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4; Ephesians 2:2; I Thessalonians 3:5; I Peter 5:8; Luke 22:3-4; II John 7; II Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 13:21-22; II Thessalonians 2:8-11)
(E) OF CREATION. We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring forth fruit only “after their kind.” (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27 & 2:21-23; Acts 4:24 & 17:23-26; Exodus 20:11; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelation 10:6; Romans 1:20; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6)
(F) OF THE FALL OF MAN. We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6 & 3:24; Romans 1:18, 1:20, 1:28, 1:32, 3:10-19, 5:12 & 5:19; Ephesians 2:1, 3; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Galatians 3:22)
(G) OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH. We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God the Son. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:1,14; Psalm 2:7; Galatians 4:4; I John 5:20)
(H) OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN. We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25, 15:11; John 2:2, 3:16, 10:18; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14, 7:25, 3:16 & 12:2; Isaiah 53:4-7, 11-12; I John 4:10; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; I Peter 2:4, 3:18)
(I) OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION. We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. (John 1:12-13, 3:3, 6-7; II Corinthians 5:17, 19; Luke 5:27; I John 5:1; Acts 2:41; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1 & 5:9 Colossians 2:13; Galatians 5:22)
(J) OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION. We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and an obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. (I Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; I Peter 1:2; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:29-30 & 10:13; Matthew 11:28; Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 55:1, 6-7; Acts 2:38; I Timothy 1:15; Ephesians 2:4-5; John 3:15-16, 18, 36, 5:40 & 6:37; I Corinthians 15:10)
(K) OF JUSTIFICATION. We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood His righteousness is imputed unto us. (Acts 2:37-38, 13:39; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8 & 18:13; Romans 10:9-11, 13; Psalm 51:1-4, 7; Isaiah 55:6-7)
(L) OF REPENTANCE OF FAITH. We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior. (Acts 2:37-38 & 20:21; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8 & 18:13; Romans 10:9-11, 13; Psalm 51:1-4, 7; Isaiah 55:6-7)
(M) OF THE CHURCH. We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; said church has been authorized to observe the ordinances of Christ (baptism and the Lord’s Supper); Lord’s Supper to be held at least four times a year, or as the Pastor shall feel led of the Lord; said church is to be governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors (elders and/or bishops) whose qualification, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize the converts; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true church to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41-42, 6:5-6, 14:23, 15:22-23, 20:17-28; I Corinthians 11:2, 12:4, 13:8-11, 16:1-3, & 5:11-13; Ephesians 1:22, 4:11, 5:23-24; I Timothy 3:1-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Jude 3 & 4; Colossians 1:18; I Peter 5:1-4; II Corinthians 8:23-24; Malachi 3:10; Leviticus 27:32)
(N) OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to the “old life” without Christ and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church membership and to the Lord’s Supper; in which born again believers in Christ, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always be solemn self-examination. (Acts 2:41-42 & 8:36-39; Matthew 3:6, 16, 28:19-20; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28)
(O) OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS. We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation. (John 8:31-32, 10:28-29; Colossians 1:21-23; I John 2:19; Matthew 13:19-21; Romans 8:28, 35-39; Psalm 121:3; Hebrews 1:14; I Peter 1:5; Philippians 1:6)
(P) OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED. We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 1:17, 6:16-18, 23, 7:6; Proverbs 11:31, 14:32; I Peter 1:18; I Corinthians 15:22; Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29 & 5:19; Galatians 3:10; Luke 9:26 & 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14 & 25:34-41; John 8:21 & 12:25)
(Q) OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
1. We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
2. 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.
(Romans 13:7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5, 4:19-20; Matthew 10:28, 22:21 & 23:10; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13-14, 17; Daniel 3;17-18; Philippians 2:10-11; Psalm 72:11; I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32
(R) OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS. We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures”; that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God”; “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven”–bodily, personally and visible; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first,” that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”; “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David”; and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” (Matthew 28:6-7, 24:27, 42; Luke 1:32, 24:2-7, 39, 51; John 14:3 & 20:27; I John 2:1; I Corinthians 15:4, 25, 42-44; Mark 16:6, 19; Acts 1:9-11; Isaiah 11;4-5; Hebrews 2:17, 5:9-10, 8:6, 11, 9:28 & 12:2; I Timothy 2:5; Psalm 72:8; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 3:21, 20:1-4, 6)
(S) OF MISSIONS
1. We believe that the command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches.
2. 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.
(Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; II Corinthians 5:20)
(T) OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
1. Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the faith.
2. 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. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 8:7; II Corinthians. 9:6-7; Galatians. 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
3. We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
4. Under Grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe – “Abraham GAVE the tenth of the spoils” (Hebrews 7:2, 4), and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe, “These ye ought to have done.” (Matthew 23:23)
5. We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church. (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10). In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church. (Acts 4:34, 25, 37)
(U) HUMAN SEXUALITY
1. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1: 26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrew 13:4)
2. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
(V) FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
1. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
2. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrew 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)
3. Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids 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. Divorce should not be encouraged, but repentance and reconciliation shall always be sought, according to the perfect will of God. We also realize that divorces are a reality in our society, and that there are divorced people that still love God and want to serve him. We believe that divorced people can seek and receive forgiveness, and that they can be used by the Lord in His great work. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Corinthians 7:14-16; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; I John 1:9)
4. Abortion. 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 physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
5. Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; II Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
We accept the Scriptures (KJV) as our authority in matters of faith and practice, and adopt the Articles of Faith as listed above, as our interpretation of Bible doctrine; all power is received from Christ, our Head. The church is independent of any ecclesiastical body or convention.
ARTICLE 3. – MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 3.01 – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Any person may be received by professing saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; by Baptist baptism through immersion; letter of recommendation from another Baptist church; or the statement of one’s faith and previous Baptist baptism.
SECTION 3.02 – DISMISSAL FROM MEMBERSHIP
(A) Any resident of the church who neglects to attend, or support the services of the church for one year, shall be urged by a letter from the Deacons to return to duty; if member fails to do so, this name shall be presented to the Officers for dismissal. Nonresident members are expected to keep in touch with the church and contribute something to the support of the church so long as their names continue on the roll.
(B) Membership in this church may be dissolved by letter or dismissal to other Baptist churches of same belief, or by dropping from the church roll, or by exclusion because of refusal to walk with the church, or failure to agree to abide by the Covenant of the church, or by death.
(C) The sole power of discipline shall be vested in the church. Discipline problems will be dealt within accordance to Matthew 18:15-17. Members shall be excluded from the church for consistent unscriptural conduct.
SECTION 3.03 – VOTING MEMBERS
Voting members shall be those eighteen (18) years of age, or older, and who are in good standing in the church, and must have been in regular attendance during the past six (6) months. Regular attendance shall mean that a person is in attendance in at least one regular service a week unless providentially hindered (sickness or death in family or other acceptable reasons as determined by Pastor and church officers).
NOTE: If there are any challenges made with regards to one’s voting privileges the issue shall be decided by the Pastoral staff and the Deacons.
ARTICLE 4. – OFFICERS
SECTION 4.01 – PASTOR
The pastor shall be elected by the church for an indefinite term. In the event the church is without a pastor, the pulpit committee shall be composed of the deacons and two other members (in good standing) elected from the church membership. They shall seek out a candidate for pastor, check his qualifications, and make arrangements for bringing him and his family to the church for a time of fellowship, appropriate questions, “getting to know one another,” and for the candidate to teach and preach in a regularly scheduled service. The pulpit committee will present the candidate:
(A) The candidate shall have the opportunity to preach to the church.
(B) No more than one candidate shall be considered at one time.
(C) A special business meeting shall be called for the purpose of voting on a candidate for the position of pastor.
(D) A secret vote by ballot of two-thirds of the members present shall be necessary for the calling of the new pastor.
(E) Should it become necessary to remove the pastor because he fails to perform his duties, or lives in an ungodly manner, or to act in any way that is not becoming for a Christian pastor; or fails to adhere to the Articles of Faith; the deacons shall first meet with the majority of the deacons and to elect a spokesperson who will then meet with the pastor and ask for his resignation, stating the reasons with supporting evidences or witnesses. If the pastor refuses to resign, the deacons will then notify the church body and announce a special called meeting to handle the resignation request. The meeting will be carried out in an orderly fashion. A deacon spokesman will present the request for resignation, the pastor having time to respond – discussion to follow. If a vote is needed, a 66% majority secret ballot vote of the church members present will be needed to remove the pastor.
SECTION 4.02 – DEACONS
(A) The men recommended must qualify for office according to 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
(B) The number of deacons may not be below 3 or above 12 and will be determined each year by the pastor.
(C) The deacon’s duties shall be determined by the pastor, as suggested by Acts 6:1-6
(D) The deacon is to be a “servant” of the church.
SECTION 4.03 – ELECTION OF DEACONS
(A) The election of deacons shall be held at the annual election of officers/servants. January will be the month of recommendations/nominations, and the election shall take place the last Sunday evening of that month. At the time of election, the prospective deacon must be a member of the church, and in good standing. Upon election, and accepting this office, they must agree with and uphold the Articles of Faith, and the Church Constitution/By-Laws. Failure to uphold any of these precepts will result in the dismissal of that deacon from office. Church Constitution/By-Laws. Failure to uphold any of these precepts will result in the dismissal of that deacon from office.
(B) The deacons shall be approved by the church vote for a term of one year and may be eligible for re-election each year as long as they fulfill the duties of office in a godly and satisfactory manner.
(C) Vacancies in offices occurring during the year may be filled at any deacons meeting by a recommendation from the pastor and deacons.
SECTION 4.04 – DUTIES OF THE PASTOR AND DEACONS
(A) Pastor – The Pastor shall have charge of the spiritual welfare of the congregation in accordance to the qualifications stated in I Timothy 3:1-7; Acts 20:17-35, I Peter 5:1-4 & Hebrews 13:7, 17. He shall be responsible to oversee each and every aspect of the church’s ministry, and to “feed” the flock in his preaching and teaching. He is to be the “shepherd” of the “flock”. He shall then act as a moderator in the business meetings of the church. He shall be an ex officio member of all boards and all committees and may call any board or committee together at any time. He may call the church together for special business. He shall have the authority to purchase supplies necessary to his work and to the work of the church. No business shall ever be transacted without his approval.
(B) Deacon – It shall be the duty of the deacons to assist but never command the pastor in the affairs of the church. They shall have the spiritual welfare of the church ever at heart. They shall work as a team with the pastor for the ongoing of the Lord’s work.
SECTION 4.05 – REQUIREMENTS FOR CHURCH DEACONS
1. Faithful in attending Sunday worship services and Thursday evening Prayer Meeting & Bible Study.
2. Faithful in attending church activities.
3. Team player – as defined as being unified with the body of deacons once a motion has passed.
4. Faithful in giving of tithes and offerings.
5. Available to visit other church members and/or “prospects.”
6. Meet biblical requirements in I Timothy 3:8-13.
7. Must have a love for the brethren.
8. Must be a positive person, supportive of the ministry.
9. Must be loyal to God, pastor and the church.
10. Must not engage in activities which would be a stumbling block
11. Assist the pastor in administering the Lord’s Supper.
12. Help to oversee the maintenance of buildings and grounds.
SECTION 4.06 – CHURCH CLERK
The Clerk’s duty is to keep a register of the church members. He/she is to issue letters of dismissal to sister churches upon request of church members who move to other cities, providing they are in good standing with the church. He/she is to secure letters of incoming members of other churches of like faith. The clerk is to keep minutes of all official meetings and give a reading of minutes of the previous meeting.
SECTION 4.07 CORPORATION OFFICERS
To remain in compliance with requirements governing nonprofit corporations, the following officers will be selected from existing deacons by the pastor and deacons: Vice President (chairman of the deacons), Secretary.
(A) The pastor shall act as corporation president and shall be designated signer of any and all legal documents for the corporation.
(B) The Chairman of the Deacons shall act as corporation Vice President and shall be designated alternate signer of legal documents as reviewed and approved by the Deacon Board in the event the church is without a pastor.
(C) The deacons shall also serve as “Trustees” whenever necessary.
(D) The Secretary shall record and keep minutes of all official meetings of the pastor and deacon board.
(E) Church Treasurer – As noted in SECTION 4.08, immediately following.
SECTION 4.08 – CHURCH TREASURER
1. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to count and oversee the incoming money of the church and to keep accurate contribution records.
2. The Church Treasurer shall be elected each year at the Election of Officers/Servants the last Sunday evening of January, and he shall serve for one year. An Assistant Treasurer shall be appointed by the pastor.
3. At the end of the calendar year, the Treasurer will be responsible to provide contribution records for the church body for their income tax statements in accordance with IRS requirements.
ARTICLE 5 – FINANCES
SECTION 5.01 – HANDLING OF FINANCES
All donations, tithes, offerings, endowments, gifts and bequeaths shall be deposited in the General Fund of the church in such a bank as may be directed by a majority of the deacons, and all disbursements for and in behalf of the church shall be paid from this fund by check. All checks will be signed by two of the authorized signatures.
SECTION 5.02 – SOURCES OF INCOME
The finances of the church shall be tithes and offerings. The church shall not sponsor nor engage in profit making activities to support the General Fund of Central Baptist Church of Livonia. (Exceptions could be made for specific Youth activities as approved by the Pastor. Example: Mission Trips or Youth Camp).
ARTICLE 6 – PERSONNEL
SECTION 6.01 – STAFF SELECTION
The Church Staff is an extension of the Pastor’s ministry to the church. Staff may be hired or removed by the Pastor.
SECTION 6.02 – STAFF COMPENSATION
The Pastor with the approval of the Deacons shall fix all compensation of all the employees of the church. The compensation for the Pastor will be determined by the Deacons.
SECTION 6.03 – STAFF QUALIFICATIONS
Staff workers must be persons of upright character who give evidence of being born again and walk in accordance with the Church Covenant and Articles of Faith.
ARTICLE 7 – CHURCH SERVICES
The regular meetings of the church for worship are: (1) Sunday Worship Services; (2) Mid-Week Bible Study and Prayer Service; (3) Special services may be held as to enhance the program of the church: Revivals, Concerts, Seminars, etc.
ARTICLE 8 – BUSINESS MEETINGS
Business Meetings shall be held as follows: The annual business meeting of the church shall be held on the last Sunday evening of January for the election of officers/servants, and other matters deemed necessary by the Pastor. Special business meetings, not otherwise provided for, may be called by the Pastor.
SECTION 8.01 – ORDER OF BUSINESS
The Pastor shall call the meeting to order and make whatever comments are appropriate, ask for any reading of minutes that are necessary, explain whatever issues are to be discussed, and explain the procedure to be followed.
SECTION 8.02 – MOTIONS
(A) All business shall be presented by a motion, made by a member and seconded by another member.
(B) A motion having been discussed must be put to vote; unless withdrawn, laid on the table, referred, or postponed.
SECTION 8.03 – SPEAKING.
Any voting member desiring to speak on a motion shall rise in his place and address the moderator, and confine his remarks to the motion.
SECTION 8.04 – VOTING
(A) Only active church members will be allowed to vote. A member must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible to vote.
(B) A motion is put to vote by the moderator having first distinctly restated it, that all may vote intelligently. First the affirmative, then the negative is called: each so deliberately as to give all an opportunity of voting. He then distinctly announces whether the motion is carried or not. If the vote is close, it shall be counted. The majority rules. If the vote is by ballot, it shall be counted by the deacons. The majority rules.
SECTION 8.05 – APPEAL
The moderator announces all votes, and decides all questions as to rules of proceeding, and order of debate.
SECTION 8.06 – ADJOURNMENT
A simple motion to adjourn is always in order, except while a member is speaking or when taking a vote
ARTICLE 9 – LIQUIDATION OF ASSETS IN THE EVENT OF DISSOLVEMENT
In the event of the Central Baptist Church of Livonia ever having to dissolve and disburse the assets of said church; monies, properties, and/or other assets will be assigned to the World Baptist Fellowship, a non-profit organization: Offices located at 3001 West Division, Arlington, Texas 76012.
ARTICLE 10 – AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
SECTION 10.01 – PROCEDURE
The Constitution and By-Laws may be appended, amended or revised by a majority vote of the members present at any church business meeting. The proposed amendment must be made known to the church at least two weeks in advance of a vote.