So that things may be done decently and in order in accordance with the accepted tenets of other independent Baptist 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 the CHRIST BAPTIST CHURCH of Hainesburg, New Jersey.
SECTION 2 - PURPOSE:
(A) This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of churches, 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.
(B) The Church shall also ordain and license men of 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 Scriptures, 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
SECTION 1 - STATEMENT OF FAITH: (click here)
SECTION 2 - AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH:
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.
SECTION 1 - QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP:
After being interviewed by the Pastor and Deacons; and upon a majority vote of the members present at any Church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; who renounce sin; who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord; who fully subscribe to the Statement of Faith contained herein; and who enter into the Church covenant contained herein; and upon compliance with any one of the following conditions:
(A) By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;
(B) By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;
(C) By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion; or
(D) By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the Pastor (and the Deacons if requested by the member) and a majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the Church membership of the sin or sins involved. (see Article III; Section 5 for the discipline of a member)
SECTION 2 - DUTIES OF A MEMBER:
On becoming a member of this Church, in addition to the covenant contained in Article XII, each one further covenants to love, honor, and esteem the Pastor and the officials of the church; to pray for them; and to recognize their roles and responsibilities; 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 and affirmation of the beliefs, practices, and ministries of the Church.
SECTION 3 - BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP:
Upon the church voting them into membership, members will immediately begin to receive: ample Biblical instruction for the entire family through regular services and Bible studies; 24 hour access to pastoral counseling, instruction, and prayer support; publication of important concerns through our prayer chain ministry; limited use of church-owned supplies, property, phone/fax services, and facilities for special occasions (with prior approval of the Pastor and Deacons).
SECTION 4 - RIGHTS OF MEMBERSHIP:
Members shall enjoy the privilege of voting. Members may, at any time, bring up any idea, concern, or issue from the floor. They can request a vote be initiated; and make a motion. Upon consent of the Moderator, who will then call for a motion to be seconded; a vote may take place. If no vote takes place, members may demand a time limit be set for discussion and a date for a final vote on any given issue.
BUSINESS (ELIGIBLE VOTERS): Only members in good standing, sixteen (16) and above years of age, shall be entitled to the right to speak or vote at any of the church's business meetings.
SECTION 5 - DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER:
(A) There shall be a Discipline Committee consisting of the Pastor and the Board. The committee will hear and discuss matters that are deviations from the Word of God; and will function based on the steps listed in this section. If the Pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the Discipline Committee. He shall be entitled to the same steps as other Church members and be subject to the same discipline.
(B) Members are expected to demonstrate a 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 (Matt. 18:16-18; Gal. 6:1-4).
(C) If reconciliation is not reached, a second member (preferably a deacon, the Pastor, or someone of the Church Board’s choosing), not because of their position, but because of their Christian character; 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.
(D) 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 maintaining the purity of Church, will begin a hearing to discuss the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing or if no hearing will take place (because of an unrepentant heart), the Committee shall recommend to the members of the Church that they, after self-examination of their own lives and testimony, should vote the offending member out of the membership.
(E) 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.
(F) 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). (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:14,15; I Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:6-11)
SECTION 6 - MEMBERSHIP DISPUTES:
In accord with the principles of I Cor. 6 disputes between brethren which directly pertain to local church matters shall be mediated within the church, by the Board. The parties involved shall submit to their decision.
SECTION 7 - TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP:
Members, not under the disciplining process of Section 5, may request that letters of transfer be sent to another church of like faith and practice.
SECTION 8 - TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:
(A) The membership of any individual member shall be in question if the member in has not regularly attended the regular worship services of the Church in the preceding six months. A letter of intent shall be sent to the member in question regarding this concern. 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 and the Deacons.
(B) No member of this Church may hold membership in another church at the same time. If any member unites in membership with another church, that person is no longer a member in this Church.
(C) A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such resignation.
SECTION 1 - CHURCH OFFICERS:
The biblical offices are Pastor and Deacons. (Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:1-13)
Other positions, such as trustees, church secretary, treasurer, ushers, etc. are for the order of good business and shall be filled as needed.
SECTION 2 - ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE:
(A) No person shall be elected to any office, who is unwilling to subscribe wholeheartedly to the Statement of Faith and the Church Covenant. If any officer should, during his term of office refuse to do so, his tenure of office shall cease, at the recommendation of the Pastor and Deacons. No one shall serve as Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Class Officer, or as an officer of any unit of this church, who is not a member in good and regular standing.
(B) Only Church members are eligible for election or appointment to any Church office or position.
(C) No officer (or regularly used servants of the church) of the church shall be elected or employed who cannot sincerely testify to and unreservedly subscribe to the following:
(1) Born again and faithfully witnessing to the lost.
(2) Faithful to services and activities of the church.
(3) Separation from the world, such as membership in secret and oath binding organizations and affiliation with modernistic activities (i.e. Mason’s, K.K.K., etc.).
(4) Abstinence from worldly addiction-driven indulgences of our day, such as liquor, tobacco, narcotics, etc. (Lev. 10:9; Prov. 20:1; Is. 5:22; 1 Peter 4:3)
(5) No participation in worldly amusements and other forms of ungodly media and entertainment. (i.e. pornography, gambling, etc.)
(6) Modestly attired at all times. (I Tim. 2: 9 –10). Women to dress in feminine attire. Men in masculine attire. (Dt. 22:5)
SECTION 3 - TERMS OF OFFICE:
The length of terms of office shall be as follows:
(A) The relationship between the Pastor and the Church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of 90 days notice (Church to Pastor or Pastor to Church), or less by mutual consent. The severance of the relationship between the Pastor and the Church may be considered at any regular Church Business Meeting, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the Church one Sunday prior to said regular Church Business Meeting. A three-fourths majority of the members present and voting shall be required to decide the matter. Disciplinary removal of the Pastor from office automatically terminates his membership. A restoration to membership only after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements of Article III, Section 1 (D).
(B) The term of service for deacons will be for one year. Other positions' term of service shall be determined by the Pastor and Deacons.
(C) The Church Board shall consist of the Pastor, Deacons (and/or trustees), Secretary, and Treasurer. The Board must have a minimum of three members. The Executive Committee of the Board shall consist of solely the Pastor and the Deacons (and/or trustees). They are the voting members of the Board and are responsible for the execution of previous decisions made by the Church or Board.
(D) A vacancy occurring in any office, except in the case of the Pastor, may be filled at any regular Church Business Meeting.
(E) All elected and appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until their successors are duly elected or appointed.
(F) If any officer resigns their position at any time during their term; they shall be subject to a “waiting period” of no less than one year before being able to be nominated again for the same office.
SECTION 4 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
(A) The annual election of officers by the Church membership shall occur during the month of November, and the transition period will be during the month of December.
(B) The Nominating Committee (consisting of Pastor and the Board) shall present a list of nominees submitted by the congregation, after having been reviewed by the Nominating Committee, and discussed with the potential nominee; for election. Additional nominations and write-ins will not be considered.
SECTION 5 - OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF:
(A) Subject to approval of the Church membership and on the condition that they shall become a member of the Church upon assuming their duties, the Pastor (with consent of the Board) may hire associates and assistants, to assist the Pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
(B) All Church workers, whether volunteer elected officer and/or paid staff, shall be under the supervision of the Pastor who has the authority to hire, appoint, or dismiss the same.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 - THE PASTOR:
(A) The Pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and shall be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the Church, act as moderator at all Church meetings for the transaction of the Church matters, supervise the teaching ministries of the Church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
(B) The Pastor 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.
(C) Calling of a Pastor
(1) Pulpit Committee
(a) At least one Deacon, holding office at the time of the previous Pastor's departure, plus at least one officer and two members in good standing, chosen by the members, shall constitute the pulpit committee.
(b) The pulpit committee shall interview potential candidates for the office of Pastor and shall recommend acceptable candidates to the church.
(c) All candidates must have a unanimous recommendation of the pulpit committee.
(a) Each candidate shall preach a minimum of two Sundays, both morning and evening services.
(b) Each candidate must be voted upon before another candidate may be considered.
(c) The Pastor shall be elected for an indeterminate term. Notice of the proposed candidate shall be given from the pulpit for two consecutive Sundays preceding the election, voting shall be by secret ballot; and two-thirds of the votes cast shall be required for election. The church shall consider only one candidate at a time. At any such meeting thirty percent, instead of twenty percent, of the active members shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 2 - THE DEACONS:
(A) The 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 consider applications, along with the Pastor, for Church membership. They shall, in cooperation with the Pastor, disburse the deacons’ 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 the beginning members of the Pulpit Committee and act as leaders for Church meetings if the office of Pastor is vacant. The deacons shall assist the Pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the Church's various ministries.
(B) Immediately following the annual Church Business Meeting, the deacons shall assemble and elect, from their own number, a chairman.
(C) The deacons shall constitute the trustees of the Church. The trustees shall exercise the following specific powers:
(1) 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;
(2) 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 with the approval of the church.
(3) to exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church, if such action is mandated by a vote of the Church membership.
(D) Additional board members are elected as the Church grows in multiples of fifty members. In rare instances of an insufficient numbers of Deacons available; the remaining members of the Board will recommend a replacement trustee to the Church.
SECTION 3 - CHURCH SECRETARY:
The church secretary 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 secure, 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 an annual report at the annual Church business meeting of the status of the Church membership roll in the past year.
SECTION 4 - TREASURER:
The treasurer shall account for all funds contributed to the Church and shall disburse the same as ordered by the Church. He shall present a written report of itemized disbursements each quarter and make a general report for the year at the annual Church business meeting. No expenditures of the Church except miscellaneous cash disbursements shall be paid by cash (in order for there to be a guaranteed record of the expenditure). He shall work with the Church Board in preparing an annual budget for the Church.
SECTION 5 - HEAD USHER:
The head usher, in cooperation with the Pastor, shall appoint a sufficient number of assistants to care for the work of ushering and extending the official hospitality of the Church to its members and visitors.
SECTION 6 - ASSISTANT PASTORS:
Under the direction and guidance of the Pastor, the assistant pastors of the Church shall assist the Pastor in carrying out the ministries of the Church.
SECTION 7 - DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS:
(A) All officers shall prepare a written report of their work for the annual Church business meeting and shall surrender any records in their possession to the chairman of deacons 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.
(B) Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the constitution for a period of three months may be removed from his office, by the Church, at the suggestion of the Pastor and the Deacons, and another may be recommended to the Church by the Pastor to serve the unexpired term.
SECTION 1 - MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP:
The Church shall regularly meet each Sunday for public worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer.
SECTION 2 - MEETINGS FOR CHURCH BUSINESS:
(A) The Pastor shall serve as the Moderator and may call a business meeting after providing the Church with at least one week’s notice beforehand, except in the event of an urgent matter. In the absence of the office of the Pastor being filled, the Chairman of the Church Board shall serve as Moderator.
(B) The annual budget shall be presented to the Church by the deacons and the Pastor, who should comprise the Budget Committee (along with the Treasurer), for ratification. Changes in the proposed budget may be suggested by the congregation.
(C) All business meeting will be conducted using the procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order (as a general guideline only).
SECTION 3 - SPECIAL MEETINGS (NON-BUSINESS):
The Pastor (or deacons if the office of Pastor is vacant or if the Pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action) may call a special non-business 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 one week prior to said meeting. A meeting for the call of a Pastor may be called by the Pulpit Committee at any
(A) Regular Church meeting of the Church at least one week in advance.
(B) Bible conferences, missionary conferences, revivals, etc. may be held as deemed beneficial.
SECTION 4 - FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:
(A) The fiscal year of the Church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
(B) Upon the transition of the Office of the Treasurer, an auditing committee, consisting of at least three members,; shall be appointed to oversee the previous year’s financial records and report back to the Board.
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 of 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, non-Church members can participate in Church educational programs or courses of instruction.
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 educational programs 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.
In matters of regular church operations, the Pastor shall have authorization to make purchases up to $350. The Deacons (and/or trustees), as a whole, will have authorization to make purchases up to $800. Any expenditure in excess of $800 must be authorized and approved by the membership of the Church. Any expenditure made by any other officer or member in excess of $100 and not authorized in the regular annual budget must be authorized by the Board (if a reimbursement is desired).
SECTION 1 - ORDINATION QUALIFICATIONS:
Any male 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 I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.
SECTION 2 - ORDINATION PROCEDURE:
(A) 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.
(B) If the candidate is found worthy of the ordination by the council, the Church may proceed with the ordination of the candidate.
(C) The Pastor and the chairman of the deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
SECTION 1 - PRIVATE INUREMENT:
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for the services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article 1, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 - POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT:
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be 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 (Political Separation).
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) of 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 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 Deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2. (Biblically the tithe should not be designated.)
It is understood that all gifts and donations become the permanent property of Christ Baptist Church.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the Name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment. We will endeavor to live according to Biblical principles. We shall be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that when we remove from this place, as an individual; we will as soon as possible, unite with another Church of like faith and practice, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
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 and is in harmony with Biblical principles and the letter and spirit of this Constitution.
This Constitution was adopted by a majority vote of the members in good standing (and/or recorded) (actual: 100 percent approval, with 3 abstentions recorded) and voting at a duly-called meeting of the Church (actual: Sunday, May 4, 2008) in which a quorum of no less than 20 percent (actual: 100 percent) was recorded.
This Constitution and By-Laws supersedes any other constitution and/or by-laws of the Christ Baptist Church.