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(Edited on March 9, 2015)
Placing our complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation and believing the Holy Bible to be the divinely inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God, we band ourselves together as a body of immersed believers and hereby adopt this Constitution. We declare and affirm these principles in the light of the Holy Scripture to govern the body in an orderly manner. These principles will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in its relationship to other churches and organizations.
ARTICLE I – NAME: This local body of believers shall be known as Valley Baptist Church of Brawley, CA., owning the facilities at 704 A Street & 701 B Street, Brawley, CA.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE STATEMENT: The purpose of this church shall be to glorify God; to proclaim to all the world that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation; to preach and teach the whole council of God as revealed by the Holy Scriptures; to worship the Triune God in prayer, praise, and in service; to administer the ordinances of the New Testament church; to disciple believers; and to exercise charitable support for the brethren and other ministries that fulfill the Great Commission.
ARTICLE III – DEFINITION:
A. This local body of believers shall be comprised of all persons received as members and voluntarily cooperating with this body.
B. This church shall always remain a Baptist Church and shall adhere to the statement of faith found in this constitution.
C. Valley Baptist Church chooses to cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention.
D. This Church is incorporated as a non-profit (religious) Corporation of the State of California.
2 ARTICLE IV – MEMBERS:
A. RECEPTION OF MEMBERS: Individuals desiring membership in this local body shall give public testimony of their secure salvation in Christ alone, and be immersed in believer’s baptism or provide evidence by church letter or statement of scriptural baptism in a church of like faith and practice. They must not be in disagreement with our covenant or statement of faith.
B. DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS: Members shall or may be removed for the following reasons:
2. Personal Request
3. Transfer of Membership to another church of like faith and order shall be granted by a letter or recommendation upon vote of the church in a regular business meeting.
4. Removal to the inactive roll if any member is habitually absent for a period of six months without due cause, but only after efforts have been made to restore the member to faithfulness. (No person on the inactive roll shall be entitled to vote, to hold office, to teach, or to take official part in the public services.)
5. Erasure for reason of uniting with another church to which a letter of recommendation cannot be granted.
6. Dismissal, as a result of apostasy, heresy, or becoming an offense to the church by reason of flagrant non-Christian conduct without repentance, by a majority vote at a regular or special business meeting.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS:
1. All matters concerning Pastors shall be handled in accordance with New Testament Scripture. (I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Matt. 18:15-17; I Tim. 5:17-20)
2. Pastors shall be a man called by the church and instated by majority vote at a regular or special business meeting. The Senior Pastor may be removed by majority vote by the church at a regular or special business meeting (Provided that all membership is given a two-week notice in writing prior to the meeting). Pastors giving resignation shall not call for a vote on that resignation. Associate pastors and employees shall be supervised and may be removed by the Senior Pastor in consultation with the deacon board. In the absence of a Senior Pastor the deacon board may remove Associate Pastors and ministerial staff. Associate
3 pastors and ministerial staff who resign shall not call for a vote on that resignation.
B. DEACONS Deacons shall be men recommended by the Senior Pastor and Deacon Board as needed to the church for ordination in accordance with I Tim. 3:8-13. Deacons may be removed by majority vote by the church at a regular or special business meeting. Deacons giving resignation shall not call for a vote on that resignation.
C. GENERAL OFFICERS For purposes of church administration and governmental legalities the officers shall be the Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer and Trustees. These officers shall be elected by a majority vote in a regular or special business meeting.
ARTICLE VI – BUSINESS MEETINGS:
All church business shall be conducted in submission to the headship of Christ, faith in the power of God, mutual accountability and love, and unity of the body. Unless specified otherwise in this document all business shall be approved by majority vote of members 18 years or older in attendance. In matters not covered by this constitution, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the authorized procedure for all church business meetings.
A. REGULAR BUSINESS MEETINGS shall be scheduled and adopted in the church calendar and shall be held at least once per quarter.
B. FISCAL BUSINESS MEETINGS shall be scheduled annually. In this meeting the church shall elect its general officers and adopt its annual budget.
C. SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS may be scheduled if announced during 3 subsequent church services.
D. A quorum of 12 members is required for vote at any business meeting or 50% of active members whichever is less.
ARTICLE VII – AMMENDMENTS:
This constitution may only be revised or amended by a 2/3 majority vote of members present and voting in a regular or special business meeting providing that said amendments be provided for in writing 2 weeks prior to business meeting to all members.
4 ARTICLE VIII - DISSOLUTION:
In the event of the dissolution of this church the assets of the corporation shall be given and paid over to the California Baptist Convention, approved by the remaining membership, which qualifies under the provisions of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, amended to February 1, 1992 (or its successor provision) and the regulations attributable thereto. None of the assets or holdings shall be divided among its members or among any individuals or groups not so qualified. The meeting to vote on dissolution shall be carried out according to the guidelines in Article VI, Section B., on business meetings.
ARTICLE IX – STATEMENT OF FAITH:
A. ARTICLES OF FAITH: Valley Baptist Church accepts “The Baptist Faith and Message” as most recently adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention as an affirmation of our basic Christian beliefs and as a general statement of our faith.
1. The Bible: We believe all Scripture is the divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. It is our sole authority for faith and practice. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21; II Peter 3:1-2; Psalm 119:89)
2. Salvation: We believe in secure salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. (Ephesians 1:4, 5, 13; 2:8, 9; John 3:16; 10:27-29; Romans 8:29-39)
3. Priesthood of the Believer: We believe that Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and man. All believers have been made priests with complete access to God the Father through our High Priest, Jesus Christ. (I Timothy 2:5; I Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6)
4. The Church: We believe that the church is the local body of baptized believers of which Christ is the head. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Acts 2:41-47; I Corinthians 12:12-20; Colossians 1:18)
5. Officers of the Church: We believe the church is lead by two groups of officers: Pastors also known as Elders or Bishops, (Acts 20:17, 28; I Timothy 3:1; 5:17; Titus 1:5; Ephesians 4:11-12), and Deacons: (Philippians. 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; I Timothy 3:8-13)
6. Ordinances of the Church: a. Baptism: We believe in the baptism of believers as a testimony of their salvation, by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy 5 Spirit, and symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36-39) b. Lord’s Supper: We believe this ordinance and its’ elements are symbolic of the atoning death of Christ. Every baptized believer who is in fellowship with Christ and his church is invited to this table. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
7. Autonomy: We believe in the absolute autonomy of the local church. (Ephesians 1:22; Col. 1:18; Matthew 18:15-17; 20:24-28; 23:5-12)
8. Separation of Church and State: We believe in the separation of Church and State as taught and practiced in the New Testament. (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7; Acts 5:27-29, 42)
9. Pre-Millennial Return of Christ: We believe that Christ will literally return to this earth and that He will reign on this earth for 1,000 years. All prophecies and promises of God in scripture are irrevocable. (Rev. 20:1-10; Num. 23:19, 20; Is. 40:8; 55:11)
10. Orderly Worship Valley Baptist Church believes that God is a God of order and so we conduct our ministry and Church services in like manner. (1st Corinthians 14:27-28, 1st Corinthians 14:33, 1st Corinthians 14:40)
11. Marriage and Human Sexuality a. Marriage: Marriage is a biblical institution established by God as clearly described in the scriptures. This Church recognizes that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Accordingly, this Church, its pastors, staff and members will not participate in same sex unions or same sex marriages, nor shall its property or resources be used for such purposes. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Genesis 2:18-24) b. Human Sexuality: The Bible teaches that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, this Church opposes all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. (1st Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26-27) This Constitution has been ratified by 2/3 majority vote of the members present and voting of Valley Baptist Church.
Valley Baptist Church 701 B Street, P.O. Box 334, Brawley, CA 92227 760-344-3831 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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