Westside Baptist Church of York  
 
Welcome to West Side Baptist Church of York

CONSTITUTION

Preamble

We, the members of West Side Baptist Church of Thomasville, Pennsylvania, do ordain and establish the following Articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

Article I

Name

The name of this church shall be
West Side Baptist Church of Thomasville, Pennsylvania

Article II

Purpose

The purpose of this church is to glorify the God of the Scriptures in promoting His worship, evangelizing sinners and edifying saints. To this end we are committed to proclaiming God's perfect law and His glorious gospel of grace in Jesus Christ throughout the world and to defending the "faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude3).

Article III

Statement of Faith

Section I. Creedal Statements

Our statement of faith points not only to the heart of the Christian faith, but also to our distinct perspectives as a particular body of believers. As such, this confession does not necessarily define the boundaries of our fellowship. Some Christians will certainly differ with some of what is set forth below. Such Christians are nevertheless welcome to worship the Lord together with us. Our basis for unity and communion is a biblical confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ, and the absence of a scandalous lifestyle.

This statement of faith represents the doctrinal understanding of West Side Baptist Church in general, and it is our intention that the teaching and preaching at West Side Baptist Church reflect this understanding. Procedural standards for our church government can be found in our Constitution.

We seek to display our unity in truth with other faithful churches, not only in the present, but also with the historic Christian church throughout the centuries. It is our desire, as a local body, to grow in our understanding of this historical faith by studying and approving confessions that accurately express sound Biblical doctrine. In referencing these confessions, we are in no way placing these documents on an equal level with Scripture, nor are we seeking to supplant Scripture. Rather, these documents serve as a useful summary of our understanding of the Word of God.

Although not included herein, we are in essential agreement with The London Baptist Confession of 1689. Additionally, together with the historic church, we confess the following:

  1. The Apostles' Creed (AD 2nd century)

I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

  1. Nicene Creed Constantinople (AD 381)

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, carne down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin, Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church; acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  1. Definition of Chalcedon (AD 451)

Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess the one and same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and in humanity; truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father according to His deity, and consubstantial with us according to the humanity; like us in all respects, sin only excepted. Before the ages He was begotten of the Father, according to the deity, and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, He was born of Mary the virgin, who is God bearer according to His humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures; without confusing them, without interchanging them, without dividing them, and without separating them; the distinction of natures by no means taken away by the union, but the properties of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one subsistence; not parted or divided into-two persons, but one and the same only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as from the beginning the prophets have declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us.

  1. Our Own Modern Statement

We believe the 66 canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the only inerrant Word of God. It is our only ultimate and infallible authority for faith and practice.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Lord God is omnipotent; He is the Almighty. He is omnipresent, entirely present throughout all creation while not limited by it. He is omniscient, with nothing at all hidden from His sight, whether past, present or future. In all things He is limited by nothing other than His own nature and character.
We believe the God we serve is holy, righteous, good, severe, loving and full of mercy. He created the heavens and earth, and everything in them, in the space of six ordinary days, and all very good. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Governor of everything that has been made.
We believe in the true deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His continued intercessory work between God the Father and man, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe in the full deity of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging Him together with the Father and the Son in the works of creation and redemption. He witnesses to the Truth, converts the lost, extols the Christ, and testifies to the righteous judgment of God. He comforts, teaches, testifies, guides, regenerates, empowers, sanctifies, and anoints. He has the quickening role in the work of saving the lost, and indwells the Christian enabling him to live a godly life.
We believe that because of Adam's sin all mankind is in rebellion against God. For the salvation of such lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.
We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and that faith without works is dead.

We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling, the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and lost; those who are saved to the resurrection of life, and those who are lost to the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Section II. Governments

  1. Introduction

We believe that God has ordained various governments among men. The three basic governments are civil government, church government and family government as foundational to the first two. To fulfill their proper function, all of these governments are dependent of the grace of God, common or special, working in individuals to bring about self-control. Without such self-control, no other government can function according to the Word of God. We deny that the authority of these governments should be set against one another. God has ordained them all, and assigned to them differing responsibilities. We further deny that even the ordained heads of these governments have absolute authority within themselves. All human authority answers to the sovereign God of the universe and is subject to His revealed will.

  1. The Individual

We believe that a man is saved in truth when in an effectual call the Holy Spirit regenerates him and enables him to consequently submit, in faith, to the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:5). As a follower of Jesus Christ, he seeks to live in submission to His Word. We deny that Christ can be received as Savior and rejected as Lord (Matt. 7:21).

We believe that the elect were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to live holy and blameless lives (Eph. 1:4). We deny that holiness can be defined on the authority of the word of man. Our only standard of holiness is the law of God, found in the Old and New Testaments (I Tim. 3:16).
We believe that God will always complete any saving work He has begun. A regenerated man will not fall away from God's work of salvation (Rom. 8:29-31). The basis for this is God's faithfulness and not the faithfulness of the believer (I Cor. 1:8-9). We deny that faith in God's sustaining faithfulness is in any way a cushion for sin. A life characterized by sin is inconsistent with assurance of salvation (Rom. 6: 1-6; I John).
We believe that a follower of Christ has an obligation to regularly and honestly confess his sins before God (I John 1:9; Provo 28:13). In honest confession, the quality of a man's relationship with God is maintained and protected. We deny that confession of sin is the foundation of the believer's relationship to God. Salvation does not depend on ongoing confession of sin; the joy of salvation does (ps.51:10-13).

We believe that God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. All unregenerate men therefore have a true obligation to do so (Acts 17:30; II Thess. 1:8). We deny that unregenerate men are unjustly excluded from grace. Because they are dead in their sins, they have no desire for God's grace apart from the quickening influence of that grace (Eph. 2:1; Rom. 8:6-8; I Cor. 2:14). They are therefore responsible for remaining in sin.

We believe that at regeneration God creates each true believer a new man, created to grow in love and good works (Eph. 2; 10; II Cor. 5: 17). We deny the crucifixion of the old man eliminates an ongoing struggle against the flesh (Gal. 5: 17).
We believe that God has given to each individual various gifts of varying worth (I Cor. 12:7-24). Each believer has an obligation to understand accurately what his gifts are, and through the use of these gifts to stir one another up to love and good works, for the benefit of the whole body and in obedience to Christ (Eph. 4: 11-16; Heb. 20:24). We deny that equality in Christ (Col. 3:10-11) nullifies God-assigned roles and stations (Col. 3: 12-22; Phil. 2:3).

  1. Family Government

We believe that God has ordained the husband as the head of his wife, and that he is answerable to God for the spiritual state of everyone in his household (Eph. 5:23). We deny that the hierarchy established by God in the household diminishes in any way the worth of women in the sight of God or their husbands (Gal. 3:28). Righteous men rise up and call their righteous wives blessed (prov. 31:28).
We believe that men are responsible to protect their families and to provide for them (I Tim. 5:8), loving their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). Wives are responsible to honor their husbands, love their children and manage their homes well (Tit. 2:4-5). We deny that reversal or rejection of God's assigned roles to husbands and wives can occur without serious damage to the family and, consequently, to the society and church (Tit. 2:5).
We believe the prosperity of a household is a gift from God (II Cor. 9: I 0-11). We deny that godly living is an automatic means to wealth and prosperity (Heb. 11:35-38).
We believe that God blesses in a material way when men honor Him through hard work over a long time, when they are generous with the blessings God has already given, and when they provide for their families and dependents (II Thess. 3:7-10). We deny that covetousness and greed can be a means to obtain the blessings God bestows (I Tim. 6:5).
We believe that believing parents have an obligation before God to provide their children with a godly understanding of the world in which they are growing up. To this end, Christian education, however administered, is essential (Deut. 6:1-6). We deny that the civil authority or the church has the obligation to educate our children. That responsibility belongs to the parents (Eph. 6:4).  

We believe that marriage is defined by God at creation, and confined by our Lord Jesus Christ as one man and one woman for life (Gen. 2:23-24; Matt. 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-9). We deny that a marriage can be defined as two men or two women, or that a man may have more than one wife, or a wife more than one husband at one and the same time.

We believe that marriage is ordained by God, and that man has no authority to sever what God has joined together. God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). In certain circumstances, divorce and remarriage are permissible, but must be governed in all respects according to the Word of God (Matt. 19:9; I Cor. 7:12-13). We deny that compassion for the divorced requires any softening of the biblical teaching on the subject.

  1. Church Government

We believe that each local gathering of the visible church is to be governed by a plurality of men called Elders, each of whom must meet the requirements for church leadership (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). We deny that someone can be called by God to such leadership when his life or family is not in order. Seminary training, long experience and gifts of leadership or communication are no substitute for obedience (I Sam. 15:22).
We believe that each local gathering of the visible church is to be served by a plurality of deacons, each of whom must meet the requirements for church service (I Tim. 3:8-13) We deny that such service can be rendered properly when a deacon's life does not meet the criteria set by Scripture.
We believe a great commission has been given to disciple the nations to Christ. The means for accomplishing this are the preaching of the gospel, baptism and the teaching of obedience to the commandments of Christ, prior to His return (Matt. 28:18-20). We deny that the sovereignty of God in salvation removes the responsibility of man to actively engage in the free offer of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe the Lord commissioned His church to undertake the discipleship of the world (Matt. 28:18-20). The Lord has commanded baptism with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Baptism with water is therefore a sacrament (or ordinance) of the Christian church, and the elders of the church are responsible to ensure that baptisms are administered in a scriptural fashion, and the proper signification of water baptism preserved and maintained. We affirm that water baptism signifies union with Christ (Rom. 6:3-7), the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12: 13), the washing away of sin (Acts 22:16), the washing of regeneration (Tit.3:5), the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:6; Acts 10:44, 47). We deny that water baptism imparts grace by means of water. God imparts grace to His saints to enable them to obey Him (11 Cor. 9:8), and strengthens them further by grace in that obedience (Heb. 12:14-15). The faithful observance of water baptism constitutes one part of that obedience; and is therefore a means of grace.

We believe the Lord's Supper to be a participation by faith in the body and blood of Christ. Christians should regularly eat at this table, as long as they are not under the discipline of God or God's people (I Cor. 11:23-26). It is a participation in Christ (I Cor. 10:14-17), and God blesses faithful participation in the Lord's Supper (I Cor. l0: 16-17), and disciplines faithlessness in it (I Cor. 1UO). We deny that the Lord's Supper imparts grace by means of the bread and cup. It is, however, a participation in Christ (I Cor. 10: 14-17). God imparts grace to His saints to enable them to obey Him (II Cor. 9:8), and strengthens them further by grace in that obedience (Heb. 12: 14-15). The faithful observance of the Lord's Supper constitutes one part of that obedience, and is therefore a means of grace.

We believe baptism in water and the Lord's Supper to be an external sign of covenantal, historical and spiritual realities. We deny that these sacraments are an automatic means of grace, grace being through faith alone. Any biblical means to build biblical faith is therefore a means of blessing and grace -and this includes water baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We believe that Scripture promotes immersion as the primary mode of water baptism (Rom. 6:4; Co!. 2:12; Acts 8:38; Matt. 3:6,16; John 3:23). We deny that the scriptural significance of water baptism can be nullified by the mode of application.

We believe that Christians must fellowship in unity with all true Christians, and that we have no right to judge the hearts of fellow servants. If God has accepted someone, we must gladly do the same. We deny that such fellowship requires joint ministry with those Christians who teach or practice that which is unbiblical. We may hold someone to be a Christian, and yet believe them to be unqualified for leadership. The qualifications for leadership differ from those for fellowship (Rom. 14: 1-8; 1 Tim. 3:1-7).

  1. Civil Government

We believe that Christians are to live quiet and peaceful lives, in true submission to the constitutions, laws and civil magistrates as ordained by God to be His servants (Rom. 13:1-7). We deny that this submission is absolute. When civil authorities require something forbidden by God, or forbid something required by God, the duty of Christians is to humbly, respectfully and submissively disobey (Acts 4:19-20).
We believe that Christians are to pray for those authorities that God has placed above them (I Tim. 2:1-4). We deny that this prayer should be limited to blessings (ps. 139: 19-24).
We believe that Christians should be involved in the political process. Christ required His followers to be salt and light in the world, and He did not exclude civil government from that Christian influence (Matt. 5: 13-16). We deny that the power of the gospel is to be found in political involvement. We do not believe civil government to be a savior (II Cor. 10:3-6), and deny that the church is a political organization.

Article IV

Membership

Section 1.        Reception of Members
Any person desiring to unite with this church shall request membership through an Elder. The Board of Elders shall then meet with the applicant, who will be examined as to his or her conversion, Christian experience and doctrinal belief.  
When the Board of Elders is satisfied that an applicant is a Christian who meets the requirements for membership, the board may accept that person as a member by a two ­thirds vote. If the applicant has been a member of another evangelical church, a letter of inquiry into his or her standing with that church may be sent before final acceptance is made. The right hand of fellowship will be extended to the new member by the Elders of the church at a Sunday morning worship service, usually in conjunction with the Lord's Supper.

Section 2.        Baptism in Regards to Church Membership

Baptism as a believer is normally requisite to church membership. Thus, when an unbeliever is brought to faith in Christ or when an unbaptized professor of faith attends this church, they will be instructed and encouraged to obey Christ by being baptized. They will not be admitted into membership in the church until they have been baptized. When administered by the Elders of the church, the normal mode of baptism will be immersion. Extenuating circumstances may allow an alternate mode, as determined by the Elders through arrangement with the person being baptized.
When baptized believers attend this church, the Elders may acknowledge their baptism as Christian baptism in receiving them into the membership of the church. Although the Eldership of the church maintains believers baptism by immersion, in the spirit of Christian unity, allowance will be made for membership of those who meet the criteria for membership, but have been baptized in infancy if they themselves hold that position conscientiously.
If the baptism of any prospective member was administered by an apostate church, a non-­Christian sect or cult, as formally decided by the Elders of the church, the individual will be instructed on his responsibility to be baptized. As an act of ecclesiastical government, a valid baptism does not depend upon the personal integrity of the minister conducting the baptism, or the doctrinal and moral integrity of the administering church. Nevertheless, if the doctrinal and moral corruptions are so far advanced as to require our Elders to consider that church to be no Christian church at all, then the baptism administered by such a church will not be received. Given the complexity of all such issues, the Elders will deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Section 3.        Release or Transfer of Membership

  1. If a member in good standing requests to be released to the care of another Christian church, the Elders will grant the request and release him or her with a blessing.

  2. If a member requests to be released because of disciplinary proceedings against him or her, the Elders will deny the request until the disciplinary matter is resolved.

  3. Whenever members move from our geographical area, before they leave, the Elders will encourage and exhort them to be diligent in finding a new church home. If they have not joined themselves to a church within a reasonable amount of time, the Elders will terminate their membership with a letter of admonition.

Article V

Membership Responsibilities and Aspirations

Having been freely justified by God's grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, testifying to repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and having publicly confessed our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection by baptism, we desire to give up ourselves unto the Lord and unto one another, to walk together in the fear of God as members one of another in a church-state.

In obedience to the commands of Christ, and for our peace and comfort, and to the glory of God whose sovereign grace has given us a place and a name in His house as that of sons and daughters, we acknowledge the following to accurately describe our responsibilities and aspirations:

That we shall strive to be holy in all manner of living, for the temple of God is holy, and such we are, that we may evidence ourselves to be a habitation of God in the Spirit; to love one another fervently, without hypocrisy, in honor preferring one another, bearing one another's burdens, being of one accord, of one mind, rejoicing with them that rejoice, weeping with them that weep, stirring up one another to love and good works, and to warn, rebuke, exhort, comfort, edify and encourage one another humbly and patiently; to mark those causes and causers of divisions and tum away from them, giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

That we shall pray for each other and for this church, and for the church of Christ universal, without ceasing, that it may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that it may be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, being unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, being patterned after the Word and revived by the Spirit; to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but to sustain its worship, ordinances, disciples, and ministries; to embrace, maintain and defend our Statement of Faith, speaking the truth in love, that we may grow up in all things unto Him who is the Head, even Christ.

That we shall make regular voluntary financial contributions for the expenses of the church, the support of the ministry, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel; to pray for the officers of the church in the performance of their duties, submitting to them so long as they handle aright the Word of Truth, declaring the whole counsel of God; and to concertedly take the gospel to every creature, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.

For the performance of all these duties, we humbly confess our inability and readily commit ourselves to Him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless in the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only God our Savior; through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, dominion and power, before all time, now, and forever. Amen.

Article VI

Church Discipline

Section l.         Formative Discipline

The church must build up its members by the use of the spiritual gifts of both old and young. If the mutually sanctifying influence of the whole body, as taught in I Corinthians 12: 12-27 be well understood, and every member be satisfied with his God­ appointed place, we shall all "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (IT Peter 3:18). We regretfully acknowledge that the failure of formative discipline leads to the necessity for subsequent sections.

Section 2.        Corrective Discipline

Corrective discipline results from disorderly conduct or heretical doctrine which is contrary to the church's standard of life and doctrine. Reasonable efforts shall be made to resolve difficulties and remove offenses before any action is taken. No offense shall be brought before the church until the instructions of Christ have first been followed (Matt. 5:23-24; 18: 15-16). Corrective discipline always has for its aims the glory of God, the welfare and purity of the church, and the restoration and spiritual growth of the offender.

l. Exclusion

If a member is habitually absent from the fellowship of this church without just cause or is unwilling to settle differences on Scriptural grounds or requests severance of membership, he or she may be excluded from the membership by a majority vote of the Board of Elders.

2. Suspension

If a member has publicly sinned, but shows hopeful signs of repentance, including submission to the admonitions of the church officers, severe discipline, such as excommunication, would be improper. Nevertheless, serious offenses may not be overlooked altogether, lest God's enemies multiply their blasphemies, lest other saints be emboldened to sin, and lest the offender be harmed by a failure to test his own soul and appreciate the gravity of his offense. Therefore, by a majority vote of the Board of Elders, lesser inflictions may be imposed upon a member, such as public rebuke, removal from office, or temporary suspension of publicly serving in the church (musician, usher, teacher, etc.). Those who submit to such discipline are to be wholly forgiven and received as brethren. All such actions of the Board of Elders shall be reported to the congregation.

3. Excommunication

When restoration is not secured by the process required in Matthew 18: 15-18, the matter will be presented to the congregation. The congregation shall have the right to excommunicate a member by two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting.

4. Restoration

Upon recommendation of the Board of Elders, the congregation shall have the right to restore an excommunicated person by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting.

5. Disciplined Members from Other Churches

If another church has disciplined one of its members and that person subsequently attends this church, then the elders will decide whether to honor the discipline of the other church after due consultation with the person concerned and after all appropriate information is sought from the disciplining church.

Article VII

Church Officers

Section 1.        Church Officers

The officers of this church shall consist of teaching and ruling Elders, and Deacons. Except for a Pastor, these officers shall have been a member of the church for a period of at least one year before being placed in nomination. The Board of Elders shall submit nominations for these officers to the congregation prior to the annual congregational meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor prior to the vote. Consent must be secured from the nominees before their names are placed before the congregation. The term of church officers shall begin upon their election.

Section 2.        Teaching Elders

When the church is considering a minister to be added to the staff, he shall be a male and shall be recommended to the congregation by the Board of Elders after prayerful investigation and consideration. Only such men shall be recommended who can and will conscientiously affirm and uphold the Statement of Faith, Constitution and By-Laws of this church. He shall be chosen by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting to serve a six-year term. He will submit to a vote of confidence from the congregation every six years.

If at any time a Pastor shall resign from his office or if the congregation shall choose by majority vote to dismiss him, the relationship between Pastor and church may be terminated by the congregation in ninety days from the date of notice of intention or in a shorter period of time, if it is mutually agreed upon. If the relations between a Pastor and congregation become detrimental to the welfare of the church, the Board of Elders shall have authority to consider this matter and make recommendation to the congregation at a duly called congregational meeting. If a Pastor's life or preaching shall violate the standards of this church, and the Board of Elders so recommends, the services of the Pastor may be terminated immediately following a congregational meeting at which his dismissal has been approved by a majority vote of those members present and voting.

Section 3.        Ruling Elders

The church shall elect from its male membership duly qualified ruling elders whose terms shall be for six years. Each candidate shall be voted on individually, with a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting needed to elect him.

Elders shall be men in full communion with the church, of mature judgment, of unquestioned Christian character, loyal to the Word of God, able to teach sound doctrine, and devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the spiritual welfare of the church (I Tim. 3: 1-7; Titus 1 :6-9). They shall be ordained as elders after their first election, as soon as convenient. Every ruling elder shall submit to a vote of confidence from the congregation every six years.

Section 4.        Deacons

The church shall elect from its male membership duly qualified ruling deacons, whose terms shall be for six years. Each candidate shall be voted on individually, with a two ­thirds vote of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting needed to elect him.

Deacons shall be men in full communion with the church, being sober in life, having a good reputation, and being able to comfort the oppressed (I Tim. 3 :8-13). They shall be installed as deacons after their first election. Each deacon shall submit to a vote of confidence from the congregation every six years.

Article VIII

Board of Elders

Section l.         The Board of Elders

The Board of Elders shall consist of all of this church's duly elected teaching and ruling elders.

Section 2.        Responsibilities of the Board of Elders

The Board of Elders shall have the general oversight of all this church's affairs. The conduct of all church business and the work of all church organizations shall be subject to its supervision and government.

Section 3.        Officers of the Board of Elders

Following each annual congregational meeting, at its first meeting, the Board of Elders shall reorganize. A President and a Clerk shall be elected from the membership of the Board of Elders to serve for one year or until their successors are elected.

Section 4.        Grievances and Suggestions

The Board of Elders shall receive, consider and make a determination of any grievance, suggestion or recommendation by any member or organization of this church.

Section 5.        Miscellaneous Duties

The Board of Elders shall exercise all other powers and duties which properly belong to the sole governing body of an independent church, congregation and corporation, but shall at all times be subject to the majority vote of the congregation unless otherwise stated herein.  

Article IX

Board of Deacons

Section 1.        Board of Deacons

The Board of Deacons shall consist of all this church's duly elected deacons.

Section 2.        Ministry of Mercy

The ministry of benevolence in this church is a special responsibility of the diaconate. They shall minister the Word of God, administer the church's benevolent funds, and render counsel to those in need of assistance. They shall be vigilant for opportunities to do good, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Section 3.        Business Affairs

The Board of Deacons shall have general executive powers to administer the business affairs of this church. It shall be the deacons' responsibility to prepare the church budget and submit it to the Board of Elders each year. When the congregation has approve the budget, it will be the deacons' responsibility to administer it. The duty of caring for and maintaining the church's property shall belong to the Board of Deacons.

Section 4.        Limitation of Powers

The Board of Deacons shall not encumber, transfer, sell or purchase any real estate for the church except by the express authorization conveyed by a majority vote of the membership present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting. No obligation shall be incurred to spend more than $3000.00 on one item without the special vote of the congregation, unless that item already appears in the adopted budget.

Section 5.        Officers of the Board of Deacons

The Board of Deacons shall reorganize at its first meeting following each annual congregational meeting. A President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected to serve for one year or until their successors are elected.

Article X

Finances

The work of this church is financially dependent upon the voluntary gifts of God's people. When the budget is approved at the annual congregational meeting by a majority vote of the congregation present and voting, it shall be considered the basis for the current liabilities. No committee or board is authorized to make changes in its provisions or to make unauthorized disbursements without the consent of the congregation.
The fiscal year of the church shall begin January first and end December thirty-first.

Article Xl

 Associations of Churches

When it is thought desirable to have fellowship, consultation and cooperation with other gospel preaching churches, this church may join itself to associations of churches. Upon recommendation of the Board of Elders, such affiliations may be entered by a majority vote of the congregation. Withdrawal from associations may be effected by the same procedure.

Delegates to such associations shall be chosen by the Board of Elders.

Article XII

Amendments

Amendments of the Constitution may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting, provided that such amendments have been distributed by the Board of Elders in written form at least two weeks prior to the congregational meeting.

BY-LAWS

Article I

Congregational Meetings

Section 1.        Notice of Meetings

Notice of all congregational meetings shall be given at regular worship services on the two successive Sundays immediately prior to the meetings. In an emergency, a meeting may be called on shorter notice by notifying local members of the time, place and purpose of the congregational meeting.

Section 2.        Annual Meeting

A congregational meeting shall be held in January and shall be called the Annual Meeting. The regular election of officers and adoption of a budget shall take place at the Annual Meeting.

Section 3.        Method of Calling Meetings

It shall be the right and responsibility of the Board of Elders to call all congregational meetings. A written request to call a special congregational meeting, stating clearly its purpose, signed by twenty percent (20%) of the members of the church eligible to vote and in good an regular standing and presented to the Clerk, shall require the Board of Elders to call such a meeting. When special congregational meetings are called, there must be a notice given to the congregation as to the purpose and called in accordance with Article I, Section 1 above.

Section 4.        Responsibility for Meetings

The Board of Elders shall arrange for the details of all congregational meetings and see that all possible preparation for their successful conduct is made.

Section 5.        Quorum for Transaction of Business

The voting members present at any constitutionally called congregational meeting shall be considered a quorum for the transaction of business. All church officers shall be voted upon by written ballot.

Section 6.        Voting Age

Any member of the church eighteen years of age or over, in good and regular standing, shall have the right to vote on any question properly brought before the congregation.

Article II

Church Boards

Section 1.        Monthly Meetings

The Board of Elders and the Board of Deacons shall hold regular monthly meetings.

Section 2.        Quorum and Call for Meetings

The quorum of the Board of Elders or of the Board of Deacons shall be two-thirds of the total number of the Board. They shall meet at the call of their President or at the request of any three members of the Board.

Section 3.        Duties of the Church Clerk

The clerk shall keep a record of all business transacted at the congregational and Board of Elders meetings, keep an accurate record of the membership, and carry on all necessary correspondence for the Board of Elders and the congregation.

Section 4.        Duties of the Church Treasurer

The Treasurer shall deposit all church funds in a bank account or accounts, as instructed by the Board of Deacons, which account shall be opened and maintained in the name of the church. He shall disburse the same at the direction of the Board of Deacons. He shall make monthly reports to the Board of Deacons and to the Board of Elders and an annual report to the congregation at the Annual Meeting. He shall submit his books for an annual audit prior to the Annual Meeting and at such other times as he may be directed by the Board of Deacons. He may be required to furnish a bond, the amount of which shall be paid by the church. The Treasurer shall be primarily responsible for all offerings received by the church, and immediately following any service, he shall count and keep a record of all offerings. A financial secretary may be appointed to assist in these duties.

Article III

Amendments

Amendments of the By-Laws may be adopted by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting, provided that such amendments have been distributed by the Board of Elders in written form at least two weeks prior to the congregational meeting.

 

 

Lincoln Highway | PO Box 274 | Thomasville, PA 17364 | 717.225.6404