Constitution of Community Bible Chapel
May 1, 2005
The name of this organization shall be the Community Bible Chapel.
Article II Statement of Faith.
1. We believe that the scriptures are verbally inspired by God and are the complete and inerrant message God intended and therefore are our final authority. (II Tim. 16-17)
2. We believe in One Holy God, eternally existing, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, manifesting Himself in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one in power, nature, attributes, and Glory. (Gen. 1:1,26, Pro. 30:4, Mk 12:29, II Cor. 13:14, Jn. 1:14, Acts 5:3,4, Matt. 28:19-20)
3. We believe that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He is true God and true man. (Matt. 1:8-25, Isa. 7:14, Phil. 2:6-11, Lk. 1:26-35)
4. We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit – the third person of the trinity. In the present dispensation, the Holy Spirit has a special work: He convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment; He sanctifies all who believe, baptizing them into the body of Christ; indwells all who believe; intercedes in prayer; reveals the truth; and directs all true worship. (Jn. 16:7-11, 8:9, 26, 27, Phil. 3:3,
Eph, 1:13-14, I Cor. 12:13, Acts 5:3,4)
5. We believe in the sinfulness of man – that all human beings fall short of the glory of God and need to be saved from sin by faith in Jesus Christ. We believe concerning the atonement that Jesus Christ became the sinners substitute and sacrifice before God and died as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith and not of works; saving faith will maintain good works in the life of the believer. (Acts 4:12, Jn. 3:14-18, Eph. 2:8-9)
6. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and in His bodily presence at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate. (Lk. 24:36-43, Jn. 11:25-26, Heb 9:11, Eph. 1:20, 3:1)
7. We believe that Baptism is an identification with and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ – and the first step of obedience following salvation (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 8:37-39). We also believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of His death to be practiced until He comes again and the privilege of all believers and should always be preceded by self-examination (I Cor. 11:23-34). These we believe to be the two ordinances of the Church.
8. We believe that the New Testament order of a Local Church is a body of baptized believers; organized, independent, self-governing, and voluntarily associated together for the service of God. (Acts 2:41-47)
9. We believe in the great commission given by our Lord to all Christians, to evangelize the world, and that this evangelization is the great mission of the church. We believe that the pattern to follow is first at home, then to the surrounding areas, then to the uttermost parts of the earth. (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 1:8)
10. We believe in the second coming of Christ according to the Scriptures. (Jn 14:1-3, I Thes. 4:14-18)
11. We believe in the reality and personality of Satan. (Rev. 20:2-3, Isa 14:9-17, Jn 8:44)
12. We believe the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost. (Rev. 20:10-15, Rev. 21:1-4)
13. We believe that God created man and woman in His own image, and that God
has ordained marriage, consisting of one man and one woman, to be the
foundation of the family and to be the only Biblical expression of sexuality. (Gen. 2:21-24)
Article III Membership
1. Requirements of Membership
A. Any person who professes repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who has been baptized upon profession of his/her faith and who is in agreement with the teachings, aims, and constitution of this church shall be eligible for membership.
B. If a person meeting the above-mentioned conditions desires to transfer his/her membership from another church to this one, he or she must request a letter of recommendation from the other church and present it to the Pastor or Elders.
C. If a person desires membership, he/she should express his/her desire to the Pastor or Elders. The Pastor or Elders (Board in absence of Elders) will subsequently meet with the applicant and ask questions as to the applicants conversion experience, beliefs, and seriousness of intention to support the total ministry of this church, and will also give ample opportunity for the applicant to question them concerning the aims and beliefs of this church.
2. Procedure in Receiving New Members
It shall be deemed proper to receive new members at any and all meetings of the church, whether congregational or devotional. Then the Pastor and the Elders will extend the right hand of fellowship to the new member.
3. Termination of Membership
A. By Transfer – Letters of transfer shall be granted by the Board to members who ask for them provided they are in good standing and not subject to or under discipline at the time of application.
B. By Exclusion – If a member is habitually absent from the worship services of this church for a period of six months without reason acceptable to the Board, they shall then be placed on an inactive (non-voting) membership list and shall be notified of that action by the Board. Reinstatement of membership (from inactive to active) may be granted by the board after a satisfactory explanation of the absence and evidence of faithfulness is exhibited for a period of at least three months.
C. By Excommunication – It is right and in harmony with the Scriptures for the congregation, upon recommendation of the Board, to exclude from this fellowship any person who persists in holding false or heretical doctrines, or who obviously lives in violation of the law or public morals, or who walks disorderly, or any person who persists in disturbing the unity and peace of this church.
(Matt 18:15, Rom 16:17, I Cor 5:1, II Thes 3:6, 11, 15)
D. Any action by the board involving change in membership status shall be reported to the congregation at a biannual congregational meeting.
4. Restoration of church membership
The right to exclude or excommunicate persons or the withdrawal of fellowship (II Thess 3:6) is in harmony with the teaching of the New Testament (Matt 18:16,17). The Apostolic Church also had the right to restore those persons who gave satisfactory evidence of being penitent (II Cor 2:6,8). The object of the disciple having been accomplished, the congregation shall have the right to restore the penitent member to full membership by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
5. The voting age shall be sixteen except for corporate meetings in which case the age shall be twenty-one in compliance with New York State laws.
ARTICLE IV Officers of the Church
The officers of this church shall be a pastor(s), Elders, and Deacons, all as God raises them up and subject to Scriptural qualifications (Titus 1:6-9 ITim 3:1-13). There shall also be three or more trustees, a clerk, a treasurer, a financial secretary, and a Christian Education Director. All officers and subsidiary organizations shall be under the direction and approval of the Official Board. The Board shall consist of Pastor(s), Elders, and Deacons.
In completion of the call of a Pastor and his wife, if applicable, the Board shall ascertain that they are in agreement with the provisions of the constitution and they shall become members of the Body. The Pastor shall be ex-officio member of all committees. The Pastoral call shall be on a permanent basis, subject to a ninety day notice by either the Pastor or by the church if either party wishes to terminate the relationship. A shorter notice period may be employed if both parties agree thereto. The Pastor shall be called by a two-thirds vote of the members. The Pastor shall have three weeks vacation with pay. Any complaint against the pastor tending to affect his leadership of the congregation or his standing in the community must be presented in writing signed by the complainant at an officially called meeting of the Board. The action of the Board, in turn, shall be presented to the congregation, if necessary, and the action of the
congregation shall be final.
2. Assistant/Associate/Youth Pastor
In completion of the call an Assistant/Associate/Youth Pastor, and wife, if applicable, the Board shall ascertain that they are in agreement with the provisions of the constitution and they shall become members of the Body. The Assistant/Associate/Youth Pastor shall be called by a two-thirds vote of the members. The Assistant/Associate/Youth Pastor shall have three weeks vacation with pay. Any complaint against the Assistant/Associate/Youth Pastor tending to affect his leadership of the congregation or his standing in the community must be presented in writing signed by the complainant at an officially called meeting of the Board. The action of the Board, in turn, shall be presented to the congregation, if necessary, and the action of the congregation shall be final.
The Elders will be responsible for the spiritual health of the body and will oversee the spiritual affairs of the church. (Acts 20:17,28 Heb 13:17 I Peter 5:1-4).
In the absence of Elders ,the deacons will assist the Pastor in fulfilling these responsibilities.
The responsibilities of the Elders shall be:
a) Elect from their number a chairman and a secretary.
b) Be devoted to the ministry of prayer and the teaching of God’s Word.
c) Cooperate with and assist the pastor and his staff in the performance of the ministry of Community Bible Chapel.
d) Spiritually oversee a portion of the flock, divided among their number
e) Serve on the church councils to give spiritual direction and accountability back to the board.
f) Oversee the church gr ounds and finances in the absence of deacons
g) Prepare and assist the administration of the ordinances of the church.
h) Assist the pastor in the receiving, restoring, dismissal, and care of members.
i) Elders shall be loyal to the Lord, their family, their church, their pastor, the church constitution, the statement of faith, and the office of elder.
j) The office is an elected position with a lifetime term, except as detailed below.
k) An Elder may be asked to step down should he be negligent in any of the above or with the carrying out of an accusation against him. An accusation must be done according to the Biblical principals of Matt. 18, I Tim 5:19-20. This accusation will be reviewed by the Elder board and if the Elder is dismissed, he will be dismissed publicly before the members.
l) An elder may step down from his office for personal reasons upon the presentation of a formal letter stating his reasons for vacating his office to the elder board. This letter will be kept on file in the church office.
The Deacons shall have charge over all church property and shall authorize payment of all bills of the church. The responsibilities of the Deacons shall be:
a) Serve as trustee’s of Community Bible Chapel.
b) Elect a chairman and secretary from their number.
c) Prepare an annual budget along with a volunteer committee to present to the elders for recommendation, and prepare a final draft to recommend to the church at the annual meeting.
d) The Deacons will have authorization to approve expenditures of up to five hundred dollars without membership approval.
e) The Deacons shall meet with the treasurer and review his record and give a written financial report to the elders monthly and to the church bi-annually. These reports will be filed by the clerk in the church office.
f) Check the financial secretary’s weekly giving totals and the treasurers deposits for consistency.
g) Cooperate with and assist the pastor and his staff in the performance of the ministry of Community Bible Chapel.
h) Oversee the grounds, buildings, and finances of Community Bible Chapel.
i) Oversee the helping fund to be used for needs in the body and also to help those in the community as a witness of the goodness of Jesus Christ.
j) The office of deacon is a one year term, voted on at the annual meeting.
k) Deacons shall be loyal to the Lord, their family, their church, their pastor, the church constitution, the statement of faith, and the office of deacon.
l) Should he be negligent in any of these or at the request of the congregation and a vote of the elders, he shall vacate his office as deacon.
m) A deacon may step down from his office for personal reasons upon the presentation of a formal letter stating his reasons for vacating his office to the elder board. This letter will be kept on file in the church office.
The Trustees shall act as mediators between the church and state according to New York State Law. All the Deacons (or Elders in the absence of Deacons) shall fill this position, and to fulfill the minimum state requirements of three, any other person may be elected.
The responsibilities of the clerk shall be:
To keep an updated membership list showing last known address and date and manner of admission or removal to be kept in the church office.
a) To keep the minutes for official business meetings and to file them in the church office.
b) To obtain official communications concerning church membership.
The Treasurer shall:
a) pay bills authorized by the Board
b) keep official records of all money relieved and disbursed, including proper receipts.
c) Responsible to keep the financial report on file in the church office.
8 Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary will help count offerings and keep a separate record of same, and will have authority to sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer.9 Christian Education Director
The Christian Education Director shall have the responsibilities for ordering Sunday School supplies, generally overseeing staff and curriculum, and shall be under the authority of the Board.
1 A congregational meeting of the church shall be held on a biannual basis.
Notice of the meeting shall be read from the pulpit and appear in the bulletin two consecutive Sundays proceeding the date. The order of meetings shall be as follows:
B. Reading of Minutes
C. Reports of Officers
D. Reports of special Committees
E. Unfinished Business
F. New Business
The Pastor or a member of the Board will be the moderator.
2 Special congregational meetings shall be called at any time when, in the opinion of the Pastor, majority of the official Board, or quorum of the membership, it is expedient. Notice of all special meetings shall be given in any two regularly scheduled meetings.3 The annual congregational meetings of the church shall be held at the first of the biannual meetings, at which time the officers of the church shall be elected by ballot. Concerning the appointment of Elders (including Pastors) and Deacons for Office within the local church, the Holy Spirit should be our guide. The Lord’s Appointment is recognized both by the inward conviction of the individual involved, and by the approval of the church observing the possession of these gifts and graces required by Scripture for the office concerned.
A nominating committee shall be formed at the second biannual meeting by choosing two active members who will serve with two members of the Board. This committee will present at the annual meeting a list of nominations for position of officers to be appointed by the congregation. This committee shall keep in mind Acts 6:3 and I Tim 3:1-15. Nominations shall be posted at least four weeks before the annual meeting.4 All other business shall be decided with a quorum present and by a majority of votes cast, except where otherwise provided in this constitution, or as this constitution may be later properly amended.
5 Quorum – One-third of the voting members, but not less than six shall constitute a quorum at any congregational meeting.
6. In the absence of the Pastor, the Board shall be responsible to form a Pulpit Committee and the chairman of the Board shall act as the moderator of the business meeting.
ARTICLE VI Financial Policy
It shall be the policy of this church to refrain from all means of raising money for the church, both for local current expenses and general benevolence both at home and abroad, by any other than free will offerings This does not mean that we are opposed to social functions, which may be held from time to time for Christian fellowship, or to the taking of offerings for the defraying of expenses connected therewith.
ARTICLE VII Amendments
No Alteration shall be made in any of the foregoing articles, except as herein specified, unless at a regular or special congregational meeting of the church, after notice of the proposed amendment has been given from the pulpit and two-thirds of the membership present and voting. The vote to carry such amendment must be two-thirds of the membership present and voting.
ARTICLE VIII Dissolution
In the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of Community Bible Chapel shall after necessary expenses thereof be distributed to Village Missions as shall qualify under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or to another organization to be used in such manner as in the judgment of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York will best accomplish the general purpose for which this corporation was formed.