"To Thee is due all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen."
We the members of THE CHURCH, A Biblical House of Worship, do ordain and establish the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves:
Article I. NAME AND AFFILIATION
Section 1. The name of this church shall be THE CHURCH, A Biblical House of Worship.
Section 2. THE CHURCH, A Biblical House of Worship shall be an independent, autocephalous Christian assembly founded on the preserved teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
Section 3. THE CHURCH affirms the need for respectful, friendly Separation of Church and State, believing that each local church is a free, self-governing entity. We further believe that every Christian is directly and willingly responsible to God, the Sacred Scriptures, and to the church in matters of faith and practice and that each Christian is free to worship God according to the dictates of conscience.
Article II. PURPOSE
THE CHURCH exists to worship God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, in reverence and unity; in the power of the Holy Spirit, through the singing of psalms, hymns & spiritual songs; in the ordinances: the Lord’s Supper and credobaptism; in fellowship; prayer, acts of charity; and through the sound expositional teaching and preaching of God's Word---the Holy Bible. As God's people, we strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and to share His gospel of sovereign grace with the world (Matthew 28:18-20).
Article III. MEETINGS OF THE CHURCH
Section 1. THE CHURCH shall meet each Lord’s Day (Sunday) for the worship of Almighty God.
Section 2. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed by this church during the first week of each month, which shall be open to baptized believers who are in good standing with the church as evidenced by their consistent Christian witness.
Section 3. Members should make sincere efforts to meet each Lord's Day and for THE CHURCH’s fellowship of prayer on Wednesday Evenings.
Section 4. The regular business meetings of the church shall be held in the second week of January, May, and September. The annual corporate meeting for the election of officers shall occur in the second week of October.
Section 5. It shall be the right and responsibility of the Board of Elders to call all congregational meetings. The Board of Elders shall arrange the details of congregational meetings and ensure that all possible preparations are in place for a unified, orderly, productive gathering.
Section 6. Twelve (12) voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any constitutionally called congregational meeting, not less than four (4) of them shall be men. Furthermore, at least one Elder must be present at every business meeting, and no less than a two-thirds majority of those voting will make a resolution valid.
Section 7. THOSE ENTITLED TO VOTE. All members of legal voting age who are in good standing whose name appears on the church’s REGULAR-ACTIVE Roster (Article IX, Church Membership, Section 2) shall be eligible to vote in elections and business affairs requiring a vote. Members with special needs will be assisted by the Pastor (or any Elder or Deacon) and one member of the Christian Education Committee.
Article IV. MANNER OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS
Section 1. The Pastor / Primary Teaching Elder, shall act as the Moderator at business meetings. He may appoint another Elder or the Chairman of the Board of Deacons as the Moderator.
Section 2. The Moderator shall keep order, state and explain the purpose of the meeting and the items slated for discussion. He shall extend a respectful hearing to any regular active member who is in good standing who wishing to speak. The Moderator shall open and close each business meeting in prayer.
Section 3. The Moderator shall call for the business of the church in the following order:
1. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting 2. Reading of reports of officers and committees 3. Bringing names of the candidates before the church (see Articles IX and X) and initiating action on such candidates. 4. Receiving letters of dismissal 5. Granting letters of dismissal in accordance with Article IX, Section 2. 6. Unfinished business 7. New business
Section 4. The Moderator shall allow no second motion to be considered until the one under discussion has been disposed of. He shall accept motions to amend, postpone, adjourn.
Section 5. Every member wishing to speak shall rise when called on and respectfully address the Moderator.
Section 6. No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject until each member who wishes to speak on that subject has had the opportunity to speak.
Section 7. Upon any point of order, a member may appeal to the Moderator of the Church, whose decision shall be final.
Section 8. All questions not fixed by this Constitution shall be decided by and no less than a two-thirds majority of those voting will make a resolution valid.
Section 9. For anything further in the nature of parliamentary practice, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the authority.
THE CHURCH derives its governance and polity from the only Biblically sanctioned model given to the churches in the New Testament. When the Apostle Paul, by the moving of the Holy Spirit, established churches, he appointed Elders as overseers in these churches (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). These elders were spiritually mature men of good faith and learning who were entrusted by God (and the brethren) with the spiritual oversight, governance, guardianship, development, education, training, and protection of the Christ’s church (I Peter 4:11; Ephesians 4:11-16).
Any man desiring the office of an Elder must evidence the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9.
Manner of Call and Election of Elders
Section 1. Presiding Elders initiate the process of electing Elders. Presiding Elders may consider recommending to the Nominating Committee, any biblically qualified man of legal voting age, who is a regular active church member in good standing, who aspires to the office of elder. Once the Elder Board unanimously agrees that the Elder-candidate is qualified for the office, they shall submit his name to the Nominating Committee for further review. The Nominating Committee shall appeal to the Scriptures alone to verify the candidate’s credentials and to the Constitution to confirm protocol has been followed.
After confirmation from the Nominating Committee, the Pastor shall present the candidate to the congregation for a vote, giving a voice to the people from among our number. The Elder-candidate shall be confirmed by a vote of no less than three-fourths of the members who are present for a vote at a specially called meeting for that purpose only. Members will be given two weeks public notice before a vote.
Vocational Duties and Responsibilities of Elders
Section 2. Elders shall exercise the oversight of the church in all its ministries and functions, thus, like the pastor, Elders are ex officio members and overseers of each church board and committee (Acts 6:1–7; 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17–22; Hebrews 13:17). Elders shall execute the church’s training program for church officers. Elders shall be accountable to God, the Scriptures, the Elder Board, THE CHURCH’s Doctrinal Statement, and Constitution.
Section 3. Ordination and Installation of Elders (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:22). Following the final recognition of an Elder-candidate by the Board of Elders, the Nominating Committee, and the church, a portion of a regular worship service shall be set aside to commit the new Elder to the Lord. The newly confirmed Elder shall be ordained and committed to the Lord by the prayers of the whole church and the laying on of hands of all active, fasting Elders.
The Term of Office: Indefinite. The office of Elder, Pastor-teacher is permanent provided he remains a regular active member in good standing, perseveres in the Biblical qualifications of an Elder, continues to espouse the church’s doctrinal statement, and upholds the church’s Constitution. As with any ordination of a church officer to the ministry, an Officer Installation Banquet will follow the public ceremony.
Removal of Office Bearers (Elders)
Section 4. An office bearer may be removed from office should he neglect or violate any of the conditions affixed to The Term of Office, in Article V, Section IV, of this Constitution.
If an accusation is made against an office bearer, the church is to follow the directions of 1 Timothy 5:19-21. The Elders must approach such a matter prayerfully, with great caution, decisiveness, and impartiality. An Elder unable to fulfill his commitments for any reason (e.g., unavailability, health issues, etc.), should graciously and voluntarily relinquish his office. Such sequestration must be ratified by the church by two-thirds vote.
Pastors are Elders in the church and under-shepherds of Christ, called by God to serve the church as overseers, leaders, and teachers. Any man desiring the office of an Pastor must evidence the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9.
Manner of Call
Section 6. In the case of a vacancy of the Primary Teaching Elder (i.e., the Pastor-Teacher), the presiding elders will do diligent research to qualify an Elder to replace him. The Elders shall submit the qualified candidate to the Pulpit Committee for assessment. The Pulpit Committee will appeal to the Scriptures alone to verify the elders’ findings of the candidate’s credentials and will consult the Constitution to confirm protocol has been followed. If the Elders and the Pulpit Committee unanimously agreed to employ the man to be the next Pastor-teacher of THE CHURCH, the Nominating Committee shall issue the candidate a call to the pastorate of this church after receiving three-fourths vote of the members present at a specially called meeting for that purpose only. Members will be given two weeks public notice before a vote.
The Term of Office: Indefinite. The office of Elder, Pastor-teacher is permanent provided he perseveres in the Biblical qualifications of an Elder. He must remain a regular active member in good standing, persevere in the Biblical qualifications of an Elder, continue to espouse the church’s doctrinal statement, and uphold THE CHURCH's Constitution. THE CHURCH shall celebrate their new pastor with a public installation service and an Installation Banquet at a time convenient to the church membership.
Shepherd Christ’s Sheep. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof” (1 Peter 5:2a) (also see John 21:15-16; Acts 20:28).
Teach Christ’s Sheep. An elder must be “an able teacher” (1 Timothy 3:2; see 5:17). He must hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Titus 1:9)
Lead Christ’s Sheep. Just as shepherds lead their flocks, so elders lead local congregations, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Model Christ. Elders lead by example. Shepherd the church “not [by] lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). An elder must then live as Paul lived; “Imitate me as I also imitate Christ.” (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Pray. Finally, Elders should take up the apostolic shepherding mantle and commit themselves, “. . . continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4)
PRIMARY TEACHING Elder, The Pastor (additional responsibilities)
Planning and oversight of worship services; prepare and deliver sermons; oversee and lead in the observance of the ordinances.
Lead the church in planning, coordinating, and evaluating the total program of the church.
Oversee church officers, church boards, and committees as they perform their assigned duties.
Establish a training program for Elders and Deacons.
Serve as overseer and administrator of the paid staff and supervise their work for quality assurance.
Visit members and communicate with them through phone and email
Conduct counseling sessions, perform wedding ceremonies for members, and officiate funerals for members.
The Pastor may perform weddings and funerals for those outside the church only with the approval of the Elder Board.
The Pastor, like all Elders, is an ex officio member of each board and committee.
Minister of Music
Section 9. The Minister of Music in THE CHURCH shall be an Elder in this church who oversees the music ministry and the music of the church. A man aspiring to the Office of Minister of Music must be an active churchman in good standing, of legal voting age, who meets the Biblical qualifications of an Elder. He must be an accomplished musician, skillful on the piano, literate in music theory and notation, with a working knowledge of the history of sacred music in the old and new covenant church.
Responsibilities: The Minister of Music shall teach and shepherd God’s people through music and ensure that all worship music at THE CHURCH is reverent, theologically sound, and vibrant. Accordingly, he shall give heed to the whole counsel of God concerning music in worship (2 Chronicles 5:13; Psalms 148-150), with particular interest in the directives God gave to St. Paul in Ephesians 5:19-20 and Colossians 3:16.
The Minister of Music shall work directly with the Primary Teaching Elder (or the Elder speaking that week) to ensure the worship music parallels the sermon of the Word. The Minister of Music shall work directly with the Primary Teaching Elder in selecting music for regular and special worship services – including weddings, funerals, and special projects.
The same Constitutional guidelines that apply to Elders shall apply to the Minister of Music with reference to the above-mentioned, Manner of Call and Election, Qualifications, Ordination and Installation, Term of Office, Removal from office. The Minister of Music shall be accountable to God, the Scriptures, the Elder Board, THE CHURCH’s Doctrinal Statement, and Constitution.
Article V. OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH - DEACONS
Deacons are humble servants in Christ’s Church and called by God to serve God’s people in a variety of ways. Although deacons are not the congregation’s spiritual leaders, their Christian character, and witness are of utmost importance in the life of the church. For this reason, the Elders and the church must examine the deacon aspirants to ensure they meet the biblical qualifications for deacons. Deacons must evidence the qualifications of the office set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13.
Manner of Call and Election of DEACONS
Section 10. Presiding Elders initiate the process of electing Deacons. Presiding Elders may recommend any Biblically qualified man of legal voting age, who is an active churchman in good standing, who aspires to the office of Deacon. Once the Elder Board unanimously agrees that the candidate is qualified for the office, they shall then present the man’s name to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall appeal to the Scriptures alone to verify the elders’ findings of the candidate’s credentials and to the Constitution to confirm protocol has been followed. Once the Nominating Committee confirms him, the pastor shall present the Deacon candidate to the congregation for a vote, giving a voice to the people from among our number. The candidate shall be confirmed by a vote of no less than three-fourths of the members who are present for a vote at a specially called meeting for that purpose only. Members will be given two weeks public notice before a vote.
DUTIES OF THE DEACON
Section 11. Deacons shall be responsible for all church affairs not related to governing, teaching, and shepherding.
Such duties shall include:
Managing the church properties. This would include making sure the sanctuary is prepared for the worship service, cleaning up, or running and maintain the sound system, etc. Similar to what took place in Acts 6:1–6, with the daily distribution to the widows; the deacons may be involved in administrating funds or other assistance to the needy in order that the elders can attend to the spiritual aspects of ministry (Acts 6:3-4). While the elders will oversee the financial business of the church (Acts 11:30), the deacons will see to the day-to-day matters. This would include collecting and counting the offering, keeping records, etc.
The deacons could be responsible for distributing bulletins, seating the congregation, assisting handicap members and guests. Deacons should be available to help in a variety of ways so that the Elders are able to concentrate on teaching and shepherding the church.
Preparing and distributing the bread and fruit of the vine at the Lord’s Supper and preparing all arrangements for the ordinance of baptism.
Keeping accurate membership rolls and submits the rolls to the Elders prior to the Annual Congregational Meeting.
Membership rolls will be updated during the month of January.
Deacon’s meetings must have a majority of deacons present to constitute a quorum.
Ordination and Installation of DEACONS
Section 12. Following the final recognition of a Deacon by the Board of Elders, the Nominating Committee, and the church shall set aside a portion of a regular worship service to commit the new Deacon to the Lord, in Whom he has put his trust.
The newly confirmed Deacon will be ordained and committed to the Lord by the prayers of the Elders and the whole church by the laying on of hands of all active Elders.
Deacons shall be accountable to God, the Scriptures, the Elder Board, First Baptist Church of Port Jervis’ Doctrinal Statement, and Constitution.
TERM LIMITS FOR DEACONS
Section 13. Deacons shall serve one, three-year term. Deacons in good standing may hold their office for two consecutive terms (or portions thereof), up to six years, after which they must be off the board for a minimum of 12 consecutive months before being re-eligible. Deacons will mentor Christian men to be their replacements at the end of their term(s). If these men meet the biblical qualification of a Deacon, they shall recommend these men to the Elders for ordination to the Office of Deacon.
Section 14. Removal of Office Bearers (Deacons) An office bearer may be removed from office should he neglect his duties, be guilty of sinful behavior, fall into error, or adopts views contrary to our doctrinal statement and Constitution. If an accusation is made against an office bearer, the Elders must approach such a matter prayerfully, with great caution, decisiveness, and impartiality.
A Deacon unable to fulfill his commitments (e.g., through unavailability, health issues, etc.), should graciously and voluntarily relinquish his office. Such retirement must be ratified by the church by two-thirds vote.
Article VI. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Section 1. GENERAL STATEMENT In order to be responsible with God’s resources before the Laws of the State of New York, and to facilitate the discharge of corporate responsibilities, our Articles of Incorporation require that Trustees be elected by the church.
Section 2. MEMBERSHIP AND ELECTION The Board of Trustees shall consist of no more than three members and one-third of the members of the Board of Trustees shall be elected by two-thirds majority at each Annual Congregational Meeting for a term of three years, and each member so elected shall hold office until a successor shall be elected and qualified. Trustees shall serve one, three-year term.
Trustees in good standing may hold office for two consecutive terms (or portions thereof), up to six years, after which they must be off the board for a minimum of 12 consecutive months before being eligible again.
FUNCTION—The Elders shall call upon the Trustees to execute whatever legal and business transactions peculiarly designated to them by the Laws of the State.
Trustees may be called on to assist the deacons in collecting and counting weekly offerings.
Trustees will mentor active members in good standing to serve as their replacements at the end of their term(s). In case of a vacancy in the Board of Trustees, a successor shall be appointed by the Official Board and shall serve for the unexpired term of his predecessor. Article VII OFFICIAL BOARD
Section 1. FUNCTION The governing of the church and the conducting of its business, the management and control of its property, real and personal, and the general supervision of its work shall, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, be vested in the Official Board.
Section 2. MEMBERS The official board shall consist of the Pastor(s), Elder(s), and Deacon(s). The Pastor shall act as chairman. The Board shall choose one of its members to act as Vice Chairman and another as Recording Secretary. Should there be more than one Pastor, the Board shall choose one Pastor as Chairman and another Pastor as Vice Chairman.
Section 3. MEETINGS The Board shall meet no less than four times a year and then as often as needed to discuss and complete the general business of the church.
Article VIII. COMMITTEES OF THE CHURCH
While the Bible does not mention church committees, they can serve an important role in the life of the church.
Section 1. MISSIONARY--EVANGELISM OUTREACH COMMITTEE Duties The Board of Elders shall appoint the Missionary-Evangelism Outreach Committee, to participate in the evangelistic objectives and goals of the church. The Missionary-Evangelism Committee shall execute the missionary objectives and goals of the church as approved by the Elders. Missionary-Evangelism Committee shall be concerned with local, domestic, and overseas missions. The Missionary-Evangelism Committee shall choose a missions chair, which will be of equal authority with other members, who is a proven servant and administrator and who has a growing understanding of and burden for missions.
The Missionary-Evangelism Committee shall develop a budget to present to the elders.
This budget should include essential cost-of-living adjustments for those on the field (if applicable).
The budget plan should also include a contingency fund for emergencies and special opportunities.
The Missionary-Evangelism Committee shall assign a coordinator for each missionary in the field.
It is desirable that Missionary Committee members have a burden for the lost and a passion to reach them with the saving love of Jesus.
Section 2. FINANCE COMMITTEE
Duties The Finance Committee shall be comprised of five members who shall be responsible for coordinating and preparing the annual budget for presentation to the Board, prior to the presentation at the annual business meeting. The Finance Committee shall inspect the books and be responsible for assuring the printing of all reports for distribution to the congregation at regular business meetings.
The Board of Elders shall appoint the Finance Committee, to participate in the financial objectives and goals of the church. The Pastor, The Chairman of the Board of Deacons, The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Financial Secretary, and the Treasurer of the Church shall all be ex officio members of this committee.
Finance Committee Membership It is desirable that Finance Committee members have a working understanding of mathematics, business, and basic economics. The Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall act as chair at these meetings.
Section 3. NOMINATING COMMITTEE Duties The Board of Elders shall appoint the Nominating Committee, to be voted on by the congregation at the May congregational meeting. The Nominating Committee shall execute the objectives and goals of the church when nominations for Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and committees arise.
The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for executing the investigations into the qualifications of officer candidates (Elders, Deacons) they have received from the Elders, who have already assessed the candidates. The Nominating Committee shall examine the officer candidate’s resume’ and pertinent documents against the Scriptures to determine his fitness for the office, and give a recommendation back to the Elder Board.
When examining candidates for committees and Trustees, Romans chapter 12, and Galatians 5:22-23, should be considered an objective standard of character. The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the Elders the names of active members in good standing to fill any vacancies on the committees.
Nominating Committee MEMBERSHIP A Nominating Committee consisting of at least five (5) representative members of the church shall review all nominations and determine each nominee’s qualifications. Members of the Nominating Committee may be nominees, but no committee member shall nominate himself.
Article IX. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Requirements The first requirements for membership at THE CHURCH, A Biblical House of Worship, are an active, growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and a deep interest in advancing Christ’s work in this church. All seeking membership will sit in on a brief, initial session with the pastor called, "Our Covenant Community." This session will help new candidates learn how our church family functions and ministers on all levels.
Section 2. CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
REGULAR-ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP—All who are received into the membership of the church on the conditions mentioned in this Constitution shall be considered regular active members in good standing until such status is adjusted by one of the conditions set forth in this Constitution.
REGULAR-INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP—All who have been received into the membership of the church and are in good standing apart from absences that are beyond their control (e.g., chronic illness, military deployment, missionary trips, shut-ins, etc.) shall be moved to the REGULAR-INACTIVE Rolls. Voting privileges shall be retained by those on this roster who may vote via a signed, mail-in absentee ballot submitted on (or before) the date of the vote. Members whose names appear on this roll for a period of six months shall be reassessed by the Elders who shall submit their name for retention or removal upon two-thirds approval of congregation.
IRREGULAR INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP—All members who habitually miss meetings of the church shall be placed on the IRREGULAR-INACTIVE Roll. Members who have informed the Elders that they are leaving the church shall be placed on the IRREGULAR-INACTIVE Roll. Those in the process of leaving the church surrender the voting privileges that accompany and REGULAR-INACTIVE membership. These members’ names shall remain on this roll for a period of three months, at which time, if they reaffirm their intentions to leave the church, the Elders shall submit their name for removal from all church rolls upon two-thirds approval of congregation.
DISCIPLINARY MEMBERSHIP—All who have been received into the membership of the church and are NOT in good standing due to sin or repeated, unjustified neglect of their covenant responsibilities to the church, shall be placed on the Disciplinary-Inactive rolls. Members on the Disciplinary-Inactive rolls are not eligible to vote in the church neither are they eligible to receive communion at the Lord Table. This member’s name shall remain on this roll for a period of three months, giving them time for contrition, repentance, and full restoration to fellowship and REGULAR-ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP.
If after three months, the wayward member remains unrepentant, affirming their intentions to leave the church, the Elders shall submit their name for removal of all church rolls upon two-thirds approval of congregation. A letter of dismissal will be sent to that individual.
Section 3. PATHS TO MEMBERSHIP For those who are new to the faith, having accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we welcome them to our seven-session discipleship class that shares the basics of the faith. These classes are highly interactive and relational in its approach as the essential Christian doctrines---Salvation, The Trinity, The Doctrines of Grace, The Scriptures, Christian Love, Christian Giving, and Christ-like forgiveness, and other topics. Those completing the discipleship classes and desiring Baptism will then share in a one-session Baptism class in preparation for Baptism.
Transfer of Membership - For those who are coming to THE CHURCH from another Christian church with similar beliefs, we seek a transfer of membership from the leadership of the previous congregation.
Once these required foundations are completed, The Moderator, at a scheduled business meeting, shall bring the names of all seeking membership and taking action on such candidates. Upon two-thirds approval of the congregation, new members will be formally welcomed into the church.
Article X. CHURCH DISCIPLINE
The discipline of the church shall be exercised according to the following principles:
Section 1. MODE OF DEALING WITH DISORDERLY MEMBER If a member of the church shall be known or reported to be publicly guilty of any crime, gross impropriety, or hold a heretical doctrine, a member hearing the report or knowing of such a transgression, after taking judicious steps to ascertain its correctness, may report to the Elders and the Chairman of the Board of Deacons through whom the accused will be given an opportunity to appear in his or her own defense.
Section 2. CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE Corrective discipline implies a need for loving, decisive Pastoral intervention to quell disorderly conduct or heretical doctrines that will quickly threaten the strength, peace, and unity of the church. Reasonable efforts shall be made to clear up difficulties and remove offenses before any official action is taken. No offense shall be brought before the church until the instructions of Christ have first been followed (Matthew 5:23, 24; 18:15, 16). Corrective discipline seeks the glory of God, the welfare and purity of the church, and the spiritual restoration of the offender.
Section 3. RESTORATION TO 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 (Matthew 18:16-17). The Apostolic church also restored such people who gave satisfactory evidence of being penitent (2 Corinthians 2:6-8). The congregation shall have the authority to restore the repentant member to full membership by a 2/3 vote of the members present and voting.
Article XI. HUMAN SEXUALITY
The Bible teaches that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within the bounds of marriage and that all other sexual activity is sin, hence, THE CHURCH opposes all forms of sexual immorality including, but not limited to, fornication, homosexuality, so-called same- sex marriage, polygamy, polyamory, incest, bestiality, gender reassignment, and cohabitation. (Genesis 2:20-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-15; Hebrews 13:4).
Section 1. Defining Marriage. In keeping with our constitution and the ethics long held by the church, we believe Scriptures define marriageas a covenantal union between one man and one woman. This means that marriage is the only legitimate and acceptable sexual relationship. We deny that the state has the authority to impose a definition of marriage that is in direct violation to the teaching of Scripture.
Section 2. Weddings. We reserve the right to host and perform wedding ceremonies only for those who are members of our church and/or willing to submit to the policies of the church as they relate to marriage. Accordingly, this church, its pastors, staff and members, shall not participate in same-sex unions or same-sex marriages, nor shall any of its properties or resources be used for such purposes.
Article XIV. FINANCES OF THE CHURCH As a church, we shall operate our financial program under a system called The Unified Budget.
Section 1. Each member, in uniting with the church, is by that act, is considered responsible for a just portion of the expenses of the church, in order that the burden may be equalized.
Section 2. The Deacon and Trustee Boards shall render to the Elder Board and the church through the Treasurer, quarterly and annually, reports of the conditions of the church finances.
Section 3. Preceding the first of each fiscal year, the Deacon and Trustee Boards shall submit a statement or budget to the Elder Board and the church showing the estimated amount required for the expenses for the church for the ensuing year.
Section 4. Preceding the first of each fiscal year, every member of the church shall be contacted to encourage contribution for the church budget for the ensuing year. The Chairman of the Board of Deacons, who may delegate this task to the Chairman of the Finance Committee or to a Trustee, shall make this contact.
Section 5. The fiscal year of this church shall begin January 1st and end the last day of December.
Section 6. All organizations assisting in the current expenses of the church or in the improvement of church property shall first secure approval of the Elders and the Deacons and shall make payments through the Church Treasurer. The Trustees should be made aware of these expenses.
Section 7. Acknowledging that the Biblical method of financing the work of the Gospel is voluntarily giving as the Lord has prospered, no method shall be used by the church or any organization of the church or by any members in behalf of the church that commercializes giving (i.e., paid church suppers, food sales, rummage sales, or the sale of any products).
Article XIII. PROCEDURE FOR ALTERING, AMENDING, OR SUSPENDING ARTICLES OR SECTIONS OF THIS CONSTITUTION
Section 1. Changes to any Amendment or Section of this Constitution may be adopted and applied by a three-fourths vote of the eligible voting members at any regular or a special meeting called for this purpose, provided notice of such changes to the Constitution has been distributed in written form to the membership at least two weeks prior to such meeting.
THE CHURCH A Biblical House of Worship
AMENDMENT I More than three-fourths of the active members in good standing, present and voting, updated our existing Constitution and eagerly embraced and ratified this Constitution, on this day, 30 July 2017, in the Year of our Lord.
AMENDMENT II Our Constitution was amended by more than three-fourths of the active members in good standing, present and voting, who agreed to change the name of our assembly from First Baptist Church of Port Jervis, to THE CHURCH, A Biblical House of Worship, on this day, 01 July 2018, in the Year of our Lord.