So that things may be done decently and in order in accordance with the accepted tenets of other Churches of like precious faith, and that we may more readily help each other in our Christian services, we declare and establish this constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1 – NAME
This congregation of believers shall be known as Harvest Baptist Church.
SECTION 2 – PURPOSE
This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law). This shall be including, but not limited to, such purposes as the establishment and maintenance of religious worship, establishment and maintenance of the building(s), maintenance and operation of churches, and any other ministries that Harvest Baptist Church may be led of God to establish.
Harvest Baptist Church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry; evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scriptures, both in Sunday and weekday services. Also support missionary activities in the United States and any other foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that Harvest Baptist Church may decide, from time to time, to pursue in obedience to the will of God.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION 1 – STATEMENT OF FAITH
A. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the bible shall be the official translation used by the Church for worship and teaching (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules for life, which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the Kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; Cor. 3:19; Gal.3:13-25; Eph. 1:10, 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25; Rev. 20:2-6).
C. The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three Persons. They are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—Each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections with different missions (Gen. 1:1, 11:6-7; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1-3, 1:14, 4:24, 14:10, 14:26, 15:26, 16:14; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 John 5:7).
D. The Person and Work of Christ
1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God. Having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 7:25, 9:24; Rom. 8:34; John 2:1-2).
E. The Person and work of the Holy Spirit
1. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-14, 15:26, Rom. 8:9-11, 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6, Eph. 1:13-14).
2. We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who helps believers understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18; John 2:21-27).
3. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
4. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-25; 2 Cor. 5:7).
F. The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. That in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:10, 22-23, 5:12, 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19; 1 John 1:8-10).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10; Heb. 11:6; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
H. The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
1. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
2. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; Heb. 12:2; 1 Pet. 1:4-5).
I. The Church
1. We believe that the local Church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again believers (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27).
2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local Churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
3. We believe in the autonomy of the local Church free of any external authority or control (Acts13: 1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
4. We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the Church in this age (Matt. 3:16, 26:26-29, 28:19-20; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-38, 18:18; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:20-34).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2, 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14, 7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
K. The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope”, the personal imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which is promised to the nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus. 2:13; Rev. 3:10-11, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).
L. Eternal State
1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men; the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Rev: 20:5-6, 12-13).
2. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23, 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
M. The Personality of Satan
We believe that satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the fall of man. That he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Gen. 3:14-15; Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-20; Eze. 28:14-17; Matt. 4:1-11, 25:41; Luke 10:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, 6:12; Jude 8-10; Rev. 12:4, 20:10).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution and all other unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
O. Civil Government
We Believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the Church; 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph: 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
P. Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
Q. Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life, and is therefore murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
We believe that God has given the Church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
T. Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local Church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20, 28:22; Prov. 3:9-10; Mal. 3:8-11; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1John 3:17).
SECTION 2 – AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members
SECTION 3 – COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Sprit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another as one body of Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Sprit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, expenses of the church, relief of the poor, and spread of the Gospel to all nations.
We engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to be free from all oath-bound secret societies and partnerships with unbelievers; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, remember each other in prayer, aid each other in sickness and distress, cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech, be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior and to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible, unite with some Church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
SECTION 1 – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
After an interview with the pastor or the deacons, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in, and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and:
- Upon a majority vote of the members present at any Church service or meeting; and
- Who renounce sin;
- Who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord;
- Who fully subscribe to the statement of faith contained herein;
- Who enter into the Church covenant contained herein; and upon compliance with any of the following conditions:
A. By Baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior; or
B. By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing Church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior Church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith; or
C. By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion; or
D. By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the Church membership of the sin or sins involved, and satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the pastor (or deacons if the office of pastor is vacant).
SECTION 2 – DUTIES OF A MEMBER
On becoming a member of this Church, in addition to the covenant contained in Article II, Section 3, each one further covenants to love, honor and esteem the pastor and:
- To pray for him;
- To recognize his authority in the spiritual affairs of the Church;
- To cherish a brotherly love for all members of the Church;
- To support the Church in prayer, time, tithes, offerings and other financial support as the Lord enables; and, in accordance with Biblical commands, to support through a life-style walk affirmation of the beliefs and practices of the Church.
SECTION 3 – PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP
This congregation functions, not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the pastor as the under shepherd with counsel of the deacons. Membership in this Church does not afford those individuals with any property, contract, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Determination of the internal affairs of this Church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the Church’s own rules and procedures. The pastor shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this Church. The deacons shall give counsel and assistance to the pastor. The membership of the Church has limited areas of exercising a vote. Members may not vote to initiate any Church action, but rather the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the Church as determined be the pastor and the Church board.
SECTION 4 – DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER
A. There shall be a disciplinary committee consisting of the pastor and the deacons. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the statement of faith and violations of the Church covenant. If the pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the disciplinary committee. He shall be entitled to the same steps as other Church members and be subject to the same discipline.
B. Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes he should first examine himself. When he goes he should go with a spirit of humility and the goal of restoration.
C. If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a deacon or the pastor is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self- examination, and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.
D. If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections B and C of this Section 4 have been taken, the disciplinary committee, as the church representatives biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the disciplinary committee, the disciplinary committee shall recommend to the members of the Church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.
E. If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections B, C, and D of this Section 4 have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the Church upon a majority vote of the membership present at a meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
F. No matter may heard by the disciplinary committee or the Church unless the steps outlined in subsections B,.C and D of this Section 4. have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
G. If an unrepentant, offending party is removed from the Church membership, all contact with him from that point forward must be for the sake of restoration (except family members).
SECTION 5 – TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP
Members, not under the disciplining process of Section 4, may request that letters of transfer be sent to another Church.
SECTION 6 – TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A. The membership of any individual member shall be automatically terminated, without notice, if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the Church in the preceding sixty days. This provision for the termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the pastor.
B. No member of this Church may hold concurrent membership in another Church. If any member unites in membership with another Church, that person is automatically terminated, without notice, from membership in this Church.
C. A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such resignation, except at the discretion of the pastor.
SECTION 1 – CHURCH OFFICERS
The Church officers are pastor (see Article V, Section 1), deacon (see Article V, Section 2), trustee (see Article V Section 3), minister of records (see Article V, Section 4), Minister of finance (see Article V, Section 5), minister of Sunday School (see Article V, Section 6), and minister of hospitality (see Article V, Section 7). One person may hold two or more offices, except that of pastor. The pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other Church officers, subject to a committee vote of the Church membership.
SECTION 2 – DESIGNATION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS
As an accommodation to the legal relationships outside the Church;
- The pastor shall serve as president of the corporation;
- The minister of records shall serve as secretary of the corporation;
- The minister of finances shall serve as treasurer of the corporation;
- The chairman of the Church board shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 3 – ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE
A. All Church officers shall affirm their agreement with the statement of faith (as set forth in Article II) annually in the presence of each other.
B. All Church officers must be approved initially and thereafter annually by the pastor in order for them to commence or continue in their offices.
C. Only Church members are eligible for election or appointment to any office or position.
SECTION 4 – TERMS OF OFFICE
The length of terms of office shall be as follows:
A. The relationship between the pastor and the Church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of one month’s notice, or less by mutual consent. The severance of the relationship between the pastor and the Church may be considered at any Church administration meeting provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the Church two Sundays prior to said Church administration meeting. A three-fourths majority of the members present and voting shall be required to decide the matter. Disciplinary removal of the pastor from office automatically terminates his membership. A restoration after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements of Article II, Section 1.D.
B. The term of service for all officers and positions in the Church, except the pastor and deacons, shall be one year, at the expiration of which they may be re-elected or appointed.
C. A vacancy occurring in any office or on the board, except in the case of the pastor or a deacon, may filled at any regular Church administration meeting, providing the requirements listed in Section 3 of this Article have been fulfilled.
D. All elected and appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until successors are duly elected and or appointed.
SECTION 5 – ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The annual election of officers by the Church membership shall occur during the month of December at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 6 – PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF
A. Subject to the approval of the Church membership and on the condition that they shall become a member of the Church upon assuming their duties, the pastor, with the approval of the Church board, may hire associates and assistants to assist the pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
B. All Church staff, whether paid or volunteers, shall be under the supervision of the pastor who has the authority to hire, appoint or dismiss the same after consulting with the Church board.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 – THE PASTOR
A. The pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the Church, act as moderator at all Church meetings for the transaction of Church matters, supervise the teaching ministries of the Church and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
B. The Pastor shall approve members for the various committees at Church administration meetings. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall publicly inform all newly elected officers of the particular function and the responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the Church and perform such other duties as generally pertain to such a position. The pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry that God has given him.
SECTION 2 – THE DEACONS
The deacons shall assist the pastor in promoting the spiritual welfare of the Church, in conducting the religious services, and in performing all other work of the Church. They shall make provisions for the observance of the ordinances of the Church. They shall, if requested by the pastor, consider applications for Church membership. They shall assist the pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the Church. They shall provide the pulpit supply and act as leaders for Church meetings if the office of pastor is vacant. The deacons shall assist the pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the Church’s various ministries. The Church shall maintain a minimum of four deacons.
SECTION 3 – THE TRUSTEES
Any two or three officers of the Church, or any other faithful member of the congregation, other than the pastor or his associates, after pastoral approval and a majority vote of the members present at any Church administration meeting, shall be designated as an officer of the Church and as a trustee. The trustees shall exercise only the following specific powers:
A. To purchase, hold, lease or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and to take real and personal property by will, gift or bequest on behalf of the Church, including the following:
1 - To sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange or otherwise dispose of real or personal property of the Church;
2 - To mortgage, pledge or otherwise encumber the real or personal property of the Church;
3 - To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and use of the Church;
4 - To cause to be executed, issued and delivered for the indebtedness in the name of the Church promissory notes, bonds, debentures or other evidence of indebtedness;
5 - To secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgage or pledges on behalf of the Church.
B. To exercise all powers necessary to administer and maintain the buildings, land and appurtenances of the Church; to include maintenance, improvement, replacement and stocking of supplies and equipment necessary to such administration and maintenance.
C. To exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church corporation, if such action is mandated by a two-thirds majority vote of the Church membership.
SECTION 4 – THE MINISTER OF RECORDS
The minister of records shall keep a record of church proceedings and the following:
A. Of the membership roll;
B. Of all baptisms;
C. Of certificates of ordination, licenses and commissions as directed by the Church;
D. Preserve all documents, papers and letters coming into his hands during his term of office;
E. All records will be surrendered at the expiration of his term of office. All surrendered records are to be kept in the Church office;
F. He shall keep an account of any special events in the life of the Church which are of historical interest and shall give a report at the annual administration meeting of the status of the Church membership roll in the past year;
G. The minister of records shall also serve as the secretary of the corporation.
SECTION 5 – THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
The minister of finance shall perform the following:
A. Account for all funds contributed to the Church;
B. Disburse the same as ordered by the Church;
C. Present a written report of financial transactions at the regular quarterly Church administration meetings;
D. Make a general report for the year at the annual Church administration meeting. All expenditures of the Church except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements shall be paid by check;
E. Serve as treasurer of the corporation.
SECTION 6 – THE MINISTER OF SUNDAY SCHOOL
The minister of Sunday school shall perform the following;
A. Supervise the Sunday school;
B. In consultation with the pastor, recommend the appointment of the teachers of the Sunday school;
C. Preside at the teachers’ meetings and report on the condition of the Sunday school at the annual Church meeting.
SECTION 7 – THE MINISTER OF HOSPITALITY
The minister of hospitality, in cooperation with the pastor, shall appoint a sufficient number of assistants to care for the work of ushering. He shall extend the official hospitality of the Church to its members and visitors.
SECTION 8 – ASSOCIATE PASTORS
Under the direction and guidance of the pastor, the associate pastors of the Church shall assist the pastor in carrying out the ministries of the Church.
SECTION 9 – DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS
A. All officers shall surrender any records in their possession to the minister of records at the close of their term of office, to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the Church. The records pertaining to financial contributions are an exception and shall remain in the custody of the minister of finance. All surrendered records are the property of the Church and must be kept in the Church office.
B. Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the constitution for a period of three months may be removed from his office, and another may be appointed by the pastor, with the consent of the deacons, to serve the remainder of the term.
SECTION 10 - THE CHURCH BOARD
A. The officers listed in Sections 2 through 8 of this Article shall minister by serving on the Church board.
B. The Church board shall constitute the board of trustees of the corporation.
C. Immediately following the annual Church administration meeting, the Church board shall assemble and elect from their own number, a chairman, vice chairman, and a secretary.
SECTION 11 – INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS
A public installation service in which all newly elected officers of the Church are to be dedicated to their respective offices and the ordination of newly elected deacons shall be held at a public Church service following their election at the annual Church administration meeting.
SECTION 1 – MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP
Unless otherwise determined by the pastor, the Church shall meet each Sunday for public worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer. Except when circumstances forbid it, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least quarterly.
SECTION 2 – MEETINGS FOR CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
A quarterly Church administration meeting shall be held on the third Sunday evening of each quarter, at which time the regular Church administration shall be considered. A quorum shall consist of the members present. During the annual September meeting, the church shall set a date for the annual election of church officers in December of that same year.
SECTION 3 – SPECIAL MEETINGS
A. The pastor (or deacons if the office of pastor is vacant or the pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action) may call a special meeting by doing the following:
1. Giving notice of such a meeting;
2. Announce the purpose for which the meeting is called from the pulpit at least one Sunday and not less than one week prior to the meeting;
3. The pulpit committee at any regular Church meeting may call a meeting for the election of a pastor at least two weeks in advance.
B. Bible conferences, missionary conferences and revivals may be scheduled as the pastor and deacons deem beneficial.
SECTION 4 – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
The pastor and the Church board must authorize any expenditure not authorized in the regular annual budget.
SECTION 1 – ORDINATION QUALIFICATION
Any member of this Church or its mission Churches, who gives evidence of a genuine call of God into the work of the ministry and possesses the qualifications stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.
SECTION 2 – ORDINATION PROCEDURE
A. Upon a conference with the pastor, and after the pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualifications of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith invited to participate in the examination of the candidate.
B. If the council finds the candidate worthy of the ordination, the ordination council may ordain the candidate on behalf of the Church.
C. The pastor and deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
SECTION 1 – PRIVATE INUREMENT
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons. The Church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for the services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article I, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 – POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Church shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
SECTION 3 – DISSOLUTION
Upon the dissolution of the Church the trustees shall:
A. First pay or make provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Church.
B. Dispose of all remaining assets of the Church to organizations formed and operated exclusively for religious purposes under Section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law as amended) as the trustees shall determine.
C. Insure the Church assets be distributed only to organizations which substantially agree with the Church’s statement of faith.
SECTION 4 – RACIAL NONDISCRIMINATION
The Church shall have a nondiscrimination policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants or others on the basis of race, color or national or ethnic origin.
From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious or charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject of the exclusive control and discretion of the pastor and the Church board. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article I, Section 2.
This constitution may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular Church administration meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing and announced from the pulpit fourteen (14) days before the vote is taken.
This constitution was adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at a duly called meeting of the Church in which a quorum was present.
This constitution and bylaws supersedes any other constitution and/or bylaws of Harvest Baptist Church, whether written or oral in nature.
Date Minister of Records
Dated December 8, 1995 Signed Donald R. Peters
Each member of the Church, at least sixteen (16) years of age, shall be entitled to vote on all matters.
All Church administration meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer for divine guidance and blessing.
All appointments for public worship and Bible study and the arrangements thereof, including time and place, and the use of the property belonging to the Church for purposes other than the stated appointments shall be under the control of the pastor and the chairman of the Church board.
The date of the annual Church administration meeting shall be determined at the quarterly Church administration meeting in September of each year.
All literature used in the Church shall be in complete agreement with the statement of faith.
The following order shall be observed at the regular Church administration meeting:
A. Devotions and prayer;
B. Reading of minutes;
C. Reception of members;
D. Dismissal of members;
E. Report of officers;
F. Report of standing committees;
G. Report of special committees;
H. Unfinished matters;
I. Election of officers;
J. New Matters;
K. Adjournment; and
These bylaws may be altered, suspended or amended at a regular Church administration meeting by a majority vote of the members present and voting.
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