Constitution and Bylaws Of the Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship
(Latest Revision: October 15, 2016)
These official Bylaws of the Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship (hereafter referred to as the M.B.B.F.) were approved on May 9, 1989 by the unanimous vote of the Members at a duly convened meeting of the Fellowship held at Gilead Baptist Church of Detroit, 23700 W. Outer Drive, Allen Park, Michigan, with Vice President Richard Cole, presiding.
ARTICLE I Name
The name of this corporation shall be: The Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship (A duly incorporated ecclesiastical corporation under the laws of the State of Michigan.)
ARTICLE II Purpose
The purpose of this Fellowship shall be: to obey in letter and spirit the commission given by our Lord in Matthew 28:18-20.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
ARTICLE III Affiliation
The M.B.B.F. is affiliated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. Thus affiliation with the M.B.B.F. is open to any Senior Pastor of an actively supporting Baptist Church or is supported by the M.B.B.F. that believes in and adheres to the Word of God, on the basis of the Articles of Faith, appended hereto. A supporting Baptist Church is one that regularly financially supports Baptist Bible Fellowship International Missions or Colleges or Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship and or its Missions.
ARTICLE IV Business Meetings
Section 1. Regular Business Meetings.
Regular business meetings of the M.B.B.F. will be held, unless cancelled by a vote of the M.B.B.F. The date, time and place of each meeting shall be determined by the Chairman of the M.B.B.F. At these meetings all matters deemed of interest shall be brought to the floor. All business matters requiring the vote of the M.B.B.F. shall be brought to the floor, following study by the Board, with or without their recommendation. The Chairman shall establish the agenda for the meeting. All business matters requiring action shall be brought before the Board and placed on the agenda by the Chairman.
All business matters brought to a vote shall be determined by a majority vote unless otherwise stated in these By-Laws. The Chairman shall cast deciding vote in the event of a tie. Conventional Baptist procedures shall be followed, with ―Roberts Rules of Order‖ being applied in controversial issues.
Financial reports shall be presented by the Treasurer at each meeting. The Secretary shall take minutes of the meeting and duly record them in permanent record. Minutes from the previous shall be read at each meeting.
Section 2. Annual Business Meeting.
The Annual Business meeting shall be held each year in place of the regular scheduled business meeting. A summary report shall be presented by the Treasurer and other officers and committees, as requested by the Chairman.
The annual election of officers shall take place at the annual business meeting. The ballot shall be presented by the Board for M.B.B.F. approval, at least one month in advance of the election. The Board shall act as nominating committee for all elections to next term of office. A simple majority vote by secret ballot shall determine election.
ARTICLE V Special Meetings
Section 1. Special Meeting.
Special meetings of the members may be called by the Chairman and notification given by the Chairman or Secretary at the direction of the Chairman or at the request in writing of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the members entitled to vote at such meeting, or as many otherwise be provided by law.
Such meetings shall be held at the office of the registered agent (Chairman) for the Corporation, unless otherwise directed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors and stated in the notice of meeting, in which case the meeting may be held at any place within the State of Michigan. Any request for such meeting shall state the purpose or purposes of the proposed meeting.
Section 2. Notice of Meetings.
Notice of the date, time, place and purpose of each special meeting of the members, signed by the Chairman, Vice Chairman or the Secretary and stating the authority upon which issued, shall be served either personally or by mail upon each member of record entitled to vote at such meeting not less than 5 nor more than 60 days before the meeting; provided, that no notice of adjourned meetings need be given unless the Board of Directors fix a new record date for the adjourned meeting.
If mailed, the notice shall be directed to each member entitled to notice at his address as it appears on the books of the M.B.B.F. unless he shall have filed with the Secretary thereof a written request that notices intended for him be mailed to some other address, in which case it shall be mailed to the address designated in such request. Such further notice shall be given as may be required by law.
Section 3. Quorum.
A majority of the voting members of the M.B.B.F. shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.
ARTICLE VI Voting Rights
The Senior Pastor of each supporting Church or his designated representative shall have one vote in all matters of business. In order to vote the Senior Pastor must have attended three (3) regularly scheduled meetings of the M.B.B.F. over last twelve (12) months.
Non-Affiliated Pastors and their churches may participate in the M.B.B.F. programs and activities but shall not have a vote.
ARTICLE VII Officers & Trustees
Any elected officer or trustee of the fellowship shall be the Pastor of a supporting Church and an active member of the M.B.B.F.
The Elected Officers of the M.B.B.F. shall be Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, National Director, and Camp Directors. Their elected terms of office shall be Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer two (2) years, National Director two (2) years. The Board of Directors shall consist of five (5) members – Chairman, Vice- Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and National Director.
The Chairman shall preside at all business meetings of the M.B.B.F. and shall act for the M.B.B.F. according to delegated power given him by the M.B.B.F. He and the Vice-Chairman shall be considered ex—officio members of all committees, agencies, and subsidiaries of the M.B.B.F. In his absence the Senior Officer present shall preside as Moderator of any business meeting.
The Vice-Chairman shall act for the President on all necessary occasions and shall assist him whenever possible.
The Secretary shall keep all records and minutes in behalf of the Fellowship.
The Treasurer shall handle all monies of the M.B.B.F. and keep financial record of all transactions. He shall provide the members with a monthly report and an annual report. All funds received by the Treasurer shall be disbursed as designated by the donor, or if undesignated, by the vote of the members in harmony with existing procedures and policy. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to maintain the integrity of all accounts.
The National Director shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and can succeed himself in office one (1) term. His national duties shall be determined by the National committee to which he is assigned. He shall attend all national meetings of the B.B.F.I. and his assigned committee, as possible. He shall give input of the consensus of the M.B.B.F. pastors and report at a following monthly meeting of officers and of the M.B.B.F. His travel \ room and board expenses shall be borne by the M.B.B.F., as necessary and shall be approved by the Board. He shall carry messages from the M.B.B.F. to the National Meetings.
The elected officers of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, National Director shall comprise the Board of Directors of the M.B.B.F. and be charged with the day to day administration of the affairs of the Fellowship.
Section 5. Quorum.
A majority of the Board of Directors then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and the action of a majority of the Board of Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the action of the Board of Directors, except as action by a majority of the directors then in office may be specifically required by other sections of these By-Laws. An officer may participate in a meeting by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other, and such participation shall constitute presence at the meeting. If at any meeting of the Board there shall be less than a quorum present, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting from time to time until a quorum shall have been obtained.
Section 6. Vacancies.
Whenever any vacancy shall have occurred in the Board of Directors by reason of death, departure from an active Church Pastorate in the State of Michigan, resignation, removal, increase in the number of directors or otherwise, a majority of the directors then in office, though less than a quorum, may fill such vacancy at any meeting, and the person so selected shall be a director in the office vacated until his successor is elected by the members at the next-annual meeting of the members, or at any special meeting duly called for that purpose and held prior thereto. The resignation of an officer shall be effective upon its receipt by the M.B.B.F. or a subsequent time set forth in the notice of resignation. The removal of an active officer shall be by majority vote of meeting of members.
Section 7. Regular Meetings.
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors may be held without notice at such times or intervals and at such places within or without the State of Michigan as may from time to time be determined by resolution of the Board, which resolution may authorize the Chairman to fix the specific date and place of each of such regular meetings, in which case notice of the date time and place of such regular meetings shall be given in the manner hereinafter provided with respect to special meetings of the Board.
Section 8. Special Meetings.
Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be held at any time or place upon the call of the Chairman or by the Vice-Chairman or Secretary at the direction of not less than two directors then in office. Oral, electronic or written notice of the time and place of all special meetings of the Board shall be duly served on or sent, mailed or communicated to each director not less than 2 nor more than 10 days before the meeting, but no notice of adjourned meetings need be given. Meetings may be held at any time, without notice, if all the directors are present or if those not present waive notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting ether before or after the holding thereof.
ARTICLE VIII Constitutional Amendments
This Constitution shall supersede any other document pertaining to the Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship, and no document pertaining to the Michigan Baptist Bible Fellowship shall set forth any rights, privileges or powers that are in conflict with those set forth in this Constitution and By-Laws. This Constitution and By- Laws may be amended at any meeting of the members by a two-third vote of those present and voting, providing the proposed amendment has been read at a previous monthly meeting, and mailed to all voting members prior to meeting.
ARTICLE IX Relationship to Churches
All New Testament Baptist Churches are autonomous and self-governing; therefore, no article in this Constitution or By-Laws shall ever be interpreted in any way as to infringe upon or jeopardize the absolute sovereignty of any local church. The property rights, the missionary polices, and practical procedures of autonomous, self-governing churches shall never be endangered in any way by the M.B.B.F. its agencies or subsidiaries.
ARTICLE X Fiscal Year, Seal, Notices
Section 1. Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the Fellowship shall begin on the 1st day of January of each year and shall end on the 31st day of December following.
Section 2. Corporate Seal.
The Board of Directors may provide a suitable corporate seal for use by the Fellowship.
Section 3. Notices.
Any notice required by statute or by these By-Laws to be given to the members, to the trustees or to any officers of the M.B.B.F. unless otherwise provided herein or in any statute, shall be sufficient if given by depositing the same in the United States post office box or receptacle in a sealed, postpaid wrapper, addressed to such member, director or officer at his last address as the same appears on the records of the M.B.B.F. and such notice shall be deemed to have been given at the time of such mailing.
ARTICLE XI Indemnification of Directors and Officers
Section 1. Third Party Suits.
To the extent permitted by Michigan law from time to time in effect and subject to the provisions of this Article XI, the Fellowship shall indemnify any person who was or is a party to or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative (other than an action by or in the right of the M.B.B.F.) by reason of the fact that he is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the M.B.B.F. or is or was serving at the request of the M.B.B.F. as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against expenses (including attorney’s fees), judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with such action, suit or proceeding, if he acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interest of the M.B.B.F. or its members, and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or upon a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner which he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the M.B.B.F. or its members and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful.
Section 2. Suits by or in Right of the Fellowship.
To the extent permitted by Michigan law from time to time in effect and subject to the provisions of this Article XI, the M.B.B.F. shall indemnify any person who was or is a party to or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action or suit by or in the right of the M.B.B.F. to procure a judgment in its favor by reason of the fact that he is or was a director, officer, employee, volunteer worker or agent of the M.B.B.F. or is or another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise against expenses (including attorneys’ fees) actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with the defense of settlement of such action or suit if he acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interest of the M.B.B.F. or its members, except that no indemnification shall be made in respect of any claim, issue or matter as to which such person shall have been adjudged to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his duty to the M.B.B.F. unless and only to the extent that the court in which such action or suit was brought shall determine upon application that, despite the adjudication of liability but in view of all the circumstances of the case, such person is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnity for such expenses which such court shall deem proper.
Section 3. Indemnification Against Expenses.
To the extent that a person who is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the M.B.B.F. or a director, officer, employee or agent of any other corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise with which he is or was serving at the request of the M.B.B.F. has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit or proceeding referred to in Sections 1 and 2 of this Article XI, or in defense of any claim, issue or matter therein, he shall be indemnified against expenses (including attorneys fees) actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection therewith.
Section 4. Determination that Indemnification is Proper.
Any indemnification under Sections 1 and 2 of this Article XI (unless ordered by a court) shall be made by the M.B.B.F. only upon a determination that indemnification of the person is proper in the circumstances because he has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in said Sections 1 and 2. Such determination shall be made (1) by the Board by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of the directors who were not parties to such action, suit or proceeding, or (2) if such a quorum is not obtainable, or, even if obtainable, a quorum of disinterested directors so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion, or (3) by the members.
Section 5. Reimbursement of Expenses.
Expenses incurred by any person who may have a right of indemnification under the Article XI in defending a civil or criminal action, suit or proceeding may be paid by the M.B.B.F. in advance of the final disposition of such action, suit or proceeding as authorized in the manner provided by Section 4 of this Article XI upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of such person to repay such amount unless it shall ultimately be determined that he is entitled to be indemnified by the M.B.B.F. pursuant to this Article XI. Provided, however, that the foregoing is limited to the extent of the insurance coverage provided by Church Liability and M.B.B.F. Insurance. No liability nor expense above this amount shall be authorized.
It shall be assumed that all Pastors of supporting Churches elected to office shall have liability insurance provided by his Church covering his activity in behalf. The extent of expenses and fees stated above shall be limited to the amount of liability insurance in force at the time, by the M.B.B.F.
Section 6. By-Laws not Exclusive.
The indemnification provided by this Article XI shall, not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which any person may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, vote of members or disinterested directors or otherwise, both s to action in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding his office, except to the extent that such indemnification may be contrary to law. The indemnification provided by this Article XI shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee or agent and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such a person.
Section 7. Insurance.
The M.B.B.F. may purchase and maintain insurance (and pay the entire premium therefore) on behalf of any person who is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the M.B.B.F. or is or was serving at the request of the M.B.B.F. as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in any such capacity or arising out of his status as such, whether or not the M.B.B.F. would have the power to indemnify him against such liability under the provisions of this Article XI or under the provisions of Sections 561 through 565 of the Michigan Business Corporation Acts.
Section 8. Merged and Reorganized Fellowships.
For the purpose of the Article XI, references to the Fellowship include all constituent fellowships absorbed by the M.B.B.F. in a consolidation or merger, so that a person who is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of such constituent Fellowship or is or was serving at the request of such constituent fellowship as a director, officers, employee or agent of another fellowship, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise shall stand in the same position under the provisions of this Article XI with respect to the Fellowship as he would if he had served the M.B.B.F. in the same capacity.
Section 9. Severability.
The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of the Article XI shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions of this Article XI.
ARTICLE XII Other Officers
Other offices may be established by vote of M.B.B.F. in a duly called meeting with properly defined duties, as amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws.
ARTICLE XIII Temporary and Standing Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees.
All members of Standing Committees shall be appointed by the Chairman to serve in limited capacities and shall serve for one (1) year or until replaced by the Chairman. Members may be reappointed for succeeding years, at discretion of Chairman. Standing committees may not be dissolved by the Chairman, but by vote of the M.B.B.F. Duties and Authority of all committees shall be defined or redefined by Chairman in harmony with these Bylaws.
a.. Judea Committee
The Vice-Chairman shall appoint the necessary members and shall chair the Judea Committee. The committee shall screen applicants for support. They shall determine viability of proposed church plants; evaluate applicants, and general oversight of the funds. They shall recommend support amounts. Provide proper supervision and oversight for help of applicants.
Section 2. Temporary Committees.
Temporary Committees may be appointed by President to serve for a necessary period to achieve his defined goal. Such committees will then be dissolved.
ARTICLE XIV Articles of Faith
ARTICLES OF FAITH OF THE BAPTIST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP OF MICHIGAN
A Bible Baptist is one who believes in a supernatural Bible, which tells of a supernatural Christ, Who had a supernatural birth, Who spoke supernatural words, Who performed supernatural miracles, Who lived a supernatural life, Who died a supernatural death, Who rose in supernatural splendor, Who intercedes as a supernatural Priest and Who will one day return in supernatural glory to establish a supernatural kingdom on the earth.
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
1. By “The Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
2. By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
Psalm 19:7-11; 119:89,105,130,160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27,44-45; John 5:39,45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Romans 3:4; 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2Timothy 3:16-17; 1Peter 1:23; 2Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3; 15:11; Psalm 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 11:23; 1Corinthians 12:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; 2Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 4:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1Timothy 1:17; 1John 5:7; Revelation 4:11
III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.
Genesis 1:13; Matthew 3:11; 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 3:16; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17,26; 15:26-27; 16:8-11,13; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Romans 8:14,16,26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2Thessalonians 2:7,13; Hebrews 9:14; 1Peter 1:2
IV. OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3; 13:25; 25:41; 27:39; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2Corinthians 11:13-15; 1Thessalonians 3:5; 2Thessalonians 2:8-11; 1Peter 5:8; 2Peter 2:4; 1John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2John 7; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11,16,20; 20:1-3,10
V. OF CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring for only ―after their kind.‖ Since God created mankind into genders distinctly male and female, we believe that the only legitimate marriage is that between a man and a woman. He has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God rejects any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.
Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1, 3
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.
Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthews 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1Corinthians 15:47; 1John 5:20
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all sufficient Savior.
Isaiah 53:4-7,11-12; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; 10:18; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24- 25; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2
IX. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
Luke 5:27; John 1:12-13; 3:3,6-7; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:23; 2Corinthians 5:17,19; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1; 5:9; Colossians 2:13; 1John 5:1
X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATON
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 3:15-18,36; 5:40; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29-30; 10:13; 1Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 3:12; 1Thessalonians 1:4; 1Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17
XI. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17; 4:1; 5:1- 9; 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 10:38
XII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
Psalm 51:1-4,7; Isaiah 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; Romans 10:9-11,13
XIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the divine and eternal grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions of men and women in the home and in the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to hold the leadership positions (pastors and deacons) in the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible of licensure and ordination for pastor by the church. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Leviticus 27:31; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17-28; 1Corinthians 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4,8-11; 16:1-2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1Timothy 3:1-13
XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self- examination.
Matthew 3:6; 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1Corinthians 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12
XV. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
Psalm 121:3; Matthew 6:20; 13:19-21; John 8:31-32; 10:28-29; 16:8; Romans 8:28,35-39; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:14; 1Peter 1:5; 1John 2:19
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 11:31; 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 7:13-14; 25:34; Luke 9:26; 16:25; John 8:21; 12:25; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 1:17; 6:16-18,23; 7:6; 1Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 3:10; 1Peter 4:18; 1John 2:7,29; 5:19
XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Exodus 18:21-22; 2Samuel 23:3; Psalm 72:11; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 10:28; 22:21; 23:10; Acts 4:19-20; 23:5; Romans 13:7; Philippians 2:10-11; Titus 3:1; 1Peter 2:13-14,17
XVIII.OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures”; that He ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God”; that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God”; “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” bodily, personally, and visibly; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first”; that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”; “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David”; and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.”
Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:4-5; Matthew 24:27,42; Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6,19; Luke 1:32; Luke 24:2,4-6,39,51; John 14:3; John 20:27; Acts 1:9,11; 1Corinthians 15:4; Philippians 4:20; 1Thessalonians 4:16; 1Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9; 8:1; 9:28; 12:2
XIX. OF MISSIONS
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches.
Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
John 20:21, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
XX. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.
2 Corinthians 8:7, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week.
1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
Under Grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe
– “Abraham GAVE the tenth of the spoils,” – Hebrews 7:2,4 – and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the new Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe, “these ought ye to have done”, Matthew 23:23.
We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church.
Leviticus 27:30, “The tithe … is the Lord’s.” Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church.
Acts 4:34,35,37, “And brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet … Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET.”