This unofficial copy of Grace Bible Church's Constitution and By-laws is provided merely as a convenience to our attendees.
An official copy is available by contacting the Grace Bible Church office.
In obedience to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ to assemble ourselves together in His name as members of His body, the Church;
And, recognizing our responsibility to preach His Gospel to all men everywhere, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things He has commanded us,
And, recognizing the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the Holy Bible, as our rule of faith and practice,
We do hereby adopt the following Constitution and Bylaws to guide our worship, work, and order.
ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this congregation of believers shall be GRACE BIBLE CHURCH, INC., and hereafter may be referred to as the church or as Grace Bible Church.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
(A) 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), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of churches, parsonages, schools, day care centers, camps, and any other ministries that the Church may be led of God to establish.
(B) The Church shall also have the authority to ordain and license those who it may deem worthy to preach the Gospel. It shall evangelize the unsaved by proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; engage in any other ministry that the Church may decide, from time to time, is in obedience to the will of God. The Church shall maintain regular services for edification of the saints, evangelization of the lost, instruction in righteousness, and worship of God.
ARTICLE III - STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION 1 - We believe there is one God over all, the same yesterday, today, and forever; the Creator of all things, and in Whom all things consist (Deut. 6:4; Heb. 11:3).
SECTION 2 - We believe there is one Savior, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Who is the Supreme Head of the Church, which is redeemed unto God by His own blood. He was born of the virgin Mary, died for the sins of mankind on the cross, was buried, and on the third day rose again. He is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven from whence He is coming again to receive the Church as His bride (Matt. 3:16,17).
SECTION 3 - We believe that there is one Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, Who came from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; to regenerate the believing sinner; and to indwell, guide, instruct, cleanse, and empower the believer for godly living and service. The Holy Spirit is now the Representative of the Godhead on earth and the Superintendent of the Church (John 14:16,17; 15:26). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three persons, united and inseparable, of one substance and eternal (Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14).
SECTION 4 - We emphatically affirm the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, infallibly and inherently true as originally inspired, constituting our only divinely authorized rule of faith and practice (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21).
SECTION 5 - We believe man was created by the direct act of God and was made in the image and likeness of God, but through transgression fell and became depraved in nature and sinful in conduct. In his natural state, man is sinful, apart from saving grace, and consequently is in need of salvation (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 14:2,3; Matt. 15:19; Rom. 3:9-23).
SECTION 6 - We believe the Scriptures declare the necessity of repentance, implying a previous conviction of sin, followed by a sorrow of heart, and immediate abandonment of known sin, together with a suitable confession to God and man, and prompt and honest restitution of all that is due to others, according to one’s ability; and all such gracious states and experience, constituting scriptural repentance must be inwrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 55:6,7; Ezek. 33:15; Matt. 9:13; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:30,31; II Cor. 7:10,11).
SECTION 7 - We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
SECTION 8 - We believe justification is a legal act on the part of God, including the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of righteousness, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ps. 130:4; Jer. 36:3; Acts 13:38,39; Rom. 5:1; I John 3:7; Rev. 19:8).
SECTION 9 - We believe regeneration is the quickening of the sinner to spiritual life by the Holy Spirit which gracious act accompanies justification (Isa. 55:3; John 3:3,5; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; Titus 3:5).
SECTION 10 - We believe Entire Sanctification is the purifying of the believer’s heart by faith and the enduement of power by the Holy Spirit whereby he is enabled to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself (Lev. 11:44,45; Luke 1:73-75; John 17:17; I Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 10:14-15, Heb. 13:12). The work of entire sanctification is witnessed to directly by the Holy Spirit, and indirectly by a holy, godly life, and not by any special manifestations or gifts, such as speaking in unknown tongues.
SECTION 11 - We believe the New Testament teaches that there is one true Church, which is made up of those who have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who willingly submit themselves to God’s divine order through the ministry of God - called pastors and leaders (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5).
We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1; I Cor. 3:9,16; 5:4-7, 13; I Pet. 5:1-4).
SECTION 12 - We believe the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is imminent and visible. The children of God are admonished to look for the personal coming of Christ with confident hope, and with the assurance that at His appearing they will become the happy partakers of His glory in the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Dan. 7:13,14; Matt. 24:30,31; Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:15-17; Rev. 22:20).
SECTION 13 - We believe the Scriptures affirm the resurrection of the body, the judgment of all mankind, the everlasting punishment of the wicked, and the eternal blessedness of the righteous (Ps. 9:17; Matt. 24:46; John 5:28,29; 14:1-3; Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 15:52-55; II Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12,13; 21:8).
SECTION 14 - We believe the Bible teaches Divine healing and we encourage the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick (James 5:14-16; Luke 9:2; 10:9; and Acts 4:10,14).
SECTION 15 - We believe water baptism is an outward testimony of the saving work of grace wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit and is the privilege and responsibility of all new believers (1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4).
SECTION 16 - We believe the Lord’s Supper represents our redemption through Christ’s death and is a means through which God gives grace to the heart when received in faith. This ordinance should be reverently and frequently observed (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
SECTION 17 - We believe that all who are saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon the Lord Jesus Christ and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded by God (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; II Tim 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11).
SECTION 18 - We believe the Genesis account of creation and reject evolution as an unscriptural theory of origin (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
SECTION 19 - We believe that God has ordained three basic institutions of authority; (1) the home; (2) the Church; and (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; I Pet. 2:13-14).
SECTION 20 - We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
SECTION 21 - We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
SECTION 22 - We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29;
I Cor. 6:9-10; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
SECTION 23 - We believe that God’s plan is that the marriage relationship be permanent and that the Bible permits divorce and remarriage only on the basis of immorality. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3). It is not in keeping with God’s Word for a saved person to marry an unsaved person (II Cor. 6:14-18).
SECTION 24 - We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Grace Bible Church.
SECTION 25 - We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. The unborn child is a living human being and abortion constitutes the unjustified taking of human life. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Ps. 139; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
SECTION 26 - We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great 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 take the Gospel to all people everywhere. (Matt. 29:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20).
SECTION 27 - We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. 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 (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
SECTION 28 - We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of material wealth entrusted to him by God, 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 for the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a person relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:17-18; I John 3:17).
SECTION 29 - We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Bible Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Grace Bible Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed Grace Bible Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement of Faith (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.).
SECTION 30 - The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs.
The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Grace Bible Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the GBC Lead Pastor in consultation with the GBC Church Board is Grace Bible Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
ARTICLE IV - STANDARDS OF CHRISTIAN LIVING
We adopt the Bible, carefully and prayerfully interpreted and applied under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and in the light of the faith and practice of the Church of Christ universal, ancient and contemporary, to be our rule of faith and practice, written.
Furthermore, we embrace the Spirit-led conscience of both the contemporary church and the individual Christian to be the rule of faith and practice, written upon the hearts of believers. We hold the collective and individual consciences of believers to be second in authority only to those things surely believed by us all to be the obligatory revelation of Scripture.
However, granting that Scripture is unavoidably silent concerning many issues peculiar to each generation since the writing of the sacred Scriptures, and granting that not all things permissible are either constructive or beneficial to the life of Scriptural holiness, it is a duty inherently enjoined upon this congregation and upon each individual Christian to exercise the greatest of caution and careful spiritual discernment when determining what is the mind of the Spirit concerning such issues.
We believe the following Scriptural principles are applicable and provide guidelines for Christian living.
SECTION 1 - PRINCIPLE OF PRESERVATION
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth......” (John 16:13). “Follow the pattern of the sound] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you..” (II Tim. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit is the Preserver of orthodoxy and His constant presence and leadership is essential to the preservation of sound doctrine and a life style that is holy and pleasing to God.
SECTION 2 - PRINCIPLE OF LOVE
“...“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself..” (Matt. 22:37-39). “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (I John 2:15).
This Divine love will be demonstrated by honesty in all business and social relationships. It will prohibit all malicious gossip, tale bearing, backbiting and evil surmising. It will produce a practical caring for those in the household of faith and compassion for those who do not know Christ. It will cause us to watch over one another in brotherly love and pray for one another, bearing each other’s burdens. This principle will cause one to forgive wrongs and seek reconciliation. A heart filled with love for God will not have an idolatrous love of money, things, or sinful pleasures. A wholehearted love for God will produce a meaningful devotional life of Bible study and prayer. It will produce a reverence for the sacredness of the Lord’s Day and not desecrate it by unnecessary labor or business.
SECTION 3 - PRINCIPLE OF MODESTY AND SIMPLICITY
“ likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works..” (I Tim. 2:9,10). “ Do not let your adorning be external the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” (I Peter 3:3,4). “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:15-17). This principle communicates the importance of modesty and the priority of inward beauty. It teaches that we are to accurately reflect, and adequately represent, Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives.
SECTION 4 - PRINCIPLE OF TEMPLE OWNERSHIP
“...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (I Cor. 6:19,20). “ Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:13,16). This principle encourages a lifestyle that does not abuse the body by gluttony, the use of intoxicating beverages, tobacco, non-medicinal habit-forming drugs, or the like.
SECTION 5 - PRINCIPLE OF AUTHORITY AND ORDER
“ But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God... Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” (I Cor. 11:3,14,15).
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.... Husbands, love your wives, as
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..” (Eph. 5:22,25). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise)”, (Eph. 6:1-2). “A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” (Deut. 22:5). This principle communicates the Biblical and natural distinction of the sexes, as well as the authority structure that God has ordained, and that must be clearly maintained.
SECTION 6 - PRINCIPLE OF PURITY
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things..” (Phil. 4:8). “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh…. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (II Cor. 10: 3,5). As it is today, so much of culture and entertainment is in direct conflict with this principle that careful and constant discrimination must be made. All video, audio, computer materials, reading materials, and music that are not in harmony with purity of heart, mind, and life must be avoided. We strongly warn our people of the danger of popular media and its undermining influence upon the spiritual life and the home.
SECTION 7 - PRINCIPLE OF TRANSMITTANCE
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut. 6:6-9). “ and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Tim. 2:2). “ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19,20). Each Christian is to recognize his personal responsibility to give the message of Christ to children, acquaintances, and the whole world.
SECTION 8 - PRINCIPLE OF GLORIFYING GOD
“ So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Cor. 10:31).
ARTICLE V – MARRIAGE POLICY
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Grace Bible Church will only recognize
marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors and staff of Grace Bible Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Grace Bible Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
ARTICLE VI – CHURCH DISCIPLINE
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Cor 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin and promoting purity (1 Tim 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Gal 6:1).
The Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted the local church with the authority and responsibility to discipline members for flagrant sin or serious doctrinal error, with the goal of the restoration of the offender. This discipline is entrusted to the Pastoral Staff in consultation with the Grace Bible Church Board and is to follow the biblical pattern as set forth in Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10-11; and 2 John 7-11. Any member of this church who practices or affirms a doctrine or conduct that, in the judgment of the Pastoral Staff, is opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, or is threatening to the testimony of this church, or is divisive to the body, shall be subject to church discipline.
Discipline will follow the said biblical pattern, and is an effort to bring the individual to repentance and protect the church from unrepentant sin. Discipline may involve exclusion from participation in ministry and communion, as well as dismissal from the fellowship of this church. An individual may be disciplined by the Pastoral Staff short of dismissal from the fellowship, as they deem appropriate for the specific circumstance (for example, an individual may remain in certain circumstances a member of this church but be denied the privilege of serving in a particular ministry). The Pastoral Staff, as is required by Scripture, may report to the congregation the names of those who have lost membership by reason of church discipline, and the reason for that discipline, as described in Matthew 18:15-20.
ARTICLE VII – MEDIATION
Members of the church agree to submit any legal dispute with the church for mediation before a mutually agreed-upon mediator, or if none can be agreed upon, one selected by Peacemaker Ministries. Lawsuits between believers, or threats of lawsuits between believers, are a matter of grave concern for the church, are contrary to biblical and church teaching, and mediation is an effort to resolve disputes in a biblical fashion. (1 Cor 6: 1-7.)
Mediation will be governed by the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC Rules), unless modified as stipulated by the parties. (Visit: http://www.peacemaker.net/site/c.nuIWL7MOJtE/b.533... to access theICC Rules.) In particular, subject to the more detailed provisions of the ICC Rules, mediator(s) will attempt to assist us in reaching a voluntary settlement of any disputes through mediation. The confidentiality of the mediation process will be protected and these matters will not be discussed with people who do not have a necessary interest in them. If settlement can be agreed upon, the conciliators may, at their discretion, issue an advisory opinion. Neither the opinion, nor any communications exchanged in the mediation process, will be admissible for any purpose in any subsequent legal proceeding.
ARTICLE VIII - MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1 – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Worship services are open to any and all who love the Lord Jesus Christ or desire to know more about Him. Tolerance and acceptance are shown to all who profess to know and love Christ. However, in order to maintain the purpose of the Church, those who wish to participate by voice or vote in the congregational business meetings of the Church or wish to serve in ministry leadership to the Church must be able to answer the following questions, in the affirmative:
(1) Are you saved and living in current fellowship with the Lord?
(2) Will you support the statement of faith and standards of Christian living as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws?
(3) Will you support the GBC Statement on Church discipline as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws?
(4) Will you support the GBC Statement on Mediation as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws?
(5) Do you support Grace Bible Church and its ministries regularly with your attendance, prayers, and finances, and have you been doing so for a period of at least six months?
(6) Have you completed Starting Point class?
(7) Have you attained your 16th birthday?
(8) Have you signed the Church Membership Covenant?
The above questions shall be read publicly in the congregational business meeting and all who are able to answer the questions in the affirmative shall be invited to sit within the bar or printed ballots may be distributed with a blank to check “yes” or “no” for each question and those who answer each question in the affirmative will be invited to sit within the bar.
SECTION 2 – RELEASE FROM MEMBERSHIP
The pastor, when requested by a member, may grant a letter of release thus terminating such person’s membership immediately.
SECTION 3 – DISQUALIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP
By a two-thirds vote by secret ballot the Church Board may disqualify anyone from membership if after due examination as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws, the individual is deemed to flagrantly violate any principle set forth therein.
ARTICLE IX - GOVERNMENT
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 Lead Pastor as the shepherd with the counsel of the Church Board. Membership, service or financial contributions do not afford any individual with any property, contract or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Determination of the internal affairs of the Church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the Church’s own rules and procedures. The Lead Pastor shall oversee the ministry of the Church giving due regard to the counsel and directives of the Church Board.
SECTION 1 - BUSINESS MEETINGS
(1) There shall be an annual business meeting of the congregation for the purpose of hearing reports of the Lead Pastor, Minister of Finance, Auditing Committee, and other reports as requested by the Lead Pastor or Board. At the annual meeting vacancies shall be filled on the board and the Minister of Finance shall be elected. The meeting will be chaired by the Lead Pastor or, in the event of a vacancy in the office of Lead Pastor, by a chairman elected by the Board.
(2) A special business meeting may be called at the discretion of the Lead Pastor or at the request of a majority of the Board.
(3) Notice of all business meetings of the congregation shall be by announcement in two regularly scheduled services or by a printed notice to the congregation and one announcement in a regularly scheduled service.
(4) A quorum shall consist of qualified voters present at any regular or special business meeting duly called.
(5) ORDER OF BUSINESS MEETINGS. The following general order of business is recommended for all regular and special business meetings:
A - Prayer
B - Minutes of preceding meeting
C - Reports
D - Old or unfinished business
E - New business
(1) Elect officers
(2) Vote on recommendations made by the Lead Pastor and Board
(3) Elect pastor when there is a vacancy
F - Adjournment with prayer
(6) All matters in business meetings shall be decided by majority vote, unless otherwise specified herein. Election of constitutional officers, amendments to Constitution and Bylaws, the calling of a pastor, and all sensitive issues shall be decided by secret ballot. Decision shall be made after prayer, application of scriptural principles and with the spirit of charity. Time for prayer may be needed before final decisions are made.
It shall be the purpose of the congregation, Board, and officers to strive for consensus. There shall be a willingness to yield and cooperate with the majority.
(7) Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the guide for any parliamentary procedure, which is not specified by the Constitution and Bylaws.
(8) The time of the annual business meeting shall be set by the Church Board.
ARTICLE X - QUALIFICATIONS FOR HOLDING CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICE
All officers, staff members, board members, and Sunday School teachers shall abide by the principles set forth in the Standards of Christian Living (Article IV), and they shall affirm the Statement of Faith (Article III) of the Constitution and Bylaws.
ARTICLE XI - CHURCH OFFICERS
The Church officers are Lead Pastor, Church Board members, and Minister of Finance. One person may hold two or more offices, except that of Lead Pastor. From time to time other church officers may be elected in a business meeting as the need may arise.
SECTION 1 - DESIGNATION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS
As an accommodation to the legal relationship between the church and the state we make the following designations: The Lead Pastor shall serve as President of the Corporation: the Board Secretary shall serve as the Secretary of the Corporation; the Minister of Finances shall serve as the Treasurer of the Corporation; and the Church Board shall serve as Board of Directors of the Corporation.
SECTION 2 - TERMS OF OFFICE
The length of terms of office shall be as follows:
(A) LEAD PASTOR
The relationship between the Lead Pastor and the Church shall be permanent providing such relationship is mutually agreeable and beneficial under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If the Lead Pastor desires to resign, two months notice shall be given in writing. The time period may be waived by mutual consent of the pastor and Church Board.
The Lead Pastor may request a vote of confidence of the congregation to assess their opinion on pastoral relationships. Such a vote shall be announced according to the constitutional requirements for business meetings.
The Church Board may also, by a majority vote, initiate a vote of the congregation to assess its opinion on pastoral relationships. Such vote shall be announced according to the constitutional requirements for business meetings. The ballot shall be prepared as follows:
Shall the Lead Pastor continue? ___ Yes ___ No
If a majority of those present and voting vote in favor of a change in pastoral relations, the Church Board will then establish a date of termination. In this event, compensation shall normally continue for three months.
(B) MINISTER OF FINANCE
The Minister of Finance shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a period of three years with no provision for immediate re-election.
(C) CHURCH BOARD MEMBERS
Church board members shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of three
years. Upon fulfillment of the three year term the board member will take a one-year recess before eligible for re-nomination.
ARTICLE XII - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 - THE LEAD PASTOR
A. Qualifications - In order to fulfill its stated purpose, the Church shall call a pastor. The Lead Pastor shall be a man of true Christian experience and established character. He shall qualify for his office according to the standards of I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1: 5-9. He shall support the Statement of Faith and Standards of Christian Living. He shall be a member of Grace Bible Church.
B. Duties and Responsibilities - The Lead Pastor shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the church and shall be responsible for all public worship services, teaching and preaching God’s Word with liberty to follow the leadership of the Lord. He shall administer the ordinances of the Church, act as moderator of 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 congregation by visitation, counseling, disciplining, and prayer. He shall nurture and minister to the church and seek the salvation of the unsaved. He shall supervise the church and/or pastoral staff, and in the event of his absence, shall be responsible for someone to fill the pulpit. The general direction and development of the church shall be under his supervision. By virtue of his office, he shall be an ex officio member of the Church Board and all committees of the Church. He shall tithe his income and give offerings, as he is able, for the work of the Lord.
C. Charges - No accusation shall be brought against the Lead Pastor except on the testimony of at least two members of the congregation in good standing and fellowship with the church (I Tim. 5:19-21). The matter shall then be taken to the Church Board for investigation, consideration and resolution. If no resolution is made by the church board, the matter may be presented to the congregation by either the Board or the Lead Pastor for final decision.
D. Call - In the event of a vacancy for the position of pastor, the Pulpit Supply committee shall prayerfully select one candidate to present to the Church Board for approval. (See Pulpit Supply committee - Article X (A). The approved candidate shall then be presented to the congregation for a vote. An initial call shall consist of two-thirds vote by the Church Board and two-thirds vote by the congregation. The vote shall be by ballot vote in a duly called business meeting. The initial call shall be considered permanent. (See Article VIII, Section 2,(A).
SECTION 2 - PASTORAL STAFF
The Church Board may employ various associate pastors or assistants as needed. They shall comprise the pastoral staff and shall be responsible to the Lead Pastor.
The pastoral staff shall qualify for their office according to the standards of
I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They shall be willing to support the Statement of Faith and Standards of Christian Living as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. They shall be members of Grace Bible Church. They shall be non-voting members of the Church Board.
The selection, terms of employment, and termination shall be determined by the Church Board, upon the recommendation of the Lead Pastor.
The procedure for handling accusations against any of the pastoral staff shall be identical with that applying to the Lead Pastor.
A description of the duties and responsibilities of staff members shall be provided for each position.
SECTION 3 - GENERAL STAFF
In order to accomplish the work of the church, other workers may be employed as necessary. A description of the duties and responsibilities shall be provided for each position. The selection, terms of employment, and termination shall be determined by the Church Board, upon the recommendation of the Lead Pastor.
SECTION 4 - THE CHURCH BOARD
A. Composition: There shall be a Church Board composed of eight members, in addition to the Pastor. The number may be increased so that there is one board member for each twenty voters normally present and qualified at the annual meeting of the congregation.
B. A member of the Church Board shall be a Christian of spiritual maturity as set forth in Acts 6:3, I Tim. 3:1-13, and Titus 1. He must subscribe to the Statement of Faith and the Standards of Christian Living in Articles III and IV of the Constitution and Bylaws. He must be a member of Grace Bible Church. If he has not entered into the experience of heart purity, he should be hungering and thirsting after righteousness with the expectation of receiving the promise. A Board member must manifest his concern for souls by actively participating in the visitation and soul-winning ministry of the Church. He must be faithful to the services of the Church. He must be loyal to the Church, its ministry and its leaders by praying and supporting. He must be faithful and regular in his tithe and offerings to the Church. He should make every effort to stop the tongues of evil speaking where possible. Where there is disagreement, it must be with charity and the spirit of submission to the majority. No more than two members of the same immediate family shall serve on the church board at the same time. This ruling shall extend to in-laws as well as brothers, sisters, and parents. An immediate family shall be defined as husband and wife, their children, and their children’s spouses.
C. Duties: The responsibilities of the Church Board shall be as follows:
(1) Provide for the support of the ministries of the Church.
(2) Assist the Lead Pastor in the ministry of the Church, such as visiting the sick and elderly, absentees, caring for the needy, winning the lost, praying with seekers at the altar, disciplining new believers.
(3) Receive reports from officers and staff members.
(4) Consider and act on matters referred by the Lead Pastor.
(5) Refer any major business of the Church to the congregation for final action. This shall include, but not be limited to, buying and selling or encumbering of property over $20,000.
(6) Have the oversight and care of Church property. The Board shall purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and take real and personal property by will, gift or bequest on behalf of the Church. The Board shall sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the Church, borrow money and incur indebtedness, in the name of the Church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges.
(7) Give direction in financial matters including, but not limited to, the salaries of staff, support of missions causes, offerings for evangelists.
(8) The Church Board shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the Corporation.
(9) Elect, immediately following the annual business meeting, from their own number, a chairman who shall preside over Board meetings and a secretary.
(10) Exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church corporation if such action is mandated by a vote of the Church at a business meeting.
(11) The Church board shall normally meet once a month. Special board meetings may be called by the Lead Pastor or in the event of his absence, the vice-chairman of the Board. Regular meetings shall require no special notice. Special meetings shall be announced by notifying, or making a reasonable effort to notify, each board member.
(12) Give assistance in establishing the duties and responsibilities of the pastoral and general Staff.
D. Nomination and Election
(1) Procedure for nomination. Two weeks prior to the annual business meeting, nominations shall be received in writing from the congregation for vacancies on the Board. Nominees shall be listed and submitted to the Board. Board members shall review the names of the nominees and may veto any nominees who do not qualify according to the Constitution and Bylaws by a majority vote by ballot. No criticism of nominees shall be voiced in the meeting except that certain factual questions may be clarified. Those names remaining shall be considered nominated. Board members, whose term is expiring, shall not participate in their own qualification ballot.
(2) Qualifying the candidates: the Lead Pastor shall then meet with the nominees and shall remind them of the privileges, qualifications, and duties of a Board member. Those who meet the qualifications and who agree to fulfill the obligations of a Board member shall be urged to allow their names to be submitted. He shall then distribute cards and ask them to write their names and “yes” if they are willing to serve and “no” if they are not willing to serve. Those who answer “yes” shall be nominees and presented to the Church.
(3) In the annual meeting, voters shall vote for the number of vacancies to be filled. The names receiving the highest number above a majority shall fill the vacancies.
(4) In the event a vacancy occurs in the Board membership between annual business meetings that vacancy shall be filled by the Board and the elected person shall serve until the next annual meeting.
(5) A Board member may be dismissed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board after he has been dealt with according to Matthew 18:15-17.
SECTION 5 - THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
The Minister of Finances shall account for all funds contributed to the Church and shall disburse the same as ordered by the Church or the Church Board. He shall present a written report of itemized disbursements at regular Board meetings and a general report for the year at the annual Church business meeting. All expenditures of the Church except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements shall be paid by check. The Minister of Finances shall also serve as Treasurer of the Corporation. The Minister of Finances shall be a voting ex-officio member of the Board.
SECTION 6 - The same procedures for nominating, qualifying and dismissing Board Members that is outlined in Section 4, D, page 13 and 14 shall apply to the Minister of Finance.
ARTICLE XIII - COMMITTEES
All committees shall function only for the duration of their assignment and shall be amenable to the Church Board.
A-Pulpit Supply Committee: The Church Board may act as the Pulpit Supply Committee. If a special committee is desired, it shall consist of three members elected by the Church Board and shall elect its own chairman. It shall serve only until a Lead Pastor is elected. The Committee shall conduct a search for, and evaluate the qualifications of, pastoral candidates and make appropriate recommendations to the Church Board as follows:
1. Pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
2. Solicit names of potential candidates.
3. Investigate and communicate with promising potential candidates.
4. In consultation with the Church Board, it shall arrange guest speaking assignments and interviews, as appropriate, for those candidates who appear to meet the desired qualifications.
5. Recommend to the Church Board candidates for Lead Pastor.
B-Nominating Committee: The Church Board shall serve as the nominating committee for all church officers. The Nominating Committee shall meet and prepare all ballots for the annual business meeting.
C-Finance Committee: A Finance Committee shall be elected by the Board. Its duties shall be to count the weekly offerings and to oversee the annual audit of the treasurer’s books.
D-Hospitality Committee: A Hospitality Committee may be elected by the Board. Its duties shall be to assist with the entertainment of evangelists, flowers for the sick and provide assistance for those who are ill.
E-Education Committee: The Church Board may serve as the Education Committee or it may elect a committee to oversee the educational ministries of the church.
F-Other committees shall be established as required and their duties defined by the Church Board.
ARTICLE XIV - MEETINGS
Unless otherwise determined by the Lead Pastor in consultation with the Church Board, 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. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least once each quarter.
ARTICLE XV - MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
SECTION 1 - PURPOSE
The Church believes that it is to provide the children of the congregation with an education which is based upon and consistent with Biblical teachings. The Church believes that the home and Church are responsible before God for providing a Christian education. To this end, the Church shall engage in ministries of education in keeping with the following dictates:
SECTION 2 - CHURCH PARTICIPATION
All educational programs or courses of instruction formulated and offered by the Church shall be primarily for the benefit of the congregation of Grace Bible Church; however, non-church members may be permitted to participate in Church educational programs or courses of instruction if it is deemed in the best interest of the Church.
SECTION 3 - STAFF MEMBERSHIP
All instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be in harmony with the Statement of Faith and Standards of Christian Living as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws.
SECTION 4 - STATEMENT OF FAITH ACCORD
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught in full accord with the Statement of Faith of the Church.
SECTION 5 - UNITY
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of the Church.
SECTION 6 - TEACHING
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief in conflict with or in question of a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
SECTION 7 - CHRISTIAN WALK
All administrators, instructors, and teachers shall adopt a lifestyle consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
ARTICLE XVI - TAX-EXEMPT PROVISIONS
SECTION 1 - PRIVATE INUREMENT
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws.
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 Board of Trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Church, dispose of all the assets of the Church to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations 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 the Trustees, shall determine. Assets may be distributed only to organizations which agree with the Church’s Statement of Faith.
SECTION 4 - RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
The Church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against congregants, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin.
ARTICLE XVII - DESIGNATED CONTRIBUTIONS
From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses from 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 to the exclusive control and discretion of the Lead Pastor and 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 the Constitution and Bylaws Article II.
ARTICLE XVIII - AMENDMENTS
This Constitution was adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the Church in which a quorum was present.
This Constitution and Bylaws supersedes any other Constitutions and/or other Bylaws of Grace Bible Church.
January 11, 1995 [Date Ratified]