CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
(Instrument Number III)
ARTICLE I. – NAME
The name of this church organization shall be called NORTHERN LAKES BAPTIST CHURCH of Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin.
ARTICLE II. – PURPOSE
To inspire people to develop a heart for God, and to include them in a church family where they can be instructed, and then involved in a ministry that is culturally sensitive, fundamental in doctrine, and determined to aggressively impact the Northern Wisconsin area and the regions beyond with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We exist to . . .
Inspire people to develop a heart for God (Psalm 34)
- Through Christ-honoring music
- Through Biblically-sound preaching
Include them in a loving church family (Acts 2:41)
- Through membership into our church family
- Through fellowship with other believers
Instruct them in Bible doctrines (2 Timothy 2:2)
- Through Adult Bible Classes
- Through Sunday School Classes
- Through the Discipleship Program
Involve them in ministry (1 Peter 4:10)
- Through weekly ministry opportunities
Impact the area Northern Wisconsin and the regions beyond with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Through weekly soul-winning
- Through a worldwide missions program
- Through training and equipping Christians to share Christ in the course of their daily lives
ARTICLE III. – COVENANT AND STATEMENT OF FAITH
CHURCH COVENANT (Instrument Number I)
Having been lead, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and on profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort and to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel to all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in our engagements and exemplary in our development; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feelings and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
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 we believe. We believe, however, the statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and therefore is binding upon all members.
STATEMENT OF FAITH (Instrument Number II)
(A) The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures 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. We accept the literal interpretation of the Scriptures to its furthest degree of application. The authorized King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church in any and all of its ministries.
1. By the “Holy Bible,” we mean that collection of sixty-six (66) 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 the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a definitive way, their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
(Ps. 19:7-11, 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Prov. 30:5-6; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:31, 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47, 12:48, 17:17, Acts 1:16, 28:25; Rom. 3:4, 15:4; Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Rev. 22:19.)
We believe the Scriptures, interpreted in their natural, literal sense, reveal divinely determined dispensations, or rules of 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 age of law, the age of the church, and the age of the kingdom – are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture.
(Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10, 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6.)
(C) The Godhead
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God. He is 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. We believe 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.
(Gen. 17:1; Ex. 15:11, 20:2-3; Ps. 83:18, 90:2, 147:5; Jer. 10:10; Mat. 29:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24, 10:30, 15:26, 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 2:10-11, 8:6, 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18, 4:6; Phil. 2:5-6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 5:7; Rev. 4:11.)
(D) The Person and Work of Christ
1. We believe 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.
(Is. 7:14; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8.)
2. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.
(Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 2:24.)
3. We believe 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 Intercessor and Advocate.
(Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25, 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2.)
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
1. We believe the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption; and 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 creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the Evil One until God’s purpose is fulfilled.
2. We believe He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures, and it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit.
3. We believe God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer the moment the Holy Spirit indwells him. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry.
4. We believe the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and 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.
(Gen. 1:1-3; Mat. 3:11, 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35, 3:16, 24:29; John 1:33, 5:3-6, 14:16-17, 26, 15:26-27, 16:8-11, 13; Acts 5:30-32, 11:16; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26-27; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Thes. 2:7, 13; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:2.)
(F) The Total Depravity of Man
We believe man was created in the image and likeness of God, but in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. Therefore, we believe “all” men are condemned to a literal Hell unless born again by the Word of God and the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
(Gen. 1:26-27; John 3:15-16; Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12, 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3, 4:14-19.)
(G) The Freeness of Salvation
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 salvation of the greatest sinner on Earth but by his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in willful condemnation. He is then without excuse and has no defense.
(Is. 55:1, 6-7; Mat. 11:28; John 3:15-16, 18, 36, 5:40, 6:37; Acts 2:38; Rom. 1:18-20, 2:1, 14-15, 8:28-29, 10:13; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:4-5; Col. 3:12; 1 Thes. 1:4; 1 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 22:17.)
1. We believe that 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 graciously given us by Christ.
(Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Acts 13:39; Rom. 2:7, 5:1, 9, 4:1-8, 8:1; Gal. 3:11; Tit. 3:5-7; Heb. 2:14, 10:38.)
2. We believe 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.
(Ps. 51:1-4, 7; Is. 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8, 18:13; Acts 2:37-38, 20:21; Rom. 10:9-10, 13.)
(I) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
1. We believe all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.
(John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5.)
2. We believe 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 license to sin.
(Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15.)
(J) The Church
We believe a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its offices of ordination are pastors (elders, bishops) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. 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 a reversal of this order. We hold the local church as the absolute right of self-government; free from the interferences of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and 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 polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence. The will of the local church is final.
(Lev. 27:32; Mal. 3:10; Mat. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 6:5-6, 14:23, 15:22-23, 20:17-28; 1 Cor. 5:11-13, 6:1-3, 11:2, 12:4, 8-11, 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8:23-24; Eph. 1:22-23, 4:11, 5:23-24; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; Jude 3-4.)
(K) The only two mandated church ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe 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 of 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 pre-requisite 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.
(Mat. 3:6, 16, 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Col. 2:12.)
We believe acting as individuals or as a church body, all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord: and, 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.)
(M) 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 was promised to the nation of Israel.
(Ps. 89:1-3; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thes. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6.)
(N) The Eternal State
1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men in two different and distinct times: the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
(Mat. 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13.)
2. We believe 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; 1 Thes. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6.)
3. We believe 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 of Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment.
(Mat. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15.)
(O) The Personality of Satan
We believe Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honor, 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 anti-Christ, 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.
(Is. 14:14-15; Ezek. 28:14-17; Mat. 4:1-3, 13:25, 25:41; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 2:2; 1 Thes. 2:8-11, 3:5; 1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Pet. 24; 1 John 2:22, 3:8, 4:3; 2 John 7; Jude 6; Rev. 12:7-10, 13:13-14, 19:11, 16, 29, 20:1-3, 10.)
We believe God created the universe in six literal 24-hour periods. We reject Evolution, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. 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 forth only “after their kind.”
(Gen. 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27, 2:21-23; Ex. 20:11; Neh. 9:6; Jer. 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24, 17:23-26; Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3; Rev. 10:6.)
(Q) Civil Government
We believe 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 coming Prince of the kings of the Earth.
(Ex. 18:21-22; 2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 72:11; Dan. 3:17-18; Mat. 10:28, 22:21, 23:10; Acts 4:19-20, 23:5; Rom. 13:7; Phil. 2:10-11; Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 17.)
(R) Human Sexuality
We believe God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman, as specified in the Holy Scriptures. We believe any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, bestiality, 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 Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4.)
(S) Divorce and Remarriage
We believe God hates divorce and intends a marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. God’s will, however, is never divorce, but rather repentance, reconciliation, and restoration of the marriage. 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; Mat. 5:31-32, 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Tit. 1:6.)
We believe human life begins at conception, and the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder.
(Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16; Is. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.)
We believe God has given the church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so 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 go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us.
(Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20.)
(V) Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe 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.
(1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32.)
We believe 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 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. The church reserves the right to redirect the use of designated offerings with the consent of the giver if the giver is available.
(Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17.)
ARTICLE IV. – GOVERNMENT
The government of this church has always been, and shall continue to be, vested in its assembled membership, through its duly elected officers, and it shall never be subject to the control of any other ecclesiastical body, and no denominational or associational representatives shall ever sit in judgment over its affairs. The church may fellowship and cooperate with other churches for the furtherance of the Gospel when such shall be wholly in accordance with the Scriptures, but no rules, regulations, or commitments shall be made to such bodies which call for more than voluntary action on the part of this church, and any such fellowship and cooperation may be broken at any time by a majority vote of those present and voting at any regular or special business meeting.
The instruments of government shall be the Holy Bible and the church.
ARTICLE V. – FINANCE
Scriptural giving is an expression of love to the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, it shall be a voluntary and free will offering uninfluenced by any consideration of material or worldly reward. No solicitation, sales, or bazaars shall be permitted in the name of this church. Tithes and offerings brought into the general treasury of the church are the only method of finance found in the Scriptures; therefore, it shall be the duty of the members to bring their tithes and offerings into the general treasury of the church. (1 Cor. 16:2)
Upon dissolution of this corporation, all funds and properties of this corporation shall be turned over to an independent Baptist church of like faith, a tax-exempt corporation, or its successors or assignors.
ARTICLE VI. – INNER ORGANIZATIONS
Every organization or society within this church will be an integral part of the church and not an entity to itself. They shall, therefore, have as their aims and objectives that of assisting the church in discharging the obligations and responsibilities which it has imposed upon itself, rather than having separate aims and objectives which act as divisive forces. They must have the approval of the pastor, and he may preside over all such organizations or societies.
ARTICLE VII. – MEMBERSHIP
Membership in this church may be acquired in the following manner:
BAPTISM: Any person who evidences a change of attitude toward God, and by faith in Jesus as the Son of God Who died and shed His blood on the cross to atone for his sins, and accepts Him as his own Savior, and with all his heart is willing to obey Him and His Word may by vote of the church and by baptism (immersion in water) be received into membership.
LETTER: A satisfactory statement of faith and letter of recommendation from an independent Baptist church of like faith may receive any person, to whom the ordinance of baptism by immersion has been administered by authority of a New Testament church, into membership upon the vote of the church.
EXPERIENCE: Any person to whom the ordinance of baptism by immersion has been administered by authority of a New Testament Baptist church and satisfactory statement of faith in Christ may be received into membership upon the vote of the church.
RESTORATION: Any person whose membership has been terminated may upon public confession of his sins or errors and one year of faithfulness in attendance, Christian Spirit, and liberality in stewardship call for a special meeting with the pastor and deacons (which is the Discipline Committee) wherein, it shall be frankly and fully discussed as to the individual’s future intentions and relationship to the church. Should the results of the said meeting be satisfactory, the pastor may cause said party to be recommended to the church for membership, and upon the vote of the church, (see paragraph E below) shall be received into membership. No restored member shall hold office for a period of one year following restoration.
NO PERSON shall be admitted to membership of this church to whom three members object, casting their votes in the negative. Such voters shall, at the time, or in a later meeting, state the reasons for such objections. If the objections are not valid, said person may be again presented for membership.
Membership in this church may be dissolved in the following ways:
Letter of dismissal to an independent Baptist church.
It is the duty of every member to be faithful in attendance at all services when it is humanly possible to do so. Should a member, however, fail to be present or fail completely in making any financial contribution to this church (see Church Covenant, Article III, Section 1) for a period of one year, unless they are providentially hindered, the name of the said member will then be removed from the ACTIVE church roll and placed on the INACTIVE church roll. No action of the church shall be necessary to make this change; it shall be deemed routine business of the church and taken care of by the Discipline Committee.
An INACTIVE member automatically forfeits their vote in any church business.
An ACTIVE church roll status may be regained any time within twelve months after having forfeited the same by attending services and contributing to the welfare of the church for four consecutive Sundays.
A member who has surrendered their voting rights by said absenteeism and noncontributing record for twelve months and has been placed on the INACTIVE church roll may remain on the INACTIVE roll for a period not to exceed twelve months. Then, they shall be dropped or dismissed from the INACTIVE roll and are by this action completely severed from this church and shall not be considered a member in any regard. (I John 2:19)
Participation in unauthorized meetings or secret meetings with members of the church shall be cause for automatic exclusion.
Discipline (dismissal) may be exercised for serious hindrances to the ministry, fellowship, and testimony of the church; for doctrinal heresy and for immorality. In every case, the discipline of a member shall have in view the future repentance and restoration of that member, if possible. Members failing to support the church by their attendance, finances, and cooperative spirit for a period of six months and having been contacted by the pastor and or deacons about their situation, may be dismissed by a vote of the church for breach of covenant vows.
General duties of the members of this church shall be to acquire Bible knowledge, to progress spiritually, to put away questionable habits, and to live a life that would honor the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen His church.
It is the duty of the members to cultivate brotherly love (John 13:35) for all the other members of the church and to show this love by using all proper measures to promote their spiritual benefit and prosperity.
It is the duty of members to honor and highly esteem or regard their pastor (1 Thes. 5:12-13), to pray for him (2 Thes. 3:1-2), to submit to him in the scriptural exercise of his Holy Spirit given authority (Acts 20:28, Heb. 13:7, 17), to guard his reputation, and to contribute toward his support regularly according to their ability.
Members agree to love and pray for one another, to honor and respect their pastor, and to work together in carrying out the great commission through this church. They promise to work toward the unity of the body, and, if at any time they decide that they can no longer support the position of this church, they will not cause division, but will quietly withdraw from this assembly.
Toward those outside the membership, it is the duty of members to exact in fulfilling obligation, keeping promises, and as opportunity enables, to commend the Gospel of Christ to them.
It is the duty of members upon removing from the area to unite with another church of like faith and practice and requesting said church to send to the Northern Lakes Baptist Church for their letter of recommendation or dismissal. Should a nonresident member wish to continue his membership, he shall communicate and make a contribution at least once yearly to the church.
If any member of this church has a cause for complaint against the leadership and management of said church, he shall be required to take same complaint to the pastor first. Then, if it is necessary, the complaint shall be taken to the Discipline Committee.
ARTICLE VIII. – CHURCH OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
PASTOR – Duties and qualifications
The word pastor means a shepherd or spiritual overseer (Webster). The Scriptures refer to the office commonly called pastor as elder or bishop. Acts 20:28; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-5, 5:17; Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4 are examples of such and also show clearly that the pastor is to oversee and supervise the affairs of the church. He shall not only have the general supervision of the church but shall have unrestricted liberty in presenting any matter he deems necessary to the church for its consideration and instruction.
1 Tim. 3:1-5 and Tit. 1:7-9 give the qualifications of the pastor. The life of the pastor and his family should be an example of godliness and spirituality. They should not indulge in worldly or sinful practices, which would tend to weaken the testimony of this church. (1 Thes. 5:22) No one who is addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors, drugs, or tobacco in any form; or who brings disrepute upon his ministry through sinful language, practice, or associations shall be considered for pastor or having fell into such be retained as pastor, if such course is persisted in. (Rom. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:11-18.)
No person who has more than one living wife shall be pastor of this church.
No person shall be considered for the office nor serve as pastor of this church whose beliefs and teachings are not in accordance with the STATEMENT OF FAITH as set forth in Article III, Section 3 or who will not declare himself to be fundamental (Webster fundamentalism), pre-millennial, independent, and Baptist.
No person shall be considered for the office nor serve as pastor of this church who maintains any connection with the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES or any of its agencies, conventions, or other ecclesiastical body or bodies.
No woman shall be considered for nor serve as pastor of this church.
Because of the office, the pastor shall be counted worthy of double honor. (1 Tim. 5:17) No accusation shall be accepted against him without two or three witnesses. (1 Tim. 5:19)
He shall be the moderator of the church and preside at all its business meetings, be an official member of all the committees and organizations which includes the privilege of voting, in charge of the pulpit, and responsible for supplying speakers. In legal matters, he shall act as president.
It shall be the duty of the pastor to preach regularly at church, to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, and to perform the various duties incumbent on his office.
It shall be the duty of the pastor to represent the church at any monthly, yearly, annual fellowship meeting or any other special meeting that directly contributes to the spiritual well being of this church and furtherance of the Gospel.
The pastor is to have the authority and responsibility to appoint all Sunday School teachers, secretaries, bus workers, and may also discharge such if deemed necessary.
All associate pastors and staff workers must have the approval of the church, but the pastor will have the privilege to select or reject all such workers, as this will enable the church to carry on its work with harmony and oneness of spirit and conviction.
SECTION 2. PASTOR –
The term of pastor shall be for an undesignated period of time and shall be left in the hands of the pastor whether so stated time in the call to the office or not, unless dismissed by the church for sinful conduct or unscriptural teaching.
The pastor must give one month’s written notice before his resignation becomes effective.
The church must give the pastor one month’s written notice in order to enable him to resign.
Any pastor that loves the church should do all within his power to see that God’s man takes his place before his resignation becomes effective.
The Call of a Pastor
The Pastor, who is in good standing, shall have the authority to hire, train and appoint the next pastor who meets the qualifications and can perform the duties as outlined in Section 1 of the position of the Pastor without the formation of a “Pulpit Committee” or the voting of the church membership body.
In the absence of a Pastor, whether by death, resignation, or termination of the pastor, the church shall without necessary delay, proceed to secure a new pastor in the following manner:
Three to Seven men who have been members of the church more than one year and who are not related in any manner shall be known as the “Pulpit Committee.” The church shall choose from among its male members the said committee of three to seven. The church may elect them after said death or resignation of the pastor. Each must be elected to said office with a three-quarter majority vote or more.
The Pulpit Committee shall meet and elect one of its members to contact and invite to the pulpit of the church some minister of good report and who is in accordance with and meets the requirements of Article III, Section1. Of Article III, he shall be in accordance with Section 3 known as the Statement of Faith. An interview is recommended. No person shall be invited to the pulpit of the church in said case without consent of a majority of the Pulpit Committee.
The pastoral candidate must speak on three different occasions – the type of occasions are to be determined by the church body - before going to a vote.
It shall be announced in at least one regular public service previous to the taking of a ballot that the visiting minister is a candidate for the office of pastor of the church and the time of voting announced.
A three-fourths majority of the members present and voting shall be necessary for the calling of a pastor.
The deacons may act as the Pulpit Committee either by appointment of the pastor or elected by the church, except in case of the pastor’s dismissal.
The duties of the Pulpit Committee shall cease as such as soon as a pastor accepts the pastorate of the church.
SECTION 3. PASTORAL STAFF
Members of the pastoral staff shall be considered assistants to the pastor and will be appointed by the pastor, ratified by the church. Their duties and responsibilities will be established by the pastor. He shall have oversight of their ministry. Financial arrangements will be determined by the pastor and deacons in accord with the church budget. Members of the pastoral staff will serve indefinitely, until their own resignation, the request of the pastor or termination by the church.
SECTION 4. DEACONS – Duties and qualifications
The word means servant, attendant, aid, waiter, etc. In Acts 5:1-4, the first servants were chosen by the church and were appointed to their tasks by the overseers of the church for the purpose of performing tasks as would free those in charge of the services for prayer and study of the Word. Therefore, because this church accepts the Scriptures as final authority rather than tradition, the office of deacons shall not in any way be taken to mean authority over the church and pastor.
The general duties of a deacon, aside from appointed tasks, shall be to assist the pastor in building up the church numerically, financially, and spiritually; to visit the sick, the widows, the sorrowing, and the needy; to PERSONALLY strive to win the lost to Christ; to guard and protect the reputation of the church and pastor against gossip, lies, and false accusations; to investigate delinquents and to endeavor to remedy any spiritual weakness in the lives of its members; and to cooperate with the pastor in the care, operation, and repair of the physical property of the church. Duties toward the pastor shall be to pray for him earnestly and continually, to act as a host and friend in behalf of the church, to see that his material and physical needs are taken care of, and to strive in every way to help him in the performance of scriptural duties.
1 Tim. 3:8-13 gives the qualifications of deacon and wife, and they shall, by the help of God, try to live thereby. The life of a deacon and his family should be one of godliness and spirituality. They should not indulge in worldly and sinful practices, which would tend to weaken the testimony of this church. (1 Thes. 5:22) No one who is addicted to intoxicating liquors, drugs, or tobacco in any form; or who brings disrepute upon the church through sinful language, practice, or associations shall be considered for deacon, or having fallen into such practices and persisting in the same, be retained. In keeping with the Scriptures, gossiping, tattling, backbiting, undermining, holding grudges, violent uncontrolled temper, etc. are unbecoming of the office of deacons and if indulged in by either a deacon or his wife shall be ground for dismissal.
No man shall be considered for the office of deacon who has more than one living wife.
No woman shall serve as deacon or deaconess in this church.
No man shall be elected to the office of deacon who has not been a faithful member of the church for a period of one year or more. (1 Tim. 3:10)
A deacon is to be faithful in all things. (1 Tim. 3:11) Therefore, absenteeism from business meetings or six weeks of church attendance without a legitimate excuse shall disqualify said deacon, and his office shall be declared vacant.
There shall be two deacons, unless qualified men are not available.
At least a majority of those serving as deacons shall either be charter members of this church or hold membership by virtue of baptism into this church.
The pastor and deacons shall act as the “Discipline Committee.”
Deacons shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a period of one year and may be re-elected.
The deacons, along with the pastor, shall prepare and distribute a budget covering proposed expenses for the coming year, presenting it to the church for consideration and approval at or before the annual meeting. The deacons, together with the pastor, shall be authorized to make expenditures up to $2,000 besides the regular operating expenses of the church. Any expenditure of over $2,000 must be approved by a majority vote of the church at any regular or special business meeting. The deacons and pastor should discuss and agree upon funds which may be used at the pastor’s discretion for the necessary day to day operations of the church. The deacons may maintain a separate benevolent fund to assist the needy with no public reporting as to the disposition of such funds.
No one shall be considered for nor serve as deacon who is not in accordance with the Statement of Faith of this church found in Article III, Section 3.
SECTION 5. TRUSTEES
There shall be three trustees – male members of the church in good standing. The term of office shall be for one year. Duties shall be to sign legal papers for the church and to aid the pastor by suggesting care and repair of properties. The pastor and trustees shall be known as the “Purchasing Committee” and shall act as the “Auditing Committee.”
SECTION 6. TREASURER AND ASSISTANT TREASURER
Treasurer – Duties
At the annual election of the church, there shall be elected a treasurer. He shall be a male member of the church whose Christian life and conduct shall be beyond reproach in the community.
The duty of the treasurer will be to receive and count all money and to pay by check all bills by order of the church and/or the pastor. He shall be able to give weekly, monthly, or quarterly financial report to the church and shall therefore keep a true and fair book of accounts of said finances. He shall also deposit the money and sign checks.
The treasurer will automatically be one of the members of the Finance Committee.
At the end of each fiscal year, said records shall be examined by the Auditing Committee. (See Article VIII, Section 4.)
Assistant Treasurer – Duties
The assistant treasurer shall be a male member of the church in good standing. Term of office shall be one year and elected annually.
His duties shall, with the treasurer, help in counting all the money and making deposits and other jobs assigned by the treasurer. He shall cosign all checks with the treasurer. In case of the resignation or death of the treasurer, the assistant shall act as treasurer for the remaining term.
SECTION 7. CHURCH CLERK DUTIES
At the annual election of the church, there shall be elected a clerk. (It may be either male or female.)
It shall be the duty of the clerk to keep first-hand record of the proceedings of the church and all legitimate business of the church, to keep a register of all members of the church, and those coming in invitations.
The term of office shall be one year. (Except in extreme cases as declared by the pastor.)
SECTION 7. BIBLE SCHOOL SECRETARY
Shall keep an accurate record of all classes, attendance, offerings, promotions, etc. The secretary shall be a member of the church in good standing. Term of office is one year and shall be appointed by the pastor.
SECTION 8. MUSIC DIRECTORS: Appointed by the pastor.
SECTION 9. PIANISTS AND ORGANISTS: Appointed by the pastor.
SECTION 10. HEAD USHER: Appointed by the pastor.
He shall be a male member of the church and in good standing. His duties shall be to select and train ushers for the purpose of seeing that the people are greeted and are comfortably seated, taking of the offering, keeping order, proper ventilation, lighting, and any other duties needful to the service.
In order to promote a high spiritual standard of this church, all officers, teachers, and committeemen will be required to attend all regular services of the church, except they be sick or providentially hindered, and the office shall be declared vacant.
Before any officers of this church shall be officially authorized to perform the duties of their offices, they shall stand before the church and make the statement that they have read the statements adopted by the church pertaining to their offices and that they will perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
The same person may hold any two or more offices if that person is qualified.
ARTICLE IX. - SUPERINTENDENT, TEACHERS, AND WORKERS
APPOINTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENT AND TEACHERS
All church officers, members of committees, officers of all church-related organizations, and all Sunday School officers and teachers must be members of the church in good standing. They shall be chosen from among those members who faithfully attend the worship and prayer services of the church. They shall be appointed, changed, or moved from their respective position at the said pleasure of the pastor, if he deems necessary for the betterment, advancement, and future growth of the church.
QUALIFICATIONS OF SUPERINTENDENT, TEACHERS, WORKERS
All superintendents, teachers, and workers of this church shall be known to be separated and consecrated to Christ in their daily lives so as not to bring reproach either on the name of Christ or His church. No one who smokes, drinks, or takes intoxicants in any form or manner, or participates in worldly amusements such as dance halls, pool halls, taverns, etc. shall teach in this church.
All superintendents, teachers, and workers in this church shall be expected to attend midweek services (Workers Meetings) to receive assignments, etc. for the following Sunday, unless providentially hindered.
All superintendents, teachers, and workers will be expected to do personal visitation work in order to build their departments or classes, to contact absentees, parents of children attending, etc.
If said individual feels that he cannot adhere to such a life, he may resign said position so that it can be filled by another who will adhere to it.
ARTICLE X. – REAL ESTATE
The church shall not purchase real estate nor sell, mortgage, exchange, or otherwise dispose of real estate unless authorized to do so by a majority vote of the members of the corporation present at any meeting of this corporation duly called for that purpose.
AVAILABILITY OF CHURCH FACILITIES FOR ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
All such activities must have the approval of the pastor.
FUNERALS: The facilities of the church will only be available to those members known as ACTIVE MEMBERS. (Article VII, Section 2-C)
WEDDINGS: The facilities of the church will only be available to those members known as ACTIVE MEMBERS. (Article VII, Section 2-C)
The church facilities will only be used for church services and activities.
ARTICLE XI. – CHURCH BUSINESS
ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
1. The annual meeting for the election of officers and the reading of annual reports shall be held on any stipulated date announced at least two Sundays in advance, between November 1 and December 15, and all retiring officers shall relinquish positions and all newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 following the annual election.
2. The moderator shall cause to be elected or, if authorized by the church, may appoint a Nominating Committee of three or more male members, not related, in advance of the annual election of officers. This said committee shall meet with the pastor prior to the election and, after prayer, shall select persons from among the membership who meet the requirements and who will cooperate with the leadership in fulfilling the duties of the several officers. It is recommended that they be visited personally before their names are placed on the ballot or read before the church prior to the voting. The membership of the church shall be given the opportunity of nominating additional names to the ballot, prior to voting, providing they meet with stated requirements and qualifications and will cooperate. Persons must be nominated and their named placed on the ballot in order to be elected at the annual election. Vacancies may be filled at any regular or special meeting of the church by means other than ballot. After the election, the Nominating Committee (if used) will be automatically dissolved.
5. The church clerk or church secretary shall bring the membership roll up to date prior to the annual election and give a report to the church at that time of the number received and dismissed and the number of the roll. The pastor or the assistant clerk shall check report at least ten days prior to the meeting.
6. The church treasurer shall give the financial report of the total receipts, expenditures, and indebtedness of the church. Such reports and records shall have been examined by the Auditing Committee (trustees) at least ten days prior to said meeting.
The Bible School superintendent shall give a report of the work and progress of the Bible School for the past year.
All other committees appointed or elected shall give a report if called upon to do so.
SECTION 2. MANNER OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS
The meeting shall be opened and closed by prayer.
Motions: All business must be presented to the church by a motion. Properly, the motion should be made by one member and seconded by another. No second motion shall be presented to the church until the one under consideration has been disposed of, except a motion to amend, to substitute, to commit, to postpone, to lie on the table, for the previous question, and to adjourn.
The moderator may speak upon any subject under consideration.
Every ACTIVE MEMBER wishing to speak shall rise and respectfully address the moderator. No member shall speak more than twice upon the same subject. Discourteous language or remarks shall be ruled “OUT OF ORDER” and shall forfeit the speaker’s right to the floor.
Any speaker who introduces any matter foreign to the subject under discussion shall be ruled “OUT OF ORDER.”
SECTION 3. ELIGIBILITY OF VOTERS (See Article VII, Section 2-C)
Legal voting age for any ACTIVE church member shall be eighteen years of age.
Only active members who are present at time of business meeting are eligible to vote.
For all financial business of the church, the eligible voters will only be tithing members of Northern Lakes Baptist Church. The tithing member will have the burden of proof to show their active giving to the church in voting instances. They will need to record their giving on a church envelope if giving cash regularly to the church. This would be required in voting on financial business of the church such as purchases, budget approval, calling and supporting pastors, missionaries, and any other financial business of the church.
SECTION 4. REGULAR CHURCH BUSINESS
The pastor, for acting upon the business of the church, shall call business meetings of the deacons (only if the church has deacons).
The pastor and the deacons shall act as the Missionary Committee.
The pastor and the deacons shall act as the Finance Committee.
The buying and selling of real estate shall be done ONLY by the vote of the church. Indebtedness of over one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) or the mortgaging of the church property shall not be permitted except by vote of the church.
SECTION 5. SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS
Special meetings for business may be called at any time by the pastor when such meetings fall on regular times of service, provided such meetings do not include major business such as selling of church property, amending the Constitution and By-Laws, and mortgaging of property.
The pastor may call special business meetings falling on a time other than the regular church services provided it be announced in at least one regular service prior to the date of the meeting, except it be for the purpose of selling of church property or amending the Constitution and By-Laws.
Special business meetings for the purpose of selling of church property, or amending the Constitution and By-Laws, or other major business may be called by the pastor provided said proposition or amendment has been posted and read from the pulpit, and the date and time of the meeting announced for at least two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting, and no other business except that which has been announced shall be taken care of at said meeting. Such business shall require a three-fourths majority of those present and voting.
A special meeting may be called by any ACTIVE member of the church in the following manner:
A petition stating clearly the purpose, date, and time of the meeting and the name or names of the petitioners shall be drawn by the church clerk and signed by him.
Said petition shall then be signed by five elected officers of the church, plus a majority of the regular Bible School teachers, plus three members at large who are twenty-one years old or older and who are not related to each other nor to the petitioner.
Said petition shall then be posted by the church clerk and read from the pulpit for two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting.
No secret or unauthorized business meetings are valid. No business beyond that of routine weekly affairs shall be carried on in the absence of the pastor (including his vacation).
Twelve voting members shall constitute a quorum to transact business, except in the matters pertaining to a pastor, or for mortgaging or selling church property, or amending the Constitution and By-Laws. Then one-fourth the previous month’s average Bible School attendance (not including visitors) shall be a proper number of voting members for a quorum.
A majority vote of the voting members (3/4) present and voting at a constitutionally called business meeting shall be required, except when otherwise stated.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this Constitution and By-Laws may be introduced in writing through formal motion at any business meeting but shall not be acted upon by the church until a later business meeting. At such time, an affirmative 75% of voting members present shall be required for acceptance provided, however, that in the meantime, members of the church have been duly informed of the proposed amendment. At no time can any amendment be adopted that would be contrary to the clear teachings of the Scriptures and to historic Baptist beliefs and practices.
No amendment shall ever be voted on the Church Covenant (Article III, Section 1), Statement of Faith (Article III, Section 3), or Church Policy (Instrument Number IV).
INSTRUMENT NUMBER IV – CHURCH POLICY
Whereas this church in its desire for steady growth in spirituality and in numbers and in its fervent determination to fulfill the Great Commission (Mat. 28:19-20) of our Lord Jesus Christ recognizes the great need in these days of evident apostasy of a thorough and completed understanding of principles and policies of the New Testament Church. For the sake of the perpetual unanimity of the Spirit and that said fervency of determination be not impaired now or later and thus bring reproach upon the name and work of Christ in this place: BE IT RESOLVED that the Northern Lakes Baptist Church of Phelps, Wisconsin, thereby places itself on record as adopting the following altogether scriptural policy in relation to the church as a divine institution and its officers and members of the institution.
That the church possess, operate, do its business, and govern itself under the guidance of the HOLY BIBLE and the following four instruments:
Church Covenant – Instrument Number I.
Statement of Faith – Instrument Number II.
Constitution and By-Laws – Instrument Number III.
Church Policy – Instrument Number IV.
That the local church is an independent body, and in all matters pertaining to its teachings, affiliations, and policy is sovereign and responsible only to the membership and the Lord Jesus Christ.
That all publicity and advertisements of any and all departments, whether free or paid, must first receive the approval of the pastor.
That upon the recommendation of the Pastor and or deacons (only if the church currently has deacons and or a Discipline Committee), the Pastor will lead the church to order the names of members dropped from the church roll. Pastor will have the authority to suspend any church member’s membership which will then be recorded as inactive for the span of six months to one year without notice at any time due to the below reasons without a church meeting or vote from the current membership. The Pastor will call a church business meeting (no longer than eight weeks) after membership suspension, to bring forth the findings to the church membership for possible discipline and a plan for restoration of the member(s), in which the member(s) under suspension will be notified. The Pastor, for reasons of confidential information about the member(s) whose behavior is in question and whose behavior is unknown to the church membership, has the authority and the responsibility to protect the church from disunity and any other behavior that is unbecoming of a biblical Christian holding membership at Northern Lakes Baptist Church. Therefore, the member is a danger to the unity of the church and is hindering the gospel ministry, whereupon they shall cease to be members of this church for the following reasons:
UNCHRISTIAN CONDUCT – constant violation of their part of the adopted and established instrument of this church known as the CHURCH COVENANT.
HOLDING OR TEACHING DOCTRINES SUBVERSIVE OF THOSE HELD BY THIS CHURCH whether such teaching is done in this church’s buildings or in some way, class, or fellowship, or place.
CALLING, HOLDING, OR PARTICIPATING IN SECRET AND UNAUTHORIZED MEETINGS with members of the church.
UNBRIDLED TONGUE – Vulgar or profane language, backbiting, tale bearing (this does not mean the bringing of information to the proper authorities), lying, excessive violent anger, etc.
ACTIVE OPPOSITION TO THE POLICY OR LEADERSHIP OF THE CHURCH or conduct calculated to cause or create dissension or division within the church. (1 Cor. 5:11)
That if any member of this church has any cause for complaint of sufficiently serious nature to justify expression, that in order to prevent confusion and strife in the church, such complaint be taken to both the pastor and deacons for consideration and action. Should such prove not to produce satisfaction, said complaint may be appealed to the church by special meeting within thirty days. Should any member be known to give expression to sentiments or complaints likely to cause diversion or dissension in the membership, or to impede the progress of the work, such course if persisted in shall constitute sufficient grounds for bringing the names of the ones so doing before the church by the deacons or Discipline Committee for exclusion from membership. (1 Cor. 5:11)
That if or when any officer or teacher of this church shall decide he cannot cooperate, qualify, or perform the duties of his position, he shall so declare himself by either declining to accept the position or resigning from the position in person or writing to the proper authorities.
That the deacons shall be counted as Holy Spirit induced servants of the church according to Acts 6:1-4, where they were chosen by the church and appointed to their tasks by the leaders, which resulted in the church being “multiplied greatly.” Faithful deacons are worthy of honor, respect, and prayers of the church.
- That the Holy Bible shall never be subjected to ridicule nor brought into disrepute by any pastor, worker, officer, or member of this church, and those doing so shall be counted enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and their relationship with this church shall be severed. (1 Cor. 16:22, Gal. 1:8-9, 2 John 7:11)
That no amendment shall ever be proposed or voted upon to amend the Statement of Faith nor shall such document even be subjected to ridicule or unbelief by any members of this church, and such action shall immediately and automatically sever any and all relationships with this church.
That all funds and properties of organization or classes of this church are automatically the property of the church, to be used as recommended by the church or its duly elected officers.
That because of the following Scripture references: Acts 20:28; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-5, 5:17; Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4, and because this church has adopted the Holy Bible as final authority, the members and officers of this church shall recognize the leadership vested in the scriptural office of pastor (called elders and bishops in the King James Version) and shall earnestly pray for and uphold such in the work of the Lord.
That each officer shall be required to read, either publicly or privately, the paragraphs, articles, or resolutions of the instruments of this church and such Scriptures as pertain to the office or position to which he or she has been elected or appointed. This shall be done at least once yearly following the annual business meeting.
That members who are delinquent for one year shall be investigated, and if delinquency continues, said member shall automatically forfeit church membership.
That this church authorizes and enjoins its pastor and his appointed helpers to review the work of this church and its present status as related to this policy and to bring it into harmony with this policy, both now and from time to time through the years. It is recommended that such be done before or after each annual election.