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Our Constitution

The Constitution of

Grace Bible Church

 

Article I

 

The Name of this church shall be Grace Bible Church of Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Article II: Doctrinal Statement

 

1. We believe the Bible to be verbally inspired by God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that it is the supreme and final authority in faith and life. (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Jude 3).

 

2. We believe in the one and only true God (Deut. 6:4), eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19; Lk. 3:21-22).

 

3. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Lk. 1:30-35; Jn. 1:18; 3:16; Phil. 2:5-11).

 

4. We believe that man was created innocent in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death (Gen. 2:16-17; Rom. 6:23), which is separation from God. Hence, totally depraved, man has inherited and possesses a sinful nature (Rom. 3:10-23; 7:18).

 

5. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of all men according to the Scriptures as a perfect and complete substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe on Him are justified on the basis of His shed blood (Rom. 5:8-10; I Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 4:15; I Jn. 2:1-2).

 

6. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord (Jn. 20:1-29); in His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9-11); that He is seated at the Father's right hand (Eph. 1:20-23) and that his present life there for us is as High Priest, Advocate and Head of the Church (Heb. 1:3).

 

7. We believe in the personal and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ prior to the Tribulation to receive the church (I Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:1-21; I Cor. 15:51-58; II Peter 3:11-13), and, following the literal fulfillment of the Great Tribulation, He will return visibly to the earth with His saints to reign during the Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 19:11-15; 20:1-6).

 

8. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting joy of the saved (I Cor 15:1-50) and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost (Rev. 20:1-6; 21:22).

 

9. We believe that a person is born again by a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24-28; Rom. 10:9-10); that at regeneration, all believers in this age are also indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13), and sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).

 

10. We believe that sanctification is separation unto God and is three-fold:

 

a. Positionally, the believer was sanctified at his conversion by virtue of his union with Christ (Jn. 17:17).

 

b. Progressively, he is continually being sanctified through the Word by obedience to the Word as he walks in the Spirit (Eph. 5:26), thereby controlling the flesh and producing the fruit of the Spirit (Col. 3:1-4).

 

c. Ultimately, he will be completely conformed to the image of Christ when he sees his Savior face to face (Heb. 10:14; I Jn. 3:1-3).

 

11. We believe that the church is the Body of Christ, composed of all who are born again during this age of Grace; that the local church is to gather together for the purpose of observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ (Acts 2:1-47; Rom. 12:1-8; I Cor. 12:1-31).

 

12. We believe in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper and that it is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and that it should be preceded by self examination (I Cor. 11:23-31). We believe in the ordinance of water baptism as a symbol of the believer's death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Mat. 28:19; Rom. 6:1-4).

 

13. We believe all believers are kept secure forever in that they cannot lose their salvation (Rom. 8:1,38-39; Jn 10:27-30; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Jn 5:11, 13).

 

14. We believe in the personality of Satan (Job 1:6-7), who is the open and declared enemy of God (Isa. 14:12-17) and man (II Cor. 4:3-4; I Pet. 5:8).

 

15. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer (Rom. 8:9-11) and baptizes the believer into the body of Christ at the moment of Salvation (I Cor. 12:13), and that evidence of this indwelling of the Spirit is the "fruit of the Spirit" of Gal. 5:22-23. We further believe the sign gifts, such as "tongues", was a sign to Israel in the days of the Apostles (I Cor. 14:21-22).

 

16. We believe that by the command of Scripture (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) and by example of New Testament Christians (Acts 3:4) the Great Commission was given to the church collectively and to each Christian, and thus all believers have the responsibility to faithfully witness of Christ to all men as we have the opportunity.

 

Article III: Church Officers

 

A. All church officers shall be twenty-one (21) years of age or older. With the exception of the Pastor, they must have been active members of the church for one (1) year prior to their election. They are to possess those spiritual qualifications which would identify them as examples of the believers and faithful stewards of God's work. All church officers shall be in full agreement with the Doctrinal Statement and be members who reflect their commitment to our Lord by faithful participation in the services and activities of this church. (I Tim. 4:12; I Pet. 2:21-23; Heb. 10:24-25; I Cor. 4:1-2)

 

B. Pastor:

 

1. Selection

 

a. In the event of a vacancy in the pastorate of this church, the Board of Elders shall constitute a pulpit committee to arrange for the pulpit supply in each regular service and to investigate prospective candidates for the pastorate.

 

b. The candidate of their choice for the pastorate shall be a man of satisfactory theological training, high moral reputation, and evident spiritual discernment and gifts. He must be in compliance with the qualifications of the Elder set forth in Scripture (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1) and adhere strictly to a Biblically defined ethical and moral lifestyle as defined by the Word of God.

 

c. The candidate shall be interviewed by the pulpit committee. He shall be asked to give his testimony and he shall be required to state his acceptance of and adherence to the Doctrinal Statement and Articles of the Constitution of this church.

 

d. A special congregational meeting shall be convened to consider extending a call to the candidate for the pastorate. A three-fourths (3/4) majority of members present and voting shall be necessary to extend the call.

 

e. Not more than one candidate shall be considered at one time.

 

f. The pastorate shall be a continuing office until our Lord leads either the Pastor or the congregation to discontinue the association.

 

2. Termination:

 

a. It shall be the prerogative of the Pastor to dissolve the pastoral relationship by giving a one month notice of such intention, or less if mutually agreed.

 

b. The church may initiate termination of the pastoral relationship by calling a congregational meeting to consider the question. Such a meeting shall be called by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the votes cast at a duly constituted meeting of the Board of Elders, or by a petition submitted to the Board of Elders signed by twenty percent (20%) of the voting membership. A majority of the number of the total active, church membership cast by secret ballot at a duly announced congregational meeting shall be sufficient to cause termination. In such case, the Pastor shall be entitled to one month's salary after the date of termination set by the congregation. All members shall be notified by written announcement one week prior to such meeting.

 

 

3. Duties and privileges:

 

a. He, along with the other members of the Board of Elders, shall assume the responsibility for the spiritual life and oversight of the church. Their position of leadership should be held in honor and respect by all members of the church (I Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:17).

 

b. He shall preach the Gospel regularly, teach the whole counsel of God, equip the saints to do the work of the ministry, administer the ordinances and tenderly shepherd the flock. His ministries shall include baby dedications, weddings, counseling and funerals. He may not sanction, condone or participate in any ceremony, activity or ritual which is deemed immoral, unethical or questionable by Biblical standards.

 

c. He shall be ex-officio member of all boards and committees with full voice and vote.

 

d. He shall be responsible to the advice, counsel and recommendations of the Elders.

 

e. His counsel and advice shall be considered by the officers of the church.

 

4. Pastoral Staff:

The Board of Elders may call such paid pastoral staff as shall be considered necessary for the most effective ministry of the church. Salaries of pastoral staff shall be approved by the congregation. Their duties and privileges shall be stipulated in writing by the Pastor in conjunction with the Board of Elders and shall be carried out under the direct supervision of the Pastor, or in his absence, the Board of Elders. No staff member of Grace Bible Church may sanction, participate in or encourage any behavior which is deemed immoral by the Word of God as interpreted by the Constitution, doctrinal statement and/or bylaws of Grace Bible church. A three-fourths (3/4) majority of the Board of Elders shall be required to call or terminate pastoral staff.

 

C. Elders:

 

1. Leadership:

 

The leadership of this church shall be vested in those men gifted of God as Elders, including the Pastor.

 

2. Qualifications:

 

The Elders shall be men who meet the qualifications found in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

 

3. Selection:

 

a. Any man desiring the office of Elder and feeling that he meets the Biblical qualifications found in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 should make his desire known. He may submit his own name or be nominated by another member of the church in writing to the Board of Elders.

 

b. The Board of Elders shall give close examination to the candidate, asking him questions regarding his gifts, his calling and his testimony.

 

c. Upon approval by the Board of Elders the man's name shall be submitted to the voting members of the congregation for a vote of confidence.

 

4. Membership of the Board of Elders:

 

Elders, with the exception of the Pastor, shall be appointed to serve continually with the possibility of Sabbatical leave upon request and approval by the rest of the Board. Elders who, because of hardship or personal problems, are failing to discharge their responsibilities properly may be granted leave without requesting it by three-fourths (3/4) vote of the remaining Elders.

 

5. Organization, number, meetings, and quorum of the Board of Elders:

 

a. At the first meeting of the Board of Elders after the annual congregational meeting, the Elders shall elect from their number such officers as necessary. Should the number of Elders support such offices, they shall elect from among them a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and a Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary for this Board shall also serve to keep minutes at all duly called congregational meetings of the church. Such committees shall be appointed as number and need dictate for the effectual oversight of the activities of the church.

 

b. The number of Elders serving shall be determined by the size and needs of the congregation and the number of qualified men available to serve. At no time and under any circumstances should any man be allowed to serve as an elder who does not meet all the requirements set forth in Scripture and does not evidence all the required criteria in his life at home and away from the church. If such circumstances arise where there ceases to be a Board of Elders or any elected men to that office remain in the congregation, the Pastor shall serve as a single Elder assisted by a board, nominated by the pastor and approved by the congregation, chosen from the prominent lay leadership in the church to be known as the Administrative Board. This situation shall exist only until such qualified men can be found to form a proper Board of Elders.

 

c. The regular meetings of the Board of Elders shall be held monthly at such time and place as the board may determine. Special meetings may be called at the request of the Pastor, the chairman of the board or a majority of the Elders. Notice of a regular or special meeting shall be given from the pulpit, in the bulletin, or by telephone at least one day prior to the meeting.

 

d. A simple majority of all the board members shall constitute a quorum for the board, and the acts of the majority of those members present and voting shall be the acts of the entire board unless otherwise specifically required by law or by this Constitution and By-laws.

 

 

6. Responsibilities:

 

a. The Elders, including the Pastor, (as in all of these articles) shall oversee the spiritual well-being of the church and shall build the body of the church and one another by the Scriptural process of edification.

 

b. The Elders shall be responsible for the general oversight of the church including all ministries, boards and committees.

 

c. The Board of Elders shall be responsible for the discipline of the church body according to the directives of Scripture.

 

d. The Board of Elders shall provide suitable opportunities for the congregation to meet for instruction from the Word, worship and prayer.

 

e. The Board of Elders shall be responsible for interviewing all those who seek membership in the church. They shall act for the church in the acceptance and dismissal of members, and shall maintain an active and inactive membership roll.

 

f. The Elders shall assist and support the Pastor in all his ministry according to their gifts and abilities. These duties shall include teaching, counseling, visiting, and personal ministry as directed by need, opportunity, and the condition of the body.

 

g. The Board of Elders shall constitute a pulpit committee in the absence of a Pastor.

 

h. The Board of Elders is to assume the educational responsibilities of the church, providing such opportunities and supplementary materials as is compatible with the stated doctrine and Bible-centered ministry.

 

i. The Board of Elders shall serve as the annual Nominating Committee.

 

j. Should a vacancy in any office occur during the church year, The Board of elders may appoint a temporary officer until the annual congregational meeting, at which time a regular election shall be held to fill the vacancy.

 

7. Termination:

 

A. An Elder will be terminated upon his death.

 

B. An Elder will be terminated upon acceptance of his resignation by the full board.

 

C. Any Elder who refuses to fulfill the responsibilities designated in the Constitution and By-laws and is recognized as such can be terminated by a simple majority of total board membership at a duly called meeting of the Board of Elders.

 

D. Any Elder absent from three consecutive business meetings of the board without a viable excuse acceptable to a majority of the total board membership may be terminated by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at a duly called meeting of the Board of Elders.

 

E. An Elder may be removed by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of total Board membership voting at a duly called meeting of the Board of Elders if an officer shows himself by person or attitude to be disturbing the purity, peace or unity of the church, or has admitted to changing his views regarding the Doctrinal beliefs, or By-laws of the church.

 

D. Deacons:

 

1. Qualifications:

The Deacons shall be men who meet the qualifications found in I Timothy 3:8-13.

 

2. Selection:

 

a. At least four weeks before the last Sunday of the church year, the number of vacancies to be filled at the annual congregational meeting shall be announced from the pulpit or published in the bulletin.

 

b. Nominations for these offices may be submitted in writing to the Nominating Committee by any voting member of the church until the close of the evening service on the last Lord's Day of the church year.

 

c. No nominations shall be accepted from the floor at the annual congregational meeting.

 

d. All persons so nominated shall be subjected to approval by the Nominating Committee as meeting the constitutional requirements of the office to which they are nominated.

 

e. The nominees receiving the greatest number of votes by secret ballot shall be elected and shall assume responsibilities following the annual meeting.

 

f. Should a vacancy occur during the church year, the Board of Elders may appoint a temporary officer until the annual congregational meeting, at which time the congregation shall elect a successor to fill the unexpired term.

 

3. Number and Duration of Service:

 

a. As with the Board of Elders, the number of deacons shall be determined by the needs of the ministry and the number of qualified men available.

 

b. Once elected, deacons should remain in service, being granted leave as personal need and ministry parameters dictate.

 

4. Termination:

 

Deacons shall be terminated under the same provisions as Elder in II.C.7.

 

5. Responsibilities:

 

a. The Deacons shall assist the Pastor under the direction of the Elders, according to their spiritual gifts.

 

b. The Deacons shall supervise the church buildings and all church equipment under the oversight of the Board of Elders.

 

c. The Deacons shall supervise and employ all custodial help on terms approved by the congregation under the oversight of the Board of Elders.

 

d. The Deacons shall supervise the purchase and installation of all equipment under the oversight of the Board of Elders.

 

e. The Deacons shall provide maintenance for all buildings and equipment under the oversight of the Board of Elders. This maintenance can but does not necessarily include adequate insurance coverage, fidelity bonds, requests from outside the congregation for use of facilities, and acting as Trustees to purchase, sell or mortgage real property.

 

f. As agents empowered by the Board of Elders, the Deacons may purchase unbudgeted supplies, materials or equipment provided the total does not exceed $1000 per purchase. Emergency repairs may be made to buildings and equipment not to exceed $4000 without congregational approval.

 

g. Under the oversight of the Board of Elders, the deacons may incur expenses for the church exceeding the revenue of the church only if required to meet promptly such fixed current expenditures as may be necessary to secure continuity in the work of the church.

 

h. The duties of the Deacons shall include ushering at the services of the church and for providing for the physical needs of the church fellowship. They may appoint such committees as are necessary for the effectual oversight of these responsibilities, subject to approval by the Board of Elders.

 

i. Under the oversight of the Board of Elders, all financial officers, elected or appointed, shall come from the pool of elected Deacons. These include three Deacons who will serve as trustees as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.

 

E. Church Financial Secretary:

 

1. Selection:

The selection of the Church Financial Secretary shall be by the same process as for deacons in III.D.2.

 

2. Term of Office:

 

The Financial Secretary shall be elected for a term of one (1) year.

 

3. Responsibilities:

 

a. To count and record all monies received for the church in the presence of a Deacon or someone so appointed by the Elders on a rotating basis.

 

b. To take charge of monies received by the church and deposit the same in the name of the church in a bank or other financial institution approved by the Deacons and Elder in supervision.

 

c. To maintain a complete and accurate record of church income into the church's various funds and to render a weekly report to the Church Treasurer and the Elder in oversight.

 

d. To maintain a record of individual contributions by members with an annual notification to the individual member concerned, if so requested.

 

F. Church Treasurer:

 

1. Selection:

The selection of the Church Treasurer shall be by the same process as for Deacons in III.D.2.

 

2. Term of Office:

 

The Church Treasurer shall be elected for a term of one (1) year.

 

3. Responsibilities:

 

a. To sign all checks disbursing church monies as authorized by congregation and this Constitution.

 

b. To maintain accurate financial records which shall include records of income expenses and current assets in all church funds?

 

c. To render monthly statements of current financial condition to the Board of Elders.

 

d. To tender quarterly statements of receipts and disbursements of the various church funds to the congregation.

 

e. To prepare annual financial reports to be presented to the congregation.

 

f. To maintain monies in individual funds unless congregational approval is given for transfer.

 

Article IV: Committees

 

A. Existence:

 

Such standing committees shall exist and hold regular meetings as deemed necessary by the Board of Elders. The size of the congregation, the scope of the ministry involved and the availability of qualified personnel are all factors that may be considered in determining the need for a committee.

 

  1. Examples:

 

The following are examples of the committees that may be deemed necessary by the Board of Elders.

 

  1. Christian Education Committee: This committee would supervise and administer Sunday School including the selection and training of teachers. It would provide conservative, Bible-centered literature for use in any teaching ministry as approved by the Elders. Other responsibilities could include Vacation Bible school, retreats and other ministry arms of the church as well as preparing an annual budget for these purposes.

 

  1. Evangelism Committee: The responsibilities for this committee would include developing an evangelistic outreach program, assisting the Elders in visitation, help in planning evangelistic services when requested, providing meals and lodging for visiting ministers and missionaries and preparation of an annual budget for these purposes.

 

  1. Missions Committee: This committee would promote missions within the church, recommend a missions program to the congregation, plan and conduct an annual missions conference, give regular reports concerning missionaries and projects supported by the church as well as prepare the annual missions budget.

 

  1. Finance Committee: This Committee would prepare an annual estimated operating budget for congregational consideration, review all unbudgeted money requests, and arrange for an independent audit of the church financial records.

 

  1. Nominating Committee: The Board of Elders shall constitute this committee as stated in Art. III.6.I.

 

  1. Membership and Organization:

 

All existing committees shall be chaired by an Elder and hold regular meetings. The membership of each committee shall consist of Elder(s), Deacon(s) and church members at large as deemed necessary by and appointed by the Elders.

 

Article V:

Meetings, Elections and Procedures

 

A. Chairman:

All congregational meetings shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Board of Elders. If he is unable to preside, the vice-chairman of the Board of Elders shall act as chairman. If neither of these is able to preside, the Board of Elders shall appoint a chairman.

 

B. Annual Congregational Meetings:

 

An annual congregational meeting shall be held as soon as practical after the end of the fiscal year at a time deemed appropriate by the Church Administrative Board. The meeting date shall be announced at two (2) Sunday Morning Worship Services prior to the meeting. Election of officers and adoption of an annual church budget shall be included on the agenda of the annual congregational meeting. Previous officers shall serve until new officers are elected.

 

C. Special Meetings:

Special congregational meetings may be called by the chairman of the Board of Elders, the Pastor, or by petition to the Board of elders by twenty percent (20%) of the active voting membership of the church. Such meeting shall be announced at two (2) Sunday Morning Worship Services prior to such meeting.

 

D. Elections:

All elections of officers shall be by secret ballot and shall require a simple majority of those present and voting for election unless otherwise stipulated in this constitution. An abstention shall not be counted as a negative vote.

 

E. Church Calendar:

The church year shall begin on January 1 and newly elected church officers shall take office immediately upon election.

 

F. Quorum:

 

A quorum for the transaction of business at all congregational meetings shall be twenty percent (20%) of the voting membership. The majority vote shall prevail unless a greater number is required by this constitution. A majority shall constitute a quorum for all boards and committees of the church.

 

G. Business Procedures within Meetings:

 

In the transaction of business, the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall be used in all cases not covered by this constitution. Any voting member may request a secret ballot on any issue. When a secret ballot is taken a committee of three (3) tellers shall be appointed by the chairman.

 

H. Sale or Purchase of Property:

 

A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting shall be required to buy, sell or mortgage church property at a special congregational meeting called for that purpose.

 

I. Removal of Church Officers:

 

Any church officer, with the exception of the Pastor, may be removed form office by three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the Board of Elders after having followed all Biblical injunctions to correct the problem or he may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting at a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose and announced by written notice to the last know address of each member.

 

J. Amendments:

 

No alterations or amendments to this constitution shall be made except they be presented in writing at two (2) Sunday Morning Worship Services prior to a congregational meeting at which they are acted upon. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting shall be necessary for adoption of alterations and amendments. Article II of this constitution may not be amended or altered in any way.

 

 

Article VI: Church Membership

 

  1. Qualifications for Membership:

 

Any person desiring to unite with this church shall be interview by at least two (2) Elders. The applicant shall give satisfactory testimony to his personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and express his intention to abide by the Constitution and By-laws of the church. The candidate for membership must also be free from any lifestyle or practice which would trigger disciplinary action for existing members, especially all ethical and moral deviations including those which are described as “porneia” (porneia) in the New Testament. (See Article 10 for further clarification.) The Elders shall provide sufficient instruction for each applicant for a proper understanding of the doctrinal positions and operation of this church.

 

  1. Reception of Members:

 

Upon approval of the applicant=s qualifications, he shall be extended the right hand of fellowship at the next appropriate service and so be received into the membership of the church.

 

  1. Associate Membership:

 

Temporary residents who wish to take an active part in this church, yet retain membership with a church in another locality, may apply for a temporary membership. Associate members are received on the same basis as regular members and have the usual privileges and responsibilities of church membership with the exceptions of voting and holding office. Such members will be dropped from the roll when they move from the area.

 

  1. Active and Inactive Membership:

 

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Elders to maintain an active membership roll and review it at least each October.

 

  1. Any member who absents himself from the services of the church for a period of six months, except for sickness or disability, shall be placed on an inactive roll.

 

  1. Persons whose names are on the inactive membership roll shall not be permitted to participate in business meetings of the church or to hold church offices. They may be reinstated to the full privileges of active membership by vote of the Board of Elders upon compliance with the normal custom of church attendance or satisfactory communication with the church.

 

  1. Voting Membership:

 

The voting membership of the church shall consist of members in good standing whose names appear on the active membership roll and who are eighteen (18) years of age or older.

 

  1. Conditions for Termination of Membership:

 

Death: The names of all deceased members shall be removed from the church roll.

 

Transfer: Members in good standing shall be granted, upon request a letter of recommendation to any church of like faith and practice.

 

By Request: Any member may request that his or her name be dropped from the church roll.

 

Inactivity: Any member whose name remains on the inactive membership roll for a period of one year may be dropped from church membership with good reason by the Board of Elders.

 

Discipline:

 

To maintain the peace and the purity of the church, the Scripture permits the removal of any person from the membership for disciplinary reasons (Rom. 16:17; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Thess. 3:6; II Tim. 2:16-21). Those reasons include any and all occasions where there are observable, discernable attitudes or actions declared in the New Testament to be sin (Rom. 1:18-32; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; etc.) or any behavior determined to be harmful to the membership or ministry of Grace Bible Church.

 

After reasonable attempts toward restoration have been made without avail (Matt. 18:15-16; Gal. 6:1) charges shall be submitted to the Board of Elders in writing by those bringing them.

 

The accused must be notified of the charges and of the date of their consideration at least one week in advance of that date, and must be given opportunity to answer the charges before the Elders if so desired.

 

Dismissal by discipline shall require a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the Board of Elders after careful and prayerful consideration.

 

Persons who have been so disciplined, but who demonstrate a genuine attitude of repentance may be restored to membership in accord with the regulations which govern the reception of members.

 

 

Article VII: Ordinances

 

Baptism:

 

Since baptism is the outward testimony of an inward spiritual transformation, it shall be administered only to those who give evidence of having been born again by faith in Jesus Christ. Infant baptism shall not be practiced.

 

Communion:

 

The Bread and the Cup shall be administered as a commemoration of our Lord=s death. It shall be observed on a regular basis as the Board of Elders direct. It shall be open to all self-examined believers.

 

 

Article VIII: Ordination

 

The church shall have the authority to ordain qualified men to the gospel ministry. Such men shall make application for ordination to the Board of Elders. If the Elders approve the application, they shall authorize the Pastor to call an ordination council to examine the candidate regarding his Christian experience, call to the ministry, education, character, and doctrinal belief. The candidate shall be publicly ordained to the Christian ministry upon the recommendation of this council.

 

Article IX: Dissolution

 

“No part of the net precedes of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director or officer of the corporation or to any private individual, and no donor, member director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporation assets. Upon dissolution, any real property must be liquidated and assets used to pay any debts due employees (back pay, severance pay, benefits, etc). Any remaining funds are to be divided among the missionaries and institutions in the missionary budget.”

 

Article X: Objective Morality and Deviant Lifestyles

 

The staff and members of Grace Bible Church believe that the Bible is the sole, supreme and final authority for faith and practice as set forth in Article II, paragraph 1 of this document. Therefore, we believe that morality is defined by a consistently applied literal, historical and contextual interpretation of the inerrant Word of God and is not determined by the subjective, relativistic opinions of man which deviate from generation to generation. There is absolute truth and an objective morality. It is set forth by the revelation of God as recorded, inspired and inerrant, in the 66 books which comprise the Holy Bible.

 

Therefore the Biblically mandated standards of morality are not to be amended, adjusted, redacted, modified or ignored due to the whims, convictions, desires or philosophies of culture, society or civil government. There is no authority but that which comes from God (Rom. 13:1) and the Word of God is to be obeyed regardless of what any human agency, institution, organization or activist group might demand (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29).

 

Nowhere does this have greater application than in the areas of human sexuality. Members and staff of Grace Bible Church believe that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27 NASB). God also determined that “a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 NASB). The fact that God intended marriage to be between one man and woman is not only stated in Genesis before the fall but upheld by the teachings of Jesus Christ (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Luke 16:18) and the Apostle Paul (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Cor. 7).

 

Therefore, all sexual activity other than sexual relations between one man and one woman joined in the lifelong covenant of marriage is revealed to be condemned by God including fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, incest, sodomy, transvestism, polygamy or any other deviant sexual activity which falls under the umbrella of the terms “πόρνος” (pornos) and ”porneia” (porneia) in the New Testament (Rom. 1:29; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Cor. 5:1ff; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:3; Heb. 13:4; etc.). Such activity will be considered sin and addressed as such by the leadership and membership of Grace Bible Church.

 

Therefore the grounds and facilities of Grace Bible Church may not be used in any activity which would allow, encourage, endorse, assist or promote any of the immoral activities listed above. The pastoral staff or elders of Grace Bible Church may not assist in, participate in, preside over or in any way officiate at any ceremony involving, enabling or condoning any of the immoral activities described above. Any member of Grace Bible Church who is involved in any way with such behavior leaves themselves open to correction and possible church discipline.

 

However, the pastoral staff, elders and members of Grace Bible Church recognize the Biblical mandate to respond to those who are involved in such practices in love and without mockery, ridicule, rejection or disrespect. Instead, the church is to lovingly present them with the clear message of God’s redeeming grace and proclaiming the sufficiency of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ in overcoming all sinful practices. Responding in love means that Grace Bible Church cannot encourage, endorse, sanction, approve or condone any lifestyle that would bring the disapproval, condemnation or wrath of God upon the one captured by such sins (Rom. 1:18; Eph 5:6; cf. Heb. 10:26-31). The New Testament is clear that such immoral actions and activities are to be abandoned upon the new birth and such changes are evidence of that person coming to faith (Rom. 6:1ff; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5ff).

 

This is and will remain the position and policy of Grace Bible Church regardless of civil law, presidential edict or court decision. We will continue to declare the clear teaching of the inspired Word of God and obey God rather than man. (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29).