Our Constitution and Doctrinal Statement
THE CONSTITUTION AND DOCTRINAL STATEMENTIn order to set forth our position before the world, define our relationship with one another, and facilitate harmonious transactions of business and cooperative relationships within the Church, we, the members of the Fellowship Bible Church of Jefferson County, West Virginia, do ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH
Jefferson County, West Virginia
FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH
Jefferson County, West Virginia
The name of this local church or assembly of believers shall be Fellowship Bible Church of Jefferson County, West Virginia.
The purpose of this church is to magnify God’s name by bringing people to Jesus Christ and membership into His Church, developing them to Christ like maturity, and equipping and involving them in ministry and world missions.
The Doctrinal Statement
Of the Fellowship Bible Church
Of Jefferson County
1. The Bible - We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired by God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority for faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)
2. The Godhead - We believe in one God who is Creator of Heaven and Earth; who is Spirit, love, and truth, eternal, almighty, infallible, and unchangeable, infinitely wise, just, and holy; and that God eternally exists in Three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 12:29; John 1:1, 14, 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
3. Jesus Christ - We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the Eternal Word manifested in flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and that He is true God and true man. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; John 1:1, 2, 14, 18, 3:16; Luke 1:30-35; Philippians 2:5-8)
4. The Death of Christ - We believe that according to the Scriptures the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him by grace through faith alone, are justified on the basis of His shed blood (Romans 3:25-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:5-19; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7; Eph. 2:8-9).
5. The Resurrection of Christ -We believe that according to the Scriptures Jesus Christ
arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died. We believe that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which, at the return of Christ, will be given to all resurrected believers (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:20; Acts 2:32; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 42-45; Philippians 3:20-21).
6. The Work of Christ -We believe that Jesus ascended to heaven and was seated at His Father’s right hand, assuring us of the perfection of His work of redemption, and that He now as Head over the Church is engaged on behalf of the saved as Intercessor and Advocate. (Hebrews 1:3, 13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1)
7. The Return of Christ - We believe in our Lord’s personal, imminent, pretribulational, and premillenial return for His redeemed ones followed by His coming in glory to judge the rebellious and to establish His millennial reign on Earth. (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10; Matthew 24:29-31; Zachariah 14:4-11)
8. Man and Sin -We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God and that he fell through sin, and as a consequence of sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, was transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Jesus Christ alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially corrupt in body, mind, and soul. (Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6, 5:40, 6:53; Romans 3:10-19, 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6; 1 John 3:8)
9. Human Sexuality—We believe that God has ordained the institution of marriage, which is the union between one man and one woman. We further believe that God has reserved sexual acts for marriage, so the practice of sex outside the marriage is sin. (Genesis 2:18-25; Romans 1:24-32; I Corinthians 6:15-20)
10. Salvation - We believe that all who receive by faith Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and who confess Him as such, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. (John 1:12-13, 3:3-8, 16, 5:24; Romans 10:9-10, 8:16; Acts 16:31)
11. The Holy Spirit - We believe that the Holy Spirit, being the Third Person of the God- head, convicts men of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and sets believers apart to a holy life; that He keeps and empowers believers day by day. We believe that He is the Teacher of the Word of God and our Guide for daily life. (John 16:7-11, 3:6, 14:17; I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 12:13; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 1 John 2:20-27; 1 Peter 1:1; Romans 8:2, 4, 9, 12, 14)
12. Spiritual Gifts - We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts, and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament
Scriptures were completed and their authority became established. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12)
13. Heaven– We believe that Heaven is the eternal home of bliss and glory for all who through faith have been made righteous before God. We believe that those who trust Jesus Christ as Savior are heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, and will be eternally with Christ. We further believe that all of the righteous will be raised from the dead to
reign with Christ and share in His glory (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:20-23; Romans 8:16-18; Philippians 1:23; Revelation 21-22).
14. Hell– We believe that Hell is the eternal destiny of all the lost who are without Christ. We believe that the lost, because of their unbelief and sin, are under the just condemnation of God and will suffer everlasting, conscious punishment for sin. We further believe that they will be raised from the dead to stand before the Great White Judgment Throne of God to receive their final judgment (John 3:18; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15).
15. The Church – We believe that all believers in this present age comprise the Church in its universal and invisible aspects and are a part of the Body and Bride of Christ. We further believe in the local manifestation of the church, which is the center of God’s methods and plans for this age. The local church consists of a group of born again, baptized believers who have organized themselves according to the Scriptures for the purpose of edification, fellowship, observance of the ordinances, evangelization of the world (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41-42; I Corinthians 12:12-13,27). The two ordinances given to the local church by its Head, Jesus Christ are baptism and the Lord’s supper. These ordinances give witness to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and our identification with Him by faith.
Baptism- Baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, showing the solemn and beautiful picture of our identification with a crucified, buried, and risen Savior (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36-39).
*Communion- This symbolic communion of Christians with Christ at the
Lord’s Table is open to all born again believers who are in fellowship with God (Mark 14:22-25; I Corinthians 11:23-32).
16. Leadership. We believe that the local church is to be led by qualified, spiritually mature, male elders (I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4; Heb. 13:17; I Tim. 2:11).
Under the headship of Jesus Christ, this church shall be both served and led by
an elder board selected from and approved by the membership. It is in no way under jurisdiction of any other ecclesiastical body and never shall be.
A. Church Leaders
1. Senior Pastor
a. The pastor shall meet the biblical requirements for an elder
as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
b. The pastor shall be elected upon unanimous recommendation of the elder board. He shall be confirmed by a 75% vote of the quorum at a membership meeting.
c. The senior pastor shall be accountable to the elder board.
d. The pastor shall serve as an equal member of the elder board.
e. The pastor, together with the elder board, shall direct the worship, preach and teach the Word of God, administer the ordinances, and exercise the spiritual oversight of the ministry of the church.
f. The pastor shall be an ex-officio officer of all ministries and committees connected with the church.
g. Resignation—Upon his decision to resign, the pastor shall provide a thirty day notice prior to his departure.
h. Termination—Upon a 75% vote by the elder board (excluding the pastor), the pastor shall be dismissed. According to I Timothy 5:19-20, the elders will inform the membership at a special meeting called for such purpose. Such a meeting is exempt from the two week notice requirement.
2. Pastoral Associates
a. Pastoral associates shall meet the biblical requirements for an elder as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
b. The pastoral associates shall be recommended by the Pastor and receive unanimous approval of the elder board. They shall be confirmed by a 75% vote of the membership quorum. Pastoral Associates shall serve so long as is mutually agreeable with the elder board.
c. Pastoral associates shall be accountable to the senior pastor under the authority of the elder board.
d. Pastoral Associates shall serve as an equal member of the Elder Board.
e. Resignation—Upon their decision to resign, the pastoral associates shall provide a thirty day notice prior to departure.
f. Termination—The pastoral associate shall be dismissed by a 75% elder board vote. (The pastoral associate does not vote.) According to I Timothy 5:19-20, the elders will inform the membership and congregation.
3. The Elder Board
a. The elders are to serve the church as its leaders and are charged with the spiritual matters and spiritual welfare of the congregation. The elder board shall never perform their duties in a dictatorial or patronizing fashion but shall
consider themselves servants of the flock and undershepherds of Christ (Mark 10:35-45; 1 Peter 5:1-4), knowing that they shall give an account to Christ. (Hebrews 13:17). The elder board shall keep the congregation informed of the church’s leadership plans, activities, and decisions.
b. The elders shall meet the scriptural qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
c. The Elder Board shall be responsible for appointing new elders who meet the biblical qualifications. This appointment shall be by unanimous approval of the elder board. First-time appointees shall be confirmed by a 75% vote of the membership quorum.
d. The elder board shall prepare and oversee the pastors’ job descriptions, salaries, and benefits.
e. The elder board shall examine and approve all applicants for church membership.
f. All ministries, committees, and committee members, shall be accountable to the elder board.
g. Elders shall be eligible to serve two consecutive three-year terms following which shall be a mandatory one-year sabbatical. Reappointments following any three-year term shall require unanimous elder approval.
Revih. Any elder may be dismissed by a 75% vote of the elder board.
i. The elder board shall approve and appoint all deacons, trustees, and the treasurer.
j. The elder board shall appoint a chairman at the first meeting of the new year.
k. The elder board shall appoint a secretary at the first meeting of each new year. The secretary shall serve as the church clerk and shall be responsible for keeping minutes of all membership meetings.
a. The deacons shall meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-7.
b. The deacons are charged with the oversight of the physical needs of the church family and the church property and are accountable to the elder board.
c. The elder board shall be responsible for appointing new deacons. The deacons shall be approved by a unanimous approval of the elder board and approved by a 75% majority vote of the membership quorum.
d. Deacons shall be eligible to serve two consecutive three-year terms, following which shall be a mandatory one-year sabbatical. Reappointments following any three-year term shall require unanimous elder approval.
e. A deacon board shall appoint a chairman and secretary at the first meeting of each new year.
f. Any deacon may be dismissed by a 75% vote of the elder board.
a. Trustees shall be appointed by 75% approval of the elder board from the active membership and may serve indefinitely.
b. Trustees shall be responsible for signing any legal documents related to the church property and shall serve as trustees of the property.
c. Any trustee may be removed by a 75% vote of the elder board.
d. The names of all trustees shall be placed on record at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
a. The treasurer shall be approved and appointed each year from the membership by the elder board.
b. The treasurer shall oversee the receiving and depositing of all funds of the church in a bank approved by the elder board.
c. The treasurer shall oversee the keeping of all church finances and give an annual written report at the first business meeting of each new year.
d. The treasurer shall oversee the writing and signing of all checks.
B. Other Church Employees
All church employees shall serve under the auspice of the senior pastor and the elder board as outlined in the Fellowship Bible Church Employee Policy Manual.
C. Membership Meetings
a. A membership meeting shall be held in the first month of each year for the purpose of carrying out any church business, and to provide forum for open communication between membership and the elder board, and to approve the annual budget
b. Special meetings may be called as needed by the Elder Board.
c. Any member may ask for a special meeting to be called by written request submitted to the elder board. Approval of such a meeting requires a 75% vote of the elder board.
2. Announcement—All membership meetings must be announced at least two Sundays prior to the meeting, excluding Sunday of a meeting.
a. All voting shall be by written ballot.
b. 25% of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum at all meetings.
4. Parliamentary Procedure—Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used in all cases not covered by this Constitution.
D. Christian Education
1. Appointment of Workers—All teachers and workers in Christian Education ministries shall be approved by the Elder Board.
a. All teachers* must sign the FBC Teacher’s Covenant annually.
b. Guest speakers from outside of the FBC congregation are exempt from the Teacher’s Covenant.
c. All guest speakers from outside of the FBC congregation must be approved by the elder board or senior pastor.
d. All Christian Education Teachers and worker’s shall be accountable to and under the authority of the elder board.
e. Any revision of the FBC Teacher’s Covenant must be approved by the elder board.
f. Anyone with ministries involving children 18 years or younger must sign a written consent for a criminal background investigation.
*A teacher is defined as anyone who is responsible for structured Bible explanation.
1. Oversight and Direction—The missions program of the church shall be under the direction of the elder board who may appoint others to help as needed.
2. Missionaries and Projects
a. All missionaries and organizations must be in doctrinal accord with the church to receive support.
b. All missionaries, projects, and budgets shall be approved by the elder board and must receive a 75% majority vote of the membership quorum.
c. All FBC sponsored and/or financially supported short-term mission trips must be approved by the elder board.
F. Church-Related Ministries
1. Function—All church-related ministries shall function in accordance with the principles contained in this Constitution and shall be responsible to the elder board.
2. Testimony—Any ministry, event, or activity that is under the auspice of Fellowship Bible Church shall be carried out in a Christ honoring manner.
All ministries, events, or activities of FBC shall be alcohol free.
3. Reports—Each area of ministry shall present a written or oral report at the annual church business meeting upon request of the elder board.
A. Requirements—Any person who has confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and has been baptized by immersion and who willingly agrees with the Constitution and Doctrinal Statement of Fellowship Bible Church may apply for membership.
1. Any person who desires to become a member of Fellowship Bible Church shall make application to the elder board using the ―Membership Application Form.‖
2. All applications will be reviewed by the elder board and, if deemed necessary, the applicants will be interviewed by the elder board or a representative thereof.
3. If the applicants are approved for membership by the elder board, they will be received into membership by public welcome during a Sunday service.
1. All active members of this church who are 18 years of age or older are
eligible to vote in all membership meetings of the church.
2. Absentee ballots may be obtained upon request and must be signed, dated, and submitted prior to the meeting.
1. Any member guilty of serious offense against the standards set forth in these Articles, who neglects or refuses to remedy such offense after being counseled by the elder board, shall be liable to suspension from membership privileges or removal from membership. In regard to discipline and restoration, the scriptural model in Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1-2 shall be followed.
2. A 75% vote of the elder board by written ballot shall be necessary for removal from membership.
1. Membership may be terminated by death, letter of resignation, or disciplinary removal.
2. When members through lack of attendance shall fail to give evidence of
their desire to remain within the membership of the church for a period of 12 months, after due efforts have been made by the elder board to encourage their interest, their name may be placed on an inactive roll. If this status continues for another 12 months with no evidence of continued interest, the elder board shall remove their name from membership on the basis of nonattendance. Inactive members, upon showing renewed interest in the services of the church, may be restored by the elder board to the active membership roll. Members placed on inactive roll are not counted towards a quorum at membership meetings.
1. All offerings shall be voluntary and nothing of a secular or commercial nature shall be allowed for the purpose of raising money to carry on the work of either the church or church-related ministries.
2. A record of all gifts received by check shall be kept and maintained.
B. The Budget
1. A budget shall be prepared each year by the elder board and approved by a majority vote of the membership quorum.
2. The elder board will have authority to operate the ministry of the church within the budget. Any expenditures not in the budget and exceeding $15,000 must be approved by a 75% majority vote by the membership quorum.
ARTICLE VIII—MEMBERSHIP COVENANT
By the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we covenant:
To walk together in Christian love (Rom. 12:10, 16; I Jn, 4:7).
To exercise Christian care and watchfulness over one another ( I Jn. 3:16-18).
To pray with and for one another, sharing our burdens, sorrows and joys (I Tim. 2:1-4; Col. 4:2; I Thes. 5:17).
To be thoughtful and courteous to one another, slow to take offense, and quick to forgive. (Col. 3:12-14; Phil. 2:3-4; Eph. 4:32).
To guard the spiritual and scriptural purity, peace, and prosperity of the Church and its growth in scriptural knowledge and Godliness (Jude 3-4).
To assist, as the Lord enables, in the work of the Church and to promote its usefulness as a witness to the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 12:3-8, 11).
To cheerfully contribute, as the Lord directs, to the financial support of the Church, the relief of the needy, and the evangelization of all People (II Cor. 9:6-8; I Jn. 3:17; Mt. 28:18-20).
To engage regularly in personal, family, other corporate Bible reading and prayer (Acts 17:11; I Pt. 2:2-3).
To bring up such children as may be entrusted to our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6;1-4).
To live lives of spiritual wisdom in the world, to provide things honest in the sight of all men, to be faithful in engagements and exemplary in behavior, seeking to live self- controlled and Christ-like lives (I Pt. 2:9-12; Tit. 2:11-14).
To endeavor to avoid all things that would impair our bodies and minds or would in any way weaken our witness for Christ (Rom. 12:1-2; I Cor. 6:19-20; Rom 14:15-21).
To spread the Gospel of Christ. To seek the salvation of others,
our families, our friends, our neighbors, and those about us (Matt. 28:18-20).
ARTICLE IX—General Information
This Constitution may be amended by a 75% vote of the membership quorum.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on FBC property.
Fellowship Bible Church Teachers CovenantName: ___________________________ Class/Leadership Position:___________________
Testimony of Salvation: (Please give a brief written account of your testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Use back of this page.) Copy on file: ______
Recognizing the high privilege of serving the Lord in my local church in a teaching and leading position, I pledge myself to the following:
1. I am in agreement with the FBC doctrinal statement (Article III) and will teach accordingly. (See attached)
2. I will, by the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, live in accordance with the Christian life covenant as stated in Article VIII of the FBC by-laws. (See attached)
3. When leading or teaching a class or group I will be faithful in attendance and make it my practice to be present early to welcome each student as they arrive. If at any time through sickness or other unforeseen circumstance, I am unable to teach my class, I will notify the appropriate leadership as soon as possible.
4. I will, at all times, have a deep concern for the members of my class. My first priority shall be to present the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to each student who is without Christ, and to encourage the spiritual growth of every Christian. I will also pray for each member of my class on a regular basis.
5. I will be characterized by faithful attendance at all regularly scheduled church services.
6. I willingly agree to provide the information necessary for FBC to conduct a confidential criminal background check.
7. I will cheerfully and co-operatively engage in my responsibilities, and work towards the fulfillment of any stated educational goals of the FBC Christian Education program.
8. I understand that this is a one year commitment to my area of responsibility. (To be renewed annually.)
9. Should I need to be released from my ministry before the end of my commitment year, I will, if at all possible, give a two week notice to the appropriate leader.
10. I understand that all Christian Education materials, teachers, and workers at FBC are accountable to, and under the authority of, the Elder Board.
_____________________________ ____________ Elder Approval: _____________
Signature Date Date
Note: Any revision of this document is to be by FBC Elder Board approval only.