ARTICLE I- NAME
The official name of this church is the West Pines Baptist Church, Inc., of Greenacres, Florida.ARTICLE I - PURPOSE
This church, believing in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and acknowledging its adherence to all the teachings contained therein, declares its purpose:
ARTICLE III – ARTICLES OF FAITHSECTION A - THE SCRIPTURES
- To maintain regular services both for devotional and for public worship.
- To proclaim earnestly the Gospel message of salvation through personal faith in Christ's finished work and urge men to personally accept Him as their Savior.
- To vigorously promote and liberally support missionary enterprises at home and abroad.
- To promote systematic Bible study and training for Christian service and to encourage, in every possible way, life enlistment in some form of definite work for Christ.
- To encourage, as far as possible, through the influence of both precept and example, the conformity of lives to the will of God as revealed in the sacred Scriptures.
- To be balanced in areas of in reach and outreach.
- To be blended in areas of ethnic, social and economic diversity.
- To be intentional about reaching lost souls for Christ and building His Kingdom.
- To promote Biblical marriage, family values, and the sanctity of life.
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenarily inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).SECTION B - THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, and infinite Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Exod. 20:2, 3; 1Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11).SECTION C - THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world he restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer (John14:16, 17; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5,6; Eph. 1:13, 14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26, 27).SECTION D - THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil and that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the power of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).SECTION E - CREATION
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1; 2; Col. 1:16, 17; John 1:3)SECTION F - THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam's fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 3:10-19; 5:12, 19, 1:18, 32).SECTION G - THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14).SECTION H - SALVATION
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demand of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven; and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and all- sufficient Savior.
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith. (Jonah 2:9; Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24, 25; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7, 8; Heb. 2:14-17; Isa. 53:4-7; 1John 4:10; | Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1Pet. 2:24).SECTION I - RESURRECTION AND PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest interceding for us (Matt. 28:6, 7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1Tim. 2:5; I John 2:1; Heb. 2:17; 5:9, 10).SECTION J - GRACE AND THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; | John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13; John 3:8).SECTION K - JUSTIFICATION
We believe that Justification is the judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's shed blood (Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; Ga. 2:16; Phil 3:6).SECTION L - SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting a part of the believer unto God accomplished in the threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the believer as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return or when the believer expires from this life. (Heb. 1:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:25-27; 1Thess. 3:3, 4; 5:23, 24; 1John 3:2; Jude 24, 25; Rev. 22:11;2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:21-23).SECTION M - THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ and cannot be lost. (Phil 1:6; John 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1).SECTION N - THE CHURCH
We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (I Cor. 11:2; Acts 20:17-28; I Tim 3:1-13; Acts 2:41). We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the Church which is the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph. 1:22, 23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Col. 1:18; Acts 15:13-18).SECTION O - BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that, following salvation, the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord's Supper, and that participants in the Lord's Supper should be immersed believers. (Acts 8:36, 38, 39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 1:12; I Cor. 11:23-28; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41, 42).SECTION P - SEPARATION
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; I Thess. 1:9, 10; I Tim. 6:3-5; Rom 16:17; 2 John 9-11).SECTION Q - CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; those magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of Kings. (Rom. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:21, 22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19, 20; Dan. 3:17, 18).SECTION R - ISRAEL
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now
dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be re-gathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. (Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37).SECTION S - RAPTURE AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribulation. (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 3:10). We believe that the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom. (Dan. 9:25-27; Matt. 23:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29, 30; Rev. 20. 20:1-4, 6).SECTION T - THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His sight; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire. (Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17-18; 7:6, 6:23; 1John 5:19; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; John 8:21; Rev. 20:14, 15).SECTION U - ASSOCIATIONS
As a New Testament Church cannot "join" anything outside itself but can only affiliate therewith on the ground of fellowship, this church declares itself to be in fellowship with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (G.A.R.B.C.) and the Sunshine State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches (S.S.F.R.B.C.) This church will remain in fellowship with the G.A.R.B.C. and the S.S.F.R.BC. as long as these groups are characterized by Biblical convictions and vigorous opposition to apostasy and compromise. If either of these groups forsakes its present Biblical position, this church shall take appropriate action to withdraw from its fellowship. The action to withdraw from the GARBC/SSFRBC will be done by 100% of deacons voting to withdraw. Voting messengers, when expedient, in addition to the pastors, will be elected by the church prior to each association meeting to serve as voting messengers at the association meetings of the state and national fellowships. Al voting messengers must be members in good standing of this church.SECTION V - STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE, GENDER AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term "marriage" has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, pedophilia, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of West Pines Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the WBC members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by WBC in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22) We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of WBC.SECTION W - SANCTITY OF LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139)SECTION X - STATEMENT OF MEDIATION
Members of the church agree to submit any legal dispute with the church for mediation before a
mutually agreed-upon mediator, or if none can be agreed upon, one selected by Peacemaker Ministries. Lawsuits between believers, or threats of lawsuits between believers, are a matter of grave concern for the church, are contrary to biblical and church teaching, and mediation is an effort to resolve disputes in a biblical fashion. (1 Corinthians 6:1-7) ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
SECTION A - PRESENT MEMBERSHIP
All those whose names appear upon the rolls of this church are members, but only those upon the "Active list" are considered in good and regular standing. Those whose names appear on the "inactive list"(see Article IV, Section D, point 3 have no right to speak or vote at any meeting of the church whatsoever. Also, those whose names appear upon the "inactive list" cannot hold any office in the church.SECTION B - REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the West Pines Baptist Church is open to anyone who has personally received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior; has subsequently been baptized by immersion as a public confession of his faith in Christ; has declared his concurrence with the doctrinal position of the church; and has agreed to be governed by the church's constitution.SECTION C - RECEPTION OF MEMBERS
A person may qualify for church membership in one of three ways:
- Baptism by single immersion upon his profession of Christ as Savior.
- Testimony of personal salvation and previous scriptural baptism.
- Restoration (for those previously dismissed members giving evidence of repentance).
In cases where the candidate for membership has been a member of another church, the church clerk shall notify the former church of the admission of the candidate to the membership of this church. All persons requesting membership shall meet with representatives of the deacons who will hear their personal testimony of faith in Christ and discuss matters relevant to their membership. If the interview is satisfactory, the candidate will be recommended to the deacons who shall accept the new members into membership based upon a unanimous vote by the deacons present at the regularly scheduled deacons meeting. (Minimum of 6 deacons)SECTION D - TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Termination of membership may transpire in the following ways:
- Departure - When a member of this church has united with another church, upon notification of this church from the newly joined church, their membership with this church shall cease, and their name shall be dropped from the membership list.
- Erasure-Members who do not fulfill their duties as outlined in Article VI, Section E, for a period of one year may be placed on the "Inactive List". This action shall be initiated by the pastor and deacons. Any member placed on the "Inactive List" shall be deprived of voting privileges and the right to speak at any business meeting and shall not be allowed to hold any office or position in this church. Those whose names are placed on the "Inactive List" shall be notified by letter fi they still live in this local area. Names continuing on the "Inactive List" for a period of six months will be dropped from the membership of this church only after an effort has been made by the pastor and/or deacons to reclaim such members.
- Discipline/Expulsion-It is vital to the testimony of this church and the glory of our Lord that the purity of the church be preserved, and its peace protected. According to the Scriptures, discipline is not an option but a divine command. (I Cor. 5:1-13; Matt. 18:15- 17;2 Thess. 3:6-15; Titus 3:10). Should a member become an offence to this church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, the church by majority vote of the members present and voting may terminate his membership upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons, but only after every effort has been made to bring such a member to repentance. All matters of church discipline shall be investigated and accomplished by the pastor and the deacons.
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to…
- glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6)
- to edify believers by deterring sin and promoting purity (1 Timothy 5:20)
- and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1)
The Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted the local church with the authority and responsibility to discipline members for flagrant sin or serious doctrinal error, with the goal of restoration of the offender. This discipline is entrusted to the pastors and deacons and is to follow the biblical pattern as set forth in Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10-11; and 2 John 7-11. Any member of this church who practices or affirms a doctrine or conduct that is opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, or is threatening to the testimony of this church, or is divisive to the body, shall be subject to church discipline. Discipline will follow the said biblical pattern and is an effort to bring the individual to repentance and protect the church from unrepentant sin. Discipline may involve exclusion from participation in ministry and communion, as well as dismissal from the fellowship of this church. An individual may be disciplined by the pastors/deacons short of dismissal from the fellowship, as they deem appropriate for the specific circumstance (for example, an individual may remain in certain circumstances a member of this church but be denied the privilege of serving in a
particular ministry. The pastors/deacons, as is required by Scripture, may report to the congregation the names of those who have lost membership by reason of church discipline, and the reason for that discipline, as described in Matthew 18:15-20, if necessary.SECTION E - DUTIES OF MEMBERS
Members are expected to be faithful in all the spiritual duties essential to Christian life and to attend habitually the services of this church unless providentially hindered and contribute cheerfully, as God prospers, to the financial support of the church and the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Members should honor those in authority in the church, pray for them, submit to their leadership as the Scriptures command and assist them with wholehearted cooperation.
Every member should cultivate his own Christian life and character so that the unity of the brethren might be preserved, and a good testimony might be obtained before those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Members should volunteer to serve, as invited and directed by the church leadership, in the program of the church. This service should be with priority and wholehearted effort. In order for any person to serve in any ministry of the West Pines Baptist Church, that person must be a member, in good standing of the West Pines Baptist Church. In special circumstances, the pastor and deacons can approve of a person's involvement in a ministry of the church. This involvement would exclude any teaching ministry and any ministry leading/teaching children. Also, special musicians, preachers, interns, missionaries, etc. which are to serve for an appointed time do not need to become members.SECTION F - ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
Associate Membership will be provided for those who wish to retain membership in a home church, if there is residence kept in that distant place. This type of membership will give opportunity to enjoy the spiritual benefits and service opportunities afforded by this church, excluding the right to vote and holding an elected office. The home church will be notified of the acceptance of the candidate for the Associate Membership. A person desiring Associate Membership must meet the requirements for membership to the West Pines Baptist Church as explained in Article IV, Section B and C. ARTICLE V- OFFICERS
The elected officers of this church shall be the pastor(s), deacons, treasurer, assistant treasurer, financial secretary, assistant financial secretary and clerk.SECTION A - ELECTED OFFICERS
Paragraph1 - Corporate Board
The corporate board consists of representatives from the pastors, deacons, and financial officers. This board is recognized by the state for corporation purposes.
Note: The corporate board is appointed by the deacons and submitted to the state each February/March.Paragraph 2- Pastors
- Qualifications- The character and testimony of the pastors) will be in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9. The pastors) will also be in complete agreement with the Articles of Faith of this church.
- Responsibilities - The senior/lead pastor is to be considered the chief administrator of the church and have spiritual oversight with a servant's attitude toward this church which practices congregational government. He is to preach the Gospel, feed the flock, and equip the membership for the work of the ministry; he is to have in his charge the stated services of public worship; he will administer the ordinances, and he is to perform the usual duties of a Baptist minister. The senior/lead pastor will have the option to moderate all business meetings.
- Election and Termination - The pastors) will be elected for an indeterminate term. He will be chosen by a three-fourths majority vote of the qualified church members present and voting. The pastors) will give the church written notice not less than 30 days prior to the date he intends to terminate his ministry with the church.
The senior/lead pastor may be dismissed by three-fourths majority of the qualified members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. Such a meeting, along with its intended purpose of proposed dismissal vote, must first be approved by 70% of currently elected deacons and then be announced from the pulpit by the chairman of deacons at all services on two successive Sundays preceding the meeting. Following such action, the pastor shall be given a notice of not less than 30 days. If it is not deemed wise by the church for the pastors) to continue his duties, he may be released immediately with one month's pay, except in the case of immorality, as determined by 100% of the deacons, when he would be dismissed immediately without pay.Paragraph 3 - Deacons
- Qualifications -The character and testimony of the members of the diaconate will be in accordance with I Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-6. A deacon must be an active member of this church at least one year prior to his election.
- Election - The diaconate shall consist of 5 or more men. The church voting membership will elect from its membership the deacons from the ballot submitted by the Nominating Committee at the annual meeting. They will serve terms of three years. After (2) consecutive 3-year terms, there will be a 1-year absence from serving as a deacon. Election shall be by a majority vote of the qualified church members present and voting, or by absentee ballots administrated by the chairman and/ or vice chairman of the deacons. All other elected officers of the church (following in paragraphs 3 through 7) shall be elected by a majority vote of the qualified church members present and voting, or by absentee ballots administrated by the chairman and/or vice chairman of the deacons.
- Responsibilities - The deacon is a servant of the church. As such, he shall assist the pastor in the work of the ministry and the spiritual and administrative welfare of the church. Included among their various duties will be:
- As trustees, the deacons will have the oversight and the care of all properties belonging to this church. They will not have authority to sell, lease, give away or dispose of in any manner church property to exceed $1,000 in value or encumber the church property with debts to exceed the above amount, except as the church will order by a corporate act, or except in extreme emergencies.
- Preparing and serving of the ordinance of communion and assist at baptisms.
- Serving as the pulpit committee of the church in the event of the resignation of the pastor, as well as seeing that pulpit speakers are furnished for the pulpit for Sunday services and prayer services and also caring for the oversight of the church until a new pastor is called.
- Establishing and monitoring an annual church budget in conjunction with the pastor, church treasurer, and budget committee.
- Performing such other duties as are necessary to assist the pastor and congregation as determined by the pastor.
- Meeting and Organization - The deacons shall convene on an established monthly, or at times every other month, basis to transact an agenda which reflects the overall responsibilities entrusted to them. This regular meeting time will be established by the pastor and deacons. In order to have a deacon meeting, 70% of the currently elected deacons must be present.
In the case of a vote at that (or any) meeting, 70% of the currently elected deacons must approve in order for a motion to pass.
Additional meeting may be called by the pastor or chairman of the diaconate. The deacons shall elect from their number a chairman, a vice chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The chairman or pastor will preside o v e r all deacon meetings. The chairman is also responsible, along with the pastor, to prepare an agenda for all deacon meetings. The vice chairman will carry out the duties of the chairman in the case of the chairman's absence. The secretary shall keep good records of all deacon meetings. The treasurer will keep good records of any finances for which the diaconate is responsible (i.e., Deacon Fund).
Paragraph 4 - Treasurer
- Removal of Deacon from position – A deacon may be dismissed by a three-fourths majority vote of the currently elected deacons.
At each Annual Meeting the church shall elect from its active membership a treasurer. He shall receive from the financial secretary all monies of the church. From these monies the treasurer shall be responsible to pay all bills incurred by the church. The treasurer will also be responsible for the following.
Paragraph 5 – Assistant Treasurer
- Recording of all financial transactions in permanent records.
- Making a full report to the church at each annual meeting.
- Preparing a monthly financial statement showing a status of the various funds of the church which must be approved by the deacons and made available to the church membership.
At each annual meeting, the church will elect from its active membership an assistant treasurer who will, in the absence or incapacity of the treasurer, assume the full duties of the treasurer as defined in Article VI, Section A, Paragraph 3. The assistant treasurer will also assist the treasurer with his duties as may be assigned to him by the treasurer.Paragraph 6 - Financial Secretary
At each annual meeting the church will elect from its active membership as financial secretary. The financial secretary shall be responsible for the following:
Paragraph 7 - Assistant Financial Secretary
- Oversight of receiving and counting all of the church's regular and special offerings. Form a schedule of "counters" so all financial counting is always done with at least (2) counters. The financial secretary or assistant financial secretary should be present to count when possible, along with at least one other person.
- Depositing monies in the appropriate bank accounts of the church.
- Preparing weekly reports dealing with the income of the church. A copy of these reports will be given to the pastor, the treasurer, assistant treasurer and church secretary.
- Keeping an accurate record of all individual giving through the church envelope system or other giving opportunities (i.e., online giving) in order to give individual donors a receipt at the end of the year. The records of individual donors are to be guarded by the financial secretary as a sacred trust.
At each annual meeting, the church will elect from its active membership an assistant financial secretary who will, in the absence or incapacity of the financial secretary, assume the full duties of the financial secretary as defined in Article VI, Section A., Paragraph 5. The assistant financial secretary will also assist the financial secretary with his duties as may be assigned to him by the financial secretary.Paragraph 8 - Church Clerk
At each annual meeting, the church will elect from its active membership a church clerk.
The church clerk will be responsible for the following:
Paragraph 9 – Pastoral & Vocational Staff
- Keeping a complete record of the transactions of all business meetings of the church.
- Keeping a complete record of the church membership (admissions, terminations, deaths, baptisms, etc.) And will be responsible for the notification of other churches relative to church membership as defined in Article VI, Section C.
- Reporting at each regular business meeting of the church all minutes of preceding meetings not yet reported.
- Making a full written report of all official church actions from the previous business meetings of the church that year at the annual meeting of the church. If the church clerk is absent from any business meeting, the moderator will appoint someone from the active membership to take accurate minutes of the meeting which will be given to the church clerk within a week.
Every effort will be made to provide qualified personnel for the ministries of the church through voluntary staff from the working membership. When it is deemed necessary to invite pastoral staff (such as associate pastors in youth, music, evangelism, etc.), the senior pastor and deacons will establish and recommend to the church such staff positions, along with written job descriptions and appropriate salaries, for approval by a three-fourths majority vote of members present at a special meeting called for that purpose which shall have been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays immediately preceding the date of the meeting. Pastor and deacons will prayerfully seek an individual to fill such a position. Terms of election shall be the same as that of pastor. Absentee ballots may be used in the election of pastoral staff. These ballots will be administrated by the chairman and/or vice chairman of the deacons. (See Article VIII, Section B, Paragraph 5)
Vocational staff such as secretaries, interns, custodians, etc. shall be hired at the discretion of and selection of the pastor and deacons. Salary and terms of employment shall be approved by a majority of the qualified church members present and voting at any regular or special business meeting called for that purpose. All staff members may be dismissed by the senior pastor's and deacons' mutual agreement, or by the unanimous decision of the deacons.
All employees of WPBC MUST SIGN an agreement stating that they are in agreement with the "Articles of Faith" (Church Constitution).ARTICLE VI - COMMITTEES
SECTION A - NOMINATING COMMITTEE
At least six weeks before the annual meeting, a nominating committee shall be formed, comprised of the following: the pastor(s), two deacons, and two additional members of the church who a r e in good standing to be selected by the pastor and deacons. The nominating committee will be publicly announced to the membership six weeks prior to the annual meeting. The active membership will be encouraged to submit in writing to the nominating committee potential nominees for the elected church offices listed in Article VI, Section A. Any names submitted less than two weeks prior to the annual meeting will not be considered. There will be no nominations taken from the floor at the annual meeting.
The nominating committee will be responsible for the following:
SECTION B - BUDGETCOMMITTEE
- Preparing a ballot of one or more qualified candidates for each of the various elected church officers to be voted upon at the annual meeting of the church.
- Posting the nominations for officers at least 2 weeks before the annual meeting.
- Preparing a ballot of one or more qualified candidates at any time during the fiscal year, should a vacancy occur. The committee will remain functional for the entire year until a new committee is appointed.
A budget committee will be formed each September/October to assist the pastors and deacons in putting together a church budget to present to the congregation at its next annual business meeting (January of following year). The budget committee will consist of the pastors, (2) deacons, church treasurer, assistant treasurer, and (2) church members chosen by the deacon board. The budget committee works for the deacons and reports back to the deacons. The budget committee will remain in place throughout the year (serve 12months starting in September/October) and meet as needed to adjust the budget to stay in line with giving and financial position of the church. The budget committee presents its proposed budget to the deacons and the deacons then approve it before it comes to the congregation for vote at the January annual business meeting.SECTION C - MISSIONARY COMMITTEE
A missionary committee of no less than 4 people but not more than 8 people will be appointed annually by the pastors) and deacons. The pastors) will be members of this committee. The purpose, philosophy, and responsibilities of the missionary committee are as follows: PURPOSE:
The purpose of the missionary committee is to organize and maintain the oversight of the entire missionary outreach of West Pines Baptist Church.GENERAL PHILOSOPHY:
We believe that an effective missionary outreach through the local church is authorized by our Lord Jesus Christ, (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). Therefore, we also believe that the missionary outreach of our church is one of the most important aspects of our overall ministry, and in many respects our church will only be as effective as our missions program is strong.RESPONSIBILITIES:
SECTION D - AUDITING COMMITTEE
- Stay informed of the financial support status of the missionaries we support as well
- as the financial needs of the various ministries we support.
- Stay informed of the personal needs of the missionaries (and their families) that we support.
- Make sure that each missionary we support receives correspondence from our church at least once each quarter. (Letter from pastor, deacon, church member, missionary committee, etc.) Our missionaries are expected to communicate with us quarterly. The missions committee will monitor this correspondence.
- Develop and implement ways to display and promote before our church body the missionaries that we support and their fields of ministry.
- Make recommendations to the deacons concerning the addition of, or termination of, any missionary outreach in accordance with Article IX, Section A.
- Assist the pastor in organizing and promoting any missionary conference.
- Interview the missionaries we support when they visit our church on furlough, as well as those missionaries we plan to recommend to the deacons for support.
- Keep before our congregation the great need of laborers for the harvest fields of the world and encourage our own people to be those laborers.
- Meet as a committee on a regular basis as determined by the committee.
An auditing committee will be appointed by the pastor and deacons. The committee will consist of two members selected from the active membership of the church. The responsibilities of the auditing committee will be as follows:
SECTION E - ADDITIONAL COMMITTEES
- Carefully examine the records, receipts and vouchers of the treasurer and financial secretary for the past year.
- Report their finding to the pastor and deacons annually.
Additional committees as deemed necessary may be appointed by the pastor and deacons. Job
descriptions developed by the pastor and deacons will outline their duties and guidelines. These committees will also be terminated by the pastor and deacons when they are no longer needed.ARTICLE VII - MISSIONS
This church shall give zealous efforts to promoting evangelistic missions, duplicating our convictions worldwide through prayer, financial support, missionary conferences, speakers and other emphasis, and encouraging all to be willing to go as well as send.SECTION A - SUPPORT POLICIES
It shall be the policy of this church to support only missionaries and mission agencies engaged principally in evangelization and the establishment of New Testament churches. The church may also make contributions to schools, hospitals, orphanages, literature services, media service and similar ministries, but they must be kept subordinate to the primary objective of evangelization and the establishment of New Testament churches. Those missionaries and mission agencies and other ministries we choose to support shall be in hearty agreement with our doctrine and practices. A three fourths majority vote of the qualified members present and voting at any properly called business meeting of the church (see Article X, Section B, Paragraph 2 and 3) will be required to add a missionary or agency to our support budget.ARTICLE VIII- MEETINGS
SECTION A - FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the church shall commence on January 1stSECTION B - BUSINESS MEETINGS
Paragraph 1 - Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the church will be held during the third or fourth week in January, on a date selected by the pastor(s) and deacons, with public notice given for two successive Sundays immediately preceding the meeting. The annual budget shall be voted into effect at the annual meeting. An affirmative vote of 75% of voting members present plus absentee ballots is necessary to put the budget into effect. The proposed budget shall be made available to the church members no less than 8 days prior to the annual meeting. Nothing else can be scheduled on the church calendar for that date. If for any reason the annual meeting cannot be held on the above stated date, it will be rescheduled as soon as possible at the discretion of the pastors) and deacons.Paragraph 2 - Mid-Year Membership Meeting
There will be a mid-year membership meeting held following the end of the second
quarter (April-June). This meeting will be held to present information concerning the church's vision, direction, financial statements and other areas of business as needed. The meeting's agenda must be approved by the deacon board at a monthly meeting held preceding this mid-year membership meeting. This meeting is to provide a time of questions and answers for the membership of West Pines Baptist Church concerning items on the meeting's agenda. An agenda for this mid-year membership meeting is available for all members. The agenda can be obtained by contacting the church office. Any items needing approval by vote must be approved by a vote of three-fourths of the present qualified members at the mid-year membership meeting.Paragraph 3 - Special Business Meetings
Special business meetings may be called at any time providing public notice is given on the Sunday preceding the special meeting, with the exception that notice be given two Sundays immediately preceding meeting to terminate the pastor, (Article VII, Section A. Paragraph 1). In cases of extreme emergencies, the one week notice for a "Special Meeting" will be waived. This will be at the discretion of the pastor and deacons. The ordinary rules of deliberative assemblies will be observed in the transaction of business as set forth in Robert's Rules of Order but are not to take precedent over any rules of order established by the church.Paragraph 4 - Voting Privileges
All members, except restricted members (associate members, inactive members, etc.) of at least 18 years of age will be eligible to vote at any meeting of the church. All matters of church business will be voted on publicly, unless a secret ballot is called for and approved by a majority of the qualified church members present and voting. Exception: Secret ballot will be used for voting to call a pastor and for electing officers. Absentee ballots can be used for the electing of officers and are to be administrated by the chairman and/or vice chairman of the deacons. (See Article VIII, Section B, Paragraph 5)Paragraph 5 - Absentee Ballots
The use of absentee ballots can be used for voting on pastors and church officers. These absentee ballots will be available from the chairman and or vice chairman of the deacons (2) weeks prior to the vote. These absentee ballots must be turned into the chairman or vice chairman before the day of the corresponding vote. These ballots are for active members only. Ballots mailed in will not be counted. Ballots that will be counted must be given directly to the chairman or vice chairman of the deacons.SECTION C - MEETING FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP
Public worship services shall be held regularly on Sunday, the Lord's Day. These services will normally be congregational in format with music that has spiritual goals and the preaching of the Word of God with view to persuasion and invitation to obedience. Any special program or speaker must be approved by the pastor and deacons. All preachers must confess clearly the fundamentals of the faith (Jude 3). There shall be a meeting for prayer and praise at least once each week unless extreme circumstances prohibit. ARTICLE IX - DISSOLUTION OF THE CHURCH
In the event of the dissolution of this corporation, none of its assets or holdings will be divided among the members or other individuals. The pastoral staff and deacons (minimum of 70% of both pastors and deacons present to vote), by majority vote, shall dissolve the church by irrevocably designating all assets and holdings to another non-profit religious corporation or corporations that share the same purpose and are in agreement with its Articles of Faith.
The pastoral staff and deacons may choose between three options in the event of dissolution. Approval will be passed by majority vote:
ARTICLE X - ADDITION OR DELETIONS
- Sell the property and designate all assets and holdings to another non-profit religious corporation (i.e., church, etc.).
- Designate its building, land, and all other assets to another non-profit religious corporation (i.e., church, etc.).
- Merge itself with another church, but must designate all ownership and leadership to the other church.
This constitution may be amended, altered, or revised at any Annual Meeting by a three-fourths majority of the qualified members present and voting, provided such proposed changes have been submitted in writing not later than the mid-year meeting, preceding and recommended by the pastor and deacons. ARTICLE XI - CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION
When questions arise with regard to the interpretation of this Constitution, the decision of the pastor and deacons will be considered as the final authority. ARTICLE XI - FAMILY VALUES
The Family: God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Exodus20:12, Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 13:24; 22:6, 15; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; I Timothy 5:14; Hebrews 13:4; | Peter 3:1-7.) Because of the church’s position on biblical marriage, the church and its Pastors will only allow marriage between one biological man from birth and one biological woman from birth.