WOODLAND HEIGHTS BAPTIST CHURCH
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of this church and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this constitution.
I. NAME and PROPERTY
This body shall be known as Woodland Heights Baptist Church of Conway, Arkansas, Incorporated.
Woodland Heights Baptist Church is A NOT-FOR-PROFIT Arkansas corporation established to facilitate the business operations of this church as a religious organization. Its values and management structure are outlined in this Constitution and Bylaws. The physical location of the primary meeting place for the corporate gathering of members of Woodland Heights Baptist Church is 4215 Prince St., Conway, AR, 72034.
The church holds the ownership of all its property in common. Individual members share in the use and upkeep of church property. All uses of church property shall confirm to the principles contained in this constitution and Bylaws. The church property is not public property. Procedures for acquiring, using, and disposing of property are contained in these bylaws.
Woodland Heights Baptist Church is hereinafter referred to as “this church”.
II. MISSION STATEMENT AND CORE VALUES
Woodland Heights Baptist Church exists to lift up Jesus by being rooted in His truth, growing in His love for all people, and reaching our city and the nations with His gospel.
Commitment to Scripture
We confess an unwavering commitment to the Holy Bible as the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God and recognize the Scripture as our only authority. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation. We seek to accurately teach the truth of Scripture at every opportunity and, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, interpret our world and our own experiences through the lens of Scripture. Our message, ministry methods, and all other aspects of our church must be evaluated against the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
We practice the great privilege of calling out to God in prayer with confidence in His response. We acknowledge genuine dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s leadership. We desire Woodland Heights to be known as a house of prayer. (Matthew 21:13, 1 John 5:13-14)
Because we believe that God alone is worthy of praise and worship, we engage in the privilege of personal and corporate worship. We seek to lead believers to respond to God through authentic, Biblical, Christ-centered expressions. We believe that worship is best understood as a lifestyle of constant awareness of God that results in obedience, faithfulness, gratitude, humility, and love. (Romans 12:1, Colossians 3:16-17)
Evangelism and Missions
Because the beginning of the discipleship journey is salvation, we actively share the message of the gospel both locally and globally. Whether in our city or in another country, we seek to develop personal relationships with those who are without Christ in order to help them hear and receive the Good News. (Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, Romans 10:13-15)
Discipleship and Ministry
We believe the core of the Great Commission given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 is to make disciples. Because learning to be a follower of Jesus happens in the environment of relationships, we emphasize opportunities for people to gather together to be taught God’s word, encouraged in personal spiritual maturity, cared for in Biblical community, developed according to giftedness, and engaged in kingdom service. (Acts 2:41-47, Philippians 3:12-14, Colossians 1:28)
We wholeheartedly affirm the Biblical teaching on marriage, parenting, and family. In addition, we recognize Scripture’s use of family-related language to describe the church body and encourage active church membership. (Genesis 1:26-28, Ephesians 2:19-22, 5:21-33)
These Core Values are not to be interpreted or applied in any way that is in conflict with the Statement of Faith of this church
III. STATEMENT OF FAITH
Baptist Faith and Message
(Adopted June 14, 2000)
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.
B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
V. God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
VII. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.
VIII. The Lord’s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.
IX. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
X. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.
Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ’s people.
In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.
Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.
XV. The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
XVI. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.
The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.
XVIII. 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.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
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. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; 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; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
IV. STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe God has ordained marriage and defined it as a covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself. This church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman.
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct complimentary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
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. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. (Heb 13:4.)
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of this church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to this church’s members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by this church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sins, and seek His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 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 accordance with Scripture nor the doctrines derived therefrom.
The pastors/ministers and staff of this church or other ordained ministers conducting wedding ceremonies in this church, shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman.
Finally, the facilities and property of the church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
V. STATEMENT ON LIFE
This church believes 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. (Ps 139.)
VI. CHURCH COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together, in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, doctrines, and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of this church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings; to be faithful in our engagements; to be exemplary in our deportment; to strive to avoid all sin; abstain from any appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22); to willfully avoid any behavior that could be a stumbling block to others (1 Corinthians 8:9); and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of the Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this church we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, in order to carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
VII. POLITY AND RELATIONSHIPS
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership.
All internal groups created and empowered by this church shall report to and be accountable only to this church, unless otherwise specified by church action.
This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches. This church willingly co-operates and is affiliated with the Faulkner Baptist Association, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, so long as these affiliations do not infringe upon this church’s freedom of government nor seek to alter or change any belief or practice which we hold dear.
This church receives the Holy Scriptures as its only authority in all matters.
This is a sovereign Southern Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.
The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
The membership of this church shall be composed of individuals who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and affirm the tenets of this church’s Constitution, and who offer evidence, by their confession and their conduct, that they are living in accord with their affirmations and in compliance with the standards set out in this church’s Constitution, Bylaws, and duly adopted policies and procedures and are actively pursuing and continuing in a vital fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that to carry on the religious mission of this church, to preserve the function and integrity of this church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to this church’s members and the community, it is imperative that all persons who associate with this church as members should abide by and agree to this church’s Constitution and Bylaws and conduct themselves in accordance with them.
Any redeemed person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in this church in any of the following ways:
1. By profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and baptism according to the policies of this church,
2. By statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Southern Baptist church when no letter is
3. By promise of a letter from another Southern Baptist church,
4. By statement of faith of a prior conversion experience and believer’s baptism by immersion, which is fully
consistent with the practices, teachings and doctrine of this church and acceptance of the practices,
teachings, and doctrines of this church,
5. By “Watchcare” for those fellow believers who desire inclusion into the church fellowship but do not desire,
or are not prepared at this time for, active membership as defined above.
Should there be any dissent as to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the Pastor and the active deacons.
RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
1. Every active member of this church is responsible, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit; to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to this church in conference. The member must be present to vote.
2. All active members of this church are eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for
elective positions in this church.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Termination of membership shall occur in the following ways:
1. By death
2. By transfer of a letter to another Southern Baptist church
3. By a member’s written request for release from his/her covenant obligations to this church.
4. By action of this church as set forth below:
Should a member become an offense to this church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of this church’s Covenant, this church, under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures, may withdraw fellowship by a three-fourths (75%) vote of the active members voting. However, this action may occur only after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and restoration.
5. All terminations shall be presented to this church for approval or rejection.
1. Active Member: A member who has not been identified as inactive, as defined below.
2. Inactive Member:
A. A member living outside the geographical area served by this church.
B. A member who has affiliated himself/herself with another church but has not requested his/her membership be terminated.
II. CHURCH OFFICERS, STAFF AND COMMITTEES
The officers of record for this church shall be the Pastor and Church Trustees. All church officers must be members of this church.
The Pastor, as God’s under-shepherd, is the spiritual leader of this church and is responsible for leading it to function as a New Testament church.
The Pastor is the leader of worship, proclamation, education and pastoral ministries and therefore shall:
1. Lead this church in performing its ministries
2. Lead this church to engage in a fellowship of worship, witness, education, ministry, and application
3. Proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers
4. Care for this church’s members and other persons in the community
5. Lead and supervise pastoral and support staff
6. Coordinate and hold accountable the committees’ work according to this church’s Bylaws.
A Pastor shall be chosen and called by this church whenever a vacancy occurs. This church shall be notified two weeks prior to the presentation of a prospective Pastor to this church. The prospective Pastor’s name and biographical information will be available to this church’s members one week prior to the “View of a Call” to allow for a week of prayer and consideration. The prospective Pastor will preach on Sunday morning, have a question and answer session with church members during the evening worship service, and then be excused while this church is called into a business meeting to vote. Voting shall be by written ballot.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A PASTOR
“If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” 2 An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3 not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy— 4 one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the Devil. 7 Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the Devil’s trap.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 (HCSB)
PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE
When a vacancy arises in the Senior Pastor position, the Nominating Committee will guide this church’s membership through a process of selecting a Pastor Search Committee consisting of a minimum of 7 members. Each church member may submit up to seven names to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will use the names submitted through the nominating process to propose a Pastor Search Committee to the church. The Nominating Committee will take into consideration the number of times an individual’s name appears on the nomination list from the church, but will work to assemble a Pastor Search Committee that is representative of the people and ministry areas of this church. The proposed Pastor Search Committee will be presented to the church for a final vote of approval.
This church shall call or employ such staff members as this church shall need. A job description for each staff member shall be written by the Pastor and the Personnel Committee. Vocational staff member(s), other than the Pastor, shall be recommended to this church by the Pastor and the Personnel Committee and employed by church action. Staff member(s) other than the secretaries and custodians shall be recommended to this church in the same manner as the calling of the Pastor.
The Board of Trustees shall be composed of three (3) members. Each Trustee shall be an active member of this church for not less than one year and is twenty-one (21) years of age or older. The Trustees should demonstrate honesty, spiritual maturity, wisdom and responsibility in church participation and business.
Trustees selected by this church will hold in trust the church property. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without a specific vote of this church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the Trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property or other legal documents when the signatures of Trustees are required.
Trustees shall be selected by the Nominating Committee and approved by this church membership. They shall serve on a rotating system of three (3) years with one (1) Trustee rotating off each year. In the event of a vacancy, an election as listed above shall be held to fill the unexpired term.
The Trustees shall provide the church an audit of all books and accounts of the church, as deemed necessary. The Trustees, by unanimous vote, or the Pastor, or the Finance committee, or the church Treasurer can recommend to this church for approval that an audit be performed by securing the services of an outside licensed auditor.
DUTIES OF THE DEACON
In accordance with the meaning of the Word and the practice in the New Testament, the deacons are to be the servants of this church.
1. They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit within this church in the bonds of peace.
2. They shall serve as a council of advice and conference with the Pastor in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the membership of this church. With the Pastor, they are to consider and formulate plans for the constant effort and progress of this church in all things pertaining to the saving of souls, the development of Christians, and the extension and growth of the Kingdom of God.
3. By proper organization and method among themselves, they are to establish and maintain personal fraternal relations with, and inspiring leadership to, all the membership of this church. Especially are they to seek knowledge of the physical needs and the moral and spiritual struggles of the brethren and sisters and to serve this whole church in relieving, encouraging and developing all who are in need.
4. In council with the Pastor, and by such methods as the Holy Spirit may direct in accordance with the New Testament teachings, the deacons are to have oversight of the discipline of this church, in the administering of which they are to be guided by the principles set forth in Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; and I Thess. 5:12-14. The deacons shall be free to call upon any active member of this church to aid in disciplinary action.
5. Unless this church shall otherwise provide, the deacons shall appoint a Pastoral Search Committee and/or in case of the absence or inability of the Pastor, subject to advice from and conference with him, they shall provide for pulpit supplies.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR DEACONSHIP
Nominees for selection to the office of deacon shall meet the qualifications as set forth in the Holy Scriptures and meet the needs of this church family. The nominee shall be a man of honest report. He shall be full of the Holy Spirit, of wisdom, and of faith. He should have control of his tongue, be temperate in living, be a steward of good influence, and display a Christ-like attitude toward material possessions. He should be strong in the faith, tested, proved and blameless of any wrong doing, and living above reproach. His family relationships should be healthy and growing. He should be a devoted husband of one wife, committed to the sanctity of the marriage bond, and managing his children and his home well. (Acts 6:1-7 and I Tim. 3:8-13)
SELECTION OF A DEACON
1. The number of active deacons necessary to support the family rolls of this church body will be determined by the deacon leadership annually and presented to this church for approval.
2. Deacons elected to the active body will rotate off said body after a three (3) year term of service and will be inactive for a period of one (1) year unless presented to this church for reelection for a three (3) year term according to the regular selection process.
3. Each year, the deacons will contact the eligible men in their Deacon Family Ministry and discuss the roles and responsibilities of a deacon minister. Those who are willing to serve will submit a completed Deacon Doctrinal Questionnaire. The active deacon body will examine and qualify the nominees who meet the scriptural requirements of 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and who express a willingness to serve. The list of qualified names and biographical information will be available to this church’s members one week prior to the scheduled business meeting at the beginning of each church calendar year, to allow for a week of prayer and consideration. The full slate of nominees will be presented to this church’s members and voted upon at the scheduled business meeting.
4. In case of a vacancy in the active deacon body, this church will elect another deacon to fill the unexpired term in accordance with the procedures listed above in paragraphs (2) and (3) at the next scheduled business meeting as deemed necessary by the deacon body. In the event of a year of accelerated growth, the deacons can come before the church, in accordance with the procedures in paragraphs (2) and (3), to add additional deacons for the rotating three (3) year cycle.
5. Any man received as a member of this church must hold membership in this church for one (1) year before he is eligible for selection to the active body of deacons.
METHOD OF PROCEDURE AMONG THE DEACONS
1. The whole body of deacons shall be considered as a unit and, even when not actively serving, are subject to serve if needed and called upon.
2. The active body shall meet monthly at a designated time and may organize themselves as their wisdom may direct for efficiency in service.
The Pastor shall serve as Moderator. In the absence of the Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons shall serve as the Moderator. In the absence of the Pastor and the Chairman of the Deacons, a designated Deacon shall call the church to order and an acting Moderator pro-tem shall be elected to serve for that session of business. Should circumstances warrant, the Church may elect a special Moderator for a specific meeting.
The Moderator or his/her designee shall serve as the parliamentarian of all scheduled and called business meetings.
This church shall elect annually a Church Clerk who shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of this church, except as otherwise herein provided. The Church Clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members, with dates of admission, death, or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The Church Clerk shall issue letters voted on by this church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated in these Bylaws. The Church Clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter of this church to the Faulkner Baptist Association. The Church Clerk shall be selected by the Nominating Committee and, if approved by this church, shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms unless deemed otherwise by this church.
The Church Treasurer is the custodian of all of this church’s funds and accounts. As such, he/she is responsible for the prompt payment of church obligations, the recording of all receipts and disbursements, the maintenance of journals and ledgers, and the preparation of financial statements. The Church Treasurer shall perform these duties in accordance with the established church budget and finance policy, as prepared by the Finance Committee and approved by this church. The Church Treasurer is an ex-officio non-voting member of the Finance Committee.
The Church Treasurer shall be a non-staff church member, twenty-one (21) years of age or older and an active member of this church for not less than one year. The Church Treasurer should demonstrate honesty, spiritual maturity, wisdom, and financial responsibility in church participation and in business.
The Church Treasurer shall be selected by the Nominating Committee and approved by this church. The Church Treasurer shall serve a one (1) year term coinciding with the church fiscal year. The Church Treasurer shall not serve more than four (4) consecutive terms unless deemed otherwise by this church body.
ASSISTANT CHURCH TREASURER
The office of Assistant Church Treasurer is for the purpose of assisting the Church Treasurer in the performance of his/her duties, as assigned by or on behalf of the Church Treasurer in instances of absence or inability to serve. The qualifications and selection of the Assistant Church Treasurer shall be the same as that of the Church Treasurer. The Assistant Church Treasurer, upon completion of the term of the Church Treasurer, shall assume the position of Church Treasurer unless deemed otherwise by this church.
The regular committees of this church shall be a Fellowship Committee, Finance Committee, Ministry and Missions Promotion Committee, Nominating Committee, Personnel Committee, Properties Committee, Technology and Media Committee, and other such regular and special committees as this church shall authorize. These committees shall meet, at minimum, one time per quarter and present a report at each regularly scheduled business meeting. Each committee shall include a designated ministry staff member who will attend meetings in an advisory, non-voting capacity. The designated ministry staff member will be the Pastor or assigned by the Pastor. Each committee will submit an annual budget to the Finance Committee for consideration for recommendation to this church during the business meeting designated for such a purpose.
Each committee will consist of a minimum of six (6) members, each elected to serve a three (3) year term, with two (2) members of the committee rotating off each year. Following a term of service, a church member will be ineligible to serve on any committee for one (1) year. The exception to this rule is the Nominating Committee which will consist of the exiting chairman of each committee from the previous year for a one (1) year term.
Each acting chairman and vice chairman will serve on the Church Council during his/her term. The committees themselves shall select the chairman and vice-chairman, with the vice-chairman serving a two (2) year term, rotating into the chairman’s position the second year, if possible. Additional regular committees may be added by the amendment procedure prescribed by these Bylaws. All committees should carry out their work with the Mission Statement, Core Values, and long-term future vision and strategy for this church in mind.
Members of this church who are selected by the Nominating Committee for the positions of Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Assistant Church Treasurer, and the regular committees shall be presented for consideration and approval by this church body annually in its January business meeting, with the terms of service to be effective immediately upon church approval.
This committee will plan and provide opportunities for fellowship within the church. This includes planning church wide fellowships such as the Fourth of July celebration, church program and staff receptions, and other special events.
STEWARDSHIP FINANCE COMMITTEE
This committee shall develop and recommend an overall stewardship development plan, a unified church budget, and budget subscription plans. It advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of church members and others, using sound principles of financial management. It works with this church’s Treasurer in the preparation and presentation to this church of required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church. The Finance Committee will also bring to this church any special spending requests that are outside of, or in addition to, this church’s budget.
MINISTRY AND MISSIONS PROMOTION COMMITTEE
This committee will be tasked with keeping the church membership aware of giving and service opportunities within this church, our community, and around the world. This committee is responsible to use all available communication means to keep this church well informed and involved in the total task of missions. It will plan our missions emphases for state, North American, and International missions and any other special mission offerings. All budget requests will be submitted to the Finance Committee.
The church shall charge this committee with coordinating the staffing of all voluntary church leadership positions for church approval. The members of this committee will consist of chairman, or vice chairman if chairman unable to serve, of each committee from the previous year. They will serve a one (1) year term.
This committee is charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the church regarding staff needs, salaries, employee benefits, personnel policies, and position descriptions. When ministry or support staff vacancies occur, other than the Senior Pastor, this committee will consult with the Senior Pastor regarding personnel matters such as staff needs, employment, salaries, benefits, and personnel services as described in the Church Staff section of this document.
This committee shall assist this church in matters related to property administration. This would include maintaining all church properties for ready use, interior and exterior maintenance, development of a maintenance schedule designed to keep this church’s facilities in good condition, and recommending policies regarding use of properties. It shall develop and make recommendations regarding adequate insurance on all buildings, equipment, and furnishings.
TECHNOLOGY AND MEDIA COMMITTEE
This committee will ensure proper operation and maintenance of video, audio, media equipment, website, computing and printing equipment, and other related technologies. It will establish and maintain policies pertaining to general operation, care, and technical support of media equipment and space. This committee will provide support for the enlistment and training of those who operate media equipment for church services, activities and special events. This committee will also work to enlist people in using creative media tools such as social networks. This committee will present an annual budget to the Finance Committee and will make recommendations as needed to the church during business meetings.
III CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS
There shall be a Sunday School, for the study of God’s Word divided into departments and classes for all ages.
The basic purpose of Sunday School is outreach and Bible teaching. The Sunday School has the responsibility to reach out to the lost and unchurched with the redeeming message of Jesus Christ, win them to Christ, then teach them and lead them to put into practice the truths learned in Bible and Christian education.
Each Sunday School teacher must be an active member of this church.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH WORKERS
SECURITY AND SCREENING
Any church member or non-member who works with, supervises, chaperones, transports, or teaches any child or youth from birth to 18 years of age will be subject to training, filling out an application and submitting to a history and background check.
Woodland Heights Baptist Church may operate a community-wide preschool Monday through Friday during the normal school year. The Director of the Week-Day Preschool is considered a member of the church staff and must be a member of Woodland Heights Baptist Church. The week-day preschool, and the week-day Preschool Director, will operate under, be subject to, and be in full agreement with the guidelines and Statement of Faith given in the Constitution and Bylaws of Woodland Height Baptist Church. The Week-Day Preschool will maintain a Policy Manual that is subject to the approval of the Church Council of Woodland Heights Baptist Church.
The Church Council shall serve by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries of this church and its organizations.
The primary functions of this Church Council shall be as follows:
1. Help this church understand its mission and define its priorities.
2. Coordinate studies of this church and its relationship to community needs.
3. Recommend to this church coordinated plans for evangelism, missions, Christian
development, worship, stewardship and ministry.
4. Coordinate this church’s schedule of activities, special events and the use of facilities.
5. Evaluate the progress and the priority use of this church’s resources.
Regular members of this Church Council shall be the Pastor and other church staff members, Chair and Vice Chair of the Deacons, and chair and vice chair of regular committees as established in the Bylaws.
Individuals become members of this Church Council as a result of their selection to one of the church positions listed above. They shall remain members of the Church Council as long as they hold these positions.
All matters agreed upon by the Church Council which require church approval shall be referred to this church membership for its action.
IV. ORDINANCES / SERVICES / ACTIVITIES
We believe the only ordinances instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ to be Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Our beliefs and observances of these ordinances are described herein.
This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly at any worship service, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.
1. Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
2. The pastor, or other Southern Baptist ordained minister, shall administer the baptism service. The
deacons shall provide assistance in the preparation for and the observance of baptism.
3. Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of this church.
4. Family member(s) or other Christians may be allowed to join the ordained minister in the baptistery
during the baptism service.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby this church, through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, commemorates the death of Jesus Christ and anticipates His second coming.
This church body shall set the frequency of the observance of the Lord’s Supper. The deacons shall prepare and serve the Lord’s Supper as administered by the Pastor or other ordained minister.
This church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The Pastor is responsible for the planning and direction of all services including arranging for special speakers and services. The Pastor is responsible for determining if the calendar or other church activities dictate a need to cancel or modify any regular service and communicating this decision to the church.
Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of this church’s objectives shall be placed on this church’s calendar.
REGULAR BUSINESS MEETINGS
This church shall hold regular periodic business meetings as established by this church.
SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS
This church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of a special nature and significance. A one (1) week notice must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. In such cases this church may approve the waiver of notice at the beginning of the business meeting. The notice shall include the subject, the date, and the time and place. It must be given in such a manner that all active members have the opportunity to know of the meeting.
MEETING AGENDA AND NOTIFICATION
A copy of the agenda for all meetings will be made available to all active members no later than the last church meeting prior to the business meeting. All active members present at the business meeting will be provided with a written copy of all proposals, recommendations, and motions presented at the meeting. No vote will be taken on any item of business not on the agenda until the next regular business meeting or a special business meeting properly called for that purpose. This restriction may be waived by vote of the active members present and voting. This restriction does not apply to proposed amendments or substitute motions relating to business for which proper notice was given.
A notification for all business matters relating to the sale or purchase or construction of property, the termination of personnel, or the establishment or modification of the budget in a sum total amount of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars or more, must be provided to all active members at least (1) one week prior to the business meeting in which such items are to be discussed. This church shall establish a period of prayer, a minimum of one (1) week, between the time of the discussion and the time of the vote. The vote shall be taken at the next regular business meeting or at a special business meeting called for that purpose. No additional notice shall be required and the vote shall be taken without discussion. The period of prayer may be waived by a majority vote of those present and voting.
The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
“Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised”, is the guideline for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of this church.
It shall be the responsibility of the Moderator to be versed in these rules or insure that someone is present who can assist this church in application of these rules.
Note: It is intended that these parliamentary rules are to be used to assist in the orderly conduct of the meeting but should never be used to limit or inhibit the conduct of the Lord’s business by His church.
V. OPERATING CALENDARS
Church Year: The church year shall begin on October 1 and end on September 30.
Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of this church shall begin January 1 and end on December 31.
VI. CHURCH OPERATIONS MANUAL
Section 1. Organization Chart
An organizational chart shall be prepared which will depict lines of responsibility in the administration of this church. This chart shall be reviewed periodically by the Church Council and shall be revised as needed. A copy shall be included in this church’s operations manual.
Section 2.Policies and Procedures
Church policies and procedures shall be described in this church’s Operations Manual which shall include the purpose and goals of all regular committees and their sub-committees. The Operation Manual shall also include but not be limited to the following:
–Ministry group guidelines
–Policies regarding use of this church’s property
–Property maintenance polices
–Insurance procurement and annual review
–Holiday, leaves and vacation policies
–Hiring policies of all personnel
–Employee Benefits and compensation policies
–Personnel job evaluations, policies and procedures
–General Committee Guidelines and selection procedures
–Designated Funds policies
–Financial Statement and Auditing policies
–Budget Preparation and Adoption Procedures
–Benevolent Ministry Policies
–Mission Organization Structure
–General policies for mission involvement
–History and records maintenance policies
–Flowers and Sanctuary preparations
–Social and Recreational (Church Council)
–Offerings and contributions depositing policies
This church’s secretary shall maintain the Operations Manual which shall be kept in this church’s office and made available to any member of the church. Any church member or organization may initiate changes in policies and procedures. Addition, revision, or deletions of church policies or procedures require:
1) The recommendation of the church officer or organization (including committees) to whose area of assignment the policy relates
2) Discussion by this Church Council
3) Approval by this church
Changes in this Constitution and Bylaws may be brought before this church and discussed at the regularly scheduled business meeting or a special business meeting in the month of October. A vote on the proposed changes shall be taken at the next regular business meeting. If no regular business meetings are scheduled prior to the end of the Fiscal Year, a special meeting will be called to vote on proposed Amendments prior to the end of the Fiscal Year. Amendments to these documents shall require an affirmative vote of three fourths (75%) of the active members voting. All amendments approved shall become effective at the beginning of the next Fiscal Year.
An ad hoc committee, nominated by the Nominating Committee and considered and approved by this church body, shall review this church’s Constitution and Bylaws at least once every three (3) year period and recommend any changes for consideration and possible approval by this church body.
A decision to dissolve this church must be made by the affirmative vote of at least three-fourths (75%) of the members present and voting at a meeting specially called for that purpose. In the event that the circumstances are such as to prevent the formation of such a meeting, the active Trustees may make the decision to dissolve the church, provided they do so at a special called business meeting. Upon a decision to dissolve this Church, the Trustees shall, after arranging to pay or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of this church, dispose of all the assets of this Church by sale, transfer or donation to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United State Internal Revenue Law), as the Trustees shall determine. Assets shall be transferred or liquidated and distributed only to organization(s) which agree with the statement of faith contained in this Church’s Constitution with a preference for churches in fellowship with the Faulkner Baptist Association and/or the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. No proceeds from the dissolution of this Church shall benefit any individual or organization except as described above.