The purpose of this assembly is to equip the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (from Ephesians 4:12) and to accomplish this by means of continually devoting ourselves to the apostle's teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread
(the Lord's Supper) and to prayer. (from Acts 2:42)
ARTICLE II - ORGANIZATION
Section I - Membership
Membership in this assembly, as a local expression of the universal body of believers, requires confession of a born again relationship with Jesus Christ, and, by attendance and conduct, the maintenance of regular fellowship with this assembly.
Section II - Elders (also known as Overseers, Presbyters, and Bishops)
Jesus Christ is head of the body, the assembly; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. (from Colossians 1:18) Jesus has ordained that He Himself will rule the local assembly of believers through men called elders and also referred to in scripture as overseers, presbyters, and bishops. (I Timothy 5:17 says) "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching." Qualifications for the office of elder are given in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. There are additional scriptures relating to elders including: I Timothy 5:17-25; I Peter 5:1-5; Hebrews 13:17, and others. New elders will be appointed according to Titus 1:5 by existing elders on the basis of scripture guidelines and principles. A new prospective elder will be offered to the members of the assembly for consideration. If there are no scriptural objections, the new elder will be accepted into office.
In the event of an accusation of sin against an elder, I Timothy 5:19,20 gives specific instructions: "Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning." The elders will judge the fitness of an elder to continue in office.
Section III - Deacons
The office of deacon is first established in scripture in Acts 6:1-6. Verses 2-4 read: "And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." I Timothy 3:13 says: "For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus."
The specific duties of the office of deacon are assigned by the elders in order to allow the elders to devote themselves to pastoral ministry. Qualifications for the office of deacon are given in
I Timothy 3:8-13. New prospective deacons will be nominated, by a consensus of the members of the assembly, to the elders for consideration. If there are no scriptural objections the new deacon will be appointed by the elders.
In the event of an accusation of sin against a deacon, the elders will judge the matter according to ARTICLE III DISCIPLINE, in the constitution. The elders will judge the fitness of a deacon to continue in office.
ARTICLE III - DISCIPLINE
There are many New Testament scriptures that pertain to the subject of discipline within the assembly. Examples of offenses which call for formal discipline include:
#1. Heresy, the promulgation of teaching which is contrary to that given by the apostles in the New Testament letters. (2 John 7-11; I Timothy 1:3,4; 6:3-5.
#2 Divisiveness, Romans 16:17,18; Titus 3:10,11.
#3 Immorality, I Corinthians 5.
In the broadest sense, all believers receive discipline from the Lord directly, and through the assembly, in the form of chastisement, correction, exhortation, reproof, etc., but when a member of the assembly resists the Holy Spirit's administration in these ordinary means, and if his offense is serious, i.e. heresy, divisiveness, or immorality, and if this offense becomes known to the assembly, formal discipline is required. I Thessalonians 5:14 says: " warn them that are unruly"; Titus 1:13 says: "Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith." If these attempts fail, then the strongest form of New Testament discipline is required. Romans 16:17 says: "take notice of them and avoid them." I Corinthians 5:11 says: "not even to eat with such a one."
I Corinthians 5:13 says: "remove the wicked person from among yourselves." If this discipline, enforced by the whole assembly, results in repentance, then the whole assembly is to reinstate that member according to 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; forgive, comfort, and reaffirm your love for him. Any member of the assembly can initiate the disciplinary process. Matthew 18:15-20 outlines the proper procedure.
For legal purposes, the officers of this corporation will be the elders and deacons. The property of the corporation rests in the hands of the elders and deacons.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
This constitution may be amended when there is consensus among the elders and two-thirds vote of the members present at two consecutive monthly business meetings. The intention to vote on amendments to the constitution must be announced at the regular Sunday morning service at least one week prior to each vote.