Name of Church Organization and Governance
Section 1 Name: The name of this organization shall be Liberty Baptist Church.
Section 2 General Organization Statement: Liberty Baptist Church shall be an independent, fundamental, Bible believing, Bible teaching, Bible preaching, self governing, self supporting, local New Testament, Baptist Church. This church shall not be associated in any way with the World Council of Churches nor the National Council of Churches.
Section 3 Purpose: The church is committed to the declaration of all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), by continuing to steadfastly assemble ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25) under the bylaws of this Constitution which we believe to be according to the New Testament pattern (Matthew 16:18), in order that the lost might be evangelized (Matthew 28:18-20), the saved edified (Ephesians 4:12), and the Lord exalted (Ephesians 3:21)
Section 4: Government: The government is vested in the active voting membership of the church.
Liberty Baptist Church Covenant
Section 1: Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, said baptism having been administered by the authority of a local New Testament Baptist Church, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ
Section 2: 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, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
Section 3: We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to faithfully train our children in the ways of the Scripture; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Saviour. We seek to walk circumspectly in the world – to be just in our dealing, faithful in our engagements, exemplary in our deportment, avoiding all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger. Furthermore, to walk circumspectly in the world we will avoid the sale and use of intoxicating beverages and the sale and use of illegal and addictive substances (except those properly used as prescribed by a medical professional).
Section 4: We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready of reconciliation, and mindful of the rule of our Savior to secure it without delay.
Section 5: Moreover, we purpose that when we separate ourselves from this place we will as soon as possible unite with another Bible believing Church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
In view of the present apostasy in many religious organizations, we wish to set forth a declaration of Biblical doctrines believed by Liberty Baptist Church and to which its membership should subscribe in its entirety.
Section 1 The Scriptures
We believe the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired. It is truth without error for its substance. Therefore, it shall remain to the end of the age the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
- By “The Holy Bible” we mean the collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
- By ”inspiration” we mean the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
- The King James Version will be the exclusive text for all preaching, teaching and use in the Liberty Baptist Church.
(Psalm 19:7-11; 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Proverbs 30.5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27,44-45; John 5:39, 45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Romans 3:4; 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:1 6-17; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19)
Section 2 The True God
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God – an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3; 15:11; Psalm 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 11:23; 1 Corinthians 12:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 4:6; Philippines 2:5-6; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 5:7; Revelation 4:11)
Section 4 The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same nature. He was active in the creation. in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled. He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness’, He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony’, He is the agent in the New Birth’, He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. (Genesis 1 :13; Matthew 3:11; 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1 :35; 3:1 6; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:8-11, 13; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Romans 8:14,16, 26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, 13; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1::2)
Section 5 The Devil, or Satan
We believe Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors, but, through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels. He is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and Jesus Christ the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy, the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness. He is destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire – a place prepared for him and his angels. (lsaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3; 13:25; 25:41; 27:39; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:34; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11 ; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2 John 7; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11; 16, 20; 20:1-3, 10)
Section 6 The Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of creation. It is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively. Man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness. Man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms. AII animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only ”after their kind.” (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6)
Section 7 The Fall of Man
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1, 3
Section 8 The Virgin Birth
We believe Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner – born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman; and He is both – the Son of God and God the Son. (Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-20; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:47; 1 John 5:20)
Section 9 The Atonement for Sin
We believe the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by the shedding of His blood made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins – the 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. Having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. (Isaiah 53:4-7,11-12; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; 10:18; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2)
Section 10 The Grace in the New Creation
We believe in order to be saved, sinners must be born again. The new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is instantaneous and not a process. 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. The new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension – not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel. Its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. (Luke 5:27; John 1 :12-13; 3:3, 6-7; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 19; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1; 5:9; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 5:1)
Section 11 The Freeness of Salvation
We believe in God’s saving grace. The blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel. It is the immediate duty of all to accept them (these blessings of salvation) by a penitent and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel which involves him in an aggravated condemnation. (Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 3:15-18, 36; 5:40; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29-30; 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17)
Section 12 Justification
We believe the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness being imputed unto us. (Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17; 4:1; 5:1-9; 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 10:38)
Section 13 Repentance and Faith
We believe Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations and inseparable graces and are wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God. Being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and that the way of salvation is by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy, at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior. (Psalm 51:1-4,7; Isaiah 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; Romans 10:9-11, 13)
Section 14 The Church
We believe a local, New Testament Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel and is established by scriptural methods. Said church is understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word. Its officers of ordination are Pastors and Elders whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.
We also accept the office of Deacon as established by Scripture, the office to be developed and used according to the need of the Church. We further accept the office of Trustee, not as a scripturally established office but rather an office developed in the church to meet the legal requirements of the government of the State of Missouri.
We believe the true mission of the local church is found in the Great Commission: 1) to make individual disciples 2) to build up the local church 3) to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order.
We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. The one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel. However, every local church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-operation on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church being final. (Leviticus 27:31; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41 -42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17 -28; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4, 8-11; 16:1-2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-13)
Section 15 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe scriptural baptism is to be administered under the authority of a local, New Testament Baptist church and is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, showing forth in a solemn and beautiful symbol our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of a local church relationship and to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is observed by the sacred use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine (pure grape juice). We are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Matthew 3:6; 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12)
Section 16 The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe true believers will endure unto the end. Their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors. A special providence watches over their welfare, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation. (Psalm 121:3; Matthew 6:20; 13:19-21; John 8:31-32; 10:28-29; 16:8; Romans 8:28, 35-39; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 2:19)
Section 17 The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only those, justified through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 11:31; 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 7:13-14; 25:34; Luke 9:26; 16:25; John 8:21; 12:25; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 1:17; 6:16-18, 23; 7:6; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:18; 1 John 2:7, 29; 5:19)
Section 18 Civil Government
We believe civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society. Magistrates are to be prayed for and conscientiously honored and obeyed (except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth). (Exodus 18:21-22; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalm 72:11; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 10:28; 22:21; 23:10; Acts 4:19-20; 23:5; Romans 13:7; Philippians 2:10-11; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14, 17)
Section 19 The Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures in their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe Christ rose bodily “’the third day according to the Scriptures”. He ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God.” He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God” and ”that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” – bodily, personally, and visibly; the “dead in Christ shall rise first”; the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” and “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David”; and “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” (Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:4-5; Matthew 24:27, 42; Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6, 19; Luke 1:32; Luke 24:2, 4-6, 39, 51; John 14:3; John 20:27; Acts 1:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Philippians 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9; 8:1; 9:28; 12:2)
Section 20 Missions
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable, and this Commission was given to the local church.
Matthew 28:18-20; ”And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
John 20:21, ”As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
Acts 1:8, ”But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Section 21 The Grace of Giving
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.
2 Corinthians 8:7 ”Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the local church) upon the first day of the week.
1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
Under Grace we give (and do not pay) the tithe – “Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils,” – Hebrews 7:2, 4. This was four hundred years before the law and is confirmed in the New Testament. Jesus said concerning the tithe, “these ought ye to have done, Matthew 23:23.
We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the local church. Leviticus 27:30, ”The tithe … is the Lord’s.” Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house) and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
In the New Testament, it was the common treasury of the local church. Acts 4:34, 35, 37, “And brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet … Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
Section 22 Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s original intent for the proper, Biblical sexual relationship. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
Officers of the Church
Liberty Baptist Church is self governing and sovereign within itself and may have those officers that are deemed by the church as necessary for the functioning and well being of this church.
Section 1.1: The Pastor
The pastor is the primary undershepherd of the church. He is responsible for the spiritual equipping and oversight of the entire congregation and is the first among equals in the elder body. He is the spokesman to the congregation and is directly responsible to the church for the carrying out of his duties in the local assembly.
Section 1.2 Duties
The duties and responsibilities of the pastor in order of their priority are as follows:
- To pray.
- To prepare and to preach the Word.
- To protect the church from false doctrine.
- To see to the administration, oversight, and care of all the church and church staff.
- To lead in the selection of all church staff in accordance with the selection process established in these by-laws.
The pastor should also visit in the homes of the members of the church, personally be involved with the reaching of the lost for Christ, and seek out others who may be un-churched.
The pastor shall not engage in any business for the church except when appointed by the church at a business meeting, or when the deacons ask for his assistance. The pastor shall not sign checks or act as church treasurer.
Section 1.3 Selection of Pastor
The church shall select the pastor as follows:
- The deacons shall serve as the pastor search council, or have the church select the pastor search council.
- The deacons shall set guidelines and procedures for the council to follow throughout the pastor search process.
- When the search committee is selected from the congregation, the council shall have one member of the deacon body as its Chairman.
- When the search committee is selected from the congregation, the council shall be directly responsible to the deacons and shall keep them informed as to its progress.
- Upon the recommendation of the council and the approval of a specific pastoral candidate, the deacons shall make known to the congregation all pertinent information about the candidate.
- A special meeting shall be set and announced publicly when a prospective pastoral candidate is coming in view of a call.
- At the special-called meeting, a formal affirmation of all eligible members shall be taken concerning the candidate for pastor. The results of this affirmation will be made public.
- Upon unanimous approval of the voting church body and his acceptance, the candidate shall become the pastor. The deacons shall announce to the church the date that the new pastor’s tenure shall begin.
Section 1.4 Financial Support of the Pastor
The deacons shall initially establish and continually review the pastor’s financial support and benefit package. The church shall approve any changes made to the pastor’s financial support.
Section 1.5 Tenure and Dismissal of the Pastor
- The tenure of the pastor shall be indefinite in length.
- The church has the authority to dismiss the pastor if he becomes incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or his inability to serve is unanimously established by the church.
- Any accusation against the pastor must be made in accordance with scripture.
- Dismissal may be immediate if so determined by the church.
- The pastor must give at least one-month’s written notice if he intends to resign.
- The time limit of resignation is subject to a lesser time if mutually agreed upon in writing by the pastor, the deacons and the church. Financial support shall continue to the end of the pastor’s tenure or an agreed time.
Section 1.6 Vacancy of the office of Pastor
In the event that the church is without a pastor, the deacons will:
- Choose from among themselves an interim first among equals as chairman, moderator, and spokesman for the deacons to the church.
- They shall choose an interim administrator to be over all church staff.
- They shall be responsible for finding a preacher to fill the pulpit in the interim time.
- They shall start the search process as established in these by-laws in Section 1.3.
Section 2 The Deacons
The New Testament scripture teaches that Deacons were set apart by the church as servants to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ. This ministry allowed the pastor to devote himself to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. The office of deacon is one of a servant to the Church Body. The church shall endeavor to maintain at least two Deacons at all times.
Section 2.1 Duties
The duties of the Deacons in the church are as follows:
- To teach and preach God’s Word.
- To work, pray and serve alongside the pastor and staff by supporting, encouraging, promoting, and upholding their ministry.
- To exemplify spiritual leadership in the fellowship and business of the church, in their family, personal, and business relationships.
- To be men of prayer and students of the Word of God.
- To seek to lead the lost to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- To maintain doctrinal purity in the church.
- To establish policies and practices for the church consistent with Scripture and the purpose of the church.
- To direct and oversee all the financial resources and expenditures of the church.
- To direct and oversee the maintaining of adequate and correct accounts, books, and records of the business of the church.
- To maintain open communications with the church body.
- To assist in the serving of the Lord’s Supper.
Section 2.2 Requirements
A Deacon shall meet all the requirements of the Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13; II Timothy 2:2; Acts 6:2-6). A Deacon shall, above all else, be a spiritual man. He must be a member of Liberty Baptist Church and have proven himself in service to the Lord for one year at this local church prior to being elected to the office of deacon.
Section 2.3 Deacons Length of Office and Terms
A Deacon, after having been approved by the church at the annual business meeting, shall take office within thirty days and shall serve a three-year term from that date. After a Deacon has served a three-year term he may serve a second three-year term provided the church approves him. At the end of the second term, the Deacon must leave office, allowing for someone else to serve. After having been out for one year, he may again be elected as Deacon and be allowed to serve for two terms if approved. A man who has served for two terms and is sitting out a year may hold any other office during that year without compromising his eligibility to be nominated as Deacon at the end of his ”sit out” year. Any Deacon may be removed from office if he becomes physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or his inability to serve is established by the remainder of the church body. Any accusation or action against a Deacon must be presented to the pastor and deacon body in accordance with Scripture.
Section 2.4 Purchasing and special needs
The deacons have the authority to make necessary purchases and see to financial needs, not to exceed the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each occurrence, and agreed upon by two thirds of the deacons.
Section 3 The Trustees
The office of Trustee is not set forth in Scripture. This is an office brought into existence in the church by the need to carry out legal operations in society. This office is of great importance in the church and to those filling the office. These men are not deacons but should be spiritual men of God.
Section 3.1 Duties
The Trustee shall be responsible for maintaining the physical properties of the church. Trustees shall sign all papers dealing with legal matters of the church as so ordered by vote of the membership. The Trustees shall not have the authority to sell or otherwise dispose of church property without permission from the church body. Permission must be obtained in a legally called church business meeting in which the majority vote has been obtained. Should the church find itself without Trustees for any reason, the deacons shall be the trustees of the church.
Section 3.2 Requirements
The trustee shall, above all else, be a spiritual man. He must be a member of Liberty Baptist Church and have proven himself in service to the Lord for one year at this local church prior to being elected to the office of trustee.
Section 3.3 Trustees Length of Office and Terms
A Trustee, after having been approved by the church at the annual business meeting, shall take office within thirty days and shall serve a three year term from that date. After a Trustee has served a three-year term he may serve a second three-year term provided the church approves him. At the end of the second term, the Trustee must leave office, allowing for someone else to serve. After having been out of the office of Trustee for one year, he may again be elected as Trustee and be allowed to serve for two terms if approved. A man who has served for two terms and is sitting out a year may hold any other office during that year without compromising his eligibility to be nominated as Trustee at the end of his ”sit out” year. Any Trustee may be removed from office if he becomes physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or his inability to serve is established by the remainder of the church body. Any accusation or action against a trustee must be presented to the pastor and deacon body in accordance with Scripture.
Section 4 The Treasurer
The church body shall appoint a treasurer for the purpose of careful management and handling of the monies and finances of the church.
Section 4.1 Duties
The responsibilities of the Treasurer are to keep financial records of the Church, receive all monies and place them in a designated depository. Monies are to be paid out by check countersigned by the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. In the event any one of these is unable, then a designated person appointed by the church is authorized to sign checks in his/her place.
Section 4.2 Requirements
The Treasurer shall, above all else, be a spiritual person. They must be a member of Liberty Baptist Church and have proven themselves in service to the Lord at this local church for one year prior to being elected to the office of Treasurer. Every consideration should be made to elect those with the experience and capability of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this office. The Church Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer are elected from the Church at large.
Section 4.3 Treasurer’s Length of Office and Terms
A Treasurer, after having been approved by the church at the annual business meeting, shall take office within thirty days and shall serve a three-year term from that date. Any Treasurer may be removed from office if they become physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or their inability to serve is established by the remainder of the church body. Any accusation or action against a treasurer must be presented to the pastor and deacon body in accordance with Scripture. There are no specified term limits for the office of Treasurer.
Section 4.4 Assistant Treasurer
All of the descriptions, duties, requirements, length of office and terms apply to any assistants of this position.
Section 5 Church Clerk
This office, though not in mentioned in Scripture, fulfills a great need to see that the church business is done decently and in order and is properly recorded into the church records.
Section 5.1 Duties
The Clerk is the custodian of all records and papers (except financial records) belonging to the Church. They will keep a correct record of the minutes of business meetings and submit to subsequent business meetings any minutes from previous business meetings. They will keep a register of the names of all the members of the Church.
Section 5.2 Requirements
The Church Clerk shall, above all else, be a spiritual person. They must be a member of Liberty Baptist Church and have proven themselves in service to the Lord for one year at this church prior to being elected to the office of church clerk. Every consideration should be made to elect those with the experience and capability of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this office.
Section 5.3 Church Clerk’s Length of Office and Terms
A Church Clerk, after having been approved by the church at the annual business meeting, shall take office within thirty day. There are no term limits for the office of Church Clerk. Any Church Clerk may be removed from office if they become physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or their inability to serve is established by the remainder of the church body. Any accusation or action against a Church Clerk must be presented to the pastor and deacon body in accordance with scripture.
Section 5.4 Assistant Church Clerk
All of the descriptions, duties, requirements, length of office and terms apply to any assistants of this position.
Section 1 Paid Pastoral Staff
Staff members receiving compensation or support for services rendered to the membership of the church.
Section 1.2 Duties
The Pastoral Care Team shall establish the duties and responsibilities of each staff member in writing. The Pastoral Care Team may change these duties as the need arises. Any duties or changes in duties shall be given to each staff member in writing so that each one will know their duties and responsibilities to the church. Pastors shall be directly responsible to the Pastoral Care Team for the carrying out of their duties and responsibilities.
Section 1.3 Selection
The Pastoral Care Team shall lead in the selection of all pastoral staff. The church shall affirm their selection by majority vote.
Section 1.4 Financial Support of Paid Pastoral Staff
The deacons shall initially establish and review each staff member’s financial support package.
- The deacons shall initially establish the staff member’s support and benefit package and submit its proposal to the church.
- The staff member shall receive his financial support package information in writing before he comes to the church in view of a call.
- The deacons shall also review the staff member’s support and benefit package at least annually and submit its proposal to the church.
- Any change in a staff member’s support package is subject to church approval and shall be given to each staff member in writing.
Section 1.5 Tenure and Dismissal of Paid Pastoral Staff
The tenure of paid pastoral staff shall be indefinite in length.
- Upon the recommendation of the deacons and pastor, a paid pastoral staff shall be dismissed if they become physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or they are not able to perform their duties as established by the Pastoral Care Team and confirmed by the church body.
- Dismissal is subject to church body approval.
- Dismissal may be immediate if so determined by the remainder of the church body.
- Staff members must give at least one-month’s written notice if they intend to resign.
- The time limit of resignation is subject to a lesser time if mutually agreed upon in writing by the pastor and the deacons.
- Financial support shall continue to the end of a staff member’s tenure or an agreed upon time.
Section 6 Non-paid Pastoral Staff
The same rules, regulations, and responsibilities apply to the non-paid pastoral staff as the paid pastoral staff. The only difference is that the non-paid pastoral staff member receives no compensation from the church.
Section 7 Church Support Staff
This includes, but is not limited to teachers, nursery workers, ushers, musicians, choir members, greeters, parking lot attendants and any other volunteers. The Pastoral Care Team shall establish the duties and responsibilities of all support staff. These duties may change as the need arises. Any duties or changes in duties shall be given to the staff persons in writing so that they will know their duties and responsibilities to the church. Persons on support staff shall be directly responsible to the Pastoral Care Team or to the supervisor that the Pastoral Care Team designates for the carrying out of their duties and responsibilities. Policies regarding the church support staff will be directed in policy statements from the Pastoral Care Team.
Section 7.1 Selection
The Pastoral Care Team will lead in the selection and approval of church support staff members.
Section 7.2 Financial Support
The deacons will decide if any compensation is needed for a member of the Church Support Staff. lf it is determined that compensation is needed, then the deacons will present this to the church in a business meeting for approval.
Section 7.3 Tenure and Dismissal of Support Staff
The tenure of support staff shall be indefinite in length. Upon the recommendation of the Pastoral Care Team, support staff shall be dismissed if they become physically incapacitated, or their inability to perform their duties is established by the Pastoral Care Team. Dismissal may be immediate if so determined by the Pastoral Care Team. Support staff must give at least two weeks’ notice if they intend to resign. The time limit of resignation is subject to a lesser time if mutually agreed upon by the staff person and the Pastoral Care Team. Financial support (if any) shall continue to the end of the staff person’s tenure or an agreed upon time.
Section 1: The Frequency of Church Business Meetings
Each year there will be an annual business meeting held on the second Wednesday evening of January, if possible, and if not, as close to that date as possible. There shall also be quarterly business meetings held to keep the membership current on any church business. The Pastor and/or two or more Deacons may call a special business meeting when the announcement of the said meeting is made two services prior to the meeting date.
- At the annual meeting there shall be a budget presented to the church for approval. Once approved, this budget shall be effective as of February 1.
- Should any condition arise where an annual budget is not approved, the deacons will be vested with emergency powers to care for the church’s finances. The details of those powers will be determined in the above specified annual business meeting.
- During the annual business meeting there will be an election of officers according to the need of the church.
- At the annual business meeting, any church business deemed necessary can be brought to the floor as long as said business has first been presented to the Pastor and/or deacons for approval.
Section 2: Voting
Only members of Liberty Baptist Church in Lamar, Missouri, may vote in business meetings. Voting privileges are extended to active members who are at least eighteen years of age. There are two types of members at Liberty Baptist Church, active and inactive.
Section 2.1 Inactive Members
Inactive members are those who have not attended church services in at least two months unless hindered by illness or military intervention. An inactive member for such time as he or she is classified as inactive shall forfeit all privileges of an active member. This shall include the right to vote and the right to any benefits provided to active members. An inactive member may become active by becoming faithful to the church for a period of two months. At that time the person’s membership privileges shall be on probation for an additional three months before the full right of membership shall be restored.
Section 3 Majority Votes
Eighty percent (80%) of voting members present shall rule on all matters of church business.
Section 4 Order
Business Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 1 Membership
Liberty Baptist Church receives members by:
- Salvation and baptism under the authority of Liberty Baptist Church,
- Transference of a letter from another Baptist Church of like faith, practice, and origin, and public spoken testimony at a regular church service;
- Statement of faith and scriptural baptism under the authority of another local New Testament Baptist Church, and public spoken testimony at a regular church service. New members will be required to go through a three-month candidacy period before having voting privileges in the church.
For the purpose of receiving and dismissing members, the church should consider itself in Business Session at any regularly scheduled worship service.
This is the philosophy and the reason we require prospective members to go through a three-month candidacy period. A class may be offered to orient new members to the Liberty Baptist Church.
- ”Transferring” Church Membership by Letter: There is often a failure of churches today to be honest in ”transferring membership by letter.” The New Testament gives several examples of ”letters” that confirm the character and doctrinal beliefs of believers. (Rom. 16:1-16; I Cor. 16:15-19; Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7-18; Titus 3:12, 13; Philemon 23-25; I Pet. 5:12). Many churches today keep the ”form” but forget the real purpose. Therefore, a person can undergo ”church discipline” one Sunday and become an accepted member of another church the next Sunday.
- The Bible stresses the importance of unity within the body of believers as well as all speaking the same thing. (Psa. 133:1; Amos 3:3; Eph. 4:3; 1 Cor. 1:10).
- Leaders are admonished that they are to give an account of the believers. The question should be asked: ”When do leaders begin to jive an account or check out the membership?” 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks after they have become a voting member or should it be before they are accepted into the church membership (Heb. 13:17).
- Leadership is sternly cautioned to protect the church from ”false teachers” and ”wolves in sheep’s clothing” who desire to bring in ”damnable heresies” with a desire to ”make merchandise” of the church. (Matt. 5:15; Acts 13:6; II Pet. 2:1, 2; I John 4:1).
- The Bible requires us to ”mark them that cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which we have learned. It would seem most expedient to practice ”an ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure” by checking them out and ”marking them” prior to membership. (Rom. 16:17, 18; I Cor. 5:11-13; Phil. 3:17-19)
- Failure to screen membership will automatically put the church into a course of ”self destruction.” Matt. 12:25 reminds us that ”… every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
- The primary purpose of the church is to be ”salt and light.” (Matt. 5:13) God is displeased with a ”lukewarm” church (Rev. 3:16) and preachers who ”put no difference between the holy and the profane…” (Ezek. 22:26). His reputation is at stake!
Section 2 Termination of Membership
A transfer of letter to a Baptist Church of like faith, practice and origin may terminate a membership, or when the Lord calls a member home to heaven.
Section 3 Dismissal from Church
Members who have united with another denomination shall be removed from the membership roll. Members may also be removed from the church roll when all efforts fail for restoration through church discipline. Matthew 18:15-17
Section 1 The Plan for Missions
Our missions program will be established upon the Faith Promise Missions Plan.
Every member will be challenged to give regularly to missions. This offering shall be a faith offering and shall be above the tithe, This faith offering is one method by which each member shall fulfill the Great Commission. We may not be personally called as a missionary, but we are each commanded to give of our finances that others may be sent in our place.
Section 2 Annual Faith Promise Missions Conference
There will be on occasion a Faith Promise Missions Conference. Each member will be challenged to make a commitment toward the missions program of the Church. This commitment is for a period of one year. The Pastoral Care Team shall schedule the time for the annual conference.
Section 3 Approval of Missionaries
All missionaries supported by the Church shall be approved by the membership of the church at a business meeting.
This instrument shall take the place of any previous instrument and shall be from this day forward the legal and spiritual guidelines of Liberty Baptist Church. No section of Article III (Doctrinal Statement) may be changed, but additional sections may be added if necessary by an 80% vote of the active members present at a legally called business meeting. The remaining articles may be changed only by an 80% vote of the active-voting members present at a legally called business meeting. In the announcement of this meeting, it must be stated that the business at hand is to change some point(s) in the constitution and bylaws.
The Pastoral Care Team
The Pastoral Care Team is made up of the pastor and two senior deacons. These are men who meet the qualifications of elders within the church and can step into the office of pastor if needed.
Section 1 Duties
The Pastoral Care Team work together in all phases of church ministry to provide well rounded care for the church.
Section 2 Policy Statements
The Pastoral Care Team shall develop policy statements as needed for all areas of the Liberty Baptist Church as needed, including, but not limited to facilities, staff, and workers (paid and volunteer).
Dissolving of the Liberty Baptist Church
Should circumstances occur whereby Liberty Baptist Church chooses to disband or dissolve, a 100% unanimous vote of the members present at a duly called business meeting is required for the church to dissolve.
The Pastoral Care Team shall oversee the sale of all church assets. After all outstanding debts are paid, the treasurer shall divide any remaining monies among the missionaries that are supported by the church falling under the rules of 501(c)(3) of the I.R.S. code at the time the church dissolves and then close out all accounts. If the church is not supporting missionaries at that time all monies are to be given to the Bible Baptist Church in Carthage, Missouri as this church was founded under their authority.