CONSTITUTION

Preamble

Having been led by the Lord Jesus Christ, as we believe, to maintain a testimony for Him, and recognizing the necessity for a Constitution to guide us in matters of church business, we the members of Holly Hills Baptist Church, Powhatan, Virginia, do ordain and establish the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

ARTICLE I

Name

The name of this church shall be Holly Hills Baptist Church of Powhatan, Virginia.

ARTICLE II

Purpose

The purpose of this church is to glorify God in the preaching of the Gospel to the lost, the teaching of His Word to the saved and the giving of gifts for the world-wide proclamation of God's saving grace.

ARTICLE III

Doctrine

Section 1. Statement of Doctrine.

     {1} The Holy Scriptures: We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, and our guide to faith and practice. {See II Timothy 3:16, 17 and II Peter 1:20, 21.}

     {2} The Godhead: We believe in one God, existing in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; eternal in being, identical in nature, equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. {See Matthew 28:18, 19; II Corinthians 13:14.}

     {3} The Person and Work of Christ: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became Man, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and His death on the Cross, His blood being the purchase price, and that He secured that redemption forever by His literal resurrection from the dead. {See John 1:1, 2, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24, 25, and 4:25.}

     {4} The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost, according to the diving promise and now indwells every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body, and as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and acceptable worship and service.

We believe that the Holy Spirit's ministry to the world is that of conviction respecting sin, righteousness and judgment. {See John 14:16, 17; 16:7-11, and I Corinthians 12:13.}

     {5} The Total Depravity of Man: We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in the transgression of Adam the whole race of mankind fell, and thereby inherited a sinful nature, became alienated from God and totally unable to retrieve his lost condition. {See Genesis 1:26, 27; 3:6, 7; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:12.}

     {6} Salvation: We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. {See Ephesians 2:8-10; and John 1:12.}

     {7} The Eternal Security of the Believer: We believe that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure forever. {See John 10:27-30.}

     {8} The Church: We believe that the Church is a spiritual organism composed of all born again persons of this present age irrespective of their affiliation with Christian organizations, {See Acts 2:47b} and as such, is both the body and bride of Christ. {See Ephesians 1:22, 23 and 5:25-27.}

     {9} The Personality of Satan: We believe in the personality of Satan, who is the open and declared enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ and thereby the enemy of all who believe in Him. {See Job 1:6, 7; Matthew 4:2-11; and I Peter 5:8.}

     {10} The Return of Christ: We believe in the imminent, personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own, and His subsequent premillenial return to the earth to set up His kingdom. {See I Thessalonians 4:13-18; and Acts 15:16-17.}

     {11} The Eternal State: We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence, and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming, whereupon soul and body will be reunited to enjoy the glories and blessings of heaven forever. We believe also that the souls of those who have rejected Jesus Christ as Saviour remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne, when soul and body reunited will be cast into the lake of fire to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. {See II Corinthians 5:6, 8; Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:11-15.}

     {12} Church Ordinances: We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances of the church and they are the scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age.

We believe that baptism is the immersion of the believer in water; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; setting forth the essential facts in redemption - the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; also the essential facts in the experience of the believer - death to sin and resurrection to newness of life.

We believe that the Lord's Supper is a commemoration of His death until He comes and is to be celebrated at certain intervals by all the members of the church. {See Matthew 3:13-17 and I Corinthians 11:23-26.}

Section 2. Church Covenant.

Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, and to fellowship with this local congregation, I pledge to abide by its constitution. I joyfully and solemnly covenant with this local assembly to walk worthy of my profession of faith by faithful attendance to public and private worship, the support of this church through tithes and offerings, the promotion of Jesus Christ through soul winning and missions, abstaining from the works of the flesh according to I Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 5:3-4; Galatians 5:19-21, praying for my fellow believers and giving aid in sickness and distress, promoting love, understanding, comfort, and reconciliation among my fellow believers.

ARTICLE IV

Membership

Section 1. Qualifications for Membership.

Any person may be admitted into membership in this church by confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ followed by baptism or personal testimony if having already been baptized.

All candidates for membership shall be examined by the Pastor and Board of Deacons as to their Christian experience and their agreement with the doctrinal statement as outlined in ARTICLE III, Section 1.


Section 2. Watch-care Members.

Students, members of armed forces, members away from home church, and those not physically able to be baptized.

Section 3. Reception of Members.

After having been duly examined by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, and having assented to ARTICLE III, Section 1, candidates for membership shall be recommended to the church by the Pastor and Board of Deacons and received publicly into the fellowship by vote of the Church at such time as may be determined by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.

Section 4. Dismissal of Members

Members are dismissed from this church by:

     {a} Letter, when in good and regular standing. Letters shall not be issued directly to members but only sent to the Church with which they unite.

     {b} Removal, when any member gives written request to have their name removed.

     {c} The membership roll shall be revised semi-annually by the Pastor and Board of Deacons, who shall be empowered at their discretion to recommend to place upon an inactive list the names of members who have failed to fellowship with the church during the preceding six months period. This action shall not be taken until every effort has been made to restore such members to the fellowship of the church.

     {d} The inactive membership list shall be revised semi-annually. Those whose names are on the list, who request reinstatement and have shown a disposition toward renewed fellowship may be reinstated at the next business meeting.

Section 5. Discipline

Should any member of the church become an offense to the church and its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of his covenant vows, or by gross immorality, or misdemeanor in office, or by willfully promoting schism or discord in the church, the church may censure, reprimand, or exclude such from the membership upon recommendation of the Board of Deacons.

Members shall be dismissed by letter or removal only by vote of the church upon the recommendation of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.

ARTICLE V

Government

The government of this church, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is vested in the body of believers who compose it, whose majority vote shall be final.

Section 1. The "Elected" Officers.

The officers of the church shall consist of the Pastor, a Board of Deacons, a Board of Trustees, a Church Clerk and Assistant, a Financial Secretary and Assistant, and a Treasurer and Assistant.

Section 2. Election of Officers.

The PASTOR shall be recommended to the church by a two-thirds majority of the entire Board of Deacons, and elected in a regularly convened congregational meeting by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present.

The termination of the Pastor's services may be effected at any time with one month's notice by the same order of procedure as prescribed for election.

The BOARD OF DEACONS shall be elected by the church by plurality vote at the annual church meeting. Should the office of a Deacon become vacant, his successor may be appointed by the remaining Deacons until the next annual meeting, at which time his successor shall be elected.

The BOARD OF TRUSTEES shall be elected for an unlimited term. Inasmuch as Trustees are legal officers only, they may retain their office subject to the will of the church.

Section 3. The Duty of Officers

It shall be the duty of the Pastor to watch over the spiritual interests of the church, preach the Word, administer the ordinances, and preside at all public services of the church. He shall be an ex officio-member of the Board of Deacons and all other boards and committees, and shall have full voice with the other Deacons of said boards and committees.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Deacons to direct the spiritual affairs of the church, assist the Pastor in the administration of the Lord's Supper, act for the church in the reception and dismissal of members, cooperate with the Pastor in conducting the examination of those who desire to affiliate themselves with the church; and exercise discipline where needed.

It shall also be their duty to serve with the Pastor in shepherding the membership of the church, striving to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, healing so far as possible all differences, giving counsel and comfort to the poor, the sick, and the afflicted; keeping order in the public meetings of the church; making provision for the supply of the pulpit in the absence of the Pastor or in the event of his failure to do so; and taking full charge of all services not otherwise provided for by the Pastor.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees to hold the title to the church property, to keep the same in repair, and to hold the same subject to the uses and benefits of the church. They shall not, however, purchase or dispose of real estate and fixed property without first having brought the matter before a called meeting of the congregation. This being done, they shall be given authority to act as directed by the church.

The Church Clerk shall keep the records of the church; record all business proceedings; promptly issue letters of dismission when authorized by the church to do so.

His books shall be open to the inspection of the church at all times and upon his retirement from office, or removal, he shall deliver to his successor or the Chairman of the Board of Deacons, all records, files, and other papers belonging to the church, and have same up-to-date.

It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to see that the offerings received in the church meetings are counted, the amounts received reported to the Treasurers, and deposited in the bank.

It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to disburse all church funds as authorized by the church, and to make the annual report to the congregation at the time of the annual meeting.

They shall submit their books at any time for auditing and turn over to the Board of Deacons, as directed by them, or to their successors when elected, all monies, documents and papers belonging to the church.

The books shall be audited annually, in June, by personnel designated by the Board of Deacons.

Section 4. Appointed Officers

All Sunday School Department Superintendents, Teachers, Assistant Teachers, General Sunday School Superintendent, Assistant General Sunday School Superintendent, Organist, Pianist, and Choir Director will be appointed by the Pastor. Their appointments shall be valid as long as their lives are honoring to the Lord and their attendance to their task is efficient and dependable. In the event that a change is necessary in the Sunday School staff, those affected shall be given at least seven {7} days notice of the proposed change.

ARTICLE VI

Committees

Section 1. Missionary Committee

The Missionary Committee shall consist of not less than six and more may be added at the discretion of the Pastor and Board of Deacons. The members of this committee shall be appointed by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons for a period of three years in such a manner that the terms of approximately one third of the members shall expire each year. Any member whose term expires may be reappointed immediately at the discretion of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons. Appointments to this committee shall be made as soon as possible after the annual meeting of the church.

It shall be the duty of the Missionary Committee to initiate and direct the missionary activities of the church as well as exercising regular interest in the missionaries on the field and at home. It shall not be within the power of this committee to appoint or dismiss any missionary, but it shall function only in an advisory capacity and subject to the discretion of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee.

During the month of February the Nominating Committee shall be selected by the Board of Deacons. This committee shall consist of seven members of the church, including its Chairman who shall be a man and shall be chosen from and representing the congregation as follows: Two Deacons, five from the membership, of which one shall be selected to represent the Sunday School.

It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to investigate the character and qualifications of those whose names are submitted to fill the elective offices of the church, and to submit their recommendation to the Board of Deacons for approval in ample time for the annual meeting of the church.

ARTICLE VII

Congregational Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting.

The fiscal year of the church shall end on the last day of April each year. The annual meeting for the reception of reports, the election of officers, and other business, shall be held on the second Saturday of May.

Section 2. Other Business Meetings

Other business meetings of the church may be held regularly or at such times as may be deemed necessary by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, or upon written request of ten percent of the members of the Church; said meetings to be held at the church. Announcement of other meetings should be made one week prior to the meeting.

In all congregational meetings the Pastor shall preside, and in his absence, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons.

In the transaction of business, Robert's Rules of Order shall be used in all cases not covered by this constitution.

ARTICLE VIII

Ordinances

Section 1. Baptism.

The mode of baptism shall be by immersion.

Section 2. The Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper shall be administered as frequently as the Pastor and the Board of Deacons shall order.

ARTICLE IX

Ordination

As it has happened before, and will likely happen again, Spirit-filled men may be called out from among us to proclaim the gospel of the grace of God. Such men may be given a commission to preach and administer the ordinances by an Ordination Committee composed of the Pastor, the Board of Deacons, and such other men as they may invite to participate. The Ordination Committee shall thoroughly examine all applicants for ordination as to their call to the Christian ministry, education, Christian experience, reputation, doctrinal belief and demonstrated efficiency in Christian service.

Upon their unanimous recommendation, the church shall proceed to convene an Ordination Service, at which time the candidate will be publicly set apart to the ministry.

ARTICLE X

Amendments

The constitution of the church may be amended at any regularly called business meeting of the church. Any proposed amendment shall be presented in writing two weeks prior to the meeting, and shall require two-thirds vote of those present for its adoption.

 
 
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