our constitution


CONSTITUTION

of the

ANCHOR BAPTIST CHURCH


 
PREFACE

It is the design of this document to present the doctrinal position of the Anchor Baptist Church to all its members as well as those who might desire to join in membership.  Further, it presents guidelines for present ministries as well as parameters to safeguard the future ministries of the church.  It is not intended to restrict, but to guide church growth.


ARTICLE I:  PURPOSE

The purpose of this church is the edification of Christians through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, the salvation of souls, the world-wide proclamation of God’s saving grace, the promotion of Godly worship, the administration of the ordinances of the New Testament, and the defense of “the faith once delivered.”




ARTICLE II:  DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

The membership of Anchor Baptist Church accepts the Bible as its absolute authority in matters of faith and practice.  We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture; in one God eternally existing in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit); in the creation of all things, including man, as the direct act of God; in eternally secure salvation by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the incarnation and virgin birth of Christ, and in His bodily resurrection; in the personal, bodily, pre-tribulational return of the Lord Jesus Christ and His millennial reign on earth.  We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell, and that Satan is a fallen angelic being, able to possess the lost and oppress both the saved and the lost.  We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead.  We believe in the autonomy of the local church, in baptism by immersion, and in the observance of the Lord’s Supper by all obedient believers.  We further believe that personal spiritual growth comes only through faithful church attendance along with daily, disciplined Bible study, prayer, and witnessing.  We are a fundamental, separated, missionary-minded group of Bible-believing Christians, striving to maintain a balanced, Spirit-filled life.



ARTICLE III:  A MODEL OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into communion with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to grow 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, and relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain personal and family times of Bible study and prayer; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to consider circumstances and consequences; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

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 for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like faith and order, where we can carry out the spirit of this model and the principles of God’s Word.


ARTICLE IV:  MEMBERSHIP

Section 1:  Receiving Members

Anyone desiring to join with the Anchor Baptist Church must read and agree with the constitution.  There must be disclosure of any unsatisfied church action(s) of discipline against the candidate for membership.  Upon recommendation of the Pastor and Deacons, they can present their testimony of salvation to the congregation of the church, and upon church vote (with not more than one dissenting vote) be welcomed into the fellowship at any service.  Those that object must appear before the Pastor(s), Deacon(s), and the candidate to give just reason.  If reasons are not justifiable, the candidate can be recommended to the church, and the church can overrule the objectors.



1.    No member may withdraw their membership once the process of church discipline has been started.
2.    If there is no restoration, the erring member will be removed from the membership under church discipline and remain in that position until restoration can be accomplished.


Section 2:  Duties of Members

The church model of spiritual maturity is an accurate reflection of that which is desired of members.

Section 3:  Discipline of Members

1.    Every effort shall be made to restore sinning members to fellowship
(Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1, 2).

2.    If restoration is not accomplished, the individual shall be dismissed from the membership by church vote.

3.    Cause for discipline is evidence of violating the clear teachings of Scripture (such as I Corinthians 5:11; Romans 16:17; II Thessalonians 3:11; Titus 3:10; and Matthew 18:15-18) which include:  fornication, covetousness, idolatry, railing (to blaspheme), being drunken, an extortioner, causing divisions and offenses doctrinally, disorderly in walk, a busybody, an heretic, or not hearing the direction of the church in solving problems.

4.    No member may withdraw their membership once the process of church discipline has been started.
5.    If there is no restoration, the erring member will be removed from the membership under church discipline and remain in that position until restoration can be accomplished.

Section 4: Human Sexuality

1.    We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery, hormone therapy, or cross-gender appearance. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). We believe that the only scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.


ARTICLE V:  OFFICERS

Section 1:  Pastor

1.    The Pastor shall serve for an undesignated period of time.

2.    The qualifications of the Pastor are those given in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

3.    It shall be the duty of the Pastor to preach the Word and administer the ordinances, to take and have charge of all services, and to watch over all interests of the church.

4.    The Pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and organizations.

5.    The Pastor shall moderate all congregational meetings of the church.

6.    The Pastor shall hire, with congregational approval, any Assistant Pastor(s) or Associate Pastor(s).  Congregational approval shall be decided at any scheduled business meeting of the church by a simple majority of the voting members present.  The salary shall be agreed upon at the time of election and may be changed at any business meeting, should the need arise.  See Employee Policy in Office pertaining to assistant’s vacation policy.  It is the congregation’s duty to restrict the candidate on the basis of the church’s inability to pay for the position, a clear lack of need for the position, or specific, biblical disqualification seen or known in the life of the candidate.

7.    The Pastor shall, if the need arises (because of major differing philosophies of ministry, a breakdown in abilities to work together for the common good of the ministry, failures in completing assigned tasks, or domestic problems habitually affecting performance, etc.), terminate the position of any Assistant Pastor(s) or Associate Pastor(s).  Ethically, and out of Christian courtesy, there will be not more than sixty (60) days’ nor less than thirty (30) days’ notice given if dismissal is needed (unless dismissal involves disqualification under the guidelines of I Timothy 3 and Titus 1).  Disqualification will terminate employment immediately with salary continuing not more than thirty (30) days.

8.    The Pastor shall establish the job description for those on staff as well as the standards of conduct and punctuality.

9.    Upon the vacancy of the Senior Pastor, all pastoral staff will, out of courtesy to the incoming Pastor, resign their position.  They may actively continue their position in an intra-pastoral capacity.

Section 2:  Deacons

1.    The qualifications of Deacons are found in Acts 6:3 and I Timothy 3:8-13.

2.    The duties of the Deacons shall be to assist the Pastor and help him in visitation, administering the ordinances, recommending the financial guidelines to the church, and auditing the treasurer’s books annually.

3.    New Deacons shall be recommended by the Pastor and Deacons and shall be voted upon by the membership to serve for a period of three years.  A Deacon can serve for a total of six years before remaining out of office for one year.  There shall be a sufficient number of Deacons to care for the affairs of the church.

4.    In the event of the loss of the Pastor, the Deacons will function as a pulpit committee seeking a qualified man to candidate for the office.  A vote of 75% of the voting members present will be necessary to call a Pastor.

Section 3:  Other Officers – appointed by the Pastor

1.    A treasurer shall write the checks and make a monthly financial statement.

2.    A financial secretary shall record contributions and mail yearly statements.

3.    A clerk shall record minutes of business meetings and maintain a current membership list.


ARTICLE VI:  PROCEDURES

Section 1:  Business Meetings

1.    Quarterly business meetings shall be held on the second Sunday evening service of the months of January, April, July, and October unless announced otherwise.  Prior minutes, the financial statement, and membership changes shall be reported.  A monthly posting of the financial reports will be available in the church secretary’s office.

2.    The annual business meeting will be held not later than the end of the first full week of December each year.

3.    A budget committee consisting of at least:  Two deacons, the church treasurer, and three from the congregation will be elected at the October business meeting of the church to present a proposed budget to the deacons by or about the first Sunday of November.  The deacons shall consider, modify, and post the proposed budget to the church not less than two weeks prior to the annual business meeting each year.

4.    A business meeting can be called by the Pastor, the Deacons, or a response to seven signed letters submitted to the Deacons from seven different members of the congregation concerning the same issue.  There shall be a two-week posted notice given to the church, which shall include an agenda for the meeting.

5.    Special business meetings can be called by the Pastor, or, in the absence of a seated pastor [the church being without a pastor], by a majority vote of the seated Deacons.  Special business meetings deal with issues that cannot wait two weeks or longer to be addressed.

6.    Items on the agenda may be tabled by a simple majority vote.  At the time of tabling, the congregation must decide upon a date to re-address the motion tabled.  This shall be not less than the next normally scheduled church service, nor more than thirteen weeks from the time of said church action in tabling the motion.

Section 2:  Voting Privileges

1.    Only members are permitted to speak to an order of business and/or vote.

2.    One must be at least eighteen years old to participate in a business meeting.

3.    A simple majority vote will be accepted as the will of the Lord.




ARTICLE VII:  AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may be amended or revised by a majority vote at any regular business meeting on the recommendation of the Pastor and Deacons, provided two weeks’ notice of such proposed revision or amendment is given at regular services.


ARTICLE VIII:  DISSOLUTION

In the event of dissolution of this church, none of its assets shall go to or for the benefit of any individual or individuals.  All assets shall go to a non-profit Christian organization that is in agreement with the church’s doctrinal position.  The organization shall be selected by the congregation at the time of dissolution.





Adopted May 15, 1991
Amended February 24, 1993
Amended January 5, 1994
Amended October 5, 1994
Amended January 4, 1995
Amended December 8, 1996
Amended December 12, 1999
Amended January 26, 2000
Amended January 10, 2010
Amended December 9, 2012
Amended December 13, 2015