Faith Bible Church
Warren, Pennsylvania 16345
We the members of the Russell Faith Bible Church do ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
ARTICLE I – The Name
The name of this organization shall be known as the (Russell) Faith Bible Church incorporated on the 1st day of May, 1964.
ARTICLE II – The Purpose
The purpose, function, and ministry of this church shall be as follows:
1.To preach (proclaim) and teach (explain/admonish) the Bible for the edification of the saved and the salvation of the lost. (Matt 28:20; Col 1:28; 1Tim 4:13; 2Tim 2:15; 2Tim 4:1-2)
2.To provide a vehicle for spiritual fellowship. (Acts 2:42; Heb 10:24-25)
3.To administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Matt 28:19; 1Cor 11:23-26)
4.To be a house of prayer. (Acts 2:42; Eph 6:18; 1Tim 2;1-2)
5.To recognize and appoint leaders according to New Testament directives.
(Acts 20:28; 1Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pet 5:2)
6.To provide a vehicle for the ministry of spiritual gifts under the supervision and authority of the church leaders. (1Cor 12; Eph 4:4-16)
7.To assemble the saints together for the praise and worship of God.
(Psa 2:11; Psa 29:2; Psa 22:22-23; Psa 95:6; John 4:24; Heb 2:12; Heb 10:24-25)
8.To provide a vehicle for giving. (1Cor 16:2; 2Cor 9:6-8)
9.To administer church discipline. (Matt 18:15-20; 1Cor 5:1-6)
10.To fulfill the Great Commission. (Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8)
ARTICLE III – The Statement of Faith
The statement of faith as adopted by (Russell) Faith Bible Church is obtainable in the church office.
ARTICLE IV – Membership
SECTION A: Authority and Reception
1.The Board of Elders shall have authority to determine, in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of this church, all matters pertaining to membership, admission, dismissal, and privileges and rights of the church members.
2.Members will be received into the church on any Sunday morning service.
SECTION B: Eligibility
1.Any person is eligible for membership who has personally believed and received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as set forth in Scripture and whose life and conduct is evidence of his being “born again” into the family of God. He or she will also have received water baptism or have given assurance of a willingness to receive water baptism and have expressed a willingness to defend and support the church’s faith and doctrine. Any such person who has been in regular attendance for six months should contact the Pastor or other member of the Board of Elders to inform them of their desire to join the church. After approval by the Pastor and Board of Elders the person seeking membership will be installed on a Sunday morning service determined by the Pastor. (John 1:12; John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9; Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41-42)
SECTION C: Inactive Members
1.Any member of the church willingly absenting himself from the regular Sunday services of the church for a period of six months, shall be put on the inactive membership list. Should this status be continued after notification of the member’s inactive status for another six months, then that member will be removed from the church rolls.
SECTION D: Termination of Membership
1.Any person may withdraw his membership from this church by written request to the church.
2.Any person desiring to transfer to another gospel preaching church may do so by having that church write for a letter of recommendation and transfer.
3.When it is established that a member joins another church without a letter of dismissal from this church, then his name shall be removed from the rolls.
SECTION E: Privileges
1.Identification with this local body of believers
2.Accountability to God-ordained spiritual leadership
3.Biblical vehicle for service and exercise of spiritual gifts
ARTICLE V – Calling a Pastor
1.The pulpit committee shall consist of the Board of Elders.
2.They shall meet with the candidate, supplying him with a copy of this constitution and the statement of faith and shall question him on his acceptance of these items.
3.After the candidate has spoken from the pulpit, the Elders shall report to the congregation, at a duly called meeting, the results of their screening and to seek their input.
4.Final approval of the candidate shall be by unanimous vote of the Elders.
5.The candidate shall then be notified by letter as to the decision of the Elders.
ARTICLE VI – Offices
The officers of this church shall consist of the Pastor along with the other Elders, Deacons, and a Treasurer.
All above officers (except the Pastor) shall be members in good standing for six months prior to nomination; and all the above officers shall agree with this church’s doctrinal statement and meet the qualifications set forth herein before being nominated by the Board of Elders.
SECTION A: PERMANENT OFFICES
OFFICE OF PASTOR
The Pastor will serve as a leader among the leaders although he has no more scriptural authority or responsibility than any one of the other elders. He will serve in a full-time capacity in the sense that he will receive a salary from the church and will preside over the pulpit ministry. The pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated with 30 days notice by either party, or else otherwise terminated by mutual consent.
OFFICE OF ELDER
The Elders are charged with the responsibility, under the Lord, of shepherding the church of God (Acts 20:28). They are to rule in the affairs of the church with Christ-like love and concern and not as “lording it over” the flock (I Tim 5:17; 3:4-5; 1 Pet 5:1-4). Scripture exhorts all believers to obey and submit to the leadership of these men enabling them to serve with joy and not with grief (Heb 13:17). The Elders shall be men who meet the qualifications outlined in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. There shall be no established number of them, nor any term set for their service and they shall meet as often as they deem necessary to efficiently carry out their responsibilities. When a man is being considered for this office his name shall be posted for a period of one month so that any member of the church will have an opportunity to raise any questions about this man’s qualifications to the existing elders. Following an appropriate time of careful consideration and prayer the prospective Elder will be appointed by a unanimous decision of the existing Elders. An elder’s service may be terminated by his own resignation for any reason, or by disqualification in the judgment of the other elders (I Tim 5:19-22)
OFFICE OF DEACON
The Deacons are charged with the responsibility of service. They shall serve as the chief assistants of the Elders in executing the ministries of the church and the general care of God’s people. The Deacons shall be men who meet the qualifications outlined in I Tim 3:8-13.There shall be no established number of them nor any term set for their service and they shall meet as often as they deem necessary to efficiently carry out their responsibilities. When a man is being considered for this office his name shall be posted for a period of one month so that any member of the church will have an opportunity to raise any questions about this man’s qualifications to the Elders. Following an appropriate time of careful consideration and prayer the prospective Deacon will be appointed by a unanimous decision of the Elders. A Deacon’s service may be terminated by his own resignation for any reason, or by disqualification in the judgment of the Elders.
SECTION B: TEMPORARY OFFICES
The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Elders for a three year term of office and may be reappointed at the end of the three years by mutual consent of the Elders and the Treasurer. His duties shall include the following:
1.He shall receive all monies contributed to the church and cause such monies to be deposited in a bank designated by the Elders.
2.He shall disperse the funds only upon due authorization from the elders and keep a detailed record of all transactions.
3.He shall report income and expenses monthly and in more detail whenever called upon to do so. All financial records shall be audited upon change of Treasurers and at other times at the discretion of the Elders.
ARTICLE VII – Discipline
All cases of disorderly conduct, divisiveness, or heretical doctrine that would oppose the church’s life and faith and destroy the possibility of fellowship shall be handled with the following procedure:
1.The person shall be first dealt with and interviewed as directed in Matthew 18:15-18. The goal of this confrontation is always to be restoration of the sinning brother. (Gal 6:1)
2.1f this does not lead to restoration of fellowship, charges shall be put in writing and placed in the hands of the person in question, and they shall be summoned to meet the Board of Elders at some date not more than 30 days. After a fair and impartial hearing of all the witnesses accessible and all the facts ascertainable, if the Elder Board believes them to be guilty, their name shall be stricken from the membership rolls except they repent.
3.Failure on the part of the person to appear for the hearing will not prevent the elders from examining the case, hearing all the witnesses and rendering a decision in accord with testimony. 4.Persons who present charges without having taken the steps prescribed by our Lord Jesus
Christ in accordance with the Holy Scriptures shall be considered guilty of an offense against the peace and order of the church.
ARTICLE VIII – Missions
It shall be the goal and prayer of Faith Bible Church that God would raise up from among us teams of two or more qualified elders to be sent out under the direction of the Holy Spirit to His designated places to plant local churches after the mandate given in Matthew 28:18-20 and the pattern given in Acts 13:1-4. It shall also be our desire to fully support these men prayerfully, financially, and administratively and that their ministry would be under the authority of the existing elders at Faith Bible Church until such a time when the new local church could be self-supporting.
Until the Lord raises up such men for a church plant or possibly in addition to that, the Faith Bible Church elders will consider helping in the support of qualified men who have been sent out by other local churches if they are involved in church planting according to Matthew 28:18-20 and if they are operating according to the pattern set forth in Acts 13:1-4.
We see nothing in Scripture that would validate the existence of “mission boards” or “mission agencies” and therefore believe that the sending agency for missionaries should always be the local church. We further believe that disciples can only be made within the context of the local church and that planting a local church, therefore, should always be the missionary endeavor. This is in reference to the corporate church’s responsibility for “missions proper” and does not in any way diminish the individual believer’s responsibility to advance God’s kingdom through evangelism and the ministry of their spiritual gifts. Furthermore, this emphasis on church planting for “missions proper” is not meant to prohibit any other kinds of ministries that the Spirit of God would lead Faith Bible Church into through the spiritual gifts of her members. Certainly these various ministries will all have “missions” or “evangelistic” emphases but they are nonetheless ministries of this local church and not what we mean by “missions proper”. When we refer to “missions proper” we are referring to the reproduction of another local church.
ARTICLE IX – Meetings
The church shall meet every Sunday for public worship, at least once a week for prayer, and at other times for religious purposes as the Elder Board recommends and as they are led by the Holy Spirit.
ARTICLE X – Ordinances
The Lord’s Supper shall be observed weekly and on other special occasions as by order of the Pastor or Elder Board.
Water baptism of believers shall be by immersion (except for special cases) and shall be administered upon request by order of the Pastor or Elder Board.
ARTICLE XI – Dissolution
No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual; and no donor, member, director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. Upon dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed to one or more organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.
ARTICLE XII – Facility
The facility that God has entrusted to Faith Bible Church shall not be used for any activity that is not in full agreement with the articles of this constitution or the items in our declared statement of faith.
Let it further be stated that any marriage ceremonies to be held on these premises are to be conducted by one or more of Faith Bible Church’s elders and only when either the bride and/or groom is a member of this local church body.