Church Constitution

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF EATON RAPIDS

EATON COUNTY, MICHIGAN

ADOPTED MAY 1, 1999

ARTICLE I

Name
The name of this church shall be First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids.

ARTICLE II

Foundation, Object and Priorities of Ministry
1. The foundation of this church is the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 3:11), and its
code of guidance in all its affairs, the Word of God, and this Church does here affirm
its faith that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of
Almighty God (Mark 13:31).
2. The object of this church shall be to glorify God by developing fully devoted
followers of Jesus Christ in accordance with the teaching of His Word set forth in the
New Testament (Matthew 28:18-20), to sustain its ordinances and doctrines and to
preach and proclaim among all peoples the gospel of salvation which is by personal
faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
3. The priorities of the ministry of this church flow from the vision of God’s glory
revealed in Jesus Christ. We exist to make disciples who make disciples through
winning the spiritually lost, building the believer in their faith, equipping the worker
to do the work of the ministry, and growing spiritual leaders who can shepherd and
lead God’s people.

ARTICLE III

Autonomy
First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids shall be and remain independent and autonomous.
However, with the approval of sixty-six percent of the members casting ballots, the
church may participate in membership and activity with organizations of like doctrine for
the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as long as it does not infringe upon the
independence or autonomy of this church.

ARTICLE IV

Church Government and Officers
1. Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the congregation is the final
authority within this local church. The vote of the membership of this Church at a
properly called meeting, as provided in the By-Laws, shall be required to effect the
following actions:
a. Accept members into the Church, give letters of transfer or letters of
recommendation, and approve recommendations to drop members from the
church roll;
b. Approve officers of the Church;
c. When necessary, discipline members by dropping them from membership and
discipline officers by removing them from office;
d. Approve the annual budget of the Church, authorize any expenditure of the funds
of the Church when such expenditure is not covered within the approved budget,
and approve any transactions regarding real property;
e. Accept, reject or otherwise dispose of matters submitted to the membership of the
church by the Council of Elders, or raised by motion at a business meeting;
f. Adopt, amend, or repeal the Constitution or By-Laws of this Church;
g. Approve the call, job description and initial salary of vocational pastors and
ministers.
2. The officers of the Church shall be Elders and Deacons. The purpose of the officers
of the Church is to lovingly lead, care for, and equip the membership to do the work
of the ministry.
3. The Council of Elders is responsible for ruling the Church, teaching the Word and
tending the flock of God in this Church. The Elders shall be equal in authority and
shall specialize in function.
4. Persons holding the office of Deacon shall assist the Council of Elders by performing
services of advice, administration and implementation.

ARTICLE V

Doctrine
I. THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the
original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, truthful in all it
affirms, and is the complete and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. II
Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
II. THE TRINITY
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that
these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious
functions in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1,
3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19-20
III. GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom,
power and love. We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that
He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him
through Jesus Christ. Luke 10:21-22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; I
Timothy 1:1, 2; 2:5-6; I Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
IV. JESUS CHRIST
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. We believe in His conception by
the Holy Spirit, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His
substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual
intercession for His people, and His personal visible return to earth. Matthew 1:18-25;
Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23;
John 20:30-31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9-10;
Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16
V. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the
world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all
who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in
Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide. John 14:16-17, 26: 15:26-27;
John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26
VI. REGENERATION
We believe man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby
incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God. As a
consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice
and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of sin and trust
Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures.
They are delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life. Genesis 1:26; 5:2;
Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12;
10:26; Romans 9:22; II Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 19:3, 20; 20:10; 14, 15; 21:18;
Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; I John 1:9;
John 3:16; John 1:13; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1
VII. THE CHURCH
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and
all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a
company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a genuine profession of faith, and
associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has gifted and is
equipping the members of the local church for the primary task of giving the gospel of
Jesus Christ to a lost world. Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42;
Hebrews 10:23-25.
VIII. CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
We believe Christians should live for the glory of God and the well being of their fellow
men and their conduct should be blameless before the world. They should be faithful
stewards of their possessions, and they should seek to realize for themselves and others
the full stature of maturity in Christ. I Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-
2; John 14:15, 23-24; I John 2:3-6; II Corinthians 9:6-9; I Corinthians 4:2; Colossians
1:9-10
IX. THE ORDINANCES
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church –
baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is by immersion of the
believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was
instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two
ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-26
X. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
We believe that every human being has a direct relationship with God and is responsible
to God alone in all matters of faith. We believe that each church is independent and must
be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority. Therefore, Church
and State must be kept separate, each having its different functions, each fulfilling its
duties free from the dictation or patronage of the other. I Timothy 2:5; Romans 14:7-9,
12
XI. THE LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the
establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final
judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.
Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians
4:15; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 4:5; I Corinthians 15; II Thessalonians
1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15

ARTICLE VI

Church Membership and Covenant
The membership of this Church shall consist of persons who confess faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ as personal Savior, who give evidence of regeneration by living consistently
with their profession and with the views of faith, doctrine and practice of this Church,
who have been baptized by immersion, and who have been received into its membership
according to the By-Laws of this Church.
The Membership Covenant of First Baptist Church:
I, having been saved by faith in the substitutional death of Jesus Christ on the
cross for my sins; baptized by immersion as a proclamation of my personal
association with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection; and having completed the
membership class; feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to join the membership of the
First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids, Michigan. In doing so, I express my
agreement and support for the teachings of the Statement of Faith of First Baptist
Church, along with its purposes and structures. I further covenant with God and
the other members of this church to faithfully carry out the responsibilities and
commitments of membership as explained below.
I will protect the unity of my church by:
Developing loving relationships with other members. (Romans 14:19, I Peter
1:22)
Refusing to gossip about other members. (Ephesians 4:29)
Following and showing respect for church leaders. (Hebrews 13:7, 17)
I will share in the ministry of the church by:
Praying for the church and its members. (I Thessalonians 1:1-2)
Inviting unchurched relatives, neighbors and friends to attend. (Luke 14:23)
Warmly welcoming visitors. (Romans 15:7)
Discovering my gifts and talents. (I Peter 4:10)
Participating in training programs designed to equip me for ministry. (Ephesians
4:10-12)
Participating in those ministries for which I am gifted and called. (Acts 20:24).
Striving to develop a servant’s heart. (Philippians 2:3-4, 7)
I commit myself to:
Attend church faithfully. (Hebrews 10:25)
Live a godly life. (Philippians 1:27)
Give regularly to the financial support of the church in proportion to my gratitude
for God’s gracious gifts to me. (II Corinthians 9:6-7)

ARTICLE VII

The Church Property
In the event of a division of this Church, from which may God in His mercy save us, the
property of this Church shall belong to the group that represents the largest portion of the
Church membership prior to the division provided such a group is loyal to this
constitution; otherwise, it shall belong to the group remaining loyal to this constitution
though it may not be the largest group in such division. Should any controversy arise as
to whether such loyalty exists, the question shall be submitted to the Council of Elders,
and their decision shall be final.
In the case the church is ever dissolved, the properties of First Baptist Church will revert
only to a Bible believing organization believing unequivocally in our stated doctrine.

ARTICLE VIII

Constitutional Revisions, Additions and Amendments
1. Revisions, additions or amendments of this constitution may be made only in the
following manner:
a. at the annual meeting; and
b. with approval by a three-fourths (75%) majority of those members present and
voting at such meeting, provided at least ten percent (10%) of the resident
membership of the Church is present at such meeting; and
c. after presentation by written motion at a quarterly or special business meeting
held at least three months before the annual meeting; and
d. if notice of the proposed change or addition has been given, in writing and
from the pulpit on at least two Sundays in the interim period between said
meetings.