SUMMARY OF THE CONFESSION
55O5 PLANTATION ROAD
Table of Contents
Doctrinal Position of the Church. .............3
Summary of Confession
The Scriptures ............4
The Trinity ..........................4
God's Decree ...............4
The Fall of Man ............5
The Will ......................7
Effectual Calling ...........7
Saving Faith .................8
Good Works .................8
Moral Law ....................9
The Sabbath ................9
The Church .................9
Church Officers ..........9
and Support ............10
The Lord's Supper .......10
The Resurrection .......10
Last Things .................11
Section 1 ...................15
Section 2 ...................16
Section 3 ...................16
Section 4 ...................16
Section 5 ...................16
Section 6 ...................16
Section 7 ....................17
and Scope ..............17
Church Officers .....18
Lord's Supper ..........25
Money Counting ........27
Other Committees .....27
V Quorum .................29
For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenets of the Missionary Baptist denomination and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of this Church and the freedom of action of this body with respect to it's relation to other Churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this Constitution.
This body shall be known as the Plantation Road Baptist Church of Roanoke, Virginia.
Doctrinal Position of the Church.
It shall be understood that ministry or membership in this Church means embracing and supporting, along with other Christian tenants, equally or comparably vital, the doctrinal emphasis of the Church as set forth in the Articles of Faith.
SUMMARY OF THE CONFESSION OF FAITH AND THE CHURCH COVENANT.
We do hereby adopt to the fullest expression of faith the London Confession of Faith of 1689, also known as the Philadelphia Confession of Faith of 1742, as amended by this Church. This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of things most surely believed among us. We accept the same not as an authoritative rule, or code of faith whereby we are to be fettered but as an assistance to us in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and means of edification in righteousness. Here the members of our Church will have a body of Divinity in small compass, and by means of Scriptural proof will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.
We also recognize the New Hampshire Confession of Faith and the Baptist Faith and Message of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a summary of and addendum of the foregoing Confession of Faith, we do hereby adopt the following:
1. Holy Scripture. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience; and supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest. (2nd Tim. 3: 15, 16, 17; Ps. 19:7; 2 Peter 1:19, 20, 21)
2. God the Trinity. The Lord our God is but one only living and true God, infinite in being and perfection. In this divine and infinite Being, there are three subsistencies, the Father, the Word (or Son) and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power and eternity. (1 Cor. 8:6; Deut.6:4; Jer.10:10; Mat. 28:19; 1 John 5:7; John 14:10, 11)
3.God's Decree. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love; without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him to that purpose.
As God has appointed the elect to glory, so He has by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means to that purpose; so they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ and effectually called to faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation.
We believe that the revealing of God's Decrees in Scripture, pertain only to God's elect. The Scriptures are silent as to any order of the decrees or as to any decree pertaining to the unsaved. There is no such thing in Scripture as a decree to damnation. ( Deut.29:29; Eph.1:4, 5,11; John 13:18; Rom.8:19,30; Eph.2:8; 2 Thess.2:13 John 17.17,19)
4. The Fall of Man and Sin. Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave to him a righteous law, yet he did not long abide in this honor, but did willfully transgress the command given to him in eating the forbidden fruit; which God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, whereby death came upon all; all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root, a corrupted nature was conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and were by nature children of wrath. (Gen.2:16,17; 3:11,12,13; Rom. 5:12,13,14; Jer.17;9; Ps.51:5; Eph.2:3.)
5. God's Covenant. Man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to reveal the Covenant of Grace, where He freely offers to sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they might be saved; and promising to give to all those that are ordained to eternal life, His Holy Spirit to make them willing and able to believe. (Gal. 3:10; John 3:15,16; Ezek.36:27; John 6:44,45; Ps.110:3.)
6.Christ the Mediator. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father's glory, of one substance, and equal with Him who made the world, who controls and governs all things He has made; did, in the fullness of time, take upon Him man's nature, with all its essential properties and common infirmities, yet without sin: so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person. That person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. (John 1:14; Gal.4:4; Rom 8:3; Heb 4:15; 1 Tim.2:5.)
7.Redemption. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit once offered to God, has fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven, for all those whom the Father has given to Him. To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, He does certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by His Spirit; revealing to them, in and by the Word, the mystery of salvation; persuading them to believe and obey; governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom; in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation: and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it. ( Heb.10:14 Rom.3:25, 26,; John 17:2; Heb.9:14; 1 Cor. 15:25, 26; John 3:8.)
8.The Will. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that which is good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
When God converts a sinner, and translates Him to the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage under sin, and by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and do that which is spiritually good.(Rom.8:7,8; John 6:44; Col 1:13, 14; John 8:36; Rom 8:2; Eph.2:8, 2 Tim 1:9.)
9.Effectual Calling. Those whom God has predestinated to life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time to effectually call by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. (Rom.8:30; 2 Thess.2:13, 14; Eph.1:4,5.)
10. Regeneration. Regeneration is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit when He quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature so that they love and practice holiness. It is the work of God's free and special grace alone. (John 3:3-12)
11.Justification. Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies, accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone. (Rom.3:24; 8:30; 5:17,18,19.)
12.Adoption. All those that are justified, God confers ( for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ,) to be made partakers of the grace of adoption; by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of children of God.( Eph.1:5; Gal.4:5, 6; Eph.2:19; Rom 8:15.)
13. Sanctification. Those who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection; are also further sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them. (John 18:17,18,19; Eph.3:16-19.)
14. Saving Faith. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word. (2 Cor.4:13; Rom.10:14, 17.)
15.Repentance. Saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, does, by faith in Christ, humble himself to receive Christ with godly sorrow, detestation for sin and self-abhorrency. (2 Cor. 7:9,10,11; Ezek.36:31.)
16. Good Works. Good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith.(James 2:17-24; Heb. 11:3-6.)
17.Perseverance. Those whom God has accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, shall certainly persevere to the end and be eternally saved. (John 10:28,29; Phil.1:6; 1 John 2:19.)
18.Moral Law. The Moral Law does forever bind all justified persons, as others, to the obedience of the Moral Law. We are bound, not only to the matter contained in the Moral Law but also in respect to the authority of God, the Creator, who gave it. The Gospel in no way dissolves us from; but rather strengthens our obligation to the Moral Law. (Rom.13:8,9,10; James 2:10,11; Matt. 5:17-19.)
19.The Sabbath. God, by His Word, in a positive, moral and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, has particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath to be kept holy unto God. From the beginning of the world, to the resurrection of Christ, the last day of the week was the Sabbath; from the resurrection of Christ, it has been changed to the first day of the week. This day is called the Lord's Day. (Ex.20:8; 1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7; Rev.1:10.)
20.The Church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order, or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner. In the execution of this power, the Lord Jesus calls out of the world unto Himself, through the ministry of His Word, by His Spirit, those that are given to Him by the Father, that they may walk before Him in all the ways of obedience, which He has prescribed in His Word. (Col.1:18; John 10:16; Matt. 28:20.)
21. Church Officers. A particular Church gathered, and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members. The officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church are bishops, or elders, and deacons. (Acts 20:17,28; Phil 1:1; Acts 14:23.)
22. Ministers-Their Duty And Support. The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in His Churches, in the ministry of the Word, and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that must give an account to Him: it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them of all their good things, according to their ability.(Acts 6:4; Heb.13:17; 1 Tim.5:17,18; Gal. 6:6.)
23. Baptism. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be to the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with Him in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Christ; for remission of sins; and of his surrendering to God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, and obedience to our Lord Jesus, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, where the party is to be immersed, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.6:3, 4,5; Col 2:12; Gal 3:27; Mark 1:4; 16:16; Acts 8:37,38; Acts 8:38; John 3:23; Matt 3:16.)
24. Lord's Supper. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by Him, the same night wherein He was betrayed. It is to be observed in His Churches unto the second coming of Christ. It is the perpetual remembrance and manifesting the sacrifice of Himself in His death. (1 Cor.11:23-26.)
25. The Resurrection. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God Who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into heaven, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God, in light and glory waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. The souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgement of the great day. (Gen. 3:19; Acts 13:36; Ecc.12:7; Jude: 6, 7; Luke 16:23, 24.)
26. Last Things. We believe that the bodily resurrection of the saints will be separate from the resurrection of the unsaved by at least 1,000 years. We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of this age will be marked by seven years tribulation to be terminated by the bodily return of Christ to this earth to set up His world wide kingdom of one thousand years duration. We believe the thousand years will be concluded by Satan being loosed from the bottomless pit, leading a rebellion. God shall then, in righteous judgement, send destruction upon the present heaven and earth by fire. The resurrection of the unsaved will then take place. The Judgement of the Great White Throne will then occur; with the casting of the unsaved into the Lake of Fire for ever! We believe further: that a new Heaven and Earth shall be created, where there shall be eternal joy, peace and righteousness to be experienced by the saved. (Rev. 20:1-15.) 27. Evangelism and Missions.
The Great Commission is given to the Church by our Lord and is not to be taken lightly. We are to seriously attempt to disciple all nations, ("Teaching them to observe all things He has commanded us." Matt.28:19-20). (The Preaching of the Word is the ordained means for the gathering in of the elect). Discipleship begins with the preaching of the gospel (the message of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ 1 Cor. 15:1-4). This message is the central message of the Church. It is our responsibility as a church, not only to proclaim the gospel in our area, but support missionaries who preach this message throughout the world.
The Great Commission is far broader than God's purpose as to His elect. It is not to be minimized in any way from what is revealed in Scripture as to God's eternal purpose for his elect. The Great Commission has been given to the local Church, not to mission boards and para-church groups. Therefore we can not cooperate with any agency that is not controlled by local churches.*
* This Summary of the Confession is based on "The 1837 Abstract Of The Confession", by the Philadelphia Baptist Association
The Covenant of the Church. We, as members of Plantation Road Baptist Church, do joyfully and willingly confess our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and do covenant with God and one another:
1. That in all things we will glorify Jesus Christ.
2. To uphold the doctrines of the Confession of Faith of this Church.
3. To faithfully give support by our attendance and tithing to this Church.
4. To faithfully give ourselves to Christ and His worship as
taught in the Scriptures.
5. That we will, by Divine assistance, deny all ungodliness and attempt to live holy and righteously.
6. To give ourselves as witnesses to the gospel and to seek the salvation of the lost.
7. To walk together in Christian love.
8. To walk with our Pastor, as he walks with the Lord.
9. To care for and pray for and encourage one another.
10. To share each other's joys and sorrows.
11. To cultivate Christian courtesy and sympathy.
12. To be slow to take offense and always ready to reconcile.
13. That none of us act as busybodies and talebearers nor reveal the sensitive matters of this Church to others.
14. To confess and ask the help of our fellowship should we fail in these expressions of devotion.
15. We also promise that when we can no longer keep these
commitments, we will remove ourselves from this fellowship.
All these we promise by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to do until death or the coming of our Blessed Lord.
Mode of Government.
While considering fraternal and associational relations with other churches of like faith and order highly desirable and mutually practical, this Church shall be in all its affairs self-governing. This shall apply not only to minor matters but to all property, calling the pastor, ordaining men, and support of missions, etc.
The Planation Road Baptist Church reserves for itself the sole right of determining its affiliation with any association, convention, or outside organization. Any future connection or severance shall be determined by 2/3 vote of the congregation at any regular business meeting, proceeded by at least two weeks notice.
SECTION 1. Qualification.
The membership of this church shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Saviour and Lord and who,
(1) After due examination by the Church as to their Christian experience, and, if coming from other churches as to their letters of dismission and recommendations or satisfactory substitutes therefore,
(2) Have been accepted by vote of the Church, and having been baptized,
(3) Enter into the covenant by ascribing to the covenant in writing.
Members are expected, first of all, to be faithful in all the duties essential to the Christian life; and also to attend habitually, the services of this Church, to give regularly for it's support and it's causes and to share in its organized work.
Section 3. Rights.
Such members as are in full and regular standing and do not hold letters of dismission, and such only, may act and vote in the transactions of the church.
Section 4. Termination.
The continuance of membership shall be subject to the principles and usages of the Baptist churches and especially as follows:
(1) Any member in good and regular standing who desires a letter of dismission and recommendation to any other Baptist church, is entitled to receive it, upon request from that church. In cases of removal to another area, he should promptly make such request.
(2) If a member in good standing requests to be released from his covenant obligations to this Church for reasons which the Church may finally deem satisfactory, after it shall have patiently and kindly endeavored to secure his continuance in its fellowship, such requests may be granted and his membership terminated.
(3) The Church may also, after due notice and hearing and kind effort to make such action unnecessary, terminate the membership of persons for one year nonresident, or for the same space of time not habitually worshipping with the church, or for the same space of time not contributing to it's support according to the system prescribed by the Church or in some way satisfactory thereto.
(4) Should a member become an offense to the Church and to it's good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of covenant vows, the Church may terminate his membership, but only after notice and hearing and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and amendment.
(5) No persons membership shall be terminated (except by letter) at the meeting when the recommendation for such action is made.
(6) All requests for termination of membership or action looking thereto shall first be considered by the Deacons who shall make recommendations to the Church.
Section 5. Restoration.
Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the Church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation; or, if on account of continued absence, upon satisfactory explanation.
Should any unhappy differences arise between members, the aggrieved member shall follow in a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in the 18th chapter of Matthew
Should any case of gross breach of covenant, or of public scandal occur the Deacons shall endeavor to remove the offense; and if such effort fail shall report the case to the Church recommending one of two kinds of action:
1. Exclusion or dis-fellowship (withdrawing of fellowship).
2. Erasure where church has lost knowledge of the whereabouts of members, or when they have joined churches of other faiths.
If the church votes to entertain a complaint, which must be made in writing, it shall appoint a reasonable time and place of hearing and notify the person in question thereof, furnishing him with a copy of the charges.
At such hearing, the accused member may call to his aid any member of the Church as counsel. If he shall not present himself at the time appointed, or give satisfactory reasons for his neglect to do so, the Church may proceed in his absence.
All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance but should an adverse decision be reached, the Church may proceed to admonish the offender or declare him to be no longer in the membership of the Church.
In addition to the offenses mentioned in Article 5, section 3 and 4, the church shall further regard as grounds for discipline, heresy, decisive practice, personal slander, conduct.
(1) Propagation of heresy (Titus 3:10).
(2) Causing and abetting fractions (Romans 16:17).
(3) Personal slander of a fellow member or members
(4) The sexual sins of adultery, fornication, or homosexuality.
In case of grave difficulty, the church will be ready, if requested, to ask the advice of an acceptable council from neighboring churches.
1. The Church shall hold regular meetings for worship, teaching, training and fellowship.
2 The Church shall hold regular business meetings at which time the temporal and spiritual conditions of the Church shall be discussed. The meeting shall include reports, proposals or plans and all regular business.
3. Other meetings of the Church as a whole, or of authorized groups within the Church shall be set according to the needs of the congregation to be set forth in the By-Laws.
1. Definition and scope.
The property shall be understood to include all land, buildings, portable furniture and equipment, bonds, bequests, money on deposit in the bank invested, etc. It shall likewise include all physical assets acquired by the Church at a later date.
2. The power.
The power to acquire, to control, to retain, to sell, to lease or to mortgage property shall rest solely in the hands of the Plantation Road Baptist Church. Extensive improvements, transfer, lease or sale of Church property shall be in violation of the Constitution except when authorized by two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Church called for such action. The said action being after due publicity in the form of Sunday announcements for two Sundays, and if wisdom directs, by mailing of letters to members whose addresses are known.
The officers of this Church shall be pastor, deacons, trustees,
clerk, treasurer and such other officers as shall be required for the work of the Church in any of it's departments and organizations. These shall be elected by the Church and shall be members in good standing.
Section 2. Officers and Duties:
1. Pastor. Whenever a vacancy occurs a Pastor shall be called by the Church to serve until the relationship is dissolved either at the request of the Pastor or of the Church. In either case, at least 6O days notice shall be given of termination of the relationship or as otherwise mutually agreed, with both Church and Pastor seeking to follow the will of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
The call of the Pastor shall take place at a meeting especially set for that purpose on a Sunday morning with 35 per cent of the membership present of which at least one week's notice has been given the membership. Election shall be upon the recommendation of a special committee appointed to seek out and nominate a minister of the Gospel whose Christian character and qualifications fit him for the office of Pastor of this Church. The committee shall bring only one name at a time for consideration of the Church. It shall be considered highly preferable that recommendations of the committee shall be the only valid ones. Election shall be by ballot with an affirmative vote of three-fourths of voting members present and voting, necessary for a call. The same procedure shall prevail if the Church should desire to dismiss it's Pastor.
The Pastor shall be in charge of the welfare and oversight of the Church. He shall be ex-officio member of all organizations, departments and committees. Because of his calling, spiritual qualifications and training, the Pastor shall freely recommend, thru the Deacons Fellowship to the Church, suggested new policies for the Church. The Pastor is to be considered the chief administrator of the Church and recognizing that he is responsible for his action to the church, he may act on the Church's behalf. It is understood that the Pastor is to constantly act with the thought and interest of the Church in mind and in relation to the principles of the Word to God. Therefore, all Church elected officers shall attempt to cooperate in every way with the Pastor in the joint responsibility of representing the Plantation Road Baptist Church and all it's auxiliaries. If the Pastor feels the work of the Church has become ineffective, it shall be his duty to confer with the Deacons to determine what steps should be taken to improve the situation. The Pastor may call a special meeting of the Deacons or any committee according to procedures which may be set forth in the by-laws; he shall conduct religious services on stated and special occasions, administer the ordinances, and minister to members of the Church. He shall perform other duties that usually pertain to the office. He shall have special charge of the pulpit ministry and shall, in co-operation with the Deacons, provide for the pulpit supply when he is absent and arrange for workers to assist in revival meetings and other special services. The Pastor shall preside at all meetings of the Church except as otherwise provided in the by-laws.
2. Fellowship of Deacons.
There shall be seven Deacons. It shall be pertinent for the church to promote to honorary life membership any Deacon who by reason of age or infirmities shall, after honorable service, be no longer able to render active service.
Method of Election. Whenever a vacancy occurs or whenever additional Deacons shall be needed, the membership of the church, by secret ballot after careful study of the New Testament qualifications from the Word of God as found in Acts 6 and I Timothy 3, and with much prayer for God's leadership, shall nominate two men for each office who they believe meet the qualifications. The Fellowship of Deacons will then take these nominations and select one name for each office to be filled. After prayerful observation and study they shall approach prospective nominees and examine them as to their meeting the Scriptural qualifications and outline the duties of a Deacon. After such an interview, if the Deacons so choose, they will ask him if he will serve if elected. The name or names shall then be presented to the Church for election. They may be elected collectively or individually. If the vote is taken individually, alternate names can be presented, not by the church in conference, but by the Deacons who shall submit nominees from the original list of names.
The Deacons shall be elected preferably at the annual business meeting or in sufficient time thereafter so they can take office at the beginning of the church year.
Duties. In accordance with the meaning of the word and the practice of the New Testament, Deacons are to be servants of the Church.
(1) They are to zealously guard the unity of the spirit within the bonds of peace.
(2) They shall serve as a council of advice and conference with the Pastor in all matters pertaining to the welfare and work of the Church. With the Pastor, they are to consider and formulate plans for the constant effort and progress of the Church in all things pertaining to the saving of souls, the development of Christians and the extension and growth of the Kingdom of God.
(3) By proper organization and method among themselves, they are to establish and maintain personal fraternal relations with, and inspiring over sight of, all the membership of the Church. Especially are they to seek to know the physical needs and the moral and spiritual struggles of the brethren and sisters; and to serve the whole Church in relieving, encouraging and developing all who are in need.
(4) In counsel with the Pastor, and by such methods as the Holy Spirit direct as in accordance with the New Testament teachings, they are to have oversight of the discipline of the Church, in the administering of which they are to be guided always by the principles set forth in Matthew 18:15-17, I Corinthians 5:9-13 and I Thessalonians 5:12-14. The Deacons shall be free to call upon any member of the Church to aid in disciplinary action.
(5) The Deacons under the Pastor shall have general oversight of all committees. They shall also, in cooperation with the Building and Grounds Committee see that the building is clean, opened and closed for services.
(6) Each Deacon shall freely confer with the Pastor about all matters and cases of discipline which in his judgment would be most wisely and spiritually handled in private.
Monthly Meetings. shall be held by the Fellowship; a majority of it's members shall constitute a quorum. A chairman and secretary shall be elected at the beginning of each year by members of the Fellowship. Minutes of each meeting shall be kept, a written report shall be submitted to the Church Clerk prior to each monthly business meeting of the Church.
The Clerk shall be elected annually. It shall be his duty to attend, or be represented at all church business meetings, to keep an accurate record of all business transactions. He shall keep a register of the names of members, with dates of admission, dismission or death, with a record of baptisms. He shall attempt to keep the roll of the Church accurate, with changes of names, addresses and other pertinent information. He shall also notify all officers, members of committees and delegates of their election or appointment. He shall issue letters of dismission voted by the Church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports and give legal notice of all meetings where such notice is necessary as indicated in this Constitution.
The Clerk shall consider it a part of his responsibility to promote loyalty and efficiency in life of the church.
The Clerk, upon termination of his service, shall release all records and property in his possession to the Plantation Road Baptist Church.
The Church shall elect annually a Church Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive, preserve and pay out by counter-signed check, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. He will record in a suitable form, all totals received, also credit each object in the accepted budget with it's quota or percentage of the receipts and he will see to it that each of the several objects keeps within it's allotted amount. Payment of bills for local work and expenses shall be made promptly by check and all funds received for denominational or other causes shall be remitted at least monthly by check. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to render to the Church a monthly report showing the total amount of receipts and an itemized statement of all disbursements.
Prior to the rendition of the annual report, upon it's completion by the Treasurer, the report shall be audited by the Auditing Committee, and it's chairman shall sign the report before it shall be accepted by the Church. All books, records and accounts kept by the Treasurer shall be considered the property of the Church. The books shall be open to inspection at all times by any member of the Church. Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year, and it's approval by the Auditing Committee and it's acceptance and approval by the Church, the same shall be delivered by the Treasurer to the Church Clerk, who shall keep and preserve it as a part of the permanent records of the Church. The treasurer shall, upon the election of his successor, at the completion of his fiscal report, promptly deliver to the Church all books, records and accounts in his hands pertaining or relating to in any manner, the duties of the office he is relinquishing. He shall consider it a part of his responsibility to promote in every proper way Scriptural giving on the part of the entire membership of the Church.
The Church shall elect annually a Financial Officer. It shall be his duty to keep the checkbook, list all deposits and withdrawals and to keep an additional accurate record of any bank transactions. It shall be the duty of the Financial Officer to write checks for the expenses incurred by the Church and to note upon the check the proper account from the budget that the amount is to be withdrawn, sign the check and deliver it to the Treasurer along with the written statement of the bill to the Church Treasurer. It shall be understood that the bank balance in the Financial Officer's book and in the Treasurer's book shall balance each month. The Financial Officer shall co-operate fully in every way in making the Treasurer's duties easier to perform. The books shall be audited along with the records of the Treasurer as prescribed for auditing, as set forth in Article 9, Section: 2, Arabic 4.
The Financial Secretary shall be elected annually. He shall receive the empty collection envelopes after the money has been removed and counted by the proper persons; and from these he shall give each donor individual credit as provided in the Church Finance Record System. He may keep the envelopes for reference if he so desires. He will also fill out the sheet for the monthly balance and report. He shall also be responsible for preparing and mailing quarterly statements to all contributing members.
8. Officers of Church Organizations.
All organizations of the church shall be under Church control, all officers being elected by the Church and reporting regularly to the Church. It is understood that the pastor is ex-officio head of all the organizations named and his leadership is to be recognized in them all.
(a) Superintendent of Sunday School. The Superintendent of the Sunday School shall endeavor at all times, to promote in his department of the Church an effective program of Bible teaching, soul winning and Christian education.
Section 1. Building and Grounds Committee.
The Building and Grounds Committee shall consist of 5 members. It shall be the responsibility of the Building and Grounds Committee to oversee the upkeep of all property, both building and real estate. They shall see that the lawn is properly cared for. They shall make a schedule that will ensure that the lawn is mowed each week if needed. They shall see that the driveway is maintained and snow removed when necessary. It also shall be their duty to set up cleaning days and to maintain all parts of building, including heat, air conditioners, etc. in cooperation with the Cleaning Committee.
Section 2. Baptismal Committee.
The Baptismal Committee shall consist of two men and three women. It shall be the duty of this committee to make all necessary arrangements for the ordinance of baptism and to render such assistance to the Pastor and the candidates as may be necessary.
Section 3. Lord's Supper Committee.
There shall be a committee of three women and two men to prepare for the Church to observe the Lord's Supper. They shall make certain that the elements properly represent the body and blood of our Lord. The bread shall be unleavened bread (preferably specially prepared bread from the Baptist Book Store.) The cup shall be likewise unleavened. Wine such as our Lord used in initiating the supper or a substitute that contains no leaven (preferably Welche's Unsweetened grape juice.)
Section 4. Ushers.
There shall be as many ushers as the Church shall designate. There shall be a chairman for morning and evening and an assistant if the Church directs. Their duties shall be to care for the seating and comfort of the congregation, the greeting and introduction of visitors, the prevention of interruptions and distractions and similar needed services.
Section 5. Nominating Committee.
After prayerful consideration, nominate for congregational consideration, all officers, teachers, committees etc. to be elected by the Church. The committee shall study the membership roll of the Church to determine the place where each member can best serve.
Section 6. Financial Committee.
(a) The Personnel:
Ex-officio members; Pastor, Chairman of Fellowship of Deacons, Sunday School Superintendent, Treasurer of the Church, Financial Officer, Church Clerk, Financial Secretary, Chairman of all committees having budgetary allocations.
Elective: Chairman of Finance Committee, three members from the congregation (one man and two women).
(b) Duties. The Finance Committee shall prepare and submit to the Church for approval at it's annual business meeting (or at such other time as may be deemed best by the Church) an inclusive budget, indicating items, the amount needed and sought for all local expenses and purposes and in like manner for all denominational or other approved non-local causes. It shall further be the duty of the Finance Committee to supervise all financial matters of the Plantation Road Baptist Church:
(1) To supervise in an advisory capacity the work of the money counting committee.
(2) To supervise from an advisory viewpoint the work of the Financial Secretary.
(3) To supervise payment of all monies by the Treasurer and Financial Officer as set forth in the adopted budget of the Church for each fiscal year and as prescribed in this Constitution under Article IX, Section 2,
Arabic 5 and 6.
(4) To see that the Church books balance each month.
(5) To see that the church books are audited annually either by a committee composed of the Finance Committee members or from the Church or by an outside auditor at the direction of the Church.
Section 7. Money Counting Committee.
There shall be as many members of this committee as the Church shall choose to elect. Three to be present whenever the money is counted. It shall be their duty to receive the offering plates after the offering has been received in each service, to count the money, list on a proper triplicate form the sources, whether envelope or loose, whether budgeted or designated and which service it was received; Sunday School, Morning, Evening or during the week; and prepare deposit slips for the bank, deliver money in bag to the bank, present one copy of money counting report to Treasurer, another to the Financial Officer and leave original on file in Church office.
Section 8. Fellowship of Trustees.
There shall not be less than three nor more than five Trustees. The Trustees shall represent the Church in strict accordance with directives from the Church in the execution of legal papers. They shall have no power to buy, to improve or to transfer property or to mortgage Church property without Church authorization. Neither shall they control the use of Church property except as directed by Church vote. The Trustees shall serve until their successors are elected. This shall be done in any regular business meeting of the Church. The names of the Trustees shall be certified to the Law and Chancery Court of Roanoke County by the Church Clerk for confirmation as required by law.
Section 9. Other Committees.
Any other committees that may be needed to effectively carry out the work of the Church shall be elected as needed and shall operate as directed by the Church.
Adoption and Amendments.
Recognizing that this document is fallible and at best is no more than selection of predetermined understandings and courses of action, for this Church to follow and recognizing that the only safe rule of faith and practice for a New Testament Church is the Word of God, this article on amendments is included.
This Constitution shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when two-thirds of the members present at a special Sunday morning business meeting affirm this Constitution. There must be 35 per cent of the total membership of the Church present at this business meeting to constitute a quorum.
Be it known that all previous Constitutions are hereby declared null and void with the adoption of this document.
This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds majority of members present at a special Sunday morning business meeting of the Church, provided however, that such amendment or correction shall be given to the Clerk in writing and this proposed change shall be presented to the Church at least 30 days prior to the time the vote is taken. It is understood there shall be no alternations or amendments to these provisions of the Constitution of the physical properties and assets of the Plantation Road Baptist Church or of the Doctrinal Position of the Church.
B Y - L A W S
The Pastor of the Church is to be ex-officio moderator of all general and special meetings of the Church. During the absence of a Pastor, or a Pastorless interim, the Chairman of the Deacons Fellowship shall be Church moderator. If necessary, the congregation may by majority vote of their number elect a temporary Church moderator.
No Auxiliary organizations using the Church name, property, or influence shall be formed without the knowledge and consent of the Church. Those said groups shall fully subscribe to and share the doctrinal view in this Constitution.
It shall be the duty of the Pastor to maintain an atmosphere of courtesy, reverence, and good order in all business meetings. The usual rule of parliamentary procedure shall apply, it being fully understood that the Church has the right to establish its own rules of procedure should it desire. "Robert's Rules of Order" will be considered a consultant on any questions concerning parliamentary procedure.
In respect to matters not fully covered in this Constitution and By-Laws it shall be considered proper to consult "The New Directory for Baptist Churches"(1894) By Edward T Hiscox.
V - Quorum
Except as otherwise stated, the majority of the voting members present and voting shall render decisions. For a regular Church business meeting there shall not be less than ten per cent of the membership for a quorum, nor less than 30 per cent of the membership for a special business meeting.
The regular business meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month. The annual business meeting shall be held on the Wednesday following the first Sunday in December.
V l l
Voting Privileges. No person under disciplinary suspension shall be permitted to vote. In cases of buying or selling or
improving property, or calling of Pastor, a person must be at least twelve years of age.
Vlll - Amendments
Amendments to the by-laws shall be made as for the Constitution except that the notice period shall be seven (7) days, and the proposed amendment shall be read in at least one Sunday service.