ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this Church shall be the Brooktondale Baptist Church, Incorporated. Brooktondale, New York.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
The purpose of this organization shall be the preaching and teaching of the “Word of God” as commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Great Commission, the administration of the Ordinances, and the spread of the Gospel at home and abroad.
ARTICLE III - DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written, that it was verbally and plenarily inspired and is the product of Spirit controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.
We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried II Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
II. THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinctive but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Exodus 20:2, 3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev 4:11.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the Agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. John 14:16,17; Matt. 28:19: Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5, 6; Eph. 1:13, 14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Rom 8:14,16,26,27.
IV. THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; and that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. Matt 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev 20:10.
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Gen. 1, 2; Col. 1:16,17; John 1:3.
VI. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Gen 3:1-6; Rom 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; 1:18, 32.
VII. THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the son of God and God, the Son. Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demand of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinners place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all sufficient Savior.
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith. Jonah 2:9; Eph 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24, 25; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7, 8; Heb 2:14-17; Isa. 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24.
IX. RESURRECTION AND PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest interceding for us. Matt 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Heb 2:17; 5:9,10.
X. GRACE AND THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of god; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:12; John 3:8.
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood. Rom 3:24, 4:5; 5:1, 9 Gal. 2:16; Phil 3:9.
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. Heb. 10:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph 5:25-27; 1 Theses. 4:3,4, 5:23,24; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24, 25; Rev. 22:11.
XIII. THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6; John 10:28,29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1.
XIV. THE CHURCH
We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures, We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence, the will of the local church is final 1 Cor. 11:2; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 2:41, 42.
We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers
in the Church which is the Body of Christ.
1 Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph. 1:22, 23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Col. 1:18; Acts 15:13-18.
XV. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He come, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord’s Supper, and that participants in the Lord’s Supper should be immersed believers. Acts 8:36, 38, 39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41, 42.
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy. 2 Cor. 6:14 - 7:1; 1 Thess. 1:9, 10; 1 Tim 6:3-5; Rom. 16:17; 2 John 9:11.
XVII. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of kings. Rom. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:21, 22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; acts 5:29; 4:19, 20; Dan. 3:17, 18.
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ.
Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37.
XIX. RAPTURE AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
We believe in the premillennial return of Christ , an event which can occur at any moment, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribulation. I Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44; 51-54; Phil. 3:20,21; Rev. 3:10.
We believe that the Tribulation which follows the Rapture of the Church will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit on the throne of David and establish the millennial kingdom. Dan. 9:25-27; Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 9:6,7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29,30; Rev. 20:1-4, 6.
XX. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire. Mal. 3:18;
Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17, 18; 1 John 5:19; Rom. 7:6; 6:23;
Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; John 8:21;
ARTICLE IV - CHURCH COVENANT
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 and angels, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love.
To promote its prosperity and spirituality.
To sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines;
To give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin;
To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel though all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions;
To religiously educate our children;
To seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances;
To walk circumspectly in the world;
To be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment;
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 one another 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, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
ARTICLE V - MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. - Member Distinctives
The membership of this church shall consist of singly-immersed, born again believers. It will be expected of members that they abide by the Constitution, its By-laws, and the Covenant of this church, and that they agree without mental reservation with the Statement of Faith as presented in this Constitution. Moreover, it will be expected that they respect the Pastor and officers of the church and cooperate with them for the advancement of the work. Members will likewise be expected to live exemplary Christian lives, to abstain from all appearance of evil in speech and conduct, to live a life of Biblical holiness, and to faithfully attend the services of the church.
SECTION 2. - Admission of members
The Deacons shall, at any regular meeting, regular service, or business meeting of the church recommend to the congregation the admission of candidates who satisfy the requirements of Section 1 of this article. Candidates shall become members upon majority vote of those members present and voting.
Candidates who need to be baptized (only candidates for membership can be baptized by the church) shall become members by majority vote of those members present and voting, but the effective date of membership will be the date of their baptism. Dismissal of members will be by majority vote of the church.
SECTION 3 - Membership categories
a. Members in good standing.
The active membership of the church are those members in good standing who are regularly attending the services of the church. The inactive membership of the church are those members in good standing who are physically unable to actively participate in the service and ministries of the church. Inactive members will not be included in the quorum count for business meetings.
b. Members not in good standing.
Members who are under church discipline will not be considered in good standing. Members not in good standing are without the right to vote or hold office, and they will be counseled about their responsibility to repent before partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
SECTION 4 - Discipline of members
a. The Deacons and the Pastor will be responsible for placing names on the Discipline Roll (see section 3b above.) All membership changes will be publicly posted and subject to the review of the church at any regularly scheduled meeting of the church or at the request of any member. In cases of expulsion from membership, final action must be taken by congregational vote. No member shall be expelled until every reasonable effort has been made including, if possible, personal visits, to reclaim him or her for Christ and for the church.
b. Members failing to support the church by their attendance within a period of one year without legitimate excuse (such “support” and “excuse” to be defined by Pastor and Deacons) may be placed on the Discipline Roll. Those on the Discipline Roll for more than one year may be removed from church membership subject to Section 4a above.
SECTION 5 - Homegoing of members
The names of deceased members shall be automatically dropped from the Membership Roll. The announcement of their home going shall be made by the Pastor.
SECTION 6 - Watchcare Membership
Dual membership (membership both in our church and in their home church) will be permitted at the discretion of the church in the cases of students, military personnel, and other persons residing in our area in similar transient manner.
ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS
SECTION 1. - For Worship.
Public worship services shall be held statedly on the Lord’s Day for the preaching of the Word of God and the edification of the saints. A mid-week service shall be held for congregational prayer and Bible study. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be held on a monthly basis. The Church Covenant shall be read at the Lord’s Supper at the discretion of the Pastor and at the opening of the Annual Business Meeting.
SECTION 2. - For Business.
a. The fiscal year of the church shall end the last day of March.
b. The Annual Business Meeting of the church shall be held in April, normally on the third Friday.
c. Quarterly Business Meetings shall be held in July, October, and January.
d. Special Business Meetings may be called by the Pastor, the Deacon-Trustee Board, or at the written request of any six members. Particular object or objects of the meeting must be announced in the notice of the special meeting.
e. The Pastor shall preside as Moderator at all business meetings of the church and in his absence the chairman of the Deacon-Trustee Board shall act as Moderator.
f. Roberts Rules of Order shall be the guide in all matters where there is no conflicting rule.
SECTION 3. - Quorum.
A quorum, consisting of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the active voting members of the church in good standing, shall be necessary to conduct any business.
SECTION 4. - Voting age of Members.
Individuals may enter into membership at any age, provided they meet the requirements of membership as stated in ARTICLE V, Sections 1 and 2. Church members must be eighteen (18) years old in order to vote in any meeting for any business of the church or to hold elected office. Nominations for church officers will be received only from active voting members in good standing
ARTICLE VII - CHURCH OFFICERS
SECTION 1. - Officers
The Officers (elected officials) of the church shall be: Pastor, Deacon-Trustee Board. Clerk, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary. All Officers must subscribe to the Articles of Faith and Constitution of this church. These officers of the church and the auditors shall be elected according to the procedures set forth below (Article VII. Sections 2-5; Article IX, Section 1), all other positions/ministries within the church shall be filled by appointment as necessary.
SECTION 2 - Senior Pastor
The Senior Pastor shall be called at a special or regular meeting of the church, having been announced two weeks in advance and by eighty percent (80%) of the ballots cast. His term of office shall be indefinite and shall terminate by the Pastor’s resignation or a request for such resignation by an eighty percent (80%) vote of those voting in a meeting called for that purpose. In either case, at least one month’s notice must be given.
SECTION 3 - Deacon-Trustee Board
The Deacon-Trustee Board shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a 3 year term of office. The number of men on the Deacon-Trustee Board shall be consistent with New York State Laws of Incorporation. A Deacon-Trustee must be a man who has been an active member of the Church in good standing for one year prior to his election to the office and must conduct himself according to the New Testament requirements of Deacon as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Election must be by ballot.
The wives of the Deacons shall serve as Deaconesses, conducting themselves according to the New Testament requirement as set forth in I Timothy 3:11. The number of Deaconesses will equal the number of Deacons and any vacancies will be filled by yearly appointment by the Deacons..
SECTION 4 - Deacon Emeritus
The position of Deacon Emeritus may be added when deemed advisable by the Deacons. Candidates for this lifetime honor will be former deacons who have served in this office with unusual distinction (1 Timothy 3:13). Deacon Emeritus is an honorary position conferred upon recommendation of the Deacons and majority vote of the ballots cast at a special or regular meeting of the church, the candidate having been announced two weeks in advance.
SECTION 5 - Clerk , Treasurer, and Financial Secretary
The Clerk , Treasurer, and Financial Secretary shall be elected by ballot for one year terms at the Annual Meeting of the church. Any man or woman, having been an active member of the church in good standing for one year prior to their election and possessing a character of evident spirituality and good repute may fill these positions.
SECTION 6 - Pastoral Staff
Pastoral staff positions will be created by vote of the congregation. The Deacons will recommend to the congregation a budgeted salary for all such staff positions. The Senior Pastor will appoint persons to fill these staff positions, being careful to consult with the Deacons and congregation about all candidates. Staff positions can be vacated by resignation, by vote of the congregation, or by action of the Senior Pastor. The Assistant Pastor will work under the supervision of the Senior Pastor and will assist him in his ministry. All Pastoral staff positions are automatically vacated upon the Senior Pastor’s resignation.
ARTICLE VIII - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1. - Pastor
The duties of the Pastor shall be those pertaining to that position in Baptist churches, namely: have charge of the general oversight and spiritual welfare of the church, preach the Gospel according to Article III, administer the ordinances, and be Moderator of the church at all business meetings.
SECTION 2. - Clerk
The Clerk shall keep records of all the proceedings of all of the business meetings of the church and shall have charge of all records of church business, legal records, and records of membership. The Clerk shall issue letters of dismission as voted by the congregation of the church. The Clerk shall give regular reports and shall make an annual report of the membership roll of the church.
SECTION 3. - Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all moneys received by the Church and Sunday School (except that known as the Deacon’s Fund). All disbursements shall be authorized by the Deacon-Trustee Board and payment of all bills shall be by check, after having been approved by the Deacon-Trustee Board. The Treasurer shall present to the church at its quarterly and annual business meeting, or more often if requested, an itemized report of receipts and disbursements, showing the actual financial condition of the church. The Treasurer shall present the books to be audited at the close of the fiscal year, or more often if so requested by the church and shall deliver immediately to his/her successor all books and records pertaining to the office.
SECTION 4. - Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary shall keep a record of all monies received by the Church and Sunday School, and shall make reports upon request. The Financial Secretary shall also give a statement of giving to any member upon that member’s request.
SECTION 5. - Deacon-Trustee Board
The Deacon-Trustee Board shall be responsible, subject to the church, for purchase, sale, care, and maintenance of all properties of the church. Except in cases of expenditures under $500, the Deacon-Trustee Board shall not have authority to sell or purchase church property without consent of the church by vote at a meeting announced for the purpose. The Deacons shall serve as Trustees of the cooperation in accord with the incorporation laws of the Sate of New York.
The Deacon-Trustee Board shall assist in the administration of the Ordinances, provide for pulpit supply in the absence of the Senior Pastor, and be responsible for all matters of member discipline. The Deacon-Trustee Board will hold regular (monthly) meetings and answer to the congregation for their ministry at the annual business meeting of the church. The Deacon-Trustee board shall render final judgment in all matters pertaining to the interpretation of the Articles of Faith, Constitution, and Covenant of this church.
ARTICLE IX - COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. - General
Committees may be appointed by the church as and when deemed necessary. Unless otherwise specified, committees serve the church by assisting in the routine ministries of the church ( missionary committee, ushers, social committee, music committee, etc.) under the leadership of the pastor. In matters of annual business, including the expenditure of funds and the election of committee officers, committees will be responsible to the Deacon - Trustee Board.
SECTION 2. - Auditing
An auditing committee, comprised of two individuals elected at the annual meeting for the upcoming year, shall be responsible to audit the financial records of the Treasurer and of all the organizations of the church (with the exception of the Deacons’ Fund). A report of the findings of the auditing committee shall be made at the annual meeting of the church.
SECTION 3. - Pulpit Committee
The Deacon-Trustee board shall comprise the pulpit committee whenever it shall be necessary for the church to call a Senior Pastor. They shall insure that all candidates presented to the church are wholly in accord with the Articles of Faith, Constitution, and Covenant of this church. They shall prayerfully and diligently carry out their search and make recommendation to the congregation in a timely fashion. Not more than one candidate shall be voted upon at one time.
SECTION 4. - Committees, Organizations, and Church Policies
No subsidiary organization (including boards or committees or youth organizations) shall engage in any practice or policy which is contrary to the doctrinal and practical position of this church in accordance with the Articles of Faith and Constitution. No church organization shall conduct (either on this church property or elsewhere) any type of sale or business for financial profit in the name of the church. The sale of Gospel literature and other Gospel media not-for-profit is not prohibited.
ARTICLE X - AMENDMENTS
This constitution and by-laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting at any regular business meeting or special meeting, providing such notice of proposed alteration or amendment shall be made public on two Sundays immediately proceeding such meeting.
March 15, 2003