Southern Baptist Convention - The Baptist Faith and Message
本教會中文名稱定為”林城華人基督教會”，英文名稱定為”LYNCHBURG CHINESE CHRISTIAN CHURCH” ，以下簡稱本教會。
1. 我們相信全部新舊約聖經是神的啟示，將他救贖人類的計劃完全啟示出來， 也是信仰與生活最高神聖的準則o
2. 我們相信獨一的真活神，即永存的聖父， 聖子與聖靈o
3. 我們相信聖子耶穌基督，是真神也是真人，由聖靈感孕童貞女馬利亞所生。他死於十字架上，流血為人贖罪。神使他後來從死裡復活，升天，並要照他 的應許快要親自再臨o
4. 我們相信聖靈，三一真神的第三位，與聖父，聖子同質，同權，同存。他的 工作是使人知罪，重生，並住在信徒心中，使他有能力過聖潔的生活與事奉 神，服務人o
9. 我們相信聖餐與洗禮是教會僅有的聖禮，是主耶穌基督生命，復活，再回到 地上，及掌權的見証。
1. 會員大會：本會之最高決策權由按照本會會章所認可之會員集合召開之會員 大會所有。
2. 教會執事會：教會執事會執事們由會員中選出，並向所有會員負責並解答問題。教會執事會為會員大會以下之最高議事機關，其將負責於建立，維持本 教會之基本政策及儀式，並有權對其他任何委員會，教會職員及雇員所作之 決定予以修訂，改正或否決o
本教會附則由首任執事會制訂並付諸實施，有關會員，會員大會，聘任會牧，選舉 執事，籌組委員會，職員任用，教會規範，及其他行政方針之修正，變更，補充或 修改，必須依照附則中相關項目的規定來修正，變更，補充或修改之。
2. 在本教會必須解散時，本教會之產業，將捐贈給基督教會或基督教慈善機構 。該機構應先由執事會過半數推薦，並在七.1節所述同一會員大會中，由過半數會員核准。且該機構之本身為1954年國內稅法第501(c)(3)節或其先後相當條款所述之免稅機構;或捐贈給聯邦，州或地方政府專供公益目的使用。本教會之財產或金錢不得分給本教會之任何會員。
（2）受洗成為會員：凡未受過洗 禮者得填交受洗/會員申請表，經由會牧及教會執 事會同意認可後，於其洗禮及教會接納儀式後，成為活動性會員。
(2)凡連續一年以上未曾參加任何教會崇拜，而又未曾通知會牧或教會執事會 者， 其會員資格可由執事會以多數投票通過後廢止之。
2.資格：資格：所有教會執事需具有堅定之信仰，為本會章第四項所述其需為一靈命成熟之基督徒，為提摩太前書三章一至十三節，及提多書一章五至九節中所 述，其必須為一誠實的，有聖靈充滿智慧充足的人(使徒行傳六章三節) ， 其必須具有關心失喪靈魂的心志，並參加教會事奉，禱告與奉獻，為一忠心，可靠的教會支持者，執事必須受洗在二年以上，並成為本教會會員一年 以上。在過去一年中不曾无故缺席教会敬拜10%以上，并積極參與教會事工。
2. 執事提名委員會：執事會推舉四名活動性會員作為委員會的成員, 與一位執事擔任提名委員會主席。如果他們願意擔任該委員會的成員，推舉的名單將被公布在教會週報上。在兩週内如果沒有人反對，提名委員會正式成立。如果有人反對，執事會與反對的人交通後作出最後決定。
ARTICLE I. - NAME
The Chinese Name of this church is "林城華人基督教會", The English name is "Lynchburg Chinese Christian Church", herein called "this church".
ARTICLE II. - STATEMENT OF FAITH
II.1 We believe the Holy Scriptures both Old and New Testaments is the inspired Word ofGod, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life. We believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture.
II.2 We believe in the one, true and living God, eternally existing in three persons -Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
II.3 We believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, true God and true man, conceived of theHoly Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross and shed His blood as atonement for the sins of men, and was raised bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He will return imminently and personally according to His promise.
II.4 We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, who is of onesubstance, equal in power, and coexistent with the Father and the Son. His ministry is to convict men, regenerate the believing sinners, and to indwell, guide and empower the believers for godly living and service.
II.5 We believe that man was created in the image and the likeness of God, but inAdam all men have fallen into sin, and as sinners men are in need of God's salvation.
II.6 We believe that penitent sinners are regenerated solely by God's grace and justifiedthrough faith in Jesus Christ alone.
II.7 We believe that there shall be a bodily resurrection of the just to eternal life, and ofthe unjust to eternal punishment.
II.8 We believe that the church is one body, consisting of those regenerated by theSpirit of God and of which Christ is the Head, expressing itself in worship, fellowship, evangelism and service.
II.9 We believe that the Lord's Supper and baptism are the only sacraments andordinances of the Church and that they testify to the life, resurrection, return, and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE III. - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purposes for which the said Church is organized are exclusively religious within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this Church shall not carry on activities not permitted to be carried on by organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.
This church, believing the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and the only divinely authorized rule of faith and practice, and acknowledging its adherence to all teaching of Jesus Christ, declares its purposes:
III.1 To maintain regular services for devotional and public worship.
III.2 To preach and teach the Word of God for the edification, instruction anddiscipline of believers.
III.3 To win the lost to Christ.
III.4 To promote the cause of world evangelism and missions.
III.5 To provide an environment wherein believers can grow spiritually throughmutual encouragement, fellowship and service.
III.6 To hold property in common for religious, educational, social, fraternal,or charitable purpose.
ARTICLE IV. - GOVERNMENT
IV.1 Congregational Meeting:
Final authority in this church is vested in the congregation of members duly qualified and assembled according to the By-laws of this church.
IV.2 Board of Deacons:
The Board of Deacon is elected by and answerable to the congregation. Under the congregation, the Board of Deacons shall be the highest authority. It shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining the basic policies and practices of the church and may review, revise, or reverse the decisions of any other committees, officers, or staff member as it deems appropriate.
The pastor is the chief executive officer of the business of this church and the chief shepherd over its spiritual ministries. He is answerable to the congregation and is an ex officio member of the Deacon Board.
ARTICLE V. - BY LAW
The By-laws of the church, initially made and adopted by the first Board of Deacons, concerning membership, congregational meeting, calling of the pastor, election of the
Deacon Board, other church committees and offices, church discipline, and other administrative polices may be amended, altered, supplemented or modified in accordance with relevant provisions concerning amendment, alternation, supplementation or modification as may be contained in said By-laws.
ARTICLE VI. - AMENDMENT, REVISION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CONSTITUTION
VI.1 Any proposed amendments or revisions to the articles must he submitted inwriting to the congregational meeting by either the Board of Deacons or one-third of the active church members. The Board of Deacons must present the proposal in writing to church members two weeks before the business meeting called to consider the proposal.
VI.2 To become the new Constitution, the proposal must be approved by two-thirds ofthe active members present in the meeting. This constitution and other revisions or amendments will become effective immediately after its approval.
ARTICLE VII. - DISSOLUTION OF THE CHURCH
VII.1 The dissolution of the said Church shall be the affirmative decision of four-fifthsmajority of the members at the congregational meeting.
VII.2 In the event that the said Church shall be dissolved, the estate of the said Churchwill be donated to Christian or Christian charitable organization(s), recommended first by a simple Deacon Board majority and approved by a simple member majority at the same said meeting in VII.1, and which themselves are exempt as organizations described in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or corresponding sections of any prior or future Internal Revenue Code or to the Federal, State, or local government for exclusive public purpose. No property or monies will be dispersed to any member of the said Church.
ARTICLE I. — MEMBERSHIP
I.1.1. have turned from their sins through repentance,
I.1.2. have by a living faith trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior,
I.1.3. have witnessed their faith by baptism,
I.1.4. have continued to live a life bearing the fruits of a true Christian,
I.1.5. have accepted the Constitution of this church,
may apply for membership.
There are two (2) classifications of members.
Active Members are those who meet the above qualifications, have been duly accepted as members of the church and are faithful in attending all the ordinances of God (public worship, the ministry of the Word, communion), in a life of obedience and service, and in financial support of the church.
Inactive members are those who have been active, but for one reason or another have not actively fulfilled the obligations of active membership for an extended period of time. If an active member attends less than 25% of our church worship service during the six months period, the Board will inform the member that he/she will be listed as an inactive member. Inactive member will not be permitted to vote or be elected as Board Members. Inactive members may become active after attended at least 25% of worship service during the six months period.
I.3 Reception of Members.
1.3.1 Membership Application
Those who have been baptized and have attended our church worship service for 3 months can request for the membership. He/she must submit the membership application form for approval by both the pastor and the Board of Deacon. A public testimony as to the candidate's religion background and experience is recommended. He/she becomes an active member after the acceptance ceremony in the church.
1.3.2 Membership through Baptism
Those who have not been baptized must submit the application for baptism and membership. They must be approved by both the pastor and the Deacon Board. He/she becomes an active member following the baptism and the acceptance ceremony in the church.
All members are entitled to the privileges of the benefit of the ministries of the church. However, the privileges of voting and membership to the Deacon Board are reserved to those who are active members for more than three months and at least eighteen (18) years of age.
I.5 Loss of membership status:
I.5.1 Member will be discontinued when a member is deceased (dies).
I.5.2 The membership of those who have been absent from all church worship services for more than a year without notifying the pastor or Deacon Board is revoked.
ARTICLE II. - CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
II.1 The annual business meeting of the congregation shall be held in September or October.
II.2 Special meeting may be initiated by majority agreement of the Deacon Board or by a written
petition of one third of the active church members filed with the Chairman of the Deacon Board, who will call the meeting within two (2) weeks to one (1) month. In case of emergency, the Deacon Board reserves the right to call the meeting of emergent.
II.3 Notice of all regular business meetings of the congregation shall be made in writing to allmembers or announced in a regular worship service of the church two (2) weeks before the meetings. Special business meeting shall be announced two (2) weeks to thirty (30) days in advance. In case of emergency, the Deacon Board reserves the right to call the meeting of emergent.
II.4 A quorum shall consist of sixty percent (60%) of the active and qualified members.
II.5 The Chairman of the Board shall preside over congregational meetings. In the absence of theChairman at duly called meetings, another member of the Board may be elected to chair the meeting.
II.6 Agenda. The annual business meeting shall include such matters as
II.6.1 hearing the report of the pastor,
II.6.2 hearing the report of the Chairman of the Deacon Board,
II.6.3 approval of the budget recommended by the Board,
II.6.4 election of new member of the Board, and
II.6.5 voting on recommendations presented by the pastor and by the Board.
II.7 Order of Business. The following is recommended:
II.7.1 Scripture reading,
II.7.3 minutes and approval of preceding meeting,
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II.7.5 old business,
II.7.6 new business, and
II.7.7 adjournment with prayer.
II.8 Decisions. All matters, including nominations for an office, shall be decided or confirmedby majority vote, unless specified otherwise. Voting on issues deemed sensitive by the Deacon Board shall be by secret ballot.
The ideal in all decisions is consensus: an agreement that either
(II.8.1) I agree that this is the best decision, or
(II.8.2) I will submit to and willingly cooperate with the majority. Where there is no consensus, it is generally best to allow more time for thought and prayer. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory."
ARTICLE III. — THE PASTOR
In order to fulfill its stated purpose, the church shall call a pastor. The pastor shall be a man of true Christian experience and established character. He shall qualify for his office according to the standards of I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:5-9. He shall be free from confirmed criticism in life and conduct as defined in Article VI, Section 3.
The pastor shall be responsible for all public worship services, teaching and preaching of God's Word, supervision of the pastoral staff, overseeing the ministries of the church, and in the event of his absence, shall be responsible for someone to fulfill his duties, with the approval of the Deacon Board.
The general direction and development of the church work shall be under his supervision. The pastor may attend all meetings of the Deacon Board and Boards and Committees of the church. He does not vote, unless to break a tie vote.
III.3 Pastoral Call.
When there is a vacancy for the position of pastor, the Pulpit Supply Committee shall prayerfully select one candidate to present to the Deacon Board for approval. The approved candidate shall be presented to the congregation for a vote. A call shall consist of two-thirds vote by the Deacon Board and of total active members present and voting at the meeting, including absentee ballots.
It is advisable that the Board and pastor draw up and agree upon a comprehensive, written Agreement detailing duties, responsibilities, authority, benefits and privileges.
The term of the contract between the pastor and the church should be annually for the first two years and a three- year contract term beginning the third year. Failure to receive sufficient votes from the congregation meeting (two-thirds vote by the total active members present and voting at the meeting, including absentee ballots.) for another term of office terminates the contract with the pastor with the understanding that the pastor's duties shall continue for three months with normal compensation unless waived by mutual consent.
The resignation of the pastor must be submitted to the Board in writing three months before his anticipated termination of contract. In special circumstances, the Board and pastor may shorten the required time of notification.
In case of serious neglect of duties or conflict with the church, the contract of the pastor may be terminated before it expires. Careful procedure as outlined under "Discipline" (Article VI) should be observed and reconciliation sought where possible.
If there is no reconciliation,
III.6.1 The pastor should then be given the opportunity by the Board to resign or
III.6.2 if no resignation is forthcoming, a motion for dismissal should be passed by two-thirdsof members of the Board. The recommendation for dismissal should then be forwarded to a called congregation meeting which must pass the recommendation by a two-thirds vote of the active members present and voting in the meeting.
ARTICLE IV. — DEACON BOARD
The Deacon Board shall consist of five to nine members in addition to the pastor.
All members of the Deacon Board shall affirm the Statement of Faith set forth in the Church Constitution. A deacon shall be a Christian of spiritual maturity as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. He/She must be a man/woman of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.(Acts 6:3). He/She must manifest a concern for the lost and be a faithful and loyal supporter of the church in his attendance, prayers, and giving. He/She must have been baptized for more than two years and been a member of the church for more than one year. He/She should not be absent more than 10% of church worship service without excuse in a year and actively involve in church ministry.
The members shall be elected by the congregation from the nominations recommended by the nominating committee presented at the annual business meeting.
IV.4 Term of Office.
The term of office shall be for two years beginning with the annual election. (The first year two of the members of the Board shall be elected for a two-year term. Thereafter, each member shall be elected for one year.)
IF A Deacon must discontinue his/her service before the end of the term, replacement will be appointed by the Board for the remainder of the term. The replacement should be announced publicly to church members.
IV.6 When to Meet.
The Deacon Board should normally meet once a month. The Chairman may call special meetings.
The Board should elect a Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each officer shall serve for a one-year term. The officer may be re-elected. These officers are considered officers of the church.
The quorum of the Deacon Board shall be two-thirds of its total members. (The pastor should attend all the meetings unless there are sensitive issues concerning his person or salary.)
The Deacon Board is responsible for all church administrative management, explanation of church Constitution, hiring or dismissing of church employees (The employment or dismissal of a pastor must be processed according to the procedures specified by this By-law.), organizing workers' meetings for various programs, budget proposing, financial transaction, evangelism, and reconciliation between the pastor and members. The pastor and the Board shall approve membership and baptismal applications. They officially represent the church in dealing with all legal matters or property transactions, etc.
ARTICLE V. — OTHER COMMITTEES AND OFFICES
V.1 Pulpit Supply Committee.
The Deacon Board may act as the Pulpit Supply Committee. If a special committee is desired, it shall consist of three members elected by the Deacon Board and shall elect its own Chairman. It shall serve only until a pastor is elected. It shall conduct a search for, and evaluate the qualifications of, pastoral candidates and make appropriate recommendations to the Church Board as follows:
V.1.1 pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit
V.1.2 solicit names of potential candidates from the congregation
V.1.3 investigate and communicate with prospective candidates
V.1.4 arrange guest speaking engagements and interviews, as appropriate, for those candidates
who appear to meet the desired qualifications
V.1.5 recommend to the Deacon Board candidates for pastor.
V.2 Deacon Nominating Committee.
Deacon board elects four active members as the committee members along with one deacon who serves as the chair of the committee. If they are willing to serve as the committee members, their names will be posted on the church bulletin. If no one objects within two weeks, the nominating committee is officially formed. If anyone objects within the weeks, the board will discuss with the dissenter and make the final decision.
V.3 Other Committees.
Additional committees shall be established as required and their duties defined by the Deacon Board. V.4 Officers.
The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Deacon Board, the Superintendent of the Sunday School and the Head Usher shall be considered officers of the church.
ARTICLE VI. — DISCIPLINE
VI.1 Church Members.
Should a member of this church be accused by two members in good standing of willfully departing from the scriptural standards set forth in the Constitution and engaging in conduct which conflicts with biblical principles of holiness, the pastor and one Board member shall counsel and pray with the erring individual for the purpose of leading the person to repentance and, ultimately, to full restoration of fellowship.
This shall be done in a spirit of humility and gentleness (Galatians 6:1) as well as loving honesty (Ephesians 4:25-27).
Should there be no evidence of repentance, the procedure set forth in Matthew 18:16-17 shall be followed. If after these steps of reproof are taken, there is no repentance, the pastor may recommend dismissal of the member to the Deacon Board. By a two-thirds vote of the Deacon Board, membership is canceled.
VI.2 Deacon Board Members.
No accusation shall be brought against a Deacon Board member expects on the testimony of at least two members in good standing (I Timothy 5:19-21). In case of an accusation, the procedure regarding Church Members (above) shall be followed. Discipline may include
VI.2.1 removal from Deacon Board, and/or
VI.2.2 cancellation of church membership.
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No accusation shall be brought against the pastor except on the testimony of at least two members in good standing (I Timothy 5:19-21). The matter shall then be taken to the Deacon Board for investigation and admonition as above. If the Board is not satisfied with the pastor's conduct, it may vote for his dismissal. If still unresolved, the Board or the pastor may present the matter to the congregation for final decision.
ARTICLE VII. — AMENDMENT, REVISION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BY-LAWS.
VII.1 Any proposed amendments or revisions to these articles must be submitted in writing to the congregational meeting by either the Deacon Board or one-third of the active church members. The Deacon Board must present the proposal in writing to church members two weeks before the business called to consider the proposal.
VII.2 To become the new By-Law, the proposal must be approved by two-thirds of the active members present in the meeting. This By-Law and other revisions or amendments will become effective immediately after its approval.