Constitution and By-Laws of Fellowship Bible Church

Contents

Preamble

  1. Name, Purpose, and Affiliation
  2. Powers
  3. Declaration of Faith
  4. Doctrinal Statement
  5. Membership
  6. Government
  7. Pastoral Staff
  8. Officers
  9. Christian Education
  10. Missions
  11. Auxiliary Organizations
  12. Finances
  13. Amendments
  14. Ordinations
  15. Interpretation of the Constitution
  16. Dissolution
  17. Leadership Covenant

Preamble

As a body of born again, baptized believers, we repose our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and accept the Word of God as the only rule of faith and practice. Having bound ourselves together in fellowship and believing it necessary to govern ourselves in an orderly and efficient manner, we do hereby adopt the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, Articles of Faith and Church Covenant in this booklet, and do hereby rescind all previous action contrary or similar thereto.

Article I Name, Purpose, and Affiliation

SECTION A. Name:

The name of this organization shall be Fellowship Bible Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan (hereinafter referred to as the Church). It shall be a self-governing body, with the right to voluntarily associate with other church movements at its discretion.

SECTION B. Purpose:

The purpose of the Church shall be to worship God, to cultivate the fellowship of the saints, to edify the believers, to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the unsaved at home and abroad. To this end, the Church shall maintain regular services and seek to create an interest in missions at home and abroad, and to train others of its fellowship to carry on the above purpose.

Article II Powers

The Church, operating as a Michigan-based nonprofit ecclesiastical corporation, shall have the power to purchase, sell, lease, trade, and/or mortgage personal and real property and to borrow and receive funds for and on behalf of the purpose of said corporation. Said corporation shall also have power to receive and hold such funds and personal properties coming into its hands as stocks, bonds, and securities as the Church Council and corporation members see fit in their discretion. Said corporation shall also have the power to establish, operate, direct, and control to carry out its purpose. The corporation shall also have the power to publish and distribute gospel literature, to ordain ministers, to send out missionaries, and to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as outlined in the purpose of said corporation in any way available. All actions and powers of the Church shall be in accordance with the organizational structure as established by the Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution and By-Laws of Church.

All real property shall be vested in the name of Fellowship Bible Church. No real property shall be sold, leased, or mortgaged, or otherwise disposed of without the consent of the Church Council and Congregation of the Fellowship Bible Church.

Article III Declaration of Faith

Church Covenant:

"And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul" (2 Chron. 15:12).

HAVING been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

WE promise by the aid of the Holy Spirit to forsake the paths of sin, and to walk in the ways of holiness all the days of our lives. With this view we engage to strive together for the advancement of the Church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, and the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.

WE also promise to maintain family and private devotions; to educate our children according to the Scriptures; 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; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the testimony and cause of Christ.

WE further promise to walk together in Christian love and watchfulness, giving and receiving admonition with meekness and affection; to remember each other 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 command of our Savior, to secure it without delay.

WE moreover promise that when we remove from this locality, we will as soon as possible unite with another church of like stand, where we can carry out the spirit of this Covenant and the principles of God's Word.

Article IV Doctrinal Statement

The Doctrinal Statement is included in a separate booklet.

Article V Membership

SECTION A. Qualifications:

Persons applying for membership:

1.     Must be born again through personal acceptance of the Lord Jesus as Savior.

2.     Must be baptized by immersion as a public testimony of the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

3.     Must maintain a life of purity from worldly habits and amusements, and associations as commanded in the Word of God.

4.     Must accept and subscribe fully to the Constitution and By-Laws as herein contained.

SECTION B. Procedure for Membership:

1.     Those desiring to unite with the Church:
a. Must submit an application for membership.
b. Must meet with the Pastor and/or Church Council for examination and instructions.
c. Must be unanimously recommended by them for membership.
d. Must receive three-fourths (3/4) votes by voting members. Please see the definition of "voting members" in Article VI, Section B, subsection 2.d.

2.     Letters of Christian commendation and letters of transfer will be received by the Church; however, the applicants must follow the above procedure.

SECTION C. Membership Classification:

1. ACTIVE MEMBERS. Active members shall be those who attend regularly and who partake of the Lord's Table at least once each six months; or of those members who for good reason are unable to attend regularly, who keep the Church informed of their whereabouts and intentions in regards to membership and manifest an interest by their prayers and financial gifts.

2. INACTIVE MEMBERS. A member who fails to attend regularly the services of the Church for three months, excluding those who are chronically ill or are missionaries, students, etc., and does not communicate with the Church concerning his absence shall be sent a letter of inquiry. If he ignores the contact and continues to be absent regularly for another three months, he shall be placed on the inactive list. This is considered an action of church discipline and the member may be restored to membership as in Article V, Section D. Members are to be notified by the Church Secretary when their names are placed on the inactive roll. When they have remained on that roll for three more months, they shall be dropped from the Church roll by recommendation of the church council and a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any business meeting. The Church Secretary shall notify that person in writing to the address as listed on the membership roll.

3. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS. This classification is available only to those who have membership in another church of like faith and will be in this area temporarily.

4. JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP. Those members who are under age twenty-one shall constitute the junior membership. Junior members are not eligible to vote on matters of official church business, but shall automatically be transferred to the adult membership upon attainment of their twenty-first birthday if they so request the transfer.

5. MEMBERSHIP OF CHRISTIAN WORKERS, ETC. Members who are in full time Christian service such as missionaries, military personnel, or full time students, shall be considered full members of the Church with full voting privileges when feasible, even though they do not meet the attendance requirements of paragraph (1) of this section.

SECTION D. Dismissals from Membership:

1. By death. The member is immediately removed from the membership roll.

2. By letter of transfer. Any member in good and regular standing who desires a letter of dismissal and/or recommendation to another church is entitled to receive it upon request. The intent of this clause is to allow orderly dismissal in case the member must move to a different locale. The name and address of the church to which membership is to be referred must be indicated in the request, and the letter of transfer shall be sent to the pastor or secretary of that church provided it is a church of like faith and practice. The member will be removed from the membership roll provided that:

a. The member has joined the other church;

b. The church council unanimously recommends removal from membership;

c. The membership votes to remove the member from the roll by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any business meeting.

3. By discipline. If a member walks in a manner unworthy of a Christian, he shall be lovingly admonished in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17 by the member gaining knowledge of the same. Such admonishment must include the participation of one or two other witnesses of the offense, which may include other members of the church or the church council. If repentance does not follow or the case be not settled, it shall be reported to the Pastor or to one of the Church Council. The Church Council shall call upon such to account in an effort toward adjustment. If any member, following such action, persists in following his sinful course, the Church Council shall recommend dismissal by the Church body in closed session. For dismissal, the Church Council shall recommend the dismissal by three-quarters (3/4) of its members and a vote of three-quarters (3/4) of voting members at any business meeting is required to uphold their recommendation. The Church Secretary shall thus notify him in writing of his dismissal. No one shall be so dropped from the roll without a fair and impartial hearing before the Church Council. If a member refuses to meet with the Church Council for such consideration, the Church Council may, after the third written notification to appear, take action as if he were present. In case accusations are made against another, among the membership, both accused and accuser shall appear before the Church Council for an impartial hearing and solution as may lie within the province of the Church Council.

4. By resignation. It is the church’s hope that members will never have to leave due to reasons other than death or movement to a different locale. However, if a member of the Church finds himself at any time out of accord with the Doctrines of Faith or the purpose of the Church, as stated in this Constitution, or is unable for any reason to live in peace among the other members, or cannot remain in membership for some other reason, he shall quietly resign his membership by means of the following process. The intent of this clause is to allow orderly dismissal such cases. If the member does not voluntarily withdraw and the council determines that circumstances warrant it, he shall be dealt with according to Section D, 3.

A member may resign from church membership provided the following:

a. The member has made every effort to maintain Christian unity;

b. The member writes to the church council a request to be removed from membership, stating the reasons why and what effort has been made toward reconciliation (if relevant);

c. The member gives appropriate notice of at least 30 days if he is active in a church ministry;

d. The member is not presently under, nor will soon be under, an action of church discipline;

e. The church council unanimously recommends removal from membership (it may refuse if insufficient reasons are given or lack of effort has been shown toward remaining in membership);

f. The membership votes to remove the member from the roll by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any business meeting. Resignation is completed when all steps are completed.

g. If the resigned member begins attending another church and that church inquires as to standing of the resigned member, the church council will reply, stating the reasons for the member’s resignation and that the resignation was done in an orderly fashion.

5. A person may be restored to membership after transfer, discipline, or resignation by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any business meeting, provided there is a unanimous recommendation of the Church Council after said person has given satisfactory evidence of renewed interest and spiritual restoration.

Article VI Government

SECTION A. Church Council:

1. The government of the Church is vested in its membership and executed through the Church Council, which is comprised of the Pastor, Associate and Assistant Pastors, and Deacons.

2. The Church Council shall have supervision over the business transactions and general work of the Church and shall bring recommendations to the Church in matters pertaining to upkeep, repair and purchase of Church property in excess of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars.

3. The Pastor shall preside at all meetings of the Church Council as chairman except those directly involving him, in which case the vice-chairman of the Church Council shall preside. The vice-chairman is chosen by majority vote of the council. When a Pastoral vacancy or incapacitation occurs, the vice-chairman of the Church Council shall preside.

4. Council meetings cannot be called without the knowledge of the chairman (Pastor as chairman, or vice-chairman when Church is without a pastor). Announcements of the Council meeting will be in the Church bulletin the Sunday prior to the meeting. Where an emergency meeting is required and no Sunday falls before the meeting, all members of the Council must be notified by telephone or mail.

5. The Church Council shall not transact business without a quorum. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum. The deciding factor in any vote taken in a Church Council meeting shall be a majority vote of the members present, except for recommendations for membership, restoration of membership, and ordinations, which require unanimity among the Council, and discipline of members and ministers ordained by the church as well as dismissal of officers or pastoral staff, which require a three-quarters (3/4) vote on the Council, as specified elsewhere in this document.

6. The Church Council shall have the management and control of all property belonging to the Church. It may appoint church members to be responsible for the care of the physical properties of the Church and for the appearance, cleanliness, safety, and comfort of the church building. Otherwise, all functions normally assigned by civil law to the trustee shall be vested in the church council. It shall not encumber with loans, transfer, sell or purchase any real estate for the Church except by express authorization conveyed through a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting membersat a constitutionally called meeting. The Church Council shall also represent the Church in all legal matters, and be responsible for invested funds of the Church.

7. The Council shall handle and consider suggestions, recommendations, and grievances upon the part of any member or organization affiliated with the Church.

8. When there is a Pastoral vacancy or about to be one, the Church Council shall appoint a Pulpit Committee to seek out candidates and make recommendations to the Council.

SECTION B. Meetings:

1. For worship. The meetings of the Church, as to time and place, shall be determined by the Church Council acting in concert with the membership at large.

2. For business.

a. Annual meeting. The fiscal year of the Church shall be the same as the calendar year, and the annual congregational meeting shall be held during the month of January. The purpose of the meeting shall be to elect officers, hear reports from officers and committees, and to transact any other needful business. All reports are to be oral and written.

b. Quarterly meetings. They shall be held in April, July, and October. Reports and business shall be considered and acted upon.

c. Special meetings. A special meeting may be called by the Pastor, or by the Church Council, with a two (2) week notice. An emergency meeting may be called at any time, with the approval of the Church Council. Persons having matters of business must present same to the Council prior to the public business meeting.

d. Quorum. One-third (1/3) of active members living within twenty-five (25) miles radius of the regular church worship site shall be present to constitute a quorum. When the phrase "voting members" is used in this document, it refers to members with voting privileges (generally active members, or full-time Christian workers) who are present to vote and who do not abstain, or who vote by absentee ballot.

e. In all business matters, a majority vote of the voting members shall be decisive, except the calling or removal of the Pastor and/or salaried staff workers, the sale of Church property, constitutional interpretation and amendments, and reception and discipline of members, where three-fourths (3/4) votes of the voting members shall be decisive. Absentee ballots will always be cheerfully provided for the sick or for those who find it impossible to attend any particular business meeting.

SECTION C. Elections:

1. All officers of the Church shall be elected by a majority vote of the voting members at the annual meeting, nominees to be posted two (2) weeks prior to said meeting. Newly elected officers shall assume the duties of their offices on February 1.

2. The Church Council shall appoint the Nominating Committee at least six (6) weeks prior to the annual business meeting of the Church. The Nominating Committee shall have at least four (4) in number, half to be of the Church Council and half from the congregation at large. Members of the Nominating Committee shall be those who are active Church members and who are of high scriptural caliber. The Nominating Committee shall thoroughly investigate the qualifications and capabilities of every person considered for office, and shall present the names of the nominees at the annual business meeting.

3. There shall be no nominations from the floor at the annual meeting. Active members may submit names for consideration to the Nominating Committee no later than five (5) weeks before the annual meeting.

Article VII Pastoral Staff

SECTION A. The Pastor:

1. The office of the pastor includes three functions: elder (mature believer), bishop (administrative overseer), and shepherd (undershepherd under the Great Shepherd of the sheep). That these three functions are in one individual is taught in Scripture (Acts 20:17-36; 1 Tim. 5:17). The Pastor is expected to fulfill, as far as humanly possible, the requirements of 1 Tim. 3:1-7; 1 Peter 5:1-4. He shall fulfill his divine calling to the pastorate by preaching the Word of God, administering the two ordinances of the New Testament (baptism and the Lord's Supper), and leading the Church in the fulfillment of its purpose (Article I, Section B). The Church shall recognize the Pastor as a grace-gift to the Body of Christ universal and particularly to the local Body of Christ (the local Church) as indicated by Scripture (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; Heb. 13:17).

2. The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite term and by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Church membership at a properly called business meeting. The Pastor shall be a member of the church at the time of his calling (if not already, he shall be admitted to membership through the normal procedures). He must accept and subscribe fully to the Constitution and By-Laws and the Doctrinal Statement as herein contained and pledge to teach and practice accordingly. The terms and arrangements under which the Pastor is called shall not be altered, changed, or canceled without the agreement of the Pastor. Any attempts to foster changes or to cause friction shall be earnestly and prayerfully rejected.

3. The Pastor shall be free to resign as he is led by the Holy Spirit, but such resignation out of courtesy ought to be given in writing to the Executive Board at least 60 days in advance.

4. Any Pastor may rightfully be dismissed on the grounds of proven immorality, heresy in doctrine, spiritual declension, apostasy, or failure to properly attend to his duties as pastor of the Church. The following steps shall be taken in any dismissal proceedings:

a. The charges shall be made to the Church Council by two or three reliable witnesses, and the accused shall be given opportunity to defend himself at the same meeting. The Pastor and/or the Church Council may invite two pastors each to be present in this meeting for counsel and prayerful help to resolve any differences. The Church Council after prayerful consideration shall act as a jury and vote. A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote shall uphold the charges.

b. If the charges are upheld by the Church Council, the congregation will be given an opportunity in a regularly called business meeting to vote. A three-fourths (3/4) majority of the voting members (including absentee ballots) shall be required to uphold the decision of the Church Council. The vote of the congregation shall consider the matter closed.

c. If the Pastor's ministry is terminated, he shall be given his full support, including benefits, for at least thirty (30) days.

5. At age seventy (70) the Pastor shall automatically become Pastor-Emeritus unless the congregation votes by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the voting members to retain him for a longer period of time. A vote of the same majority will be required every two years for the Pastor to continue his ministry.

6. The Pastor shall be the leader of the Church in all its activities and advance the spiritual interests of the Church and congregation. He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees or councils and preside at all congregational meetings, when possible, except when he himself is involved in a disciplinary action. A deacon may be appointed by the Pastor to preside in his absence or as he deems expedient.

SECTION B. Associate and Assistant Pastors:

The call and qualification of the Associate or Assistant Pastor shall be the same as Article VIII, Section B, 1, 2, and 3, except that which relates to the position of the Pastor and his duties.

Their duties shall be to complement and assist the Pastor in carrying out the ministry of the Church. They shall be immediately responsible to the Pastor in the exercise of their duties. At any time when the Associate or Assistant Pastor is in disagreement with the Pastor regarding the policy of the Church and no remedy is in view, he shall quietly resign his position and not cause disharmony within the Church.

SECTION C. Pastoral Interns:

1. The call and qualification of the Pastoral Intern shall be the same as Article VIII Officers, Section B, 1, 2, and 3, along with the following:

a. The Pastoral Intern must be a man, married or single, but not divorced.

b. He must give a satisfactory testimony of his salvation, call to ministry, and doctrine to the church council.

c. He must be recommended to the congregation by the church council for the position of pastoral intern.

2. He shall be called for a term of up to one-year (which can be renewed) by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Church membership at a properly called business meeting. The Pastoral Intern shall be a member of the church at the time of his calling (if not already, he shall be admitted to membership through the normal procedures). He must accept and subscribe fully to the Constitution and By-Laws and the Doctrinal Statement as herein contained and pledge to teach and practice accordingly. He may or not be compensated, depending on his need and the church’s ability, and subject to the same vote of the church.

3. His duties shall be to assist the Pastor in carrying out the ministry of the Church and by so doing gain experience in pastoral ministry, including evangelism, visitation, preaching, administration of the ordinances, teaching, general administration, meeting and music planning, etc. He may attend board meetings, but he will have no vote. He shall be immediately responsible to the Pastor in the exercise of his duties. At any time when the Pastoral Intern is in disagreement with the Church Council regarding the policy of the Church and no remedy is in view, he shall quietly resign his position and not cause disharmony within the Church.

4. The Pastoral Intern shall be free to resign before his term expires, in a manner explained earlier in this article, Section A, paragraph 3.

5. The Pastoral Intern may rightfully be dismissed before his term expires, in a manner explained earlier in this article, Section A, paragraphs 4, 4a, 4b, and 4c.

Article VIII Officers

SECTION A. Church Officers:

Church officers shall consist of Deacons, Church Secretary, Church Treasurer, and Sunday School Superintendent. The term of office for each officer shall be one year except for the Deacons.

SECTION B. Qualifications:

1. All officers shall be active members of the Church in good standing, and shall be men and women of honest report. They shall be exemplary in their life and deportment and abstain from all worldliness and especially those things which will hurt their influence and thereby hinder the work of the Lord. No one who has been divorced or has married a divorced person shall become a member of the Church Council. (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:5,6).

2. Each officer shall promise to fulfill his duties of the office to the best of his ability, and shall normally attend all regular services of the Church.

3. Each officer and staff member of the Church shall read and sign the leadership covenant of the Church prior to holding office. Copies of the leadership covenant may be secured from the Pastor or the Church Secretary.

SECTION C. Duties of Officers:

1. DEACONS. The Deacons shall manifest, as is humanly possible, the qualities as set forth in Scripture (1 Tim. 3:8-13). They shall prepare and assist in the ordinances, attend to the necessities of the needy and the sick, aid the Pastor in his visitations, and share in the care of all the affairs of the Church not assigned to other offices. They shall jealously guard, with the Pastor, the spiritual interests of the Church and help to decide, with the Pastor, what events shall be scheduled in the Church. The term of the Deacon's office shall be two years.

2. CHURCH SECRETARY. The Secretary shall keep a faithful and complete record of all Church business meetings, keep the membership roll, carry on the correspondence of the Church, and perform such other duties as fall to the Secretary.

3. CHURCH TREASURER. The Treasurer shall keep the general funds and disburse them as directed by the Church Council. He shall keep a proper record of all receipts and disbursements, making regular quarterly reports in writing to the Church Council, and an annual report to the Church in writing with copies made available at the annual meeting to all members. He shall receive, keep accurate records of, and be responsible for banking all money designated for the Church and Sunday School. He shall count all moneys received with the assistance of a Deacon or other member of the Church approved by the Church Council, and exchange receipts with them of the amount received. During the absence of the Treasurer, it shall be the responsibility of the Deacons to count and deposit all moneys received also exchanging receipts. It is not necessary that the Church Treasurer be a member of the Church Council.

4. SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT. He shall have supervision and direction of the various departments of the Sunday School. He shall appoint annually such general officers as are necessary to execute the program of the school, subject to the ratification of the Pastor and the Church Council. He shall be chairman of the Sunday School Council, composed of the entire Sunday School staff, which council shall direct the administrative affairs of the school, and shall be responsible to the Pastor and the Church Council for the Christian educational work of the school in accordance with the Church's Articles of Faith. He will work under the direction of the Director of Education.

SECTION D. Removal From Office:

Any office or pastoral staff is subject to removal from office by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Church Council. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of the voting members at any properly called business meeting is necessary to uphold the decision of the Church Council.

SECTION E. Replacement for Unfulfilled Terms:

The Pastor shall, in consultation with the Church Council, appoint a qualified member to complete any unfulfilled office term.

Article IX Christian Education

SECTION A. Director of Education:

1. The Christian Education Pastor shall be the Director of Education for the Church.

2. In the event that the Church does not have a Christian Education Pastor, the Sunday School Superintendent shall be the Director of Education.

SECTION B. Sunday School Teachers:

1. All teachers who teach in the Sunday School must be members of the Church. All teachers must be in loyal attendance and faithful supporters of the total Church program.

2. Each teacher shall read and sign the leadership covenant of the Church to qualify as teachers. This shall be done yearly.

Article X Missions

SECTION A. Missionary Committee:

A Missionary Committee of three members shall be appointed annually by the Pastor. This Committee shall be responsible to bring information and recommendation to the Church Council regarding missionaries, their boards, literature, services, etc. All appropriations for missionary support must be cleared by the Church Council before it is placed before the congregation for vote. It shall be the duty of the Missionary Committee to promote missions in the Church and to keep the congregation up-to-date in regard to the Church's mission affiliations.

SECTION B. Missionary Policy:

1. It shall be the policy of the Church to support only those missions and missionaries that are engaged principally in carrying out the Lord's great commission, and are in full accord with the Church's doctrinal position.

2. The support pledge by the Church to missions and missionaries shall be reviewed annually by the Missionary Committee.

Article XI Auxiliary Organizations

All auxiliary organizations (young people's clubs, women's society, etc.) shall be subject to the Church in its doctrine and activities. The presidents of all such must be active members of the Church, meeting the qualifications for church officers given in Article VII, Section B, 1. The exceptions are the presidents of young people's clubs (high school and younger) may be non-members, but with the Pastor's approval. All funds must be channeled through the Church treasury.

Article XII Finances

The Church shall be supported by the willing gifts of God's people. No unscriptural methods of money raising projects shall be engaged in by the Church or auxiliary organizations. Proportionate giving shall be the standard for the support of the church (1 Cor. 16:1; 2 Cor. 8, 9).

Article XIII Amendments

This Constitution may be amended only by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any regular or called business meeting of the Church, notice of such amendment having been given in all regular services for two (2) weeks beforehand.

Article XIV Ordinations

SECTION A. Qualification of Candidate:

1.     He must be a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, having been baptized by immersion, and must accept fully the Articles of Faith of the Church.

2.     He must be able to give a clear testimony of his being called to full time Christian service. He must not be a novice, but have proved his calling by actual ministry for at least one year.

3.     His life must be blameless before the world, free from worldly habits. He must be an example of the believers in word and deed.

SECTION B. Church Action:

A candidate who meets the above qualifications may be ordained to the gospel ministry, consent being given by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the voting members at any business meeting of the Church, provided that the Pastor and the Church Council are of the unanimous opinion that he fulfills the required qualifications. The Church, through the Church Council, shall then call an examining council to examine the candidate for ordination.

SECTION C. Discipline:

In the event that any minister ordained by the Church should fall into sin or apostasy,and depart from the above qualifications, it shall be within the power of the Church Council to discipline such by a three-quarters (3/4) vote, even to the revoking of his ordination credentials, after an impartial trial conducted in the ministry of 1 Corinthians 13. The minister under trial shall have the privilege of appealing his case to the congregation within thirty (30) days after the decision of the Church Council. If such appeal is made, three-quarters (3/4) of voting members will be decisive as to the discipline or revocation of ordination credentials.

Article XV Interpretation of the Constitution

In case of disagreement on the interpretation of any part of this Constitution, a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the Church members at a called meeting shall make the determination of the correct interpretation.

Article XVI Dissolution

It is our hope and sincere desire that this corporation continue until the Lord comes to take away His Church. But in the event that this local Church is to be dissolved other than by Christ's second coming, then no part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director, or officer of the corporation or any private individual. No donor, member, director, officer of the corporation or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. In the event of dissolution, all assets, real and personal, shall be distributed to such organizations as are in accord with the doctrinal position of the Fellowship Bible Church, and are qualified as tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding provisions of a future United States Internal Revenue Law.

Leadership Covenant

We, the spiritual leaders and teachers of the Word of God of the Fellowship Bible Church, having been born again by the Holy Spirit, and chosen to serve Jesus Christ, solemnly enter into covenant with one another and our Lord to serve Him wholeheartedly, joyously, and faithfully. This covenant we make by His grace, and trusting in His help, expecting His favor and reward alone.

Knowing that spiritual service must be pursued by spiritual means, we will endeavor to read a portion of God's Word each day, and give ourselves to prayer. We will earnestly seek to win lost souls to Christ through our service, and to help those who know Him to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Savior. We recognize that our service must be in the power of the Holy Spirit if it is to be acceptable to God and successful among men. Therefore, we present our bodies to the Holy Spirit, and sincerely desire His fullness for service.

As spiritual leaders and teachers, our example is of great importance to others. Therefore, we willingly promise to abstain from practices which may be a harmful example and therefore wisely avoided. In this category we include dancing, drinking of alcoholic beverages, the use of addictive non-prescribed drugs, tobacco in any form, gambling, and membership in an oath-bound lodge or society. We will abstain from that which is morally impure in movies, television entertainment, the theater, or literature.

We will also seek to keep the Lord's day holy and consecrated for His service, to maintain modest dress, and to conduct our behavior in a godly manner, avoiding the works of the flesh, and trusting that we shall not be a cause of stumbling to other Christians.

We enter into this covenant in order to help the Church to be pleasing and useful to our blessed Lord. It is not our intention that this statement shall be used as a basis of self-congratulation or criticism of others who do not hold to this standard, but as a help to those who may be hindered by a wrong example. Our purpose to live by this rule is not a matter of church discipline, but a reminder that we have a high goal, to be "to the praise of His glory."

Revision History

Original July, 1981

January 31, 2007

January 30, 2008

January 28, 2009

February 6, 2011

© 2004-2017 Fellowship Bible Church | 2775 Bedford Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | 734-971-2837 | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

Home | Connect | Learn | Grow | Community | Bible | Members

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Google Plus