NAME AND PURPOSE
This congregation of believers shall be known as the VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH.
(A) The purpose of this church shall be to spread the Gospel locally and around the world, to build up believers through the preaching and teaching of Scripture, to administer the ordinances of believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper, and to accurately reflect the character of God in our activities, fellowship, relationships and contact with our community. We retain the right to establish various ministries and fulfill our purpose as we see fit whether or not that activity is generally recognized as a function of a traditional church.
(B) The church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry; evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both the Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that the Church may decide, from time to time, to pursue in obedience to the will of God.
This church has sovereign control over its own affairs and shall remain unaffiliated with any denominational body, convention or association which could exercise authority over our church or restrict our independent choices in any matter.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
(A) The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life, The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations–the age of law, the age of the Church, and the age of the kingdom are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25,27; Rev. 20:2-6).
(C) The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each CO-eternal in being, CO-identical in nature, CO-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10,26).
(D) The Person and Work of Christ
(1) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35, John 1:1-2, 14;2 Cor 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil 2:5-8).
(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25, I Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5).
(3) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1-2).
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
(1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom 8:9; I Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
(2) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:;18; I John 2:20, 27).
(3) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:-38; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
(4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and the ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing ( 1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).
(F) The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition ( Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12,6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins ( John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Pet. 1: 4-5)
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
(1) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Pet. 1:4-5)
(2) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
(I) The Church
(1) We believe that the local church, the local assembly of baptized believers, is solely made up of born-again persons (I Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27)
(2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; Rom. 16:1, 4; I Cor. 3:9,16; 5:4-7, 13; I Peter 5: 1-4).
(4) We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the scriptural ordinances of obedience for the Church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; I Cor. 11:23-26).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. That believers maintain separation from all religious apostasy. That believers refrain from any worldly practices and associations that would mar the testimony of the believer and the church. (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
(K) The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the Saints. At the end of the Tribulation Christ will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the Nation of Israel ( Ps 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; I Thess. 1:10; I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
(L) The Eternal State
(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
(M) The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:66-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
SECTION 2 – AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.
The Statement of Faith does not cover current social issues due to the fact that they do not constitute doctrinal positions. Our church maintains a position on all social issues as given in God’s Word including the following current moral issues:
(1) Abortion-The Bible affirms that life begins at conception thereby teaching that to end a life, from conception onward, would constitute murder. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
(2) Human Sexuality-The Bible affirms that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography or any other practices of sexual activity outside of a Biblical marriage are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5,13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(3) Civil Government-The Bible affirms that God has ordained the home, church, and the state. God has given each institution specific biblical responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14).
SECTION 1 – QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP:
Upon a majority vote of the members present at any Church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in, and acceptance of, the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, who agree with this Constitution and statement of faith, who are in overall harmony with our church philosophy of ministry, and who meet one of the following requirements:
(A) Baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Saviour;
(B) Letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;
(C) Testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion in a church of like faith and practice.
SECTION 2 – DUTIES OF A MEMBER:
On becoming a member of this Church each one covenants to love, honor, and esteem the Pastor; to pray for him; and to recognize his authority in spiritual affairs of the Church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the Church; to support the Church in prayer, tithes, offerings, and with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands to support, through a lifestyle walk, the beliefs and practices of the Church.
SECTION 3 – PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP:
It is expected that each member not only be loyal to Christ and his Word, but also loyal to this assembly in word and deed-including attendance at a majority of services, financial support characterized by willingness to work and use talents and spiritual gifts, and the maintenance of a positive reflection upon our church in the community.
SECTION 4 – DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER:
This church practices the Biblical procedure of discipline whereby an erring believer can be removed from membership because of immorality, holding or promoting false doctrine, divisive behavior within the assembly, public offense. The goals of discipline are to maintain church purity and bring about the restoration of an erring believer. The Pastor and deacons (excluding anyone under question) have sole authority in determining whether a member’s deviation from accepted doctrine/behavior should be brought before the church. Church action will be conducted at a special meeting called for this purpose. Church discipline does not automatically end with the resignation of the erring brother. All resignations can be explained publicly by the pastor at his discretion.
SECTION 5 – TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:
Membership may be terminated (after 6 consecutive weeks of non-attendance) at the discretion of the pastor and deacons or automatically terminated after 6 months of non-attendance. Exceptions are made for illness or special situations approved by the pastor and deacons. Membership is automatically terminated if an individual unites in membership with another church or attends another church on a regular basis.
SECTION 6 – ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP:
Part-time residents may take on this designation while maintaining their membership in another church of like faith and practice. Associate members may not vote.
SECTION 7 – VOTING PRIVILEGES OF A MEMBER:
Those who are members and over the age of 18 or over may vote.
OFFICE OF THE PASTOR
SECTION 1 – SELECTION
In the absence of a pastor, the deacons will accumulate the names of prospects through contacts with pastors, churches, and colleges of like faith and practice. They may invite various potential pastors to come fill the pulpit and meet informally before they consider them an actual candidate, they will also gather and check references. Upon the majority recommendation of the Deacons, a man may be invited to candidate. Candidacy will involve public preaching, a public meeting with the church for questions and answers and a private interview with the Deacons. A 3/4 ballot vote of members shall be necessary to extend a call. The church may only consider one candidate at a time.
SECTION 2 – QUALIFICATIONS
The pastor must meet the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3 and possess the call of a pastor. The pastor must agree with this Constitution, Statement of Faith, and the fundamental positions of this church.
SECTION 3 – DUTIES
As the Bishop, the pastor shall be the overseer, as well as the servant, of the people, staff (including hiring and dismissal), ministries, ordinations, and administration of the church. He shall preside over its meetings and be the President of the corporation. As the Pastor, he shall shepherd the flock by leading, feeding, caring and warning them. As the Preacher, he shall declare the whole counsel of God. As the Elder, his character and spiritual maturity instills respect and motivates the assembly to follow his leadership.
SECTION 4 – TERMINATION
Pastors are elected for an indefinite period of time. It shall be the privilege of either the pastor or the church to terminate the pastoral relationship by giving one month’s notice. All actions to dismiss a pastor must be done in a way that reflects the character of Christ in attitude and word. Termination will be by a 3/4 vote at a business meeting announced and initiated by the Deacons at least one week in advance.
THE OFFICE OF THE DEACON
SECTION 1 – SELECTION
Deacons will be voted on at a business meeting on a date set by the pastor. Nominees will be announced one month before the vote. Deacons serve a two year term. He may be reelected as often as the church so desires. Men shall be nominated by the deacons or the pastor.
SECTION 2 – QUALIFICATIONS
Each deacon shall meet the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3. He must also have been a member of the church for one year and shown to be spiritually mature and worthy of respect.
SECTION 3 – DUTIES
The Deacons shall assist the Pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the church, in conduction of the religious services, and in performing all other work of the Church. They shall make provisions for the observances to the ordinances of the Church. They shall aid the pastor in caring for the needy (such as widows and orphans). They shall aid the pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the Church. They shall provide pulpit supply and act as leaders for Church meetings if the office of the Pastor is vacant. The deacons shall assist the Pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the Church’s various ministries as requested by the Pastor.
The Deacons shall constitute the Board of Directors of the corporation and exercise the following powers:
(1) to purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and to receive real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the church;
(2) to sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property or the church; to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayments by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges;
(3) to exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the Church corporation.
SECTION 1 – TRUSTEES
There shall be three trustees selected from the board of deacons. The term of office shall be for two years. A trustee may be reelected as often as the church so desires. His duties shall be to sign legal papers for the church, act as an auditing committee, and to aid the Pastor. The Pastor will serve as a Director and President of the Corporation.
SECTION 2 – TREASURER
The treasurer shall be responsible for the disbursements of funds, reconciliation of bank statements, accurate bookkeeping, and a monthly accounting of income and disbursements. The treasurer is also the treasurer of the corporation.
SECTION 3 – CHURCH CLERK
The Church Clerk shall be responsible to keep accurate membership records, take minutes of church business meetings, and preserve these documents during the term of service. The Church Clerk is the secretary of the corporation and may sign official church correspondence that relate to action taken by the Church.
All who work in any function of this church, whether paid or volunteer, whether or not they are members, and regardless of the capacity in which they serve (excluding those hired as an outside service or independent contractor) shall be regarded as ministers or staff of this church and must be, in belief and conduct, in full agreement with the Statement of Faith, and with the moral and spiritual standards of this church. In the event of any dispute regarding this article, the church shall be the only and final arbiter, and its decision shall be final.
No services, meetings, functions or activities of this church, or sponsored by this church, shall, under any circumstances, be considered “open public meetings”, or “open to the Public.” Visitors from outside the membership may only attend when their purposes, demeanor, and conduct are, in the opinion of this church, consistent with the church’s purposes and standards of conduct. Meetings of the church include, but are not limited to:
Worship meetings-Every element of the worship meetings, whether in spoken word or song, will be consistent with Scripture and the holiness of God and will be done decently and in order. Worship meetings are not limited to Sundays only, neither are they limited to being held on church property.
Business Meetings-The church shall hold an annual business meeting, at or near, the beginning of each business year. The church business year shall extend from Jan. 1st-Dec. 31st. A quorum shall consist of the members present.
Special Business Meetings-A special meeting may be called by the Pastor or the Deacons at least one week in advance. In the event of an emergency or unusual circumstances, the one week requirement may be suspended by a majority vote of members present.
SECTION 1- PRIVATE INCURMENT:
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall insure to the benefit of or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article I, Section 2 hereof.
SECTION 2 – POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT:
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Church shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
SECTION 3 – DISSOLUTION:
Upon the dissolution of the Church, the Trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Church, dispose of all the assets of the Church to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Trustees shall determine. Assets may be distributed only to organizations which agree with the Church’s statement of Faith.
SECTION 4 – RACIAL NONDISCRIMINATION:
The Church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color or national or ethnic origin.
From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious, educational and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article I, Section 2.
No goods and service are provided in exchange for contributions designated or general. The benefits consist solely of what the Internal Revenue Service considers “intangible religious benefits.” All contributions are non-refundable.
This Constitution may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting, at any regular Church business meeting.
This constitution was adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at the meeting of the church.
This Constitution supersedes any other constitutions.