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We declare and establish this Constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith, and to govern the body in an orderly manner. Placing our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and believing in the teachings of the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of the Living God, we adopt this constitution as a declaration of our convictions so that we may carry on the Lord’s work decently and in order.
This church shall be known as the VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH, of Sylva, North Carolina.
The purpose of this body shall be to provide regular opportunities for public worship; to carry out the ordinances, doctrines, and principles set forth in the New Testament for the church; to nurture its members through a program of Christian education and the preaching of the Word; to channel its offerings to the support of the preaching of the Gospel around the world.
This church shall be an Independent Baptist Church; not affiliated with any conventions, associations, or ecumenical groups.
-Statement of Faith-
THE BIBLE – We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, infallible and eternal. We use only the King James Version in our public ministry. (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; Psalms 12:6, 7)
GOD – We believe that there is only one true and living God—the God of the Bible and that in the Godhead there are three distinct yet equal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Exodus 20:2, 3)
JESUS CHRIST – We believe that Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary; He lived a sinless life, died on a cross for the sins of all men, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day, and was seen by many before His ascension. (John 3:14-18, Acts 1:1-11, Isaiah 9:6-7)
THE HOLY SPIRIT – We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son. We believe He came to reprove the world of sin, and to regenerate and to baptize into the body of Christ, and to indwell all those who believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. (John 14:16, 17; 3:5, 6; 15:26, 27; Romans 8:14, 16)
SALVATION – We believe that Christ died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. We believe that man is saved by grace alone–through faith alone— without works. The conditions of salvation are repentance and faith. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9)
CHRIST’S RESURRECTION – We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ on the third day. (Matthew 28:6, 7 Luke 24:39, I Corinthians 15:25; 42-44; 51-53)
LAST DAYS – We believe in the Pre-tribulation rapture of the Church and the Pre-Millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. (I Thessalonians 4:13-19; Revelation 28:1-4)
SATAN – We believe in a personal devil, Satan. We believe he is the unholy god of this age, the ruler of all the powers of darkness, and that he is destined to spend eternity in the lake of fire. (Matthew 4:11, II Corinthians 4:4, Revelation 20:10)
CREATION – We believe in the Genesis account of Creation, literally and historically. We believe that God created everything without any evolutionary process. (Genesis 1 & 2)
MAN – We believe that man was created in innocence, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless state in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, we believe that all men are sinners by nature. (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19)
HELL – We believe in a literal and eternal Hell and Heaven. (Luke 16:19-23; John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:15; 21-22)
ETERNAL SECURITY – We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God and that they can never lose their salvation. (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6)
CHURCH – We believe that the Church is the body of Christ made up of all born again believers. We believe that the local Church is made up of born again believers who have been baptized since their salvation. We believe that the local Church should practice two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This local church holds to open communion for all who have been saved and baptized as a believer in Christ. (I Corinthians 11:17-34; Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36-39)
HUMAN SEXUALITY – We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-20; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the legal joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS – We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are “an heritage of the Lord.” Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural correction. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18; 22:15; 23:13- 14; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE – We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon or those administrative positions within the church that would consist of pastoral duties. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
Any person can offer himself or herself as a candidate in this church. All such candidates shall be presented at a regular church service in any of the following ways:
1. By profession of faith as a candidate for baptism.
2. By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church. This church will contact the former church requesting the letter.
3. By statement of faith and baptism when no letter is obtainable, or when one is coming from another denomination.
Any member of the church, who has been absent from the regular worship services for a period of three months or more, shall be placed in an inactive position and not be allowed to vote on church matters. This does not include those who may be providentially hindered.
C. Voting Privileges
Only active members who are at least eighteen years old may vote on matters of church business.
D. Serving Privileges
Only active church members are to be appointed to official positions in the church. (After 6 months in the church)
Church discipline shall be carried out according to the teaching of the New Testament. It is vital to the testimony of this church, and to the glory of our Lord, that the purity of the church be preserved and its peace protected. With these goals in mind, it shall be the duty of the pastor and deacons to seek diligently to reclaim any member known to be living in disregard to the plain teaching of the Scriptures. The following offenses must be dealt with:
1. Sowing discord among the brethren (II Thessalonians 3:11-15; Romans 16:17)
2. Immoral conduct (I Corinthians 5:1-13)
3. Promotion of false doctrine (Galatians 1:8,9; II John 10-11; Titus 3:10-11)
The church may withdraw fellowship (membership) for violation of the above if the offender refuses to make the offense right. If, after consultation, the offender refuses to repent, then it is the duty of the pastor to bring the matter before the church body for a vote to remove the offender from the church roll.
Excluded members may be restored to membership by a majority vote of the members present, if the offender has confessed their error and given evidence of repentance.
It is the purpose of church discipline to help its members lead pure and blameless lives, and to restore the wayward to a place of fellowship with Christ and the local church.
F. Dismissal of Members
Dismissal shall be by death, letter, or exclusion. Any member in good standing shall be granted a letter of transfer to any church of like faith upon its request. A letter of dismissal without recommendation may be sent to any other church. A member may request that his name simply be dropped from the roll, and the congregation must be informed of this request.
Note: Any business meeting for the purpose of dismissing a member must be announced two weeks in advance and must be a special called meeting.
G. Duties of Members (see Church Covenant)
This church shall hold regular meetings for worship, teaching, training and fellowship every Sunday morning and evening, and every Wednesday evening.
The Lord’s Supper will be held every fifth Sunday evening unless a conflict makes a minor adjustment necessary.
Regular meetings for the pastor and deacons shall be held on the second Wednesday night of each month, unless the pastor deems other arrangements necessary.
The annual meeting for the election of teachers and officers and the budget for the current year shall be held at the end of January.
The pastor shall moderate all Business meetings. If the church is without a Pastor, the meeting shall be conducted by one of the deacons. The pastor shall never moderate any meeting of which he is the subject. There must be at least ten voting members present in order for any meeting to be considered official.
The pastor is responsible for leading the church in fulfilling its mission. The church shall call him whenever a vacancy occurs. (I Timothy 3:1-7)
A pulpit committee shall be appointed by the deacons and shall consist of five men; two of which must be active deacons. The committee shall make a recommendation to the church body. This recommendation shall be made at a called meeting, announced at least one week in advance. A vote to accept a new pastor must be by at least an 80% majority of those voting members present. The pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated at his request. The church shall ask the pastor to leave if he is found to not be in compliance with the church constitution, or if he fails to meet the standards of moral purity and honesty as set forth in the Bible. The vote for the pastor to leave shall be by the same 80% majority in a called meeting for that purpose. If the pastor resigns voluntarily, he shall give the church a two weeks notice of his intent. Any vote concerning the pastor shall be by secret ballot.
The pastor is to have full charge of the services of the church. No one may speak or sing in the services without his approval.
The pastor shall be allowed two weeks paid vacation each year. He will also be allowed two weeks every year to preach at revival meetings, etc.
The pastor has full authority to hire and fire church personnel. He shall keep the deacons fully informed of any such actions.
The qualifications for a deacon shall be as prescribed in the New Testament. (Acts 6:3; I Timothy 3:18)
Deacons are elected to serve for as long as they are able. A deacon who is found to be unfaithful to the Lord and His Word can be voted out by a 2/3 majority of members present.
Any member may make recommendations for deacon candidates. These recommendations shall be considered by the pastor and the deacons, and presented to the church body, as additional deacons are needed. All deacons must be approved by a 2/3 majority of the members present.
It is the duty of the deacon to assist the pastor in any way possible. This would include:
1. Assisting with the Lord’s Supper
2. Visiting the sick and unchurched
3. Assisting the Pastor in decision making concerning the general welfare of the church
Deacons are not rulers but helpers.
The clerk shall keep a record of the proceedings of the church. The clerk shall also take charge of all of the records of the church.
The treasurer shall receive all funds contributed to the church and shall dispense the same as ordered by the church. He shall present a monthly written report of itemized disbursements showing the actual financial condition of the church. He shall be in charge of the counting of the Sunday offerings with the assistance of at least two other men.
In the event that the treasurer is unable to sign checks, an assistant treasurer shall have the authority.
E. Sunday School Superintendent
The superintendent shall supervise the work of the Sunday School. He shall be under the direction of the pastor. He shall closely supervise the teachers, and shall recruit new teachers as needed.
The church shall elect all committees. All committee members shall be active members, and will be elected annually.
-Adoption and Amendment-
This Constitution shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when a 2/3 vote of the active members present at the business meeting is taken in favor of the adoption.
Any of the regulations of this constitution may be amended, altered, or repealed by a 2/3 vote of active members present at any regular business meeting of the church. Any amendment must have been presented at a previous meeting so that the members have time to prayerfully consider it.
No amendments may be made to the Statement of Faith.
The Church Covenant is a voluntary agreement by all members of the Victory Baptist Church whereby they promise to conduct their lives in such a way as to glorify God and promote the ongoing of His church. Every member should study it carefully, refer to it often, and seek to live by it daily.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of 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, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one local body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this 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, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel to 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/or use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, always mindful of the rules of our Saviour 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 the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.