Open Door Baptist Church
                     Greensburg, Pennsylvania

 

            - About Open Door

            - Adult Small Groups

            - Ministries by LifeStage

            - Life Application Classes

            - Get Connected

            - Get Involved

            - For Members

            - Special Events

            - What We Believe

            - Counseling (NANC)

            - Teaching Resources

 

 

 

 

...making a difference in Greensburg
and surrounding areas!

 

...a friendly atmosphere...a place for your family...a place to find answers to life's problems...

Making Strides God's Way   

What We Believe

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
OPEN DOOR BAPTIST CHURCH OF GREENSBURG, PA
NOVEMBER, 2008

PREAMBLE
Recognizing the growing apostasy in the denominational churches, and believing that the Spirit of God is calling those who accept Christ as their Savior and Lord into closer fellowship for the more effective proclamation of the gospel of the grace of God, we hereby adopt the following Constitution and By-Laws to govern this independent and fundamental local church.

ARTICLE 1
NAME
This organization shall be known as Open Door Baptist Church of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

ARTICLE 2
DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
Section A.  THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13).

Section B.  THE GODHEAD
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:4).

Section C.  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 (John 1:1, 2, 14; Luke 1:35).

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 (Romans 3:24, 25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 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; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1, 2).

Section D.  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; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13, 14).

2.  We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 27; Ephesians 5:18).

Section E.  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 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 (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).

Section F.  SALVATION
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 our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 19).

Section G.  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; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5).

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 (Romans 12:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

Section H.  THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (Romans 6:13; 8:12, 13; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

Section I.  SEPARATION
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1, 2; 14:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

Section J.  MISSIONS
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truth of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20).

Section K.  THE MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS
1.  We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12).

2.  We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; James 5:14-16; 1 John 5:14, 15).

Section L.  THE CHURCH
1.  We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:1-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

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; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).

Section M.  DISPENSATIONALISM
We believe in the dispensational view of Bible interpretation but reject the extreme teaching known as "Hyper-Dispensationalism," such as that teaching which opposes either the Lord's Table or water baptism as a Scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Section N.  THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; 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 1:6, 7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 21:10).

Section O.  THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST
We believe in the "Blessed Hope," the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth with His saints, to establish His Millennial Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).

Section P.  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 (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25, 26; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Revelation 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; Revelation 20:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

3.  We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death, in conscious misery 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 (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6, 7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15).

ARTICLE 3
MEMBERSHIP
Section A.  APPLICATION
Any person who professes faith in Christ as Savior, gives evidence of a change of heart,  has been baptized by immersion, and who adopts the views of faith and practice held by this church as stated in the Constitution and By-Laws, may apply for church membership.  Applicants shall complete a membership form to be returned to the pastor or any deacon.  Membership forms are issued at the new member class.

Section B.  PREPARATION
Applicants for membership shall be expected to attend (as a prerequisite) a new membership class for three weeks (or a sufficient number of classes) to be instructed in the Constitution and By-Laws and ask any questions, and following that, shall meet with the pastor and deacons to discuss their Christian experience, assurance of salvation, baptism, doctrinal beliefs and intent to live a Christ-honoring life.   Letters of recommendation may be requested from churches of like faith, at the discretion of the pastor and deacons, for those seeking membership.

Section C.  RECEPTION
Names of applicants who have met the requirements of membership according to Section B shall be recommended for membership to the church.  A majority vote of eligible voting members present at a regular service will result in acceptance of the applicant into membership.

Section D.  LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION AND TRANSFER
Members in good standing may be granted letters of recommendation to another church of like faith upon approval of pastor and deacons.  Members who leave our church should unite with another church of like faith as quickly as possible.  It is important that believers place themselves under the authority of a local church.  No member is dropped from the membership until the individual joins another church of like faith, has gone home to be with the Lord or is disciplined by the church to the point of excommunication.

Section E.  ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
In the case of a saved, baptized person who would be in our community with special circumstances (such as a college student away from home or a person who is part of a special care facility for a short duration of time or short-term job transfers) and desiring to serve and to unite with our church, application for associate privileges and responsibilities can be made.  The applicant must meet the same requirements and follow the same procedures as would an applicant for regular membership according to Article 3, Sections A, B, C.  They will not be eligible to be elected to an office nor have voting privilege. 

Section F.  DISCIPLINE OF CHURCH MEMBERS
1.  The deacons with the pastor shall constitute the discipline committee of the church and have sole charge in determining violations and discipline.

2.  Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another (1 John 3:16; John 13:34, 35).  When a member becomes knowledgeable of an offense of the magnitude to hinder spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go alone to the offending party only after self-examination and rectification (Matthew 7:3) always in a spirit of humility and with a goal of restoration (Matthew 18:15-18; Galatians 6:1).  As specified in the scriptures, each member is to endeavor to make reconciliation quickly (Matthew 5:23-25; Ephesians 4:29-32).

3.  If reconciliation is not reached, one or two members, usually a deacon or pastor, is to accompany after following the same procedure of self-examination and in the spirit of humility and restoration (Matthew 18:15-18).

4.  If still unresolved, the pastor and deacons as elected representatives biblically responsible to put down murmuring, must hear the matter.  If the matter remains unresolved, they must recommend to the church prayerful examination of our own lives, then prayerful effort to restore the offending member, and if still unresolved, the exclusion of such members who refuse to be restored.

No matter or offense may be heard unless previous Biblical steps have been followed, except in the case of a public offense, such as Galatians 2:11-15.

No information concerning parties not under discussion may be heard.

No member may be excluded where there is genuine fruit of repentance evidenced, since the goal of the whole discipline process is restoration.

When the unrepentant offending party is excluded from the membership and Lord's table, all relationship with him/her from that point is only for the purpose of restoration except for family members (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:15).  The entire church body should recognize a responsibility to "say the same thing" in loving effort to restore the offending one and to maintain the church's testimony and harmony.

The pastor and deacons are directed to move promptly in the safeguard of the purity and peace of the church when anyone is obstructing the work in any way.

5.  Confidentiality will be maintained as long as the offending party is hearing biblical instruction.  If the person is not listening, the process must move forward according to Matthew 18:15-18, and, therefore, no promise of confidentiality can be made.  Others will need to be told of the person's unwillingness to hear and become involved in the restoration process.

6.  The following would be some of the sins that are involved in church discipline:
a.  Scandalous conduct
1)  Sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:11)
2)  Greedy covetousness (1 Corinthians 5:11)
3)  Idolatry (1 Corinthians 5:11)
4)  Slander, Abusive Speech (1 Corinthians 5:11)
5)  Drunkard (1 Corinthians 5:11)
6)  Robber (1 Corinthians 5:11)
7)  Lazy Sponger (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11, 14)

b.  False doctrine (Galatians 1:8, 9; Titus 3:10, 11; Romans 16:17)

c.  Divisiveness, irreconcilable spirit (Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:11-reviler)

d.  Deliberate refusal or neglect of church attendance (Hebrews 10:24, 25)
(Note:  A person is never excluded for the offense alone, but because he refuses to repent and show genuine fruit of change.)

Section G.  ATTENDANCE
All members are expected to attend the regular church services and the Annual Meeting.  It is a privilege to be exercised.  Any member that refuses to obey the command of Hebrews 10:25 and/or neglects the regular church services will be liable for loving church discipline in order to restore the individual back to effectiveness and faithfulness.  Such situations as long-term illness and shut-in status are not included.  These are providential situations under the control of our sovereign Lord.    

Section H.  BAPTISM
We believe that baptism by immersion following salvation is the only scriptural practice, and that it shall be a prerequisite for membership (Acts 2:41; 8:37, 38).

Section I.  FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The Lord's work should be supported by the free will offerings of His people, given in a regular and systematic way, as encouraged by God through Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:2-"Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.The measure of our giving is determined by our love for Christ.  A tithe or tenth of the income was required by God of the Jew under the Law, and we who are under grace should give more (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Mark 12:41-44; Philippians 4:16-18).

Members should see the importance, value and need to give and do so for the glory of the Lord.  Contributions are solicited with the understanding that the use of all gifts to Open Door Baptist Church is controlled by the church at large, through the discretion and recommendations of the pastor and deacons.

Section J.  DUTIES OF MEMBERS
The duties of members are set forth in general terms in the church Constitution and By-laws.  Membership in a local church, as expressed in the New Testament, is deeply significant.  Our Lord Jesus Christ deserves the best use of the gifts He has entrusted to us.  Therefore, it is expected that members use their spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.  In addition, it is anticipated that members be growing in likeness of the character qualities of Christ in thought, attitude, speech, and action.  Members shall be expected to lovingly respect and cooperate with the pastor and officers of the church for the advancement of the work and to faithfully attend the services of the church.  Likewise, they are expected to abide by the Constitution and By-laws of the church.

ARTICLE 4
DEDICATION OF CHILDREN
We fail to find any scriptural authority for the baptism of children before they receive  Jesus Christ as Savior.  Parents are encouraged, however, to publicly present their children to the Lord in dedication, and it would be understood that this dedication is more about the parent's commitment to raise the child for the glory of God than the child's dedication.  This may be done at any regular service of the church, after counsel with the pastor.

ARTICLE 5
GOVERNMENT
Section A.  CHURCH BOARD
The church board shall consist of the pastor, the pastoral staff, deacons, treasurers (general, missionary and assistants), financial secretary and church clerk.  All church board members must be 21 years of age or older.  The action of the church board, approved by the church congregation in matters that require such, shall be final authority.  They shall meet regularly at a scheduled time during each quarter, and special meetings may be called when deemed necessary, either by the chairman (pastor), or upon petition of the majority of the church board.  In the absence of the pastor, the associate pastor shall act as chairman.  If there is no associate, the assistant pastor shall act as chairman.  If the church has no assistant pastor, the chairman of the deacons shall act as chairman.

Section B.  ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE
All faithful members, who are in good standing with the church and who are 16 years of age or older, are eligible to vote.

Section C.  ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The Nominating Committee (deacons) shall prayerfully consider the qualifications for office of all active church members and shall submit to the church a slate of candidates for the various offices to be filled.  It shall nominate, if possible, more than one candidate for each vacancy, and shall secure the agreement of each proposed candidate before the slate is presented.  Scriptural qualifications, found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, shall be considered in order that the blessing of the Lord may rest upon the church.  The election shall be by single ballot, and a majority of the votes of voting members present shall be required to elect candidates.  In the event that an office is not filled because none of the candidates received the required majority vote, a second ballot will be cast, using as nominees the two candidates for that office who received the largest number of votes on the first ballot.  If only one candidate is on the ballot and this candidate does not receive the votes of the majority of the voters, the office shall remain vacant subject to action at a later date.

Section D.  MEETING OF PASTORAL STAFF AND DEACONS
The pastor, the pastoral staff (associate and assistant pastors) and deacons will meet each month to discuss church matters and business and make recommendations to the church that it deems necessary for the action of the church.  Monthly financial reports will be reviewed.

Section E.  FAITHFULNESS
It is a privilege to serve as an officer of Open Door Baptist Church.  Any elected or appointed officer of the church who fails to act in the capacity of the office and /or fails to attend the regular church meetings due to deliberate refusal or indifference for a period of three months and the meetings of the church board for a period of six months (if a member of that board) forfeits the right to be an officer, and may be replaced at the discretion of the church board.  Officers are expected to be loyal to the pastor and church staff and contribute to the unity of the church.  Those who are disruptive and cause unbiblical divisions will be subject to church discipline and removed as an officer of the church.

ARTICLE 6
OFFICERS
SECTION A.  PASTOR
1.  RESPONSIBILITIES. 
The pastor shall take oversight willingly, and shall by example, teaching, and organization seek to equip the saints for the work of ministry as prescribed in Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 3:15, 4:5 and Matthew 28:18-20.  He shall be a member of all boards and committees.  The church roll shall be in the custody of, and kept up to date by the pastor (through secretarial assistance) and shall be the property of Open Door Baptist Church.

2.  CALLING A PASTOR
When it is necessary for the church to call a pastor, the matter should be expedited as soon as possible.  The following steps should be implemented.  First, the pulpit committee (minimum of five church members including all deacons) will be formed.  If necessary the deacons will add to the committee faithful church members to complete the minimum number of five for the formation of the pulpit committee.   The pulpit committee will meet to establish an agenda, elect a moderator for the purpose of communicating the status and progress of the pastoral search to the church, initiate a plan for gathering resumes, and consider any input that may have been given by the congregation as to calling a pastor.  Second, the committee will review and examine resumes that have been received in light of the church Constitution and By-Laws and philosophy of ministry.  The associate pastor or any assistant pastor may be considered as a potential candidate.  Third, the pulpit committee will make arrangements and interview any applicants either by phone or in person.  Fourth, those individuals that are selected as potential candidates will be invited to come and preach.  Fifth, the pulpit committee will prayerfully choose one of the potential candidates to return to the church as the candidate to be presented to and voted on by the church.  On the given Sunday the candidate will preach and the congregation will be given opportunity to ask questions of the candidate at a planned meeting.  Sixth, the congregation will be instructed to pray for God's direction and leadership and will vote on the candidate the following Sunday or as instructed by the pulpit committee.  A two-thirds majority vote of eligible voting members present is required to call the candidate.

3.  TERMINATION.
The pastor's term of office shall be indefinite.  A notice of 90 days shall be given to terminate, with remuneration and services continuing through this period, unless otherwise mutually agreed.  A vote may be taken by the congregation at any time to terminate the pastor's services subject to the following: (a) a special meeting may be called for that purpose according to Article 8, Section B, and (b) a two-thirds majority vote of eligible voting members present shall be required to terminate the pastor's services.  In the event of a doctrinal defection, the pastor's service may be terminated by recommendation of the board, such recommendation to be ratified by a majority vote of the church body within 30 days.  In the case of a moral defection, which is established by two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19), the pastor shall be terminated immediately even if he repents (at such a point in time he is not blameless according to 1 Timothy 3:2). If the pastor does not repent he is to be lovingly disciplined according to the procedures of Article 3, Section F.  In absence of the pastor, the deacons and other faithful church members, if necessary, shall serve as a pulpit committee.

4.  RESIGNATION. 
If the pastor believes that his work is finished or that he is called to another work, then he shall give the deacons at least 30 days notice.

Section B.  CHURCH STAFF
1.  ASSISTANT PASTORS
a.  RESPONSIBILITIES.  All assistant pastors are directly responsible to the pastor, or to the deacons when there is no pastor, in the performance of their duties.  Loyalty to the church and its leadership is expected.  Each assistant will be assigned  responsibilities through a job description.  In the event that there is more than one assistant pastor, one of them shall be designated as the associate pastor by the pastor or the deacons.   In the absence of the pastor due to illness, vacation, or the termination of his ministry, the associate pastor shall carry out all his duties as outlined in this constitution. 

b.  CALLING OF AN ASSISTANT PASTOR.  As the need arises, one or more assistant pastors may be added to the church staff.  A potential candidate will be presented by the pastor to the deacons for the purpose of examination and approval.  Upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons, the potential staff member may be called at a specific or regular meeting of the church.  Public notice and purpose of the meeting shall be given two Sundays before the meeting.  A majority of two-thirds of the eligible voting members present at a meeting of the church shall be necessary to call an assistant pastor.

2.  SECRETARIAL STAFF MEMBERS.  Upon creation of secretarial positions, secretaries will be hired by, directly responsible to, and terminated by the pastor with the approval of the deacons.

3.  CUSTODIAL AND MAINTENANCE STAFF.  Upon the creation of custodial and maintenance positions, personnel will be hired by the pastor, shall be directly responsible to the pastor and deacons and may be terminated by the pastor with the approval of the deacons.

4.  DISMISSAL OF STAFF MEMBERS.  It is understood that dismissal of a staff member is not subject to congregational action or review.  The pastor, with the approval of the deacons, will dismiss the staff member for such offenses as immorality, deceit, embezzlement of funds, abuse, disloyalty, etc.  If there is no repentance for sin, and the appropriate steps of discipline have been followed (Matthew 18:15-17) or in such cases where the sin is open and known (1 Corinthians 5), the matter will be brought to the church for the purpose of loving discipline (or in the case of non-member staff the discipline matter will be referred to the leadership of the church where they hold membership).  Confidentiality will be considered the norm, providing that the staff member is hearing, repenting and obeying.  Otherwise, the discipline process will move forward to the next level.  Therefore, confidentiality cannot be promised to the sinning brother or sister.

5.  MULTIPLE STAFF.  Due to changing circumstances, it may be necessary to vary the number and titles of personnel employed on the church staff.

Section C.  DEACONS
1.  RESPONSIBILITIES.   Deacon(s) shall himself:
a. carefully and prayerfully seek to practice the principles taught in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6.

b. cooperate with and assist the pastor and his staff in the performance of the ministry.

c. annually elect from their number a chairman who will help coordinate a deacon-caring ministry and assist in the operation of the work of deacons and secretary who will keep minutes of deacon meetings. 

d. prepare and assists in the administration of the ordinances.

e. work on a financial budget and provide direction in the financial decisions by making recommendations to the church.  Approval for purchases that exceed the amount of $2500.00 will require church action.  Pastor and deacons will make recommendations at a special meeting which will be called according to the terms described under business meetings.

f. consider nominees from the church for election of officers and make recommendations to the church.

g. serve as trustees of the corporation.

h. serve on the pulpit committee and help fulfill pastoral duties in the absence of a pastor.

i. receive and disburse benevolent funds, primarily for members of the church.

j. assist the pastor in receiving, restoring, dismissing and caring for members.

k. serve on committees that pertain to the operation and effective functioning of the church.

l. continue to be loyal to their Lord, their church, their pastor, church constitution, confession of faith, and office.  Should he be negligent in any of these or at the request of the congregation or vote of the board, he shall vacate his office as deacon.

2.  ELECTION 
There shall be not less than five deacons of the church, if scripturally qualified men are available (Philippians 1:1).  They shall be elected for a term of five years each and shall be eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term.  The qualifications for this office are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:2, 3. 

Section D.  OTHER OFFICES (Their basic job description)
1.  CHURCH CLERK.  The church clerk shall be:
a. elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

b. responsible to keep minutes of all meetings of the church body and quarterly board meeting

c. responsible to keep an accurate record of all church proceedings and sign letters and communications done by the authority of the church.

d. responsible to keep a record of the membership showing date, manner of admission or removal in conjunction with the pastor.

e. responsible to give reports of minutes of church meetings.

f. responsible to safeguard all records and make them available to the pastor and deacons.

2.  TREASURERS
a.  GENERAL FUND TREASURER   The general fund treasurer shall be:
1) elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

2) responsible for or supervising over all bookkeeping records, paying of bills, assisting in counting of monies,  providing a monthly report for the pastor and  deacons, a quarterly report for the congregation and church board and an annual report for the annual business meeting and submitting the books to the auditors both quarterly and annually for their inspection.

3) be part of the monthly deacon meetings.

b.  ASSISTANT GENERAL FUND TREASURER.  The assistant general fund treasurer shall be:
1) elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

2) serving and assisting the general fund treasurer and taking the full responsibility of the position if for any reason the treasurer must vacate the office or is dismissed by the pastor and deacons.

c.  MISSIONARY TREASURER.  The missionary treasurer shall be:
1) elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

2) responsible for dispersing support monies to missionaries either on a monthly or quarterly basis, assisting in counting monies, providing a monthly report for the pastor and deacons and a quarterly report for the congregation and church board and an annual report for the annual business meeting and submitting the books to the auditors both quarterly and annually for their inspection.

d.  ASSISTANT MISSIONARY TREASURER.  The assistant missionary treasurer shall be:
1) elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

2) serving and assisting the missionary fund treasurer and taking the full responsibility of the position if for any reason the treasurer must vacate the office or is dismissed by the pastor and deacons.

e.  RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ALL TREASURERS.  A treasurers shall:
1) provide guidance on finance and budget matters (along with the pastor, deacons and other financially-wise church members).

2) be above reproach and have integrity in the handling of money.

3.  FINANCIAL SECRETARY.   The financial secretary shall be:
a. elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

b. responsible to keep accurate records of giving and provide receipts for income tax purposes, to assist in counting of monies, order and keep charge of offering envelopes, and handle information discreetly.

c. provide guidance on finance and budget matters (along with the pastor, deacons and other financially-wise church members).

d. above reproach and have integrity in the handling of money.

4.  ASSISTANT FINANCIAL SECRETARY.   The assistant financial secretary shall be:
a. elected for a term of three years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term, holding office until a successor is elected.

b. serving and assisting the financial secretary and taking the full responsibility of the position if for any reason the financial secretary must vacate the office or is dismissed by the pastor and deacons.

c. provide guidance on finance and budget matters (along with the pastor, deacons and other financially-wise church members).

d. above reproach and have integrity in the handling of money.

5.  SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT.   The Sunday School Superintendent shall be:
a. elected for a term of two years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term.

b. responsible to the pastor, or the staff member or deacon so designated by the pastor, for the lay leadership of the Sunday School ministries.

c. responsible to recruit and appoint in counsel with the pastor (and staff member or deacon if applicable) all superintendents of departments, teachers, assistants and other officers for Sunday School ministries as needed and prescribe for them their duties.  Special attention should be given to those who are gifted in teaching.

d. responsible to order all curriculum materials.

e. responsible to supervise use of materials, classrooms and equipment.

f. responsible to furnish departmental superintendents with means of requisition of supplies, literature, and equipment, and authorize purchase of same within limits of budget.

g. responsible to organize and chair all Sunday School staff meetings.

h. responsible to supervise accurate record keeping.

i. responsible to encourage promotion of visitation, enlistment of workers, teacher training, and stimulation to advance the Sunday School and the church.

6.  HEAD USHER.  The head usher himself shall be:            
a. elected for a term of two years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term.

b. responsible to select with the approval of pastor and deacon responsible, if applicable, ushers sufficient to care for the needs of the services of the church.

c. responsible to instruct and supervise the ushers.

d. responsible to direct in the assisting of the worshipper in a way which shall enhance the spiritual atmosphere of the services.

e. responsible to supervise the reception of tithes and offerings and secure each.

f. responsible to record attendance of all services.

g. responsible to greet and seat visitors.

h. responsible to distribute visitor packets if applicable.

i. part of the worship committee, if in existence.

7.  AUDITORS.  The auditors shall be:
a. elected for a term of two years and eligible for re-election upon expiration of their term.

b. responsible to inspect all the financial records of the church and affiliated organizations.

c. responsible to give a report on the condition of those records once each quarter to the deacons and once each year to the church body at the Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE 7
COMMITTEES
Section A.  NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The deacons shall act as the Nominating Committee and shall prayerfully:
a. follow the duties given in Article 5, Section C, "Election of Officers."

b. receive written nominations from any member of the congregation and give final approval before presenting those names as candidates at the Annual Meeting.

The church charges the pastor and deacons to remove any nominee from the list if they deem it necessary to the welfare of the Lord's work and in accordance with scriptural principles.  At least one week prior to its annual business meeting, the active membership of the church shall receive a slate of candidates for the church offices to be filled. 

Vacancies.  To fill a vacancy occurring during a term of office, a special election may be held.  Notice of such election shall be announced two Sundays prior to the election.  The person elected shall fill the unexpired term of the vacant office.  Nominees not elected at the previous annual election or nominees offered by the pastor or deacons may be voted on.

Section B.  MISSIONARY COMMITTEE 
The pastor and the deacons shall serve as the Missionary Committee.  They shall choose individuals, organizations, or special works which they deem worthy of support and recommend the same to the congregation for approval.  They shall work on the planning of any Mission Conferences, encourage giving, and meet as often as necessary to conduct business.  They shall have the authority to initiate and oversee a mission organization within the church to further the cause of world missions.

1.  MISSIONARIES
a.  Selection of Candidates
1)  A person seeking this church's support must be an accepted candidate for the mission field by a recognized and properly-functioning mission board in the United States.

2)  The candidate must apply in writing to the Missionary Committee and must fill out the questionnaire provided.

3)  The candidate must subscribe to, by signing, the Doctrinal Statement of our church, and declare himself/herself in sympathy with the stand of our church and its ministry.

4)  The candidate must present their ministry to the church in at least one church service prior to their acceptance for financial support.

5)  The candidate must appear before the Missionary Committee for testimonies and questioning, if possible.

b.  Determination of Support.  The amount of support for any missionary chosen by the pastor and deacons shall be determined based on the individual missionary's financial needs and funds being presently received.  The financial support will begin immediately upon the majority vote of the eligible voting members present at a congregational meeting.  Support of any missionary shall be re-evaluated immediately if the missionary changes his ministry, transfers to another missionary organization or independent work, resigns or is dismissed.

The church reserves the right to dismiss a missionary for just cause and discontinue support.  A majority vote of the Missionary Committee at a specially convened meeting shall be necessary to make such a decision.  This action must be approved by a majority vote of the eligible voting members present at a congregational meeting.

2.  MISSION BOARDS, ORGANIZATIONS AND SPECIAL MISSIONS WORKS
a.  Mission boards must guarantee that the personal support given by our church will go to the missionary for whom it is designated, unless we approve an exception. 

b.  The Mission Board must not be in fellowship with the World Council of Churches or other groups which include modernists, nor participate in ecumenical evangelism.

c.  The doctrine of the Mission Board must be in conformity with that of our church as set forth in this constitution.

Any other organization or work for which support is being considered, is to be investigated and approved by the pastor and the deacons, before it is presented to the congregation for approval by a majority vote of the eligible voting members present at a congregational meeting.

3.  SPECIFIED FUNDS 
a.  Any gift designated by the donor to specific individual missionary or scriptural cause shall be applied as designated.

b.  Designated gifts to any missionary who is regularly supported by the church shall be considered as over and above that support, unless the donor desires such a gift apply to the regular support of that missionary.

c.  Personal gifts to missionaries are marked 'not tax-deductible' and may not be used as an itemized deduction for tax purposes.

Section C.  MUSIC COMMITTEE 
The pastor, assistant pastor in music (if applicable) or the layman in charge of music, pianist and organist shall compose the music committee.  They shall be responsible for the scheduling of special music, choir numbers, ordering music, and other related music responsibilities.

ARTICLE 8
MEETINGS
Section A.  ANNUAL MEETING 
The Annual Meeting of the church body for the hearing of reports, election of officers, and such other business as would naturally come before the church body shall be held at the end of January or beginning of February.

Section B.  SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS
The church body may be called together for the transaction of business either by the pastor, or by a majority vote of the church board, or by petition of 51% of the voting members of the church.  The call and purpose of such a meeting must be announced two Sundays prior to the date of the special meeting.

ARTICLE 9
ORDINANCES
Section A.  THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord's Supper (communion) will normally be observed every other month.  The purpose of the communion time is to remember the Lord's death and shall be observed by believers that are in fellowship with the Lord and other believers.  The Lord's Supper is not to be considered as a sacrament to issue special grace.

Section B.  BAPTISM 
Baptism is not to be considered as a part of salvation but rather a testimony of salvation and dedication of the believer to Christ.  Candidates for baptism will be asked to give a verbal testimony about their salvation experience and upon the recommendation of the pastor and deacons will be scheduled for a baptismal time.

ARTICLE 10
ORDINATION
Section A.  COMPOSITION AND FUNCTION OF COUNCIL OF ORDINATION
1.  When, in the judgment of the pastor and deacons, a man in this membership, or in special cases a non-member, is called to the Christian ministry, it shall be within the power of  the pastor and deacons to call and conduct a council of ordination after the approval of the church has been obtained by vote.  This council shall consist of ordained Christian ministers, and, if possible, one delegate from each fundamental church invited to participate.

2.  The council of ordination shall thoroughly examine the applicant regarding his personal Christian experience, call to the ministry, educational training, doctrinal belief, reputation, and demonstrated efficiency in Christian service.  The applicant shall give evidence of his agreement with those provisions of the Constitution of this church with respect to doctrine, independence of the local church, and Scriptural qualifications for church leadership.

3.  Upon completion of the examination of the applicant, a two-thirds majority vote of the Council of Ordination shall be required to recommend his ordination to the church.  When so recommended, a public ordination service shall be arranged by the Council of Ordination in consultation with the Pastor or other representative of the church and the applicant.

4.  The minutes of the Council of Ordination and of the public service shall be incorporated into the records of the church meetings and a certificate of ordination shall be provided for the newly ordained minister.

Section B.  REVOCATION OF ORDAINED MINISTERS
If an individual, who has been ordained by this church, is disciplined by the ministry or church with which he serves, his ordination credentials shall be removed by a majority vote by eligible voting members present at a congregational meeting.  At a later time, depending on the nature of the sin, if the individual has shown repentance and blameless character, his ordination credentials may be restored.

ARTICLE 11
REGULATIONS
Section A.  CHURCH AGENCIES
All organizations and agencies of this church are considered to be responsible and under the general direction of the church.  No organization shall engage in any practice or policy contrary to the position and purpose of this church as stated in this Constitution and By-Laws, including the Doctrinal Statement.  All ministries are integral parts of the church for all legal and practical purposes.

Section B.  ELIGIBILITY OF LEADERS
1.  All teachers, officers and employees shall be members of this church who are in agreement with this Constitution and By-laws, including the Doctrinal Statement, and who evidence by their life a maturity in their walk with Christ.  Any exceptions must be approved by the pastor and deacons providing that the individual meets all other standards of faith and practice set forth in the Constitution and personnel policies and are believers and members of a church of like faith.

2.  The church does not employ any who are or are supportive of homosexual persuasion.  We believe that this is a life-style that God condemns in His Word (Romans 1; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).

ARTICLE 12
DISSOLUTION
A motion for dissolution of the church will be initiated by the pastor(s) and/or deacons and passed by a congregational vote of 80% or more of eligible voting members present at a congregational meeting held in accordance with Article 8, Section B of this Constitution.

Upon approval to dissolve the church, the deacons shall pay or make provision for paying all outstanding church liabilities with remaining church funds.  The deacons shall specify all organizations that are to receive the remaining church assets, as well as the individual assets each shall receive.  Asset distribution shall be overseen by the deacons.  Assets shall be distributed only to fundamental organizations in agreement with this church's Doctrinal Statement. 

All organizations selected to receive such church assets shall be formed and operated exclusively for religious purposes and shall at that time qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).  Under no circumstances shall any church assets revert back to any church member or to anyone claiming allegiance to the church.

ARTICLE 13
AMENDMENTS
Section A.
This Constitution and By-Laws (with the exception of the Preamble and Article 2) may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of eligible voting members present at a regularly called meeting, provided that such an amendment is presented in writing and by public announcement in two regular meetings of the church before the amendment is voted upon.

Section B. 
Amendments to the Preamble and Article 2 shall require unanimous consent of all eligible voting members present at a regularly called meeting, provided that such an amendment is presented in writing and by public announcement in two regular meetings of the church before the amendment is voted upon.

MY PLEDGE
Having been led by the Holy Spirit to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and having been baptized as a testimony to my faith, I do now enter into the following covenant with the other members of this local church:

   With the aid of the Holy Sprit, I will: 
   Strive for the advancement of this church. 
   Promote its spirituality, 
   Sustain its worship and doctrine, 
   Give it sacred pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin, 
   Contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of its ministry, 
   Maintain family and secret devotions, faithfully instruct my children. 
   See the salvation of my fellow men, 
   Be just in my dealings and avoid all tattling, back-biting, and anger, 
   That I may walk together in Christian love with the other members of this church.

Open Door Baptist Church       |       Ministries       |       Events       |       Counseling (NANC)       |       Contact Open Door       |       Members

©2009 Open Door Baptist Church | 970 North Main Street Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601 | (724) 837-0057 | opendoorgbg@gmail.com | Map | All rights reserved.