Our Goal at Liberty is to be the most responsible, effective and respected Ministry. And to take ownership in supporting our Church’s Mission: “We are the voice and the hand that encourages people to change their lives with hope, comfort and peace."
Having been brought, as we believe, by divine grace to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we do now solemnly and joyfully covenant and agree, by God's help, to walk in brotherly love. We enter into this covenant as members of this church and as Christians that we will watch over each other in love, sharing together each other's joys and sorrows, that we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer for ourselves and others; that by divine assistance we will endeavor to bring up those under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; that in all things we will strive to exemplify our profession by a corresponding practice, to abstain from all sinful conformity to the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in all our deportment; that we will abstain from the sales or use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage; that we will sustain the worship, ordinance, discipline and doctrine of the church; that we will contribute cheerfully, according to our ability, to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, the relief of the poor and the general spread of the Gospel. In keeping this solemn Covenant may we ever enjoy the blessings and presence of the great Head of the Church Jesus Christ.
The Vision Our Church will be following the blue print of a Pastoral team. Just as David had mighty men of valor and Moses had Aaron and Hur, we have been lead of God in this season of the Church to have A Pastor and two assistance. They will hold the Pastors arms up as he leads the children of God. When the Pastor isn't around these men will fulfill the role of Pastor and take on all responsibilities of the Lead Pastor. These men must be in harmony, always putting the Church above there wants, self must be put to the side and God must come first, devoting a lot of time to prayer and biblical studies, and seeking after God’s direction. Any minister assisting in the Church must abide under the leadership of these men when they are presiding over our services. .
RECEPTION OF MEMBERS
Any person who gives evidence of a change of heart, professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and has been immersed by Acts 13:3 a proper administrator, church covenant read, explained and accepted, is received into membership by a vote of the church. After members accept the Bible as their rule of faith and practice, then the right hand of fellowship shall be given. From other churches immersed persons are received by letter. No one against whom any valid objection is made is received to membership. When any member objects to the reception of the applicant, the matter is deferred until the church can ascertain the nature of the objection. If in the opinion of the Pastor's, the objection is not a valid one, the applicant may be received. Excluded members are received again only when they confess their errors and give evidence of repentance. Persons excluded from other churches are not received; unless it is made evident they were excluded upon unjustifiable grounds. The right hand of fellowship is extended to all who are received into the membership of the church. The John-Thomas Association of Free Will Baptists or any Conference or Church belonging to the Association will not accept into its membership any known Homosexual.
DISMISSION OF MEMBERS
Only members in good standing are dismissed from the church and this for no other reason than to unite with some other church. Such members are granted letters of honorable dismission and commendation, (to be mailed from the church which granted the letter to the receiving church) but are under the watchcare of the same church until they are received into another church. A withdrawal without such letter of recommendation is equivalent to excommunication, and treated as such by the church.
OFFICERS SELECTION AND THEIR DUTIES
The selection of any Officer shall be chosen by the Board of Trustees, Deacons and the Church Board.
Board of Trustees
The duty of the Trustees shall be to hold title to all property, either in fee or gift, and to maintain all rights to the same, to convey said property in the discretion of a four-fifths majority of those present at a regular business meeting, being announced at said church three weeks prior to said meeting.
A group a three people randomly selected to make decisions inside the church as far as financial decisions inside the Church. The group shall be changed every three months or at each quarterly meeting.
It is the duty of the Clerk or their assistant to keep a church book and in it record the church covenant, the names of the members, and all the proceedings of the church in the exercise of its doctrine and management of its temporal affairs. The clerk also signs all the letters and other communications made by the authority of the church board.
The Treasurer shall be made up of a team and will be entrusted with the funds of the church, and it shall be the duty of the treasurers to keep a regular account of all monies received, and from whom and make a report of the same annually to the church or more often if necessary, which funds shall be drawn on the treasury only by the order of the church board.
These have the general management of the finances of the church, subject to the control of the
Liberty Freewill Baptist will seek God and his leading about the man that is to Pastor the Church. The Church must chose one man and come to a 3/4 agreement on that one man. This is to keep the Unity of the Church. He must be a man above reproach and very well with people. It is the pastor's duty to faithfully preach the Word with sound doctrinal wisdom, to have the general superintendence of the church, to be himself an example to the flock, to visit the members when lead of the spirit and to do all within his power to promote the religious interest of the church which he serves and to advance the cause of Christ among men. Before a minister can pastor a church in the John-Thomas Association, he must belong to the John-Thomas Association. A pastor shall be chosen and called by God and the Church whenever a vacancy occurs.
A Pastor Search Committee shall be the board of directors and deacons they will identify and recommend a prospective pastor.
The Pastor Search Committee
Shall be elected and function as specified below: a. The Board of Directors shall nominate to the Church the person to serve as Chair of the Pastor Search Committee. b. The Pastor Search Chair shall nominate to the Church other members to serve on the Pastor Search Committee. d. Throughout the search process, the committee shall welcome input from the congregation and seek spiritual advice from trusted men of God.
Election a. The Pastor Search Committee shall recommend only one candidate at a time to the Church for consideration as Pastor.
b. A special Church conference shall be held to extend a call to the recommended candidate.
c. An affirmative vote of three-quarters (3/4) of active members present and voting shall be necessary to elect the Pastor.
Duties of the Pastor
The Pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the Ordinances, watch over the membership, lead according to the Word and will of God, promote the spiritual interests of the church and organize and develop its strength for the best possible service. He shall be a member of all auxiliary organizations with full privileges. He shall be the moderator of all meetings of the church. No meeting of the church may be held without the Pastor’s presence, unless he deliberately absents himself. He shall have the authority to disburse funds up to $1500 for any single item.
The pastor’s wife plays a vital role in his ministry by being a proverbs 31 woman. She will not hold a title or office but will be an extension of the pastor. Overseeing and give general guidance in all areas that are needed for the women of the Church.
Will be selected by the Pastor to serve in full capacity as the Pastor request's. There will be times when the Pastor will leave these men in charge of services or other areas inside the Church. They will have authority as the Pastor has in his absence. These will be men the Pastor deems fit to fulfil the offices.
1. No member of our Church shall be at liberty to take upon "himself" the public ministry of the Word, unless "he" feels divinely called, and the Pastoral Team of our Church are in agreement with "his" calling, then the church may grant said person the liberty to preach twelve months. He shall be listed as a licentiate minister by the Pastoral Team of the church.
2.When he feels he is divinely called and approved by the Pastoral Team , he is placed under a pre-watchcare procedure in which the Pastors of the Church will evaluate the validity of his calling. This procedure has no given time, but is simply to assure the calling. We are looking into the protection of the man that feels this calling and ultimately the Church itself. Once the man has been validated he is given a license by the Pastor of the Church. He is then under strict watch care and isn’t able to preach outside of the Church without the company of a person from the pastoral team unless granted the privilege from the pastor himself.
3. If, after attending and being under the watchcare of the pastoral team for 12 months or a term deemed acceptable by the pastor himself, he proves satisfactory to the pastoral team, they will grant a letter of recommendation, signed by the lead Pastor and Clerk to be sent to the Quarterly Meeting. (Recommendation shall consist of his attendance at church, Sunday school, conference and knowledge of the JohnThomas Association by-laws)
4. If satisfactory, the quarterly meeting may recommend him to the Ordaining Council.
5. He shall be ordained if proven satisfactory to the Council, if not he will be laid over by the ordaining council until a later date.
6. If an ordained minister becomes disorderly, or preaches a doctrine contrary to the John Thomas Association Freewill Baptist faith, the minister shall be called to question by the Pastoral Team which will determine the course of action which should be taken,
7. Any minister moving his membership from another Church must recognize the Pastoral set up that this Church has in place and be mindful of their direction.
8. Liberty Freewill Baptist will not ordain any woman as a Minister or ordain any known homosexual, drunkard, fornicator or anyone who is living a lifestyle of sinful conformity to the world as a Minister.
9. Any minister of Liberty Freewill Baptist shall not at anytime, now or in the indefinite future, be required or allowed to perform same sex marriages (male to male or female to female) according to our biblical and religious belief.
10. At Liberty Freewill Baptist we use the "BIBLE" as our rule of faith and practice we will use only the Authorized King James Version of the Scripture of the 1611 translation (translated out of the original tongues, with subsequent translations diligently compared and revised) to preach, teach, marry, baptize, bury the dead, present to our Ministers when ordained, and to carry out any Gospel instructions.
Deacons The commitment of a Deacon at Liberty Freewill Baptist is to be committed to the following core values: Faithfulness, Prayer and Fasting, Must be totally Committed and Loyal to the Pastor. Influencing generations by the power of our vision and by modeling the way. Dedicated to the assignments given from the Pastoral team. Encouraging personal growth by developing and empowering from within. Capitalizing on our strengths to reach out to the congregation and a lost and dying world. Leaving a legacy of hope and promise to our future deacons. Operate the ministry professionally and efficiently. Supporting the churches initiatives, physically and financially.
1. Being accountable for our every word and action.
2. Be a role model in the way we serve in everything we do.
3. Treating each other with dignity and respect.
4. Support Liberty's vision and help achieve its full potential.
1. Provide the best servant leadership programs.
2. Increase communication and information.
3. Improving the ministry by improving ourselves.
Ordained Deacons serves in communion service, baptismal services, funerals, visitations, willing to help with any kind of upkeep of the Church, ordination services. also serves in sensitive areas within the church, assisting the pastor in promoting attendance upon the church, and to conduct religious meetings in the absence of the pastors.
A church belonging to the John Thomas Association of Free Will Baptists will not, ordain any woman as a deacon or ordain any known homosexual, drunkard, fornicator or anyone who is living a lifestyle of sinful conformity to the world as a deacon. 1 Timothy 3:8-14, These men will be chosen by the leadership of the Church. Acts 6:3
Deaconess - They assist the deacons and finance committee, in visiting the sick, in collecting funds and distributing among the needy members, and enforcing proper discipline among the female members.
Articles of Faith
1. God We believe that there is one, and only one, true and living God; that He is absolute in nature, perfect in attributes, holy in character, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; that He is infinite in wisdom, marvelous in power, and amazing in love; that He is holy, righteous, and true, worthy of all confidence and love; that He unites in Himself the infinite, the eternal, and the Almighty Three – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that the three persons of the Godhead subsist in the same divine nature, essence and being; and that they are co-existent and co-equal in every divine attribute, each one executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:39; Mark 12:29; Gen. 17:1; Matt. 5:48; Isa. 6:3; I Chron. 29:11-12; Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11:33-34; Matt. 19:26; Ps. 19:9; Matt. 28:19; I Pet. 1:2-3; I Jn. 5:7; Ex. 3:14; Gen. 1:26; Titus 3:3-7.
2. The Divine Trinity
A. God the Father: We believe that God the Father is the first person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; and that He, in harmony with His divine office, loves, provides, and protects, thus exercising providential watchcare over the sons of men, and especially a fatherly care over the children of God. Matt. 28:19; Gen. 17:1; Matt. 19:26; Ps. 19:9; Isa. 6:3; Ps. 100:5; Prov. 15:3; Ps. 139:1-6, 13-14; Ps. 103:13; Matt. 6:25-30; Matt. 6 10:29-31; Matt. 7:11.
B. God the Son: Virgin Born: We believe that God the Son is the second person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that he is God; that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; that God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, is actually and eternally His divine father, and Mary the Virgin is actually and innocently His human mother; and that He, in harmony with His divine office, mediates, seeks, and saves, thus exercising the mediatorial office of redemption. Matt. 28:19; Jn. 1:1-3; Isa. 9:6; Matt. 28:18; Titus 3:5-6; Jn. 8:15-16; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 13:8; Phil. 2:6; Jn. 2:24; Matt. 28:20; Luke 1:35; Luke 2:7-14; I Tim. 2:5-6; Luke 19:10; Jn. 3:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit: We believe that God the Holy Spirit is the third person set forth in the Divine Trinity: that He is almighty, merciful, and just; that He is holy, righteous, and true; that He is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; that He restrains the world, the flesh and the devil; that He witnesses to the Truth, convicts the lost, extols the Christ, and testifies to the righteous judgments of God; that He, in harmony with His divine office, comforts, teaches, testifies, preaches, guides; regenerates, empowers, sanctifies, and anoints, thus exercising the quickening role in the works of saving the lost and the supervising role in the life of the saved. Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-13; Heb. 9:14; I Pet. 4:14; Isa. 40:12-15; I Cor. 2:10-12; Ps. 139:7-12; II Thes. 2:6-7; Jn. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14; Acts 1:8; I Pet. 1:2; Isa. 61:1.
3. The Devil We believe that Satan is an actual being, and not an imaginary influence; that he once enjoyed high heavenly honors and glorious heavenly privileges; that he, through pride, ambition, and self-will attempted to betray the Almighty and brought down upon his head the judgment of God; the prince of the power of the air; that he is diabolical, and arch-deceiver, and the father of all lies; that he is the greatest enemy, the mightiest tempter, and the most relentless accuser of the saints; that he shall one day be incarnated in the person of the Anti-Christ and in that role will finally meet the Christ in the battle of Armageddon; that there "The seed of woman shall bruise the serpent’s head;" and that he shall eventually be cast into the lake of fire, the eternal place of punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Ezek. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-27; Gen. 3:14; II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; Matt. 24:11; II Thes. 2:7-11; Jn. 8:44; I Pet. 5:8; Gen. 3:1-6; Rev. 12:10; Dan. 7:8; Rev. 19:20; Gen. 3:15; II Cor. 11:13-15; Jn. 14:30.
5. The Holy Bible We believe that the Holy Bible is a supernatural Book; that it is the very God-breathed Word; that it is the full, the final, and the complete revelation of God's will to man; that it has God the Holy Spirit for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any admixture of error for its matter; that it was written by holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; that it is verbally inspired and a perfect treasure of holy instruction; and that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and is, therefore, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. We believe the Authorized King James Version of 1611 to be the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people, faithful and true to the original autographs; that other versions are inferior and flawed, with some being outright perversions of God's Word; that other versions are totally unnecessary, as the King James is not only faithful, but an absolutely effective conveyance of God's message to mankind. Ps. 119:89; II Tim. 3:16-17; Rev. 22:18-19; Jn. 17:17; Jn. 3;32-34; II Pet.1:20-21; I Pet.1:10-12; Zeph. 1:1; Ps. 19:7-11; Ex. 20:3-17; Ps. 1:2; Jn. 12:48.
6. Creation We believe that the Genesis record of creation is literal, and not allegorical or figurative; that God personally created the heaven and the earth in six literal days; that He miraculously brought forth all original matter out of nothing; that He actually fashioned all organic forms as specific creations subject to limited changes within the specie; that He definitely ordained each specie to bring forth after its kind; that He finally formed man out of the dust of the ground, not by any process of evolution but by instant action, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became immediately a living soul; that He created man in the image and likeness of God; that His every creative act was complete and perfect in itself; and that not one of His creations was conditioned upon antecedent changes naturally wrought during interminable periods of time. Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:1-3, 14; Heb. 11:3; Gen. 1:21, 24-27; Gen. 2:7; Col. 1:16.
7. The Fall of Man We believe that man, originally created in holiness and actually associated with God in innocence under His law, did, by voluntary transgression of the Lord's command, fall from the high and happy state in which he was created, and as a consequence, became a sinner alienated from God and brought upon himself and all mankind just condemnation; and that he is now, by virtue of his fallen nature, utterly devoid of holiness, positively inclined to evil, and actually condemned to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. Gen. 1:26-27; Ecc. 7:29; Gen. 3:6; 3:23-24; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 5:12; 1:21-23; 3:10-18; Rev. 21:8.
8. The Blood Atonement We believe that the lost sinner is guilty and already under just condemnation; that he is by nature alien to God and because of sin condemned to die; that atonement for sin was effected through the mediatorial office of the Son who by divine appointment, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin; that He, through obedience during His earthly walk, personally honored the divine Law by keeping it, and, through His death on the cross, actually satisfied the penalty of the offended Law by suffering in the sinner's stead; that He, through His obedience and sacrificial death, made full and vicarious atonement for all sin; that He died, the just for the unjust, bearing our sins in His body on the tree; and that His blood shed on the cross of Calvary provides for eternal cleansing, for pardon, for peace and rest. Isa. 53:6; Rom. 6:7; 8:23; I Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 2:17; II Cor. 5:21 Matt. 5:17-18; I Pet. 2:24; Heb. 10:10-12; I Pet. 3:18; Rev. 1:5; Isa. 55:7; Jn. 14:27; Matt. 11:28; I Jn. 1:7; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:22.
9. Repentance and Faith We believe that repentance and faith are solemn and inseparable prerequisites of salvation; that they are inseparable graces wrought in the heart by the quickening Holy Spirit; that the alien sinner, being deeply convicted of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come by the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by Him having his understanding enlightened so that he can see the way of salvation through Christ, does actually repent, turning to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication, and does actually believe, surrendering himself wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus, immediately receiving Him as personal and all-sufficient Saviour and openly confessing Him before all men. Acts 20:21-22; Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; Jn. 6:44; Jn. 16:8-11; Matt. 3:1-2, 8; Acts 3:19; Luke 13:3; 18:9-14; Acts 9:6; Rom. 10:10.
10. Salvation by Grace We believe that grace is elective and saving; that it embraces the personal triune and redemptive ministry of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that it comprehends all of the labors put forth by the Almighty in the interest of perfect righteousness and the salvation of the lost soul; that it and it alone, saves even unto the uttermost all who repent toward God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and that salvation thus wrought is entirely by grace, "The free gift of God." requiring neither culture nor works in any form to secure it or to keep it; that it is God's plan that those who are saved be "Holy and without blame before him in love;" that ALL who believe will receive the adoption, which is related to the redemption of the body ( Rom. 8:22- 23), when all our inheritance based upon sonship is received; that predestination pertains to God's plan that we be conformed to the image of Christ; that we are to begin that process in this life, but God's sovereign purpose will be performed in perfection when all who have been saved are changed and are in the presence of Christ. II Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-7; I Pet. 1:2-5; Matt. 23:37; Rom. 8:28-30; Heb. 7:25; Acts 20:20-21; Rom. 6:23; 11:6; 5:20; Isa. 1:18; 55:1.
11. Regeneration We believe that in order to be saved lost sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration is a recreative act, far beyond comprehension, wrought in the believer's heart by the direct personal ministry of the Holy Spirit; that it is instantaneous, miraculous, and not evolutionary or cultural; that it embraces the divine acts of cleansing the heart from all inward sins and of pardoning the soul of all outward guilt, in connection with the work of begetting a new creature in Christ Jesus; that the dead sinner is made to live through the new birth, becoming thereby a regenerated spirit, possessing eternal life, the gift of God; that the new birth, the Holy Spirit secures voluntary repentance and belief in the gospel; that it is the actual impartation of the divine life, not a mere transformation of the human life; and that the proper evidence of regeneration appears in the holy fruits of obedient followers of the Lord Jesus. Jn. 3:3-5,7; II Cor. 5:17; Jn. 3:8, 3:16; 1:12-13; Isa. 1:18; Titus 3:5-7; Eph. 2:1, 5; Rom. 6:23; Jn. 16:8-11; Matt. 7:16-18; James 2:17-20.
12. Justification We believe that justification is one of the great gospel blessings given through Christ for all who trust Him; that it is a legal and divine decree, declaring the believing sinner just; that it is thus a state of being free from condemnation, including forgiveness for inward sins and pardon from outward sins; that it frees us through Faith and gives us freedom from legal bondage, escape from the wrath of God, and possession of peace which passes all understanding; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely upon the evidence of faith in God and the Redeemer's blood Rom. 4:3-8; 6:6; 5:9; 5:1; Phil. 4:7; Rom. 8:31- 33; Gen. 15:6; Heb. 2:4.
13. Sanctification We believe that sanctification is a divine work of grace; that it is not a state of sinless perfection attained through a "second blessing" or through a special "Baptism of the Holy Ghost;" that it is an act of grace by which the believer is separated into God and dedicated unto His righteous purpose; that by it we enter into divinely appointed privileges and thus become larger partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work, begun in regeneration, and carried on in the life of every believer by the presence and the power the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and that it is nurtured only by heaven's appointed means, especially by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the saved through his self-examination, obedience, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. I Thes. 4:3; 5:23; Rom. 15:16; Jer. 1:5; Prov. 4:18; Jn. 17:17; II Cor. 3:18; I Jn. 2:29; Rom. 8:5; I Tim. 4:5; Luke 9:23; Matt. 24:42; 7:7-11.
14. The Resurrection we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures”; that He ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God”; that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God”; “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” bodily, personally, and visibly; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first”; that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”; “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David”; and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:4-5; Matthew 24:27,42; 28:6-7; Mark 16:6,19; Luke 1:32; 24:2, 4-6, 39, 51; John 14:3; 20:27; Acts 1:9,11; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Philippians 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9; 8:1; 9:28; 12:2
15. The Lord's Return We believe that Christ Jesus is coming back again; that His return shall be personal, audible, visible, and bodily and that the saved shall be caught up together with Him in the clouds; that this return shall precede the tribulation and millennium; that He shall return to earth at the end of the tribulation; and He shall at that time turn the tables on Satan, take up the throne of David, put down all His enemies, rule with a rod of iron, triumph over sin, and give the world an example of righteous government during His thousand years of personal reign on earth. Job 18:25-26; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 14:4; Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:31-33; Matt. 25:31-34; Rev. 19:11-21; Acts 1:11; I Thes. 4:16-17; Rev. 1:7; II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 20:4-6; Rev. 19:20; 20:1-3, 10; Isa. 9:7; I Cor. 15:25-27; Ps. 2:9; Rev. 12:5; 19:15; I Jn. 3:8; Ps. 72:1-20.
16. The Righteous and the Wicked We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. We believe the righteous are they who believe in Christ Jesus, are justified by faith, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit and the Word; that the righteous are heirs of God and joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ; and that eternal life, the gift of God, is the matchless possession of the just. We believe that the wicked are they who do not believe in Christ Jesus, condemned because of unbelief and corrupted by satan; that the unjust reject the privileges of God's grace, choosing the life of sin and rebellion; and that eternal damnation is the inescapable portion of the unjust. Mal. 3:16-18; Jn. 3:6; Rom. 3:22, 24; 4:3; 1:17; 8:1-17; Acts 20:32; Jn. 15:3; Rom. 8:17; 6:23; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 21:8; Matt. 23:37; Prov. 29:1; Matt. 25:41.
17. The Local Church We believe that the Church, according to divine purpose and plan, is a visible, local, organized body; that it is composed of believers associated together by a covenant of faith and fellowship in the Gospel; that New Testament validity flows from strict obedience to essential principles of New Testament Law; that it is a sovereign, independent, democratic, and militant body; that its ministry is gloriously blessed with the presence and leadership of the Holy Spirit and the light and revelation of the written Word. Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 1:1-3; Acts 2:41-42; II Cor. 8:5; Matt. 16:19; 18:15-17; Jn. 14:16-17, 26; Acts 1:8; 13:1-4; Matt. 18:17-18; Matt. 26:19-20; I Tim. 3:15; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:12-13.
18. The Ordinances We believe that Baptism, the Lord's Supper and footwashing are ordinances personally set in the church of the living God by the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that Baptism is the burial of a believer in water by the authority and instruction of the local church; that it symbolizes the death and the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; that it also typifies the believer's death to sin, the burial of his old nature, and his resurrection unto a new life; and that it is administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We believe the Lord's Supper is a memorial spread and administered by the authority and instruction of the local church; that participation in the observance of the Lord's supper is restricted to a closed communion within the membership of our local church; that it symbolizes the broken body and the shed blood of the Son of God; that its observance points backward to the crucified Lord on Calvary and forward to the returning Lord in glory; that the elements of the Lord's Supper are unleavened bread and grape juice, referred to as "The cup" and "The fruit of the vine;" We believe that foot washing is based on a New Testament description of Jesus washing the feet of the twelve disciples after the Last Supper. At that time, foot washing was a courtesy offered to guests who arrived with tired and dusty feet. Washing someone else's feet was a lowly task performed by servants. Volunteering to do this was considered an act of humility or devotion, and washing his disciples feet was seen as an example of Christ's humble and selfless devotion to those for whom he sacrificed his life. The early Christians adopted the practice of washing each other's feet as a way to emulate Christ's humility. Because of this we feel strongly that it serves a very good purpose for us to humble ourselves before one another and partake in such an act as this, washing one another's feet. Matt. 26:26-29; 28:19; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 16:19; Acts 10:47; I Cor. 11:23-26; Prov. 20:1; Isa. 28:7; Lev. 10:9-10. 12
19. Church Administration We believe that the local church and the State should be kept completely separate; that civil officers should be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; that diligence should be had in seeking the will of God in all church matters; that missionary endeavor should ever be executed from within the local church to without; that pastors and deacons are the only divinely appointed church officers; that the Lord's Day, the first day of the week should be honored by the saints; that the Bible teachings should be constantly and consistently fostered by local churches; that members should be voted into the fellowship of the local body by the local body; that unruly church members should be prayerfully and Scripturally disciplined by the local church; and that letters of membership should be granted to sister local churches of the same faith and practice. Acts 1:8; 13:1-35; Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 14:23; 6:1-6; 2:42; Rev. 1:10; Matt. 16:19; Acts 10:47; Matt. 18:15-17; Acts 15:19-27; 18:27; Rom. 16:1-2; Matt. 28:19-20.
20. Church Co-operation We believe that it is the privilege and the right of local Churches to co-operate with each other in carrying out the commission of the Lord; that such co-operation is righteously effected only when the principles of Christ are preserved in the work fostered; and that all associated endeavors of local Churches should be carried on in such a way as to preserve the sovereign integrity of each local Church in all matters of faith and practice. II Cor. 8:1-6, 16-24; II Jn. 1-4; Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 15:19-27.
21. Missions The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches, not individuals. Mat. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Rom. 10:13-15 24. Giving is one of the doctrines of the faith. II Cor. 8:7 We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week. I Cor. 16:2 We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church. Jesus said concerning the tithe "these ye ought to have done". Mat. 23:23. "Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils" Heb.7:2,4, this was four hundred years before the law. Lev. 27:30. "The tithe ... is the Lord's". Mal.3:10. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Statement of Faith
1. We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the verbally inspired Word of God inerrant in the whole and in every part, the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith, practice, and understanding. We believe the King James Bible is the authoritative Word of God for english speaking people because it is a faithful and accurate translation of the Providentially Preserved Masoretic (OT) and Byzantine (NT) (TR) texts, and is therefore the verbal and formal equivalent of the Inspired Words of the original manuscripts (II Pet. 1:21; II Tim. 3:16-17; Psm. 12:6-7; Matt 4:4; Matt 5:17-18; Matt 24:35)
2. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1; John 10:30; Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; I Tim. 3:16; I John 5:7).
3. We believe in direct and instant creation, that it was not a process, but was completed in six literal days. We reject the Gap Theory, the Accommodation Theory, the Long Day Theory, or any other theory that tries to accommodate evolution and unbelieving science with the Word of God (Gen. 1&2; Heb. 11:3; John 1:3).
4. We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man, the Pre-eminent One, our divine Lord and Master, who is the Head of His church, which alone is the repository of the Great Commission. (Isa. 7:14; Matt 1:18-25; Col. 2:9; John 1:1).
5. We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are now sinners by birth and by choice, positively inclined to evil and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse, but can be reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ.(Gen. 2:17; Rom 5:12-21; Psm. 58:3; I Cor. 2:14; Rom 1:20; Gen. 1:26-27).
6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. We also believe in the right of every individual soul to come directly to the throne of God, and in the Priesthood of every believer.
7. We believe in the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of Christ (II Thess. 2:1-17; John 14:1-3; Matt 24:44).
8. We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again of the Holy Spirit are thereby the children of God. (John 3:3; Gal. 3:24-26; I John 5:13; II Tim. 1:12).
9. We believe that immersion is the only form of baptism revealed in the Scriptures, that it has no saving power, but is only for those who are already saved; and that the new birth, which comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the Biblical prerequisite for baptism, and baptism is the prerequisite for church membership (Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-5).
10. We believe that the Bible teaches that the following are the only offices of the church, and should be held by men only: Pastor (including assistants), and Deacons. We also believe in the independence and autonomy of the local church and in the Biblical obligation of congregational government through Pastoral leadership (I Tim. 2:12; Acts 15; Acts 13:2-4; I Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:1)
11. We believe that the tongues movement of today is unScriptural and contrary to sound doctrine and that those who believe and practice these are in error. This includes the so called Neo-Pentecostal movement that has now spread among Roman Catholics and others. We believe when the Bible says, "tongues shall cease" (I Cor. 13:11) they have. We do not believe that tongues are a sign to the believer, but to the unbeliever (I Cor. 14:22). We believe that the practice of so-called unknown tongues causes confusion, and God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). We believe that in the church of Jesus Christ all things should be done decently and in order, and the practice of so-called tongues brings disorder (I Cor. 14:40).
Section 1. Qualifications: Any person may become a member of this Church upon recommendation of the Pastor and Deacons and by majority consent of the Church present at any meeting. Applicants may unite upon one of the following bases:
a. A public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, after baptism by immersion, and after reading and affirming agreement with our statement of faith, and after withdrawal from the membership of all other churches, unless dual membership has been approved by the Pastor and Deacons.
b. A satisfactory statement of Salvation, if previously baptized by immersion in a church of like faith and practice, after reading and affirming unqualified agreement with our statement of faith, and after withdrawal from the membership of all other churches, unless dual membership has been approved by the Pastor and Deacons.
Section 2. Official Acceptance of New Members: New members shall be given the right hand of fellowship by the Pastor on behalf of the Church.
Section 3. Duties of Members: It shall be the duty of each member of this church to support the work of the church by the regular giving of tithes and offerings, cooperating with the 16 Pastor and Deacons in all matters of faith and practice, and attending all regular and special meetings of the church, unless Providentially prevented by illness, absence from the city, or other sufficient cause.
Section 4. Dismissal of Members: Members may be dismissed from this church by a letter of recommendation from this church to unite with another church of like faith and practice. Deacons. a. Any member that engages in any legal action, either civil or criminal against this church or any member of this church will immediately and automatically be dropped from the membership roll (Matt. 5:25; I Cor. 6:1-8). b. Any member who joins another church automatically withdraws from the membership of this church unless such dual membership has been approved by the Pastor and Deacons. c. Only members may be granted letters of dismissal stating they are in good and regular standing. Former members may be granted letters relative to their former status.
Section 5. Request for Erase of Name: When a member requests his or her name be erased from the church roll and they are not under discipline, the Pastor and Deacons shall investigate and if they are satisfied that said member cannot be reclaimed they shall present to the church a determination that the name be erased from the membership roll. The church may immediately act upon such determination.
Section 6. Discipline of Members: Members of this church who err in doctrine or conduct shall be subject to discipline and/or dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Before such dismissal it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring member's heresy or misconduct to warn with love and to correct the erring member. If the erring member does not heed this warning, the warning member shall go again to the erring member accompanied by one or two witnesses to once again warn with love and correct the erring member. If said erring member still refuses to heed this warning, it shall be brought to the attention of the Pastor and Deacons who alone can determine action relative to such members. There shall be no public trial of any member of this church. The Pastor and Deacons are the sole judges of what constitutes improper or un-Christlike behavior, using the Bible and these Bylaws as our guide, that will result in a member being dismissed from membership via Biblical church discipline. Any member under discipline has the right to be heard at a meeting of the Pastor and Deacons only. No member under discipline has the right to be heard by the whole congregation. No member under discipline may attend any meeting of this church with the exception of regularly scheduled worship services and mid-week Bible studies. Voluntary withdrawal of the member under discipline stops any and all investigations into their deportment, and ends the disciplinary process. Dismissal from membership may result from one or more of the following:
1. Unrepented immorality (1 Corinthians 5) 17
2. Persistent doctrinal heresy (1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 3:10
3. Refusing to reconcile with another brother or sister in Christ (Matthew 18:17
4. Maintaining a divisive spirit which results in rebellion against God's Word and/or God ordained authority, and which promotes trouble making within the church (1 Corinthians 1:10; Roman 16:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7,11 While the church is Biblically required to take a firm stand against sin, the church should discipline members in a spirit of meekness and love (2 Thessalonians 3:15). The church should eagerly forgive those who repent and confess their sin (Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32).
Officers The Officers of this church shall be: a. Pastor (including assistants)
Requirements: All officers shall be members of this church and shall meet the Biblical requirements of I Timothy chapter 3.
Terms of Office: All officers with the exception of the Pastor shall be appointed for one calendar year.
Removal: The church has the power to remove from office any officer who fails to support the work of this ministry
Vacating of Office: Any officer who for a period of two months shall fail to perform faithfully the duties pertaining to his office without sufficient reason thereby automatically vacates said office, and the Pastor has the authority to declare the office vacant.
Resignation: Resignation of officers shall be in writing to the church and shall be effective on the date specified in the resignation.
Ordination of Officers: Officers are ordained to their respective ministries by the local congregation at the time of their calling or commissioning to serve this local church as an officer. Members of this church may be issued a License to exercise their spiritual gifts for the work of the ministry. The difference between License and Ordination is that Ordination applies only to an officer of this church, while a License can be granted to any member exhibiting a call to ministry.
a. The church shall meet regularly each Lord's day for worship and the preaching of the Gospel, and for Christian education at such times as the church may decide.
b. The church shall meet for the observance of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper at such times as the church may decide.
c. The church shall meet at least once each week for prayer, testimony, and minor and emergency matters.
a. The annual congregational policy meeting shall be held in January for the purpose of receiving the annual report of officers and organizations; ordaining of officers and the settlement of such other matters as is proper to come before this meeting. All reports shall be made in writing.
b. A quarterly meeting shall be held on the first Wednesday of January, April, July, and October, or as otherwise desired by the church, for the purpose of financial accountability and other necessary matters. The Pastor, the Deacons, or any five members can request a meeting of this church. No meeting of this church may occur at any place other than the church property without the approval of the Pastor.
Government Polity: This church is Pastor led and Congregationally governed. We believe the Pastor is to (exercise strong leadership) the church (Heb. 13:17). The congregation is to govern under the leadership of the Pastor. We believe that the Bible does not teach equal "elder" rule, nor does it teach that a "board" is to govern the church, therefore, we are Pastor led and Congregationally governed.
a. All matters brought before the congregation must be approved by majority consent of the Church Board.
b. The Pastor and Deacons shall present to the church Board at least one week before the annual meeting the name of one or more persons for each office to be filled. These names shall be made available to all members. At least one week prior to the time of the annual meeting it shall be the privilege of any member present to recommend to the Pastor and Deacons the name of any eligible person for any office who has not been recommended. The person recommended must signify his willingness to serve before his name is recommended. Each person recommended must be in agreement with our bylaws, covenant, and statement of faith. A simple consensus of those present shall be necessary for the ordination of an officer unless otherwise provided for in these bylaws.
c. Vacancies in office occurring during the year may be filled for the unexpired term by majority consent at any regular meeting. Recommendations for such vacancies shall be presented by the
Participation: In all cases of discipline and in all matters involving the expenditures of large sums of money (greater then $5000), or the calling or termination of a Pastor, all other matters, except as otherwise provided.
Purchase and Sale of Property:
a. A three-fourths affirmative consent of all members, present and participating shall be required for the purchase or sale of property. Public notice of such proposed action shall be read at the previous meeting and from the pulpit on two preceding Sundays.
b. No income or proceeds from this corporation shall inure to its members. If it becomes necessary to disband or dissolve this corporation, all assets will be donated to a 501(c)(3) church or religious order of like faith and practice.
Our Church would like to invite everyone, including, all local Churches and Church Leaders to our first Cross walk beginning at Liberty Free Will Baptist Church Easter Sunday at 5 pm we will be Leaving the Church at 5:15 pm carrying the cross to the park can't wait to see you.