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THE ABF CONSTITUTION

*2017*

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WITH ADDITIONS BY:

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Contents

CHAPTER I: Name        4

Article 1:  Name        4

CHAPTER II: Purposes and Principles        4

Article 2: Purposes        4

Article 3: Ministries        4

Article 4:  Principles        4

CHAPTER III: Affiliation        5

Article 5:        5

CHAPTER IV: Priority of Documents and Membership        5

Article 6: Priority of Documents        5

Article 7: Qualifications for Membership        5

Article 8: Procedures for Admission of Members        5

Article 9: Responsibility of Members        6

Article 10: Termination of Membership        6

Article 11: Classifications of Membership        6

Article 12: Discipline and Restoration of Membership        7

CHAPTER V: Officers        7

Article 13:        7

Article 14: Licensing or Ordination        7

CHAPTER VI: Council of Elders        7

Article 15: Composition and Selection        7

Article 16: Functions and Powers        8

Article 17:        8

Article 18: Positions        8

Article 19: Senior Elder        8

Article 20: Term of Service        9

Article 21: Termination of Elders        9

Article 22: Compensation        9

CHAPTER VII: Deacons and Deaconesses        10

Article 23: Composition and Selection        10

Article 24: Functional Responsibilities        10

Article 25: Terms, Termination, and Discipline of Deacons and Deaconesses        10

CHAPTER VIII: Business Meetings        10

Article 26:        10

Article 27:        11

Article 28:        11

CHAPTER IX: Dissolution of the Fellowship        11

Article 29:        11

CHAPTER X: Amendments        11

Article 30:        11

Amendments        12

November 22nd, 2009        12

December 18th, 2011                                                                                                               12


CHAPTER I: Name

  1. Article 1:  Name

1. This organization (henceforth to be known as “Fellowship” in this constitution) shall be officially known as “Aletheia Bible Fellowship of Portland”, having originally been incorporated as “Glencoe Baptist Church of Portland” on June 18, 1908.

CHAPTER II: Purposes and Principles

  1. Article 2: Purposes

1. The purpose of this Fellowship shall be to glorify the one true and Living God, who has revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, commonly known as the “Bible”, and who exists eternally in one, yet three persons: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  1. Article 3: Ministries

1. To magnify His glory, this Fellowship shall obediently engage in the following ministries:

                (a). Worship

                (b). Edification

(c). Discipleship

                (d). Education

                (e). Evangelism

  1. Article 4:  Principles

1. Aletheia Bible Fellowship recognizes the following principles to be absolutely true:

(a). Salvation is not attained; rather, it is an unmerited gift from God

(b). The gift of Salvation was provided by the work of Jesus Christ alone, a carpenter from Nazareth, who was born of a virgin, Mary, raised among humans, died a criminal’s death on a cross, and defeated Death by rising from His sealed tomb three days after His death.  There is no other path to Salvation but through Christ.

(c). In His manifestation, Jesus is both fully human and fully God.

(d). God presents Himself to humanity through Trinitarian concepts, most specifically as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – essentially harmonious in a polity of three unique identities, creating and sustaining one sovereign essence.

(e). Baptism by immersion, though not necessary for salvation, is a necessary event in our spiritual life and is a key point in our spiritual health.

(f). The Holy Scriptures, as revealed in the original literary form, are self-evident, self-sustaining, sovereign, and divinely inspired. They are infallible. The tradition of Scriptural transmission over time is infallible in its presentation of the original intended meaning of Scripture when: the action of canonization, translation and transmission of Scripture, including the various translations into varying languages and vernacular, contain the entirety of God’s revelation if these actions have been discerned by God’s people and maintained by the community of the Invisible Church over time and measured against previous revelation. All that is contained within this tradition is complete for the accurate transmission of God’s revelation and fully able to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, metamorphosis in his Spirit and sanctifying work before the Father. All other sources for defining Truth must agree with the Holy Scriptures.

(g). “Sin” is defined as “missing the mark” of God’s standard.  Though God recognizes that mankind sins, His actions and intent are not subject to or in reaction to mankind’s focus on sin.  The actuation of God’s outworking of His design toward mankind’s focus on sin, is in relation to mankind’s focus, not God’s standard.  God’s action toward mankind, though it addresses sin, is solely for the benefit of God’s creation, and not in anyway an opposition of sin, which is inconsequential to God’s sovereignty, intent for proper economy, standard for divine justice, and the outworking of God’s love toward His creation.  God’s focus is not on sin, but rather on grace and the productive outworking of His economy.  When mankind focused on guilt, through sin by the Law, God provided Christ in order to properly align mankind’s focus away from the guilt of sin and the Law toward the productive outworking of His economy through grace by faith.

CHAPTER III: Affiliation

  1. Article 5:

1.  Aletheia Bible Fellowship is in voluntary affiliation with the Conservative Baptist Association (Northwest).  

2.  Aletheia Bible Fellowship intends to associate amicably with any other fellowship body that agrees with the basic tenants of the Christian faith as stated in Article 4 of this constitution.

CHAPTER IV: Priority of Documents and Membership

  1. Article 6: Priority of Documents

1. In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the Fellowship under the Holy Scriptures and their obligations under any other document, Aletheia Bible Fellowship will place the authority of the Holy Scriptures as sovereign, and will support its members in such a conflict.

  1. Article 7: Qualifications for Membership

        1.  Membership in Aletheia Bible Fellowship shall be open to everyone:

(a). pursuing an active relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as defined by the Holy Scriptures.

(b). who is in agreement with this constitution.

(c). who intends to participate in the business of this fellowship as an outworking of their own service to the  larger body of Christ.

  1. Article 8: Procedures for Admission of Members

1.  Any person(s) desiring to unite in fellowship with Aletheia Bible Fellowship should contact the/an elder/s.  

2.  Barring any objections amongst the Council of Elders, the hand of fellowship will be extended.  

  1. Article 9: Responsibility of Members

1. In accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of this constitution, it is the responsibility of all members of Aletheia Bible Fellowship to love, serve, edify, and admonish one another as befits the body of Christ.

2. All members of Aletheia Bible Fellowship agree to serve the Fellowship through the ministry of one or more of the various activities of the Fellowship, as befits their gifts, abilities, and interest.

3. All members of Aletheia Bible Fellowship shall be encouraged to attend and participate in applicable Fellowship business meetings.  All members shall be afforded one vote at meetings when a vote is called for.  The minimum voting age is twelve (12).

4. In the case that the Fellowship has only 2 Elders, the male members of the church will have the opportunity to carry out the Elder function of attending all Eldership Meetings.

  1. Article 10: Termination of Membership

1. The membership of any person(s) may be terminated at the request of the member.

(a). A parent or legal guardian may request membership termination on behalf of his/her child/children/charge(s) if he/her/they is/are under the age of twelve (12).  

2. The membership of any person(s) may be terminated due to consistent absence from the fellowship.

(a). To be considered for this type of termination, the member must have been consistently (not to be confused with “entirely”) absent from most, if not all, Fellowship services/functions for approximately ninety (90) days.

(b). Exceptions to Article 10, Section 2, sub-section a. may be made for Fellowship missionaries, military members, post-secondary education students, and any others that the Council of Elders deem to be exempt by unanimous vote.

3. The membership of any person(s) may be terminated by the Council of Elders due to disciplinary reasons.

(a). The vote to expel a member from membership for disciplinary reasons must be unanimous amongst the Attending Eldership.

  1. Article 11: Classifications of Membership

1. For purposes of establishing a quorum for business and special meetings, the Fellowship Elders shall classify members as:

(a). Active:

-Attending at least two (2) regular Sunday services each month for three (3) consecutive months.

(b). Inactive:

-Not having attended regular services, as defined above, in a continuous six (6) month period, excepting the month preceding an annual or semi-annual business meeting.

(c). Involved in Christian service and/or apart from the local body:

-Unable to attend due to extended illness or involvement in post-secondary education, national or international missionary service, military service, or work schedule conflicts.

2.  When a quorum is established, only active members may vote at applicable meetings.                

  1. Article 12: Discipline and Restoration of Membership

1.  In all cases where an offense has occurred which is public information (common knowledge) or was performed by an officer of the Fellowship, the responsibility for discipline shall rest with the Council of Elders.

2.  All cases of grievance between members shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles set forth in the eighteenth (18th) chapter of Matthew, and no public complaint shall be made until this course is pursued.  Any charges, if necessary, shall be submitted to the Council of Elders, who will then take appropriate disciplinary action.

3.  In all cases of discipline, if practical, the persons accused shall be given the opportunity to be heard in defense and no member, if absent, shall be censured or excluded at the same meeting at which the charge is proffered against them.

4. In any case where the guilty party has sought to reconcile their behavior with the Scripture, either in active process or whole action, the hand of fellowship will be fully extended to them as an act of good faith in their continued submission to the process of Sanctification.

CHAPTER V: Officers

  1. Article 13:

1. The officers of this Fellowship shall consist of elders and deacons.

2. The office of the Eldership is divided into five distinctions. Each distinction is compounded in its dependence upon the truth of the distinction before it within its own title.

(a). Resident Elders: Those having completed four (4) year of Eldership Academy. This includes Elders having come from the Evangelion Eldership Academy Program, the Sojourner Eldership Academy Program and the Custodial Eldership Academy Program.

(b). Attending Elders: Those having completed the (7) year Custodial Eldership Academy Program but having not served as an Elder for more than twenty-five(25)years, starting as Attending Elder.

(c). Custodial Elder: Those holding the title of Elder for more than seven(7) years consecutively, after the start of tenure as an Attending Eldership, but serving less than twenty-six(26) years after completion of their Custodial Eldership Academy

(d). Custodian Emeritus: Those having served a cumulative twenty-five (25) years of service, beginning at Attending Eldership service and still wishing to serve the body of Aletheia Bible Fellowship with the functional capacity of the Eldership, but without the powers of the Elders or the Elders of the Order of Custodians

3.The term Eldership and Council of Elders refers inclusively and in polity, to those officers who maintain both the functions and the powers of an Attending Elder, in the Custodial Eldership line at Aletheia Bible Fellowship in the most inclusive sense of the term. It does not refer to the rank of Resident Elder.

4. The term Eldership as applied to Custodian Emeritus is a description of a function of one distinction of Eldership but does not contain the powers of the Eldership.

  1. Article 14: Licensing or Ordination

1. The Council of Elders shall follow the accepted practice of the state association in granting a license or seeking ordination for an Elder.

2. The Elders shall license members who have completed Eldership training in (2)two stages

(a). A Restricted Clergy License after (4) years in an Eldership Academy Program. This license allows for the full privileges and powers of state licensing to be placed upon the individual to whom it is given. It is provisional in that it's usage is determined by the Elders of Aletheia Bible Fellowship and can be withdrawn at any time.

(b). A Clergy License after (7) years in the Custodial Eldership Program. This license allows for the full privileges and powers of state licensing to be placed upon the individual to whom it is given. It can only be revoked as a matter of church discipline, following the guidelines contained in this Constitution.

3. In the event that no Elders exist, the Diaconate may initiate a vote by the Fellowship to license members of the Resident Elder Program into the position of Attending Elder and waive the remaining (3) three years of Custodial Eldership training.

4. In the event that no Resident Elders exist, the Diaconate, by unanimous vote, can initiate Emergency Custodial Eldership Training,  from the notes of The Order of Custodians under the active and involved mentorship of a Senior Pastor of another Fellowship which agrees with Article 4 of this Constitution.

5. Members in the Emergency Custodial Eldership Training may be given a Restricted Clergy License to perform ministry without having completed the full Custodial Eldership Program.

6. In the event that no Resident Elders exist, the Diaconate, by unanimous vote, may accept licensing from another Fellowship which agrees with the basic tenants stated in Article 4 of this constitution, for no less than (2)two candidates for Eldership.

7. Ordination will not be given to Elders outside the Custodial Eldership Line.

CHAPTER VI: Council of Elders

  1. Article 15: Composition and Selection

1. The Council of Elders (or Eldership) shall consist of no less than two (2) and no more than twelve (12) members of the Fellowship.

        (a). In the event that there are less than (2) members of the Eldership, a male member of the Custodial Elder Line may be given the functional responsibilities of the Eldership, regardless of completion of the Resident Eldership Program requirements, until such time as another Elder is appointed.

        (b). In the event that there are only two (2) members of the Eldership, a male member of the Diaconate may be given the functional responsibilities of the Eldership until such time as another Elder is appointed.

(1.) In the event that no male deacons exist, any male members falling within the definition of this constitution will have the opportunity to carry out the functional responsibility of attending Eldership meetings until such time as there are at least 3 Elders, or a male Deacon.

2.  All candidates for any Eldership office shall meet the qualifications established in 1st Timothy 3, and Titus 1.  

3.  The prospective candidate for the Custodial Eldership Line must be a male.

4.  The prospective candidate must be an active member of the church.

5. The prospective candidate must have received a divine call to leadership and have expressed that call in service to the Fellowship.

6. The prospective candidate must express their desire for involvement in leadership to the Council of Elders, must confirm their calling through an application process with the Council of Elders, and must successfully complete one of (3) Lines of training.

7. The (3) three lines of Eldership training are as follows:

(a). The Custodial Eldership Line:

 A seven (7)-year Eldership training program.

(1.) The Custodial Eldership Line will be broken into (4) four phases:

(A.) Resident Elder (after 4 years of training in the Custodial Eldership Academy Program)

(B.) Attending Elder (after 7 year  completion of the Custodial Eldership Academy Program)

(C.) Custodial Elder (after 7 years of service as an Attending Elder)

(D.) Custodian Emeritus (after 25 years of service as an Attending Elder)

(2.) The Custodial Eldership Line’s primary focus is on shepherding the Fellowship housed at Aletheia Bible Fellowship, located at 4511 SE Main St. Portland, OR 97215.

(b). The Sojourner Eldership Line:

(1.)A (4) four year program comprised of (3) three years of academics and (1) one year of practicum.

(2.)Its primary focus is to make churches for the Body of Christ that are doctrinally congruent to The Fellowship.

(c). The Evangelion Eldership Line:

(1.)A (4) four year program comprised of (2) two years of academics and (2) two years of practicum.

(2.)It's primary focus is to bring new and fallen believers into the safety and submission structure of The Fellowship.

8. Eldership Academy curriculum

(a). The training content of any individual candidate may be modified at the discretion of the Senior Elder.

(b). Elder candidates for the position of Attending Elder, in the Custodial Line of Eldership, are to be considered by the Eldership as to their eligibility, before being brought before a quorum of the congregation upon completion of their 7 year training. If there is not a unanimous decision by the current Eldership as to a candidate’s qualifications upon completion of their training, then that candidate is removed from consideration for as much time as the Senior Elder sees fit to readdress that candidates readiness for the burden of the position and will not be sponsored by the current Eldership for consideration to the position of Elder.

(c). If a candidate is deemed worthy to bear the burden of the position of Eldership by the current Eldership, then the current Eldership will sponsor the candidates before the congregation for consideration to be given the basic rank, title and powers of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

(d). For a vote into Eldership to be established, there must be a  quorum of the congregation after being sponsored unanimously by the current Eldership.

(e). If the vote of the congregation is a 75% yes vote by a quorum of the congregation, then the candidate will be recognized as an officer of the church, holding the title and powers of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship. They will receive all powers, rights, privileges and titles henceforth.

(f). Restricted Clergy Licenses do not require a vote of the congregation as they have no implied Custodial responsibilities to The Fellowship and are managed by the council of Elders.

9. Members of the Council of Elders who have served faithfully and consecutively within the Eldership for more than seven (7) years will automatically receive induction into the Order of Custodians with the rank of Custodian.

(a). The Order of Custodians will be comprised of Elders of Aletheia Bible Fellowship who have served consecutively and faithfully for at least seven (7) years but no more than twenty-five(25)years.

(b). The Elders with the rank of Custodian will maintain a fund to ensure the care of the Eldership.

        (1.) Elder salary, subsistence, housing and all other monetary budget items connected to Eldership will be included, exclusively in this fund as per Article 22 sub 2 of this Constitution.

(c). The management of the custodial fund will be managed by the Order of Custodians by unanimous decision, without discretion from the various ranks of Elders of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

  1. Article 16: Functions and Powers

1.  The primary purpose of the Council of Elders is to preserve the purity of the Fellowship, as the Bride of Christ, until His return.  They shall be ultimately accountable for all ministries of the Fellowship.

2. The members of the Fellowship agree to carry out and uphold the decisions of the Council of Elders.

3.  The Council of Elders may hold meetings at such places as in its judgment shall facilitate its work.

(a). The council meetings shall be closed to non-council members except at the invitation of the Elders.

(b). In the case of the Eldership being comprised of only two (2) members, Eldership meetings will be made open to male members of the Resident Eldership Academy  as well as male Deacons.

        (1.) In the case of a male Deacon being unavailable to fulfill this function, Elder meetings will be made open to any male member of Aletheia Bible Fellowship until such time as a Deacon is available to fill this role or there are three(3) Elders.

4. All participants of the Fellowship are encouraged to openly communicate with the Council of Elders.

5. Members of the Order of Custodians will have sole discretion, by unanimous decision, as to the management of the Custodial fund.

6. Elders with the title of Custodian Emeritus will retain rights to the functions and privileges of the Eldership but will lose its powers.

(a). Aspects of the Custodian Emeritus’ retention of rights and privileges include but are not limited to attendance of Elder meetings and retention of the title of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

(b). Aspects of the Custodian Emeritus removed upon entry into the title include without prejudice involvement in the preaching and education of the body and powers of administration.

(c). The Powers of the Custodian Emeritus are determined by unanimous decision of the Order of Custodians within the Eldership, and can be altered at any time.

(d). These rights of privilege and function may only be changed with a unanimous decision of the Eldership and a congregational consensus of seventy-five (75) percent of the entire membership of the Fellowship.

7. Elders will endeavor to be actively involved with all levels of church functions, to the best of their ability with prejudice, when the function of the church does not present an undue hardship.

        (a). Elders will endeavor to physically attend all church services

(1.) Elders in the position of Custodian Emeritus will endeavor to keep an active presence within the functions of the Eldership and the fellowship, but are not expected to maintain a physical presence with respect to their immediate needs.

(b). Elders will endeavor to take an active role in the specific functions of the resources of the body

  1. Article 17:

        1. The Council of Elders may establish or dissolve such subsidiary offices or agencies, as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.

  1. Article 18: Positions

1. The Council of Elders shall, at a minimum, consist of a Senior Elder and an Elder/(s) responsible for the following areas:

                (a). Leadership

                        -education

                        -leadership training

                (b). Assets

                        -properties

                        -finances

                (c). Ministries

                        -internal

                        -external

2. The functional outworking of responsibilities will be delegated as necessary.

3. Further explanation of these functional responsibilities are attached as an addendum to this constitution.

4. These functional responsibilities may be changed or combined by the Council of Elders as deemed necessary.

  1. Article 19: Senior Elder

1. The senior elder must be a mature believer who exemplifies the characteristics expressed in 1st Timothy 3.  

2. If the need arises to fill the position of Senior Elder, the man called must meet the qualifications as delineated below.  He may be chosen from either inside or outside the Fellowship and will be appointed only with the unanimous agreement of the existing Council of Elders.

(a). This man will be a man who is called by the Holy Spirit, and has met the Biblical and academic requirements of developed character and training; to provide stability and leadership for the Council of Elders.

(b). Said individual either will have completed ministry related course work at a recognized institution, or have been involved in Christian ministry in a leadership capacity for at least ten (10) years, or both.

(c). The senior elder is responsible to act as an anchor for the Council of Elders.

(d). He is to mentor each elder individually on a monthly basis. He will review with each elder: spiritual development, personal growth, functional responsibility issues, and bodylife involvement.

(e). He will provide guidance in the spiritual and bodylife issues of the local church within the Council of Elders.

(f). The Senior Elder is responsible for the development and implementation of training for the Council of Elders, Eldership Academy and Deacons. He will set the tone for the involvement of the Eldership in the functional aspects of local ministry, to the best of his ability without prejudice, when the function of the church does not present an undue hardship.

3. In the event that no Elders exist, the Diaconate may initiate a vote by the Fellowship to license members of the Resident Elder Program into the position of Attending Elder and waive the remaining (3) three years of Custodial Eldership training.

4. In the event that no Resident Elders exist, the Diaconate, by unanimous vote, can initiate Emergency Custodial Eldership Training,  from the notes of The Order of Custodians under the active and involved mentorship of a Senior Pastor of another Fellowship which agrees with Article 4 of this Constitution.

5. Members in the Emergency Custodial Eldership Training may be given a Restricted Clergy License to perform ministry without having completed the full Custodial Eldership Program.

6. In the event that no Resident Elders exist, the Diaconate, by unanimous vote, may accept licensing from another Fellowship which agrees with the basic tenants stated in Article 4 of this constitution, for no less than (2)two candidates for Eldership

7. The designation of Senior Elder is a position within the Eldership and is subject to all of the powers, privileges and expectations introduced in Chapter VI: Council of Elders, above and beyond those mentioned specifically in Article 19 of this constitution.

  1. Article 20: Term of Service

1. Eldership is not a transitory position, but, rather, is a divine call that once established, is not subject to term limits.

2. Elders may take a sabbatical as the need arises, with the concurrence of the other Elders.

3. An Elder may serve for up to 25 consecutive years, after achieving the rank of Attending Elder in the Custodial Line of Eldership within the Eldership.

4. Elders who have served a full consecutive term of 25 years will be moded to the status of a Custodian Emeritus within the Eldership.

(a). A Custodian Emeritus will retain full rights to the functions of the day to day operations of the Eldership.

(1.) The processes of day to day operations include but are not limited to meetings, retreats, and minor instances of Diaconate level management where policy is not concerned.

(b). A Custodian Emeritus will not retain powers in the administrative process of the Eldership.

(1.) A Custodian Emeritus may be given powers of administration within the Eldership when the Order of Custodians deems it necessary within a specified time and with a specified limit.

(2.) A Custodian Emeritus may not be given powers of administration within the Eldership for more than 365 consecutive days at a time with a 90 day hiatus in between appointments.

  1. Article 21: Termination of Elders

1. Elders in the most inclusive sense of the distinction, may resign of their own volition.

2. If an Elder in the most inclusive sense of the distinction is known to have willfully disregarded the characteristics and principles expressed in 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1 regarding the conduct of Elders, the Elder in question may be forced to resign due to disciplinary actions in accordance with the principles set forth in the eighteenth (18th) chapter of Matthew.

(a). Any charges brought against an Elder must be supported by at least two (2) or three (3) witnesses (1st Timothy 5:19) in separate, signed written statements submitted to the Council of Elders for investigation.

(b). If the charges are found to have merit, than the Council of Elders will proceed with the disciplinary measures for Fellowship members as delineated in Article 12 of this constitution.

3. An Elder who has served for a consecutive twenty-five (25) years will retain the rights and privileges of Elder without its powers. (see article 20.4)

  1. Article 22: Compensation

1. In accordance with 1st Timothy 5:17-18 (et al.), Elders are to be properly compensated for their work.

2. The compensation of Elders is managed by the Order of Custodians by unanimous decision.

CHAPTER VII: Deacons and Deaconesses

  1. Article 23: Composition and Selection

1. Anyone desiring the office of Deacon or Deaconess shall meet the qualifications established in Acts 6, 1st Timothy 3, and Titus 1.

2. The office of Deacon or Deaconess shall be open to men and women who are called to a ministry of servanthood within the Fellowship.

3. The Diaconate shall be appointed by the Council of Elders.

  1. Article 24: Functional Responsibilities

1. As a servant of the Fellowship, the Diaconate shall assist the Council of Elders in the outworking of their functional responsibilities.

2. In the event that only two (2) Elders exist in the Eldership, a male Deacon may be bestowed with the temporary functions of the Eldership without its powers, by the Elders.

3. Members of the Diaconate may be given such powers as the Eldership sees fit to accomplish their tasks. These powers may be revoked as an Elder sees fit at any time.

  1. Article 25: Terms, Termination, and Discipline of Deacons and Deaconesses

1. Where applicable, Articles 20 and 21 of this constitution shall also apply to Deacons and Deaconesses.

CHAPTER VIII: Business Meetings

  1. Article 26:

1. A business meeting may be called by the Council of Elders for the consideration of business that requires the attention of the entire Fellowship.

2. The approval of the Fellowship by a majority vote shall be required for issues that fall outside of the regular operations of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

(a). The issues may include, but are not limited to:

(1.) sale of Fellowship property;

(2.)changing of Fellowship name and or physical relocation of the Fellowship;

(3.). change of affiliation;

(4.) any extra-budgetary, one-time expense or series of expenses that can reasonably be considered as part of the same expense that exceeds the lesser of $7,500 or 15% of the total cash in liquid assets (cash, money market, etc. not stocks, fixed assets, land, etc.) owned by Aletheia Bible Fellowship, but not less than $750.

(5.) an increase to any single line item or grouping of similar line items of the budget over the previous year’s budget for the same line item or grouping of line items by more than the lesser of 25% or $7,500 but not less than $250;

(6.) amendments to this constitution; and

(7.) any other issues as deemed appropriate by the Council of Elders.

3. If an emergency situation should arise where time considerations invite expedient action, the Council of Elders is authorized to deal with the situation without holding a business meeting.  

(a). Once the situation is resolved, the Council of Elders will provide a situation report to the Fellowship as soon as possible.

  1. Article 27:

1. Generally, two weeks notice shall be given for all business meetings. Under emergency conditions, this provision may be waived at the discretion of the Council of Elders.

2. New Business for consideration of the congregation may be considered as presented to the congregation through means of social media when all voting members are present in membership of that group, thread, forum.

3. Business meetings, including voting, may take place in such locations, forums or services, as the Council of Elders sees fit to perform the function of these meetings, when a quorum of members can be reasonably established.

4. Voting will be open to all individuals who actively participate in the bodylife of Aletheia Bible Fellowship as defined in Article 11, Section 1, Subsection a. of this constitution.

5. A quorum is not necessary to establish a business meeting. The minimum voting age shall be 12.

(a). Absentee ballots or voting by proxy shall be open to members involved in Christian service and/or apart from the local body (Article 11) as approved by the Council of Elders.

6. A simple majority vote shall decide matters except where otherwise delineated in this constitution.

7. Any meeting or vote established outside of the proximity of a membership quorum will be given a reasonable time to conclude as deemed by the Eldership.

  1. Article 28:

1. The Accounting year of the Fellowship shall be from January 1 – December 31. An annual business meeting shall be held during the 4th quarter of the year with specific date to be determined by the Council of Elders. Such meeting’s agenda will be determined by the Council.

CHAPTER IX: Dissolution of the Fellowship

  1. Article 29:

1. In the unfortunate event that Aletheia Bible Fellowship should disassociate, all property and assets shall be distributed to a non-profit organization/s to be determined by the Fellowship, by the governing authority structure set forth in this Constitution, before dissolution is completed. 

CHAPTER X: Amendments

  1. Article 30

1. These articles may be amended at any business meeting of the Fellowship by a seventy-five (75) percent affirmative vote, provided notification of the proposed change has been made to the membership no less than fourteen (14) days prior.


Amendments

  1. November 22nd, 2009

(as reads prior to amendment – articles unchanged are not shown)

CHAPTER VIII:  Business Meetings

Article 26:

1. A business meeting may be called by the Council of Elders for the consideration of business that requires the attention of the entire Fellowship.

2. The approval of the Fellowship by a majority vote shall be required for issues that fall outside of the regular operations of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

(a). The issues may include, but are not limited to: sale of Fellowship property; changing of Fellowship name; physical relocation of the Fellowship; change of affiliation; single, extra-budgetary expenses over $7,500; adopting a new constitution; making amendments to the constitution; and any other issues as deemed appropriate by the Council of Elders.

(b). If an emergency situation should arise where time considerations invite expedient action, the Council of Elders is authorized deal with the situation without holding a business meeting.  

(i). Once the situation is resolved, the Council of Elders will provide a situation report to the Fellowship as soon as possible.

Article 28:

1. The fiscal year of the Fellowship shall be from January 1 – December 31. The annual meeting shall be held on or about the second (2nd) Sunday of October, as determined by the Council of Elders.

_____

  1. December 18, 2011

        (as reads prior to amendment – articles unchanged are not shown)

Article 15: Composition and Selection

1. The Council of Elders (or Eldership) shall consist of no less than three (3) and no more than twelve (12) members of the Fellowship.

2.  All candidates for any eldership office shall meet the qualifications established in 1st Timothy 3, and Titus 1.  

3.  The prospective candidate must be a male.

4.  The prospective candidate must be an active member of the church.

5. The prospective candidate must have received a divine call to leadership and have expressed that call in service to the Fellowship.

6. The prospective candidate must express their desire for involvement in leadership to the Council of Elders, must confirm their calling through an application process with the Council of Elders, and must successfully complete a three (3)-year Eldership training program.

(a). The training program of any individual candidate may be modified at the discretion of the Senior Elder.

____

3.  November 4th 2013

(as reads prior to amendment – articles unchanged are not shown)

-Article 15

1. The Council of Elders (or Eldership) shall consist of no less than three (3) and no more than twelve (12) members of the Fellowship.

-Article 18

1. The Council of Elders shall, at a minimum, consist of a Senior Elder and Elders responsible for the following areas:

(a). Christian Education

(b). Bodylife

(c). Operations – Assets

(d). Operations – Facilities

(e). Public Relations

-Article 19(2)(f)

(f). The Senior Elder is responsible for the development and implementation of training for the Council of Elders, and Elders in training. He will involve himself in the functional aspects of local ministry as necessary.

-Article 21

1. Elders may resign of their own volition.

2. If an Elder is known to have willfully disregarded the characteristics and principles expressed in 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1 regarding the conduct of Elders, the Elder in question may be forced to resign due to disciplinary actions in accordance with the principles set forth in the eighteenth (18th) chapter of Matthew.

(a). Any charges brought against an Elder must be supported by at least two (2) or three (3) witnesses (1st Timothy 5:19) in separate, signed written statements submitted to the Council of Elders for investigation.

(b). If the charges are found to have merit, than the Council of Elders will proceed with the disciplinary measures for Fellowship members as delineated in Article 12 of this constitution.        

____

3.  April 23th 2017

(as reads prior to amendment – articles unchanged are not shown)

Gary

-Article 26 (2)(a)(6.)

(6.)amendments to the constitution; and

Article 24: Functional Responsibilities

        1. As a servant of the Fellowship, Deacons and Deaconesses shall assist the Council of Elders in the outworking of their functional responsibilities.

        2. In the event that only two (2) Elders exist in the Eldership, a male Deacon may be bestowed with the temporary functions of the Eldership without its powers.

 

Article 23: Composition and Selection

1. Anyone desiring the office of Deacon or Deaconess shall meet the qualifications established in Acts 6, 1st Timothy 3, and Titus 1.

2. The office of Deacon or Deaconess shall be open to men and women who are called to a ministry of servanthood.

3. Deacons and Deaconess shall be appointed by the Council of Elders.

Article 20: Term of Service

1. Eldership is not a transitory position, but, rather, is a divine call that once established, is not subject to term limits.

2. Elders may take a sabbatical as the need arises, with the concurrence of the other Elders.

3. An Elder may serve for up to 25 consecutive years in the capacity of Elder within the Eldership.

4. Elders who have served a full consecutive term of 25 years will be moded to the status of a Custodian Emeritus within the Eldership.

        (a.) A Custodian Emeritus will retain full rights to the functions of the day to day operations of the Eldership.

                (1.) The processes of day to day operations include but are not limited to meetings, retreats, and minor instances of diaconate level management where policy is not concerned.

        (b.) A Custodian Emeritus will not retain powers in the administrative process of the Eldership.

                (1.) A Custodian Emeritus may be given powers of administration within the Eldership when the Order of Custodians deems it necessary within a specified time and with a specified limit.

                (2.) A Custodian Emeritus may not be given powers of administration within the Eldership for more than 365 consecutive days at a time.

  1. Article 16: Functions and Powers

1.  The primary purpose of the Council of Elders is to preserve the purity of the Fellowship, as the Bride of Christ, until His return.  They shall be ultimately accountable for all ministries of the Fellowship.

2. The members of the Fellowship agree to carry out and uphold the decisions of the Council of Elders.

3.  The Council of Elders may hold meetings at such places as in its judgment shall facilitate its work.

(a). The council meetings shall be closed to non-council members except at the invitation of the Elders.

(b.) In the case of the Eldership being comprised of only two (2) members, Eldership meetings will be made open to male Deacons

        (1). In the case of a male Deacon being unavailable to fulfill this function, Elder meetings will be made open to any male member of Aletheia Bible Fellowship until such time as a Deacon is available to fill this role or there are three(3) Elders.

4. All participants of the Fellowship are encouraged to openly communicate with the Council of Elders.

5. Members of the Order of Custodians will have sole discretion, by unanimous decision, as to the management of the Custodial fund.

6. Elders with the title of Custodian Emeritus will retain rights to the functions and privileges of the Eldership but will lose its powers.

        (a). Aspects of the Custodian Emeritus’ retention of rights and privileges include but are not limited to attendance of Elder meetings and retention of the title of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

        (b). Aspects of the Custodian Emeritus removed upon entry into the title include without prejudice involvement in the preaching and education of the body and powers of administration.

        (c). The Powers of the Custodian Emeritus are determined by unanimous decision of the Order of Custodians within the Eldership, and can be altered at any time.

        (d). The rights of privilege and function may only be changed with a unanimous decision of the Eldership and a congregational consensus of seventy-five (75) percent.

7. Elders will endeavor to be actively involved with all levels of church functions, to the best of their ability without prejudice, when the function of the church does not present an undue hardship.

        (a). Elders will endeavor to physically attend all church services

                (1). Elders in the position of Custodian Emeritus will endeavor to keep an active presence within the functions of the Eldership and the fellowship, but are not expected to maintain a physical presence with respect to their immediate needs.

        (b). Elders will endeavor to take an active role in the specific functions of the resources of the body

Article 15: Composition and Selection

1. The Council of Elders (or Eldership) shall consist of no less than two (2) and no more than twelve (12) members of the Fellowship.

        (a). In the event that there are only two (2) members of the Eldership, a male member of the Diaconate may be given the functional responsibilities of the Eldership until such time as another Elder is appointed.

                (1.) In the event that no male deacons exist, any male members falling within the definition of this constitution will have the opportunity to carry out the functional responsibility of attending Eldership meetings until such time as there are at least 3 Elders, or a male Deacon.

2.  All candidates for any Eldership office shall meet the qualifications established in 1st Timothy 3, and Titus 1.  

3.  The prospective candidate must be a male.

4.  The prospective candidate must be an active member of the church.

5. The prospective candidate must have received a divine call to leadership and have expressed that call in service to the Fellowship.

6. The prospective candidate must express their desire for involvement in leadership to the Council of Elders, must confirm their calling through an application process with the Council of Elders, and must successfully complete a seven (7)-year Eldership training program.

(a). The training content of any individual candidate may be modified at the discretion of the Senior Elder.

(b) Elder candidates are considered to be brought before a quorum of the congregation upon completion of their 7 year training. If there is not a unanimous decision by the current Eldership as to a candidate’s qualifications upon completion of their training, then that candidate is removed from consideration for as much time as the Senior Elder sees fit to readdress that candidates readiness for the burden of the position and will not be sponsored by the current Eldership for consideration to the position of Elder.

(c) If a candidate is deemed worthy to bear the burden of the position of Eldership by the current Eldership, then the current Eldership will sponsor the candidates before the congregation for consideration to be given the basic rank, title and powers of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

(d) For a vote into Eldership to be established, there must be a  quorum of the congregation after being sponsored unanimously by the current Eldership.

(e) If the vote of the congregation is a 75% yes vote by a quorum of the congregation, then the candidate will be recognized as an officer of the church, holding the title and powers of Elder of Aletheia Bible Fellowship. They will receive all powers, rights, privileges and titles henceforth.

7. Members of the Council of Elders who have served faithfully and consecutively within the Eldership for more than seven (7) years will automatically receive induction into the Order of Custodians.

                (a.) The Order of Custodians will be comprised of Elders of Aletheia Bible Fellowship who have served consecutively and faithfully for at least seven (7) years but no more than twenty-five(25)years.

                (b.) The management of the custodial fund will be managed by the Order of Custodians by unanimous decision, without discretion from the Elders of Aletheia Bible Fellowship.

  1. Article 4:  Principles

1. Aletheia Bible Fellowship recognizes the following principles to be absolutely true:

(a). Salvation is not attained; rather, it is an unmerited gift from God

(b). The gift of Salvation was provided by the work of Jesus Christ alone, a carpenter from Nazareth, who was born of a virgin, Mary, raised among humans, died a criminal’s death on a cross, and defeated Death by rising from His sealed tomb three days after His death.  There is no other path to Salvation but through Christ.

(c). During His time on Earth, Jesus was both fully human and fully God.

(d). God presents Himself to humanity through Trinitarian concepts, most specifically as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – essentially harmonious in a polity of three unique identities, creating and sustaining one sovereign essence.

(e). Baptism by immersion, though not necessary for salvation, is a necessary event in our spiritual life and is a key point in our spiritual health.

(f). The Holy Scriptures, as revealed in the original literary form, are infallible (self-evident, self-sustaining, sovereign), and divinely inspired.  All other sources for defining Truth must agree with the Holy Scriptures.

(g). “Sin” is defined as “missing the mark” of God’s standard.  Though God recognizes that mankind sins, His actions and intent are not subject to or in reaction to mankind’s focus on sin.  The actuation of God’s outworking of His design toward mankind’s focus on sin, is in relation to mankind’s focus, not God’s standard.  God’s action toward mankind, though it addresses sin, is solely for the benefit of God’s creation, and not in anyway an opposition of sin, which is inconsequential to God’s sovereignty, intent for proper economy, standard for divine justice, and the outworking of God’s love toward His creation.  God’s focus is not on sin, but rather on grace and the productive outworking of His economy.  When mankind focused on guilt, through sin by the Law, God provided Christ in order to properly align mankind’s focus away from the guilt of sin and the Law toward the productive outworking of His economy through grace by faith.