THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL FELLOWSHIP
ARTICLE I – NAME:
The name of this church shall be: The Christian Gospel Fellowship.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE:
Section 1. For the honor and glory of Christ through worship, prayer and Christ-centered Fellowship.
Section 2. To lead each member to spiritual maturity under guidance of the Holy Spirit through the teaching of the Word of God in its entirety.
Section 3. To express God’s love and concern as servants by rendering compassionate service to whomever and whenever needed regardless of social status, race, and creed.
Section 4. To support world evangelization through the support of missionary activity.
ARTICLE III – AUTONOMY:
The Christian Gospel Fellowship shall be independent and autonomous. It shall not join or participate in any organization that shall infringe on that autonomy.
ARTICLE IV – STATEMENT OF FAITH:
Section 1. GOD – God is one God, infinite in His attributes, existing eternally as the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit,
(Deut. 6:4 ,5, 2 Corth. 13:14, Matt. 28:19, John 1:1, 2, 14)
God the Father, in the beginning, created all things. He is the One who planned and determined that salvation is through His Son, Jesus Christ,
(Genesis 1:1, John 1:3.)
God the Son is Jesus Christ who is the image of the invisible God. By Him all things were created. He is God’s only begotten Son pre-existent with the Father, Himself being very God. He became a human being, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, sinless in His life, shed His blood and died on the Cross as the only substitutionary sacrifice for sin, was raised by God the Father, from the dead in the same body in which He died on the Cross, ascended into heaven to the right hand of God the Father, and will come again personally, bodily and visibly to raise the righteous to eternal life, raise the unrighteous to eternal condemnation and inaugurate the eternal state. He is the Head of the Body, the Church.
(Matt. 3:16, 17, Col. 1:15-20, John 3:16, Gal .4:4, 5, Luke 1:26-35, Mark 16, John 20, 1 Corth. 15, Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9-11, Rev. 1:4-8, John 14:1-3, 1Thes 4:13 – 5:3, Matt. 25:31-46, Rev. 21, Eph. l:22,23 Dan. 7:13,14, Col 1:18)
God the Spirit is the Holy Spirit who was sent into the world to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, to guide believers into all truth and to bring glory to Jesus Christ. Those who belong to Jesus Christ are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are given to believers to build up and edify the body of Christ, the Church. We do not accept or condone the practice of speaking in the “unknown tongues” as the evidence of in-filling of the Holy Spirit.
(John 16:5-15, John 14:15-17, 1 Corth. 14:12, I Corth. 12:4-11, Gal. 5:22-23, 1 Corth 14:18,19)
Section 2. THE BIBLE – The Bible is the Word of God: final in its revelation and authority, inspired by God and therefore without any errors in all that it teaches. The Bible consists of: The Old Testament and the New Testament with the word of promise of the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament.
(2 Peter 1:20,21 2 Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 24:25-27, 44, Rev. 22:18,19)
Section 3. MAN – God created man in His image and without sin, however, because of disobedience, man failed to maintain the holy condition in which he was created, therefore sin and death entered the human race. Each human being from conception is created in the image of God, but because of disobedience, each person is a sinner, separated from God with no hope of eternal life. The Good News is that through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood’s atonement, a person is born again, becomes a new creation, and is reconciled to God. Salvation and eternal life are the free gifts of God by His grace. Through faith in Jesus Christ, man may approach God with freedom and confidence.
(Genesis 1 :26-28, 3:6-13, John 3:1-18, Romans 3:23-26, 6:23, Eph. 2:8, 9)
Section 4. THE CHURCH – The Church is the Body of Christ, made up of born again believers from all races and nations. Local congregations of the Church meet regularly for the purpose of worship, teaching, correction, training and fellowship. The mission the Church is to carry out the Lord ‘s command to evangelize the world, therefore, it is to remain separate from the State.
(Eph. 4:11, 12, 5:22,23, 1 Corth. 12:12, 13, 27, Romans 12:4, 5, Gal. 3:26-28, Col. 3:11, 16, Mark 16:15, Romans 13:1-7)
Section 5. BAPTISM – The Lord Jesus Christ commanded His followers to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an ordinance which symbolizes the believer’s union and identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and a commitment to walk in obedience to God and His Word. Only those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are eligible for baptism. The mode of baptism shall be by immersion.
(Romans 6:3, 4, Matt.3:11, Acts 1:5, 19:2-4, John 3:5)
Section 6. THE LORD’S SUPPER – “The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The Lord’s Supper shall be practiced on a regular basis by those who have been saved through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
(1 Corth. 11:23-25, 1 Corth. 10:16, Matt. 26:29, Mark 14:25, Acts 20:7)
Section 7. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE – It is the will of God that each believer live a holy and blameless life. The believer is the temple of the living God, therefore, believers need to purify themselves from everything that contaminates the body, soul and spirit. Believers should be careful not to have membership in organizations which would involve an unequal yoke with unbelievers.
(Roman 8, 2 Corth. 4:10, 1 Corth. 3:15-17, 1 Corth. 6:15, 16, 19, 2 Corth. 6:14 -7:1)
Section 8. MARRIAGE – God instituted marriage at the beginning of human history when he created man and woman. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh… Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:5-6). Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. The husband/wife relationship should be a relationship of mutual submission: the husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church and the wife submitting to her husband in everything. Christians should marry only Christians.
(Genesis 1:18-25 Hebrews 13:4, Eph. 5:21-33, Romans 7:2)
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications – Any person who has a clear witness of acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, has a desire to live a consistent Christian life, and subscribes to the statement of faith and covenant of this church is eligible for membership.
Section 2. Voting – A. Those who meet the qualifications for membership as specified in Section 1 are eligible to vote.
Voting – B. Those who have attended services for a period of six months prior to congregational meetings.
Voting – C. Any member failing to attend a minimum of four services in a six month period and not more than two in a row, without valid excuse, shall sacrifice voting privileges.
Section 3. Discipline – A member who continues in sin shall be subject to the discipline of the church using the approach of (Matt. 18:15-17)
ARTICLE VI – CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND LEADERSHIP:
Section 1. Authority – Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23) , the chief cornerstone of the Church (Eph. 2:20) and the foundation of the Church (1 Corth. 3:11). The Christian Gospel Fellowship accepts the supreme authority of Jesus Christ over the local congregation.
In order that the work of the congregation be accomplished in a decent and orderly fashion,elders and deacons shall be appointed to carry out the work of overseers
(1 Peter 5:1-4).
Section 2. Government – The government of The Christian Gospel Fellowship shall be committed to a Board of Leaders consisting of the Pastor, Elders and Deacons.
Section 3. Pastor – (or Pastors). It shall be the responsibility of the Pastor to preach the Word. He should give unquestioned evidence of a genuine conversion and of a walk with God. His life should be above reproach.
To the best of his ability and time the Pastor should visit the sick and aged; he should counsel with the distressed and those in spiritual need; he should act with the Deacons and the Elders in carrying out the purposes of the Church.
The Pastor should subscribe to the position of The Christian Gospel Fellowship. Any effort on his part to lead the congregation into any other channel shall cause the Board of Elders to ask for his resignation.
The Pastor shall serve as an ex-officio member of all boards and committees.
A Pastor shall be dismissed for:
(1) Failing to conform to the doctrinal statement of The Christian Gospel Fellowship.
(2) Sinful acts which disqualify him as a servant of Jesus Christ.
A Pastor may be called or dismissed by a 2/3 vote of the congregation.
A minimum of two weeks notice shall be given for any such vote by the congregation.
Section 4. Board of Elders – It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Elders to oversee the spiritual life of the church. The Elders should be chosen from among the members who have proven themselves by years of Christian experience. They should live a life that is above reproach. Their families should give indication of their submission. (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9)
The members of the Board of Elders will be chosen by the existing Elders according to the qualifications of Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
These names will be presented to the congregation for their consideration. The member of the fellowship having any objection to anyone presented, whom they feel are not living according to the qualifications mentioned above, should bring this to the attention of the Board of Elders.
An Elder shall serve for an indefinite period and will be released from serving only when he disqualifies himself or is disqualified by the Elders for spiritual separation from the goals, by-laws, and/or qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. (Matt. 18 must be followed by the Board of Elders)
The Pastor or any Elder may call a meeting, with all members being informed of each meeting. Two-thirds of the total number of Elders shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 5 Board of Deacons – It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Deacons to conduct all the business of the church including:
1) Payment of all bills, salaries, etc.
2) Maintenance of the buildings and property.
3) The determination of the amounts of all salaries and remuneration.
The Deacons shall review all salaries and remunerating annually and make necessary adjustments.
Qualifications for membership on the Board of Deacons shall be:
1) A genuine experience of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
2) A life above reproach.
3) He should not be a novice, but should first be proven. (1 Timothy 3:1(3)
4) His family should give indication of their subjection.
This board shall meet at appointed monthly intervals. The meeting time will be determined at the first meeting of the year. Special meetings can be called by the Chairman, and/or the Pastor. Every member of the board shall be informed of all special meetings.
The chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary shall be elected by this board at their first meeting. A. report of the business meetings shall be made to the congregation.
Election of Deacons: The members of the Board of Deacons will be chosen by the existing Deacons according to the qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
These names will be presented to the congregation for their consideration. The members of the fellowship having any objection to anyone presented, who they feel are not living according to the qualifications mentioned above, should bring this to the Board of Deacons.
Section 6. Board of Christian Education – It shall be the function of the Sunday School to lead souls to Christ, to instruct believers in the Word of God, to prepare its members for a part in the permanent fellowship of the church. The Sunday School is not a separate organization from the church, but part of the church, and it shall act and cooperate with the church in all its functions.
The officers of the Sunday School shall be:
1) The Sunday School Superintendent.
2) The teachers
Teachers: Before appointed, every teacher shall be approved by the Pastor, Sunday School Superintendent, and the Board of Elders. Teachers should give evidence of conversion, should live lives of separation from the world, should attend the regular services of the church and the meetings of the Board of Christian Education, The Board of Christian Education shall meet as needed. Special meetings may be called by the Sunday School Superintendent by public announcement. The Sunday School Superintendent shall preside at all meetings. All teachers, substitute teachers, heads of departments, and officers shall have the right to vote at the meetings of the Board of Christian Education.
Section 7. Financial Records – Financial records shall be carefully and properly kept on a calendar year basis by the treasurer, who is elected at the annual congregational meeting. An auditing committee of three persons shall be appointed by Deacons at the beginning of each year to audit all financial records of the church. These audits shall be simply and clearly presented and posted for the examination of all members of the fellowship. The financial records shall be audited within two months of the end of the calendar year.
Section 8. Legal Documents – All legal documents shall be signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Board of Deacons and the Chairman of the Board of Elders; when necessary, the corporation seal may be affixed.
Section 9. All moneys shall be raised by voluntary subscriptions, tithes or offerings.
Dissolution. No part of the net earnings of the corporation (The Christian Gospel Fellowship) shall ever inure the benefit of any donor, member, director, or officer of the corporation assets. Upon dissolution any assets of the corporation must be distributed to one or more organizations of like doctrine, recognized by ‘the Internal Revenue Service. as one organized exclusive for religious purposes.
Section 10. Congregational Meetings – Congregational meetings shall be called by the Pastor and/or Elders, as needed.
Annual Congregational Meetings. An annual meeting of The Christian Gospel Fellowship will be held the 2nd Sunday of January each year.
ARTICLE VII – MISSIONS:
Section 1. MISSIONARY PHILOSOPHY AND POLICY
As the Church lives in obedience to its Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be actively involved in missionary outreach around the world. Christ Jesus came into the world to seek and to save sinners; the Church is to continue the work of proclaiming the gospel of salvation in obedience to the words of Jesus Christ, “. . . go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This work involves evangelism, discipleship and establishment of local congregations.
As a Church, we will select and support missionaries, both spiritually and financially, in cooperation with other mission boards.
I. SELECTION OF MISSIONARIES
1. Missionary candidates shall be born again believers of Christ Jesus with evidence of exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:22,23.
2. Missionary candidates shall demonstrate an understanding of the gifts of the Spirit and know what gifts God has given the candidate for the work to which he or she has been called.
3. Missionary candidates shall be in agreement with our statement of faith and church policy.
B. Priority of Selection
1. Members or constituents of the Christian Gospel Fellowship.
2. Believers from other congregations whom we become aware of or who are seeking support to serve in mission service and are invited to come before the fellowship.
3. Missionaries or projects we learn about through a mission board.
4 .A missionary’s request to come before the fellowship.
II. FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF MISSIONARIES
A. Priority of support is set forth in Section I. B.
B. Priority shall be given to those engaged in church planning, evangelism and ministry of the word.
III. RELATIONSHIP TO MISSION BOARDS
It is essential that The Christian Gospel Fellowship cooperate with mission boards involved in the proclamation of the Gospel. It is necessary, however that all mission boards seeking support be in general agreement with the statement of faith, beliefs and practices of The Christian Gospel Fellowship.
Section 2. It shall be the policy of The Christian Gospel Fellowship to start up new churches, wherever and whenever needed, under the guidelines set forth in this Constitution.
ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS:
Section 1. This Constitution and By-laws, with the exception of Article IV Statement of Faith which shall never be changed, may be amended by a 3/4 vote provided that any proposed amendment be submitted in writing to the congregation at least thirty days prior to voting on the amendment.