In addition to our Statement of Faith, we have a set of policies that help us govern the church. We call these policies the Church By-Laws.
ARTICLE I - DOCTRINAL STATEMENT OF FAITH
A. The Scriptures
We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired word of God, without error in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in doctrine and practice, for both this church and every individual Christian (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:21).
B. The Godhead
We believe in one God who eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Godhead possesses the same nature and attributes, but each is distinct in office and activity (Deut. 6:4; Mat. 28:19).
C. Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, that he became man without ceasing to be God having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, that he lived a sinless life, that he died as a substitutionary sacrifice for every human being, that He was physically raised from the dead by divine power, that He presently serves in heaven as our Intercessor and Advocate and that He will return to earth (John 1:1, 14; 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Acts 2:31-33; 1 John 2:1-2; John 14:1-2).
D. The Holy Spirit
We believe that God the Holy Spirit is a person who restrains evil in the world, convicts men of sin, regenerates those who trust Christ as Savior, baptizes them into the body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts on each one and fills those yielded to Him. We believe that some gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues were given as authenticating signs in the early church and were temporary. We believe that God answers prayer for the sick in accordance with his will (John 16:7-11; 3:8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 13; John 14:16-17; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 1 Cor. 14:22-24; Heb. 2:4; 1 John 5:14-15; Jas. 5:15-16).
We believe that angels are spiritual beings which were created sinless. Presently angels exist in both fallen and unfallen states, the former state including Satan and his demons. We believe that Satan is a personal being who is the enemy of God and all Christians (Heb. 1:13-14; 2 Pet. 2:4; Isa. 14:12-14; Gen. 3:1-19; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10).
We believe that man was created by God as a human being and that he did not evolve from a lower form of life. We believe that he was created innocent and in the image of God. Through willful disobedience Adam and Eve fell and their sin has resulted in physical and spiritual death to themselves and their posterity. We believe that man is totally depraved, that is, in no way is he able to commend himself to God. He has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God and in need of salvation (Gen. 1:1, 27; Col. 1:16-17; Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Eph. 2:1-2).
We believe that God administers His purpose on the earth through man under varying responsibilities, stewardships or dispensations. These dispensations may be distinguished in Scripture through a consistent use of the normal method of biblical interpretation. We believe that God has a plan and program for the church that is distinct from his plan and program for Israel (Eph. 3:2-6; Col. 1:25-27; Eph. 3:9-11; Rom. 6:14; Heb. 7:18-19; 1 Cor. 10:32).
We believe that salvation is a gift from God and is received by man through repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith apart from works and that all believers are kept secure in Christ by the power of God forever (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27-30; Mark 1:15).
We believe that sanctification is positional, progressive and ultimate. Christians are called to a holy life of fellowship, service and testimony in the power of the Holy Spirit. God will reward the faithfulness of Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ (John 17:17; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 10:10, 14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:12-17; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:10).
H. The Church
We believe that the universal church, the body of Christ, is a spiritual organism composed of all genuine Christians who live between the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and the Rapture (1 Thes. 4:16-17). A believer becomes a member of this church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit the moment he trusts Christ as his savior (1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18).
We believe that the local church is an assembly of professing Christians who voluntarily join together in one locality to worship god, study the Bible, observe the ordinances, practice Christian fellowship, pray, evangelize the lost and be equipped for Christian service (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; Eph. 4:11-13).
We believe that Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord's Supper which are to be observed by believers until He returns, and that these are the only ordinances He so appointed. By water baptism a believer identifies himself publicly with Christ and His people. Water baptism is for believers only. The Lord's Supper is a memorial of Christ's death, the elements being symbolic of His body and blood. Every believer should partake of the Lord's Supper, but only when he is in fellowship with the Lord (Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 6:1-14; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
I. The Future
We believe in the personal, imminent return of Jesus Christ for the church. This event (the Rapture), along with the Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ to earth, and the Millennial Reign of Christ on the earth, will precede entrance into the Eternal State. We believe that the souls of believers in Jesus Christ pass immediately into His presence at death and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the Church, when soul and body will be reunited and joined with Him forever. We believe that after death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery in Hades until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord. We believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15)
ARTICLE II - NAME
The name of the church shall be the Community Bible Church of Pierre.
ARTICLE III - PURPOSE
The purpose of the church shall be the evangelism of the lost and the edification of believers through Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship and service.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
A. Qualifications for Membership
Any person who has trusted Jesus Christ as his or her Savior is a member of the universal church, or body of Christ. Any person who desires to express that identification through membership in community Bible Church of Pierre shall read the doctrinal statement of the church, fill out a membership form which shall remain in the membership files, and demonstrate to two (2) or more Elders an understanding of how a person becomes a true Christian. Upon a majority vote of the Board of Elders, such persons will be accepted as members. These actions shall indicate that person's willingness to become committed to and involved in the ministries of the church. It also indicates the willingness of the Elders to assume their responsibilities of oversight and spiritual leadership for that individual. A letter indicating membership in Community Bible Church will be issued. A membership roll of current members will be maintained. Any member may withdraw from membership upon request. At the discretion of a majority of Elders, protracted inactivity without explanation shall be deemed a request to withdraw from membership.
B. Voting rights
Corporation business meetings may be attended by both members and nonmembers.
1. The fiscal year is that time period from October 1 to September 30. Annual meetings will be held in the month of November following the most recent year end. Additional meetings will be called by the Chairman of the Elders, when a majority of the Elders have requested such a meeting. Annual and additional meetings can be convened only when an announcement and the purpose of such meetings are stated from the pulpit and are entered in the weekly publication of the Church two successive Sundays prior to the meeting.
2. The Chairman of the Elders shall conduct such meetings. In his absence, the Vice-chairman will conduct the meetings.
3. Thirty-five (35) percent of the voting members constitute a quorum.
4. A simple majority vote of the members present and voting is required on the following as recommended by the Elders:
a. Approval of the annual budget;
b. Approval of any non-budgeted expenditure grossing more than $25,000.00;
c. Incurring indebtedness exceeding $25,000.00; and
d. Dismissal of the Senior Pastor.
5. A Seventy-five (75) percent majority vote of the members present and voting is required on the following as recommended by the Elders:
a. The calling of a Senior Pastor;
b. Purchase, transfer or sale of Corporation real property; and,
c. Approval of any amendment of these By-laws.
6. Results of such votes shall be binding upon all boards and members of the church.
7. Members shall be eligible to vote, providing they are 18 years or over.
8. Absentee ballots shall be honored if obtained by prior request from the Elders. Absentee ballots must identify each issue and the absent member's vote thereon.
9. Roberts Rules of Order will apply where not otherwise stated in these By-laws.
C. Discipline of members
An individual may be removed from membership in the church for reasons of immoral or unchristian conduct according to Scriptural principles. After reasonable attempts toward restoration have been made without success and after the member has been provided an opportunity to appear before the Board of Elders, the member may be dismissed from the church by the Board of Elders. Persons who have been so disciplined, but who demonstrate a genuine attitude of repentance, may be restored to membership.
ARTICLE V - ELDERS
A. Qualifications and Responsibilities
The men serving as Elders shall be members of this church, of high Christian character and shall maintain an exemplary reputation in all aspects of their lives both in the church and in the world. They shall be the spiritual leaders of the church and shall meet the qualifications and fulfill the responsibilities as set forth in Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 5:1-3. They shall be responsible for overseeing the spiritual well-being and discipline of the church. Each elder shall understand, fully support and sign the church's Doctrinal Statement.
B. Election and Tenure
Elders, by unanimous consent, will present new candidates for Elder to the members. Affirmation by the membership is completed by not less than a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting. Elders shall be elected for a term of three years with their terms being arranged on a rotating basis so that as nearly as possible, the terms of one-third (1/3) of the Elders shall expire each year. There shall be a minimum of three (3) Elders plus the Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor shall serve as a non-voting Elder. Any Elder serving as a full-time paid staff member shall be a non-voting Elder throughout such term of employment. Any Elder serving as a part-time paid staff member shall abstain from voting on employee compensation.
Vacancies to the Elders shall be filled by the same procedures as outlined for election. An Elder whose term expires shall be retained by a simple majority vote of the members if he is willing to serve. Elders filling a vacancy will serve the remainder of the unexpired term. An Elder may be removed from office, as provided by the Articles of Incorporation.
D. Conduct of Meetings
The Elders shall meet periodically, and they shall meet upon the call of the chairman, agreement by a majority of the Elders, or upon request of the Board of Deacons. The Elders will select a Chairman, Vice-chairman and Secretary, who may not succeed themselves in consecutive years, at the first Elders' meeting following the annual business meeting.
ARTICLE VI - DEACONS
A. Qualifications and Responsibilities
The Deacons are responsible to the Elders in the fulfillment of their office. Only men who are members of this church and who are of high Christian character and integrity, possessing the qualifications as given in Acts 6:3 and in I Timothy 3:8-13 shall be selected as a Deacon. Each Deacon shall understand, fully support and sign the church's Doctrinal Statement.
The Board of Deacons shall administer the business aspects of the church in accordance with policies established by the Board of Elders. This administrative and financial oversight shall extend to all entities within the church. The Board of Deacons shall meet at least monthly. All actions shall be by majority vote of all Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall elect officers annually who may not succeed themselves in consecutive years. Any three Deacons may bring any issue before the Board of Elders, whose decision shall resolve the matter unless the Elders decide to bring the matter to the membership.
B. Selection and Tenure of Office
The Elders shall select Deacons subject to approval of the members. Deacons shall be elected for a term of three years with their terms being arranged on a rotating basis so that as nearly as possible, the terms of one-third (1/3) of the Deacons shall expire each year. There shall be a minimum of three (3) Deacons. Any Deacon serving as a full-time paid staff member shall be a non‑voting Deacon throughout such term of employment. Any Deacon serving as a part-time paid staff member shall abstain from voting on employee compensation.
Vacancies to the Deacons shall be filled by the same procedures as outlined for election. A Deacon whose term expires shall be retained by a simple majority vote of the members if he is willing to serve. Deacons filling a vacancy will serve the remainder of the unexpired term. A Deacon may be removed from office by an affirmative vote of at least two‑thirds (2/3) of the total number of Elders.
ARTICLE VII - STAFF
A. Senior Pastor
This position is concerned with planning, supervising and participating in the worship services of the church; providing work guidance to office staff; supervision and management of the pastoral staff; and accomplishment of pastoral duties. This position is accountable to the Elders.
In the event of a vacancy in the position of Senior Pastor, the Elders shall temporarily assume the responsibilities of the position, and act as the interviewing and selection agency. The prospective pastor shall give satisfactory evidence regarding his theological understanding, and he shall meet the requirements of Elder as detailed herein. He shall without reservation subscribe to and sign the church's Doctrinal Statement.
After being interviewed by the Elders and when satisfactory qualifications have been demonstrated, the candidate shall be presented to the membership and, if approved by a seventy-five (75) percent vote, be installed for an indefinite period of time.
The Senior Pastor may be recommended for dismissal by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the total number of Elders. If the vote is for dismissal, recommendations shall be made by the Elders to the members, and the services of the Pastor may then be terminated immediately by a majority vote.
B. Associate Pastor
An Associate Pastor is concerned with planning, supervising and participating in worship services and church ministries and is accountable to the Elders.
In the event of a vacancy, the Elders shall act as the interviewing and selection agency. A prospective Associate Pastor shall give satisfactory evidence regarding his theological understanding, and he shall meet the requirements of Elder as detailed herein. He shall without reservation subscribe to and sign the church's Doctrinal Statement.
Any decision regarding appointment or dismissal of an Associate Pastor shall be discussed with the current Senior Pastor.
C. Other Staff
The Board of Elders is ultimately responsible for all staff appointments and dismissals. Any decision regarding appointments or dismissals of staff shall be discussed with the current Senior Pastor. The Board of Elders shall determine whether a specific appointment is a spiritual position of the church.
Staff not related to the spiritual aspects of the church shall be accountable to the Board of Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall be responsible to interview prospective applicants for these positions. Any appointment or dismissal of staff shall be approved by the Board of Elders.
All staff should give precedence to work requests from the Senior Pastor.
D. Church Treasurer and Financial Secretary
The church treasurer and financial secretary shall be appointed and dismissed in the same manner as other staff. The treasurer shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the church; receive and give receipts for monies due and payable to the church from any source whatsoever and deposit all such monies in the name of the church in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws (see Article VIII); and in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of treasurer and such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Deacons; and shall keep a full account of all monies received and paid and submit regular written reports to the Deacons and Elders of the financial condition of the church. The financial secretary prepares and reviews payments made from church accounts. Upon request by the Elders or the Deacons, the treasurer and financial secretary shall make the books available for financial review.
ARTICLE VIII - CONTRACTS, CHECKS, DEPOSITS AND FUNDS
The Board of Deacons with approval of the Elders may authorize any officer or officer's agent or agents of the church in addition to the officers so authorized by these By-laws to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the church, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
B. Checks, drafts, etc.
All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the church shall be co-signed by two (2) persons. Authorized co‑signers shall include the Treasurer and any Deacons or Elders so designated by their respective board Chairman. The Board of Deacons may establish separate special accounts subject to controls and in such amounts and for such purposes as the Board of Deacons shall establish.
ARTICLE IX - ORDINANCES
Since baptism is the outward testimony of an inward spiritual transformation, it shall be administered only to those who give evidence of having been born again by faith in Jesus Christ. The church shall recognize as valid any regular form of believer's water baptism if it is in agreement with the considered convictions of the individual believer, but the church shall practice believer's baptism by immersion, a mode most accurately portraying the believer's death, burial and resurrection with Christ.
B. The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper shall be administered as a commemoration of His death, the elements being used as symbols of His body and blood. It shall be observed on such occasions and in such frequency as the Elders shall deem desirable. It shall be open to all believers, regardless of church affiliation.