Centerpointe Church Covenant


 

 

Centerpointe Constitution

Adopted April 14, 2013

Scripture declares that each person is personally accountable to God for his/her life and must be fully convinced in his own mind. Such a position must have regard for the fact that minor differences in interpretation may exist between Christians* in the areas of eschatology, church polity and personal habits. History teaches us that these minor differences can become points of great contention and division. It is for this reason that we have drafted the following “Covenant and Constitution” declaring the doctrinal positions of the church and its rules of government by which all members must abide. It is not to say that every one who is a member of our church agrees with everything that is stated in this document, but, they have submitted to its guidelines for the sake of preserving unity in the church and maintaining coherence in all of its ministries.

 

*By the term “Christian,” we mean those who have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and thus believe in all of the fundamentals of the faith as taught in the Holy Scriptures. 

 

CENTERPOINTE BAPTIST CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and unity; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel throughout all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from unbiblical practices; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the ministry of the local church.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, and to secure reconciliation without delay.

We moreover engage, that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church of like faith and practice where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word. In the event there is no such church, we shall seek, with the Lord’s help, to establish one.

PREAMBLE

Desiring to glorify God in a biblical ministry, recognizing the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Word of God, and pursuing the unity and order Scripture demands, we do hereby ordain and establish this constitution for the operation of our church by the grace of God.

ARTICLE I—NAME

This organization shall be known as Centerpointe Baptist Church.

ARTICLE II—PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to worship God, edify believers by preaching and teaching Christian doctrine and ethics, evangelize the unsaved by proclaiming the Gospel, and otherwise advance the cause of Christ in accordance with the Holy Scriptures. This may be accomplished through regular meetings, special services, education, care, missionary outreach, and any other ministries and activities that the church shall deem appropriate or necessary. This church shall be operated as a nonprofit organization exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law).

ARTICLE III—DECLARATION OF FAITH

Section 1: Scripture

We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Since the Scriptures are God- breathed in the original autographs, inspiration extends to the very words of the original manuscripts and preservation has allowed us to have accurate translations of the Bible so that the entire Bible, and only the Bible, is the Word of God. As such, the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and our only rule of faith and practice. (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; Mat. 5:18; John 10:35; Rev. 22:18-19)

Section 2: God

We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing as one in His essence yet three in His persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, and co-equal in power and glory. (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Mat. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; I Cor. 8:6)

A. God the Father—He is eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is the sovereign God of the universe, the Creator and Preserver of all things. He is perfect in holiness, righteousness, justice and love. Having extended His grace and mercy to people by sending His Son to die in their place, He desires to have fellowship with them. (Ps. 65:2; 139:1-24; I Chr. 29:11; John 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 1:3-9; Rom. 11:36)

B. Jesus Christ—He is the Son of God. He is one Person, with both a divine nature (He is truly God) and a human nature (He is truly man). He existed from everlasting with the Father, was born of a virgin when He took on human flesh, lived a sinless life, and gave Himself willingly on the cross for the sins of people. He arose from the tomb on the third day, ascended to the Father, and will return to earth one day as Judge and King. (John 1:1-3, 18; 5:22-23; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb.1:3, 6, 8; 9:24; Phil. 2:6- 11; Col. 1:15-20; II Cor. 5:21; Mat. 25:31; Rev. 19:11- 20:6; I John 2:2)

C. Holy Spirit—He is a divine Person and not an impersonal force. He is fully God, proceeding from the Father and the Son. The work of the Holy Spirit included creation and the inspiration of the Scriptures. He calls people to salvation through Christ and dwells in the hearts of believers.

(Mat. 28:19; John 16:7-14; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 1:13; 5:18; Rom. 8:9-16, 26)

Section 3: Creation

We believe the Genesis account of the creation of the world as a literal, historical record of the direct acts of God, without the involvement of any evolutionary process. (Gen. 1-2; John 1:3-10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3)

Section 4: Mankind

We believe that man was created in innocence and in the image of God. However, in Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the world and passed to all mankind destroying man’s relationship with God and resulting in death. Thus, all are sinners by nature and by choice, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse, and deserve eternal punishment in hell. (Gen. 1-3; Rom. 3:10-12, 23; 5:12; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3; John 6:44; I John 4:19; Is. 64:6; Jer. 17:9)

Section 5: Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that all who receive Him as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become children of God. (Eph. 2:8-9; John 1:29; I John 2:2; Is. 53:4-12)

A. Regeneration—When an individual responds in faith to the Gospel, repents of his sin and turns to Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit causes a spiritual change in which he is freed from the guilt of his inherently sinful nature, receives the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and thus is born again into God’s family. Regeneration involves an illumination of the mind, a change in the will, and a renewed nature. (John 3:3-7, 16; 1:12; II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:22-28; I Pet. 1:23; Tit. 3:5; Acts 2:38; 17:30)

B. Justification—This is the act of God whereby He declares the sinner to be righteous in His sight. On the basis of the work of Christ, God does not impute sin to the individual, imputing instead the righteousness of Christ. (Rom. 3:22-28; 4:1-8; 5:1-2; Gal. 2:16)

C. Sanctification—Whereas regeneration is a one-time event in the life of the believer, sanctification is a continuing process by which God gradually transforms him into the image of Christ. This process will be completed when believers join Christ in heaven, perfected in holiness. (John 17:17; II Cor. 3:18; Eph. 5:26; I John 3:2; Acts 20:32)

D. Preservation—Since salvation is based solely upon the grace of God and not on the merit of the individual, everyone who truly accepts Christ as Savior is eternally secure in his salvation and is kept by God’s power. Scripture, however, gives a solemn warning to those who profess salvation but whose lives give no evidence of change because of the willful, continual practice of sin. (John 6:37, 39; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:38-39; I Pet. 1:5; II Pet. 1:10; I John 3:7- 10; James 2:14-26)

 

Section 6: The Church

We believe that the church, composed of all who have trusted Christ as Savior since Pentecost, is the body of Christ. Christ Himself is the Head of the Church. This spiritual organism is the universal aspect of the church. (Mat. 16:18; Eph. 1:23)

A. Organization—The local church is an organized assembly of baptized believers voluntarily associated together in the faith in order to exalt the Lord in worship, evangelize the lost through witness, and edify the saints through teaching, fellowship, and service. The local church has the absolute right of self-government and should be free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, religious or governmental. Jesus Christ is the Head and chief Shepherd. (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:15-20; I Pet. 5:4, Acts 2:42)

B. Ordinances—Christ instructed the church to observe two ordinances, both of which are symbolical rather than sacramental or efficacious.

1. Baptism—All who profess faith in Jesus Christ should be baptized by immersion in water as a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. (Mat. 28:19; Rom. 6:3-4)

2. The Lord’s Supper—The Lord’s Supper is a memorial service in which the bread and juice represent the body and blood of Christ. (Mat. 26:26-29; I Cor. 10:16; 11:23-34)

Section 7: Separation

We believe that Scripture commands God’s people to be holy and separate from all polluting influences, including sin, unrepentant disobedient brethren, and false teachers.

A. Personal—Individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit and so must be pure from sin. They are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, they are to be friends of sinners yet unspotted from the world. (II Cor. 6:14-7:1; I John 2:15-17; James 4:4)

  1. Ecclesiastical—The church as a whole must separate from those who teach false doctrine and attempt to subvert the saints. (Rom. 16:17; II Thes. 3:6-15; II John 9-11; II Cor. 6:14- 18)

 

Section 8- Marriage

We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman till death do they part as God’s plan for marriage from the beginning. (Genesis 2:18-24, Romans 1:26-27)

 

Section 9: Last Things

A. The Rapture of the Church. We believe in the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to remove His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15- 5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

 

B. The Tribulation Period. We believe that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).

 

C. The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign. We believe that, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth (Revelation 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).

 

We believe that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

 

D. The Judgment of the Lost. We believe that following the release of Satan after the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.

 

We believe that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (John 5:28-29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).

 

E. Eternity. We teach that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE IV—MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: Admission

  1. Qualifications—Any person may be admitted to the membership of this church who:
  1. Gives testimony of conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and has subsequently been baptized by immersion.

2. Ascribes to the Declaration of Faith and agrees to uphold the Constitution of this church.

  1. Is willing to strive to live a life separated from the sins of the world and consistent with the teachings of the Bible.

4. Is willing to support the work of this church by participating regularly in worship, service, and giving.

B. Procedure—Any person desiring membership at Centerpointe Baptist Church may make his request known to the pastor or a deacon. He shall then meet with the pastor, or a deacon designated by the pastor, to determine if he meets the qualifications for membership. If accepted, he shall be presented to the congregation during a regular church service for congregational approval and welcome.

Section 2: Removal

A member of Centerpointe Baptist Church may be removed from the membership list for any of the following reasons:
A. Death
B. Request—An individual may be removed from the church membership based on a request from the member personally, or a request for a letter from another church of like faith and practice as long as the member is not currently under the process of church discipline at Centerpointe Baptist Church. If an individual joins another church, and he is not currently under the process of church discipline at Centerpointe Baptist Church, he will be removed from the membership of Centerpointe Baptist Church even if a request is not received.

  1. Absence—The membership of any individual shall be automatically terminated without notice if the member in question has not attended regular worship services of the church in the preceding six months. The pastor may choose to waive this provision if, in his discretion, there is good cause for the absence.
    D. Persistent sinful conduct—Removal from membership may be made based on persistent sinful conduct that is clearly contrary to the teachings of the Bible (such as immorality or apostasy). This is also an action taken by the church at the advice of the pastor and deacons. The church shall strive to follow the guidelines for church discipline as given in Scripture (Mat. 18:15-17; I Cor. 5:11) in dealing with such a member. Any member excluded from the church in this manner may be restored upon evidence of confession and repentance acceptable to the pastor and deacons.

 

 

ARTICLE V—MEETINGS

Section 1: Meetings for Worship

The church shall hold regular meetings for worship, service, and fellowship on Sunday and a midweek gathering. The pastor may also arrange special meetings and conferences.

 

Section 2: Meetings for Church Business

A. Regular Business Meetings—The church shall conduct quarterly business meetings. Announcements of such meetings shall be made on at least one Sunday before the meeting.

B. Annual Business Meetings—The annual business meeting shall be held in January and announced at least two weeks in advance. At that time the church shall elect officers, adopt a budget for the following year, and take up other pertinent matters of church business. The church fiscal year shall begin on January 1 and conclude on December 31.

C. Special Business Meetings—Special business meetings may be called by the pastor or a majority of the deacons to consider matters which require action prior to the next regular business meeting. Announcement shall be made at least one Sunday in advance.

D. Moderator—The pastor or his designee shall act as moderator at all business meetings of the church. In his absence or during a meeting for the pastor’s dismissal, the chairman of the deacons or another deacon appointed by the members may moderate.

  1. Voting—Members must be at least 18 years of age and in good standing to be eligible to vote. Not less than 51 percent of the active voting membership shall be considered a quorum. Voting shall be either open or secret at the discretion of the moderator. A three- fourths majority of all voting members present shall be required for passage of any item of business.

 

ARTICLE VI—OFFICERS

Section 1: Pastor

A. Qualifications—The pastor shall be a male who is ordained to the Gospel ministry. He must meet the Scriptural qualifications for the office set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-11. He must ascribe to the Declaration of Faith, the Constitution, and any bylaws of this church. By qualifications stated in I Timothy 3, we believe pastors should not serve in this capacity after a post-salvation divorce.

B. Authority—The pastor shall be the chief spiritual leader and chief administrative officer of the church. As such he shall be an ex officio member of every church committee and organization. He shall be responsible for all the church services, including the approval of speakers, music, and all other matters pertaining to the operation of the church. He shall be charged with the responsibility to preach the Word of God and administer the ordinances. As Christ’s undershepherd, he is the overseer of all aspects of the church.

  1. Call and Tenure—A pulpit committee, composed of the associate pastor and the deacons, shall seek and recommend a qualified man to be pastor of the church. Following careful examination and an opportunity to hear the man preach, the church shall vote on the candidate at a special business meeting. Only one candidate may be considered at a time, with a vote taken before considering another candidate. If the associate becomes a candidate to fill the position of senior pastor he shall not serve on the pulpit committee while under consideration. Once elected, the pastor will continue to serve until he either resigns his office (with a thirty-day notice) or is dismissed by the church (with thirty days’ severance pay). Dismissal must be by congregational vote in a special business meeting called for that purpose. Not less than 51 percent of the active voting membership shall be considered a quorum. Voting shall be either open or secret at the discretion of the moderator. A three- fourths majority of all voting members present shall be required for the dismissal of the pastor.

 

Section 2: Staff

In order to meet the needs of the church, the pastor is at liberty to fill positions, salaried and unsalaried, with personnel who are equipped for a particular task and meet the spiritual qualifications. Special pastoral staff positions, such as associate pastor, assistant pastor, minister of music, youth pastor, or outreach pastor shall be nominated by the pastor and deacons and approved by the church by vote. Other positions, such as secretaries, custodians, and any others the pastor may deem necessary, shall be appointed by the pastor and deacons. Salaried personnel may be hired only after the congregation has allocated funds for that position in the budget. The pastor shall oversee all staff personnel, determine their responsibilities, and maintain the right of dismissal.

Section 3: Deacons

A. Qualifications—Deacons shall be males who meet the Scriptural qualifications for the office as set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13. They must have been members of the church for at least six months. By qualifications stated in I Timothy 3, we believe deacons should not serve in this capacity after a post-salvation divorce.

B. Responsibilities—According to the pattern set forth in Acts 6:1-6, the deacons shall assist the pastor in every aspect of ministry in the church. They shall recognize the pastor as the leader of the church and advise him in matters spiritual and secular that pertains to the operation of the church. The pastor shall serve as moderator at all deacons’ meetings. The deacons may elect a chairman who shall serve for a term of one year. The associate pastor shall direct the operation of the church in the absence of a senior pastor.If the church does not have an associate pastor, the deacons shall direct the operation of the church in the absence of a senior and associate pastor, including the search for a new senior pastor. The deacons shall be the legal agents of the church and act in this capacity only at the direction of the pastor and congregation.

C. Election and Tenure—Church members may submit recommendations for deacons based on the number of vacancies. From that list, the pastor and deacons will submit nominations to the congregation for vote. Upon election, a deacon shall serve for three years. The number of deacons shall be determined by the pastor and deacons according to the needs of the church. Deacons shall serve for three years and rotate off for one year, with the possibility of being re-elected after that one year off rotation.

Section 4: Other Officers

A. Clerk—The clerk shall keep the minutes of each business meeting and present those minutes to the congregation at the following business meeting. The clerk shall be custodian of the membership roll and other official (nonfinancial) documents of the church. The pastor and deacons shall appoint the clerk.

B. Treasurer—The treasurer shall keep an accurate account of all receipts and disbursements and present a financial report at each regular business meeting. The pastor and deacons shall appoint the treasurer. The treasurer, pastor, and any other designee appointed by the pastor shall be authorized to sign church checks.

C. Financial Records Secretary—The financial records secretary shall keep a record of all monetary gifts and provide a copy to each individual contributor of his own annual contributions. The pastor and deacons shall appoint the financial records secretary. The records and personal knowledge of the financial records secretary shall be confidential.

 

ARTICLE VII—COMMITTEES

The pastor and deacons shall appoint special committees as the need arises, which shall serve under their direction and authority.

ARTICLE VIII—MINISTRIES

All ministries of the church are under the authority of the pastor and deacons and are subject to their approval. The pastor shall oversee the Sunday School, including the selection of staff and teachers.

ARTICLE IX—STANDARDS FOR WORKERS

Since the officers and others who serve in the ministries of the church occupy positions of authority and responsibility, they are expected to observe high standards of Christian conduct as examples for the rest of the membership. For that reason, all officers and workers in the church shall be expected to abide by the standards of modesty, decency, and Christian testimony, as set by the pastor and deacons.

ARTICLE X—ORDINATION

Any male member of Centerpointe Baptist Church who has been persuaded that God has called him to the Gospel ministry may be considered for ordination to preach the Gospel. He must demonstrate this call by the possession of gifts and graces belonging to the ministry, and by adequate preparation. The church shall call an ordination council, moderated by the pastor, and composed of the deacons and any other ordained ministers invited by the pastor. They shall examine the candidate with regard to his doctrinal soundness, moral and spiritual qualifications, and manifestation of spiritual gifts. This meeting shall be open to all church members, who will have an opportunity to ask questions after the council has finished. After satisfactory examination and recommendation by the council, the church will vote concerning the ordination of the candidate during a church service.

ARTICLE XI—FINANCIAL SUPPORT POLICY

The financial needs of this church shall be met by the voluntary gifts, offerings and contributions by its members and friends (Mal. 3:8-10; I Cor. 16:1-2; II Cor. 9:6-7). The church shall not resort to entertainments, suppers, bingo, raffles, etc., for the purpose of raising funds for the regular needs of the church. Special exceptions may be made for special projects as approved by the pastor and deacons. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions, but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the pastor and deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article II.

ARTICLE XII—AFFILIATION

Section 1: Autonomy

This church is an independent Baptist church that is totally self-governing and subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body.

Section 2: Authority

The authority for church government of this church is vested in its membership.

Section 3: Association

This church shall not hold organized affiliation with any association, convention, conference, or council of churches. This church will, however, recognize and sustain the obligations of mutual conviction, counsel, and cooperation which are common among independent fundamental churches and seek to maintain fellowship with those organizations which consistently uphold the truth of God’s Word and the spirit of this Constitution.

ARTICLE XIII—AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this Constitution, excluding Article III- Declaration of Faith, may be adopted only by a three-fourths majority vote of the congregation at any regular or special meeting, provided that such amendment be distributed in written form to the membership at least two weeks prior to said congregational meeting.

ARTICLE XIV—DISSOLUTION OF CORPORATION

In the event of the dissolution of Centerpointe Baptist Church as a nonprofit organization, the assets of this church shall be given to other nonprofit organizations of like faith and order which would satisfy the remaining membership and qualify under the provision and regulations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law).