Fellowship Bible Church of Carson City, Inc. (Rev. 3/21/23)
ARTICLE I. PURPOSES
Fellowship Bible Church of Carson City, Inc. (the “Church”) shall have such purposes as are now or may hereafter be set forth in the Articles of Incorporation and shall be stated more specifically to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the following means:
Fellowship Bible Church of Carson City, Inc. is organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes in accord with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law and referred to herein as the “Code”). More specifically, its purpose is to be a church and to glorify God through the conduct of public worship, Bible studies, and related Bible based religious education and Christian fellowship services designed to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE II. FOUR CORDS OF FELLOWSHIP
These four cords of fellowship are established as the biblical priorities for this ministry.
1. Trinity-Centered Worship
2. Christ-Centered Preaching
(1 John 1:1-4)
3. Church-Centered Ministry
(1 Peter 4:10-11)
4. Community-Centered Evangelism
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
Section A. The Scriptures
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament as verbally plenarily inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament are God’s completed and sufficient revelation of all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, and faith and life. They are the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.
Section B. God
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8). He is infinite in being and perfection, without body, parts, or passions; He is immutable, immense, eternal, almighty, every way infinite, holy, wise, and free.
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection’s, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 29:19-20; Acts 4:3-4). Each person is fully of the divine essense, yet the divine essence is undivided; the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. They are not to be divided in nature nor being, but distinguished by their properties and personal relations.
Section C. Jesus Christ
We believe in the full deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He possessed a divine and human nature united in one person without conversion, composition, or confusion. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 14:8, 9; I Timothy 3:16). As the only Mediator between God and man, He serves as prophet, priest, and king for His people and is the head of the church, the heir of all things, and the judge of the world (1 Tim 2:5; Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 1:19-20; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 5:5-6; Psalm 2:6; Luke 1:33; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 1:2; Acts 17:31). The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself, which He offered once and for all through the eternal Spirit, has fully satisfied the justice of god, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance into the Kingdom of Heaven for all those whom the Father has given unto Him (Hebrews 9:14, 10:14; Romans 3:25-26; John 17:2; Hebrews 9:15). He sits currently at the right hand of the Majesty on High, interceding for His people until His enemies be made a footstool (Psalm 110; Hebrews 4:14-5:10).
Section D. Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts us of sin and regenerates the believer, baptizing them into one body of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living and service through individually bestowed spiritual gifts. While God still does miraculous things, there are certain spiritual gifts that do not continue as regular occurrences within the church (commonly referred to as ‘sign gifts’). Fellowship Bible Church does not encourage the use of the ‘sign gifts,’ as they are no longer needed to testify to the Gospel (Heb 2:4). Instead we choose to emphasize the more excellent way of love and zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; I Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; II Corinthians 12:12). A fuller statement of the Church’s position on the charismatic movement is available upon request.
Section E. Man
We believe that man was created after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it (Gen 1:26-27, 2:7; Ecclesiastes 7:29, Romans 2:14-15, Genesis 3:1-6). Yet by voluntary transgression, man fell from his sinless and happy state by consequence of which all mankind are now dead in sin and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of body and soul; as the descendants of Adam, both his guilt and corrupt nature have been imputed to all mankind (Romans 5:1-12-21). We believe that without exception every man is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).
Section F. Salvation
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe salvation comes through belief in the holy deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We believe that all who repent of their sins and by faith receive Him their Lord and Savior are justified on the basis of His blood shed on Calvary (John 1:12-13). They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person who believes into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; II Corinthians 5:21; I Corinthians 12:13).
Regeneration. We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which a new mind and heart are given and the believer is made spiritually alive (John 3:3-7; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits in keeping with repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (Luke 3:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such a conformity is ultimately realized in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
Election. We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of all people to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
We believe that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).
We believe that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:9).
Justification. We believe that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Believers are justified solely by the righteousness of Christ, which is received through the instrument of faith, which is itself a divine gift (Rom 3:21-25; Eph 2:8-9). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification (Romans 3:28).
Sanctification. We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).
We believe that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).
In this respect, we believe that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
Security. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).
Separation. We believe that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
We believe that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also believe that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
We believe that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the believing of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).
Section G. Heaven and Hell
We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
Section H. Resurrection
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26).
Section I. Return of Christ
We believe in “that blessed hope”, the personal, bodily, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). We accept a variety of positions on eschatology and enjoy and encourage fellowship with believers of other eschatological positions. We are not opposed to other views and understand that eschatology is not a source for division in the Body of Christ.
Section J. Baptism and Communion
We believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of and identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection signified by immersion in water.
The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians 11:20-29).
Section K. The Church
When a person is born again they become a part of the Body of Christ, His Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ whom He loved and for whom He died (Ephesians 5:25). The Church is firmly built and established upon apostolic teaching whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:20). The Church is the Body of Christ and Jesus is the head (Ephesians 5:23). There is the Church invisible (meaning all the elect who have been, are, and will be redeemed into Heaven) and the Church visible (meaning the earthly company we see). Not all members of the earthly company belong to the true Church, because not all members of the visible Church are born again. The scriptures commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observances and ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the Body through development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Romans 12:1, Acts 2:42-46, 1 Corinthians 14:26, Matthew 28:18-20).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the watch-care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
Section L. Missions Statement
Fellowship Bible Church supports the ministry of missions to the lost as directed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19-20. Fellowship Bible Church recognizes and promotes a twofold approach in accomplishing the Great Commission:
- Taking the Gospel to the lost through the support of individual missionaries and the encouragement of congregants to reach out in personal evangelism wherever they find opportunity.
- Fellowship Bible Church recognizes that evangelism does not end with conversion. Therefore, it is essential that every opportunity be given to disciple new converts through the teaching of God’s Word one on one and while sitting under sound biblical teaching in the assembly of believers.
Section M. Christian Living (Concerning Conduct)
The Bible teaches that all believers are saints, set apart unto God and are thus responsible to live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord (Romans 21:1-2; I Peter 1:14-19; II Timothy 2:19; Titus 2) lest the Word of God be blasphemed (I Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:5). As Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, and accept as our responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world (I John 2:3; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 5:23; Matthew 29:19-20). A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have presented themselves wholly to Christ and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, which all believers are called to do (Romans 12:1,2; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6, 7).
Section O. Human Sexuality and Marriage
We teach that marriage is always a public, formal, and officially recognized covenant between one birth biological man and one birth biological woman. Biological gender is defined as chromosomal genetics with XY being male and XX being female. Fellowship Bible Church will only recognize marriages between one birth biological man and one birth biological woman who identify as such.
The term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25). God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4). God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two, and only these two, distinct complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27). Gender and sex are inextricably linked. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
Any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10). God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
Section P. The Sanctity of Life
All human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139). The Bible does not condone abortion in any way, shape, or form; ultimately abortion is nothing less than the taking of another human life. Ultimately, abortion is the unjustified killing of a human person in the womb, which the Bible describes as “murder” (Ex 20:13). However, there is abundant grace, mercy, and healing from God for women who have had abortions in the past.
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP
Section A. Nature of Membership
The New Testament clearly indicates that groups of people who were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body.
In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early churches, Fellowship Bible Church recognizes the need for formal membership. Membership at Fellowship Bible Church is for all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and have visibly demonstrated that commitment through believer’s baptism by immersion.
Members are not members as that term is described in the law in that they have no voting rights related to the governance of the church. The Church is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Elders.
Section B. Membership Commitment
Members of Fellowship Bible Church must be willing to live in submission to the doctrinal statement and to abide by the entire membership covenant as expressed in the Membership Handbook.
Section C. Qualifications, Admission and Removal
The Board of Elders will establish the qualifications and administer the procedure for admission of Members to the Church. The Board of Elders may suspend, or remove, any Member for cause after conducting an appropriate hearing on the matter. The procedure is as follows.
1. Prospective members need to the two session membership class which goes through the membership booklet. They will also need to undergo an interview with an elder regarding their salvation experience, Christian history, etc.
2. Upon completion of the class any person professing personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who has expressed that commitment visibly by being baptized, or are willing to do be baptized at the next available service, should indicate their desire for membership by filling out the confirmation page found in the membership booklet.
3. The prospective members name will then be announced during service. During a following period of two weeks, members will be encouraged to clear up any relational or other difficulties which could hinder ministry among us. This is done in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-17 so that both the candidate and FBC will benefit.
4. At the end of the two week period those who remain as candidates will be welcomed into membership on the next Sunday set aside for that purpose, and the membership covenant will be recited.
Section D. Church Discipline
Fellowship Bible Church is a body of Christian believers who hold certain beliefs and standards in common. On occasion, Members of the Church may conduct themselves in a manner contrary to the Statement of Faith and unworthy of membership at the Church. It will be a high priority for the Church to restore such persons into conformity with the fellowship as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5. Such issues may include an unrepentant manner of life which contradicts biblical standards or unrepentant doctrinal division.
Should the need for Biblical discipline arise, the authority to begin this process begins with the Elders; they will have the authority to bring the issue of sin to the congregation after the first two steps of Matthew 18 have been followed. Though the process begins with the elders, the process ends with the church (Matt 18:17).
Formally, church discipline is enacted towards members who are in unrepentant sin in the hopes of restoring them in their Christian life. However, there may be times when an individual who is not a member will be asked to no longer attend if their presence and activity threatens the well-being (spiritual, physical, mental, emotional) of the gathered Church.
If any member becomes an offense to the church by living immorally, as defined by the Word of God (e.g., Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10); by promoting discord in the church; or by promoting doctrine contrary to the Word of God and the Statement of Faith of this church, he shall be interviewed and admonished in love by the Elders. If there is no repentance, then the matter shall be made known to the church and the offender shall be put under public corrective discipline. During this time the Elders and the congregation will seek the offender’s repentance through prayer and admonition. If there is no repentance after a reasonable period of time, then dismissal from the membership shall follow by a vote of the congregation (Matthew 18:15-18; I Corinthians 5; II Corinthians 2:5-11; Galatians 6:1; Titus 3:10-11; II Thessalonians 3:6-15).
A two-thirds vote of members present at a duly called congregational meeting shall be sufficient to dismiss a member from the church.
On certain occasions the Elders may deem that public corrective discipline may not be a necessary or appropriate form of discipline. However, there may be a determination that some kind of public response is appropriate, and therefore a public rebuke or correction may be presented to the congregation (2 Thess. 3:14-15)
Section E. Resignation Of Members
Any member who is absent from the church for a period of six (6) months, without financial contributions or communicating with the church, may be declared inactive by the Elders, after efforts have been made to contact the member by phone call, letter, or visitation. Persons declared inactive shall be automatically dropped from the membership. Inactive members can be restored to active membership by a vote of the Elders.
A member in good standing who requests that his membership be terminated may request a letter of recommendation from the Elders for the purpose of joining another church.
The Church, through the leadership of the Elders, has authority to refuse a member's resignation for biblical reasons or when that member is at any stage of the church discipline process. Although membership is voluntary, it is not a unilateral decision. It is a mutual commitment of mutual consent between the member and the Elders and the congregation. For the church to accept a resignation under such circumstance would be to neglect our responsibility to Christ and one another.
If a member in good standing resigns his/her membership and is enabled to or decides to return to Fellowship Bible Church, the elders may reinstate their previous membership status without a congregational vote. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Section F. Meetings Of Members
The elders shall conduct membership meetings no less than bi-yearly. These meetings are not for governance purposes, but to facilitate a healthy relationship and communication between the congregation and the elder board.
ARTICLE IV. CHURCH GOVERNMENT
Section A. Two Church Offices
The biblical teaching on the subject of two church offices, Elders and Deacons, is found in I Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Biblically, elder and pastor are also interchangeable terms, though for practical purposes, “pastor” will often refer to the elder who is the primary teacher (“teaching” vs. “ruling” elder).
Section B. Women in Ministry
Fellowship Bible Church affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and Deacon and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (I Timothy 2:12; I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF ELDERS
Section A. General Powers
The business, legal, and spiritual matters of the Church will be managed by its Board of Elders. All decisions affecting the overall doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church will be the responsibility of the Board of Elders.
The Scriptures are clear that the elder’s primary responsibility is the spiritual oversight of the congregation. The elder’s responsibility can be broken down into three main areas:
1. Ensuring that the doctrine of the church remains purely biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
2. Ensuring that the direction of the church remains consistent with the statement of purpose and the Four Chords of Fellowship.
3. Overseeing in love and humility the biblical process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 5, and Galatians 6:1-4.
Elders may also oversee the direction and use of church finances for such means as advance the Four Cords of Fellowship. Financial information and uses shall remain transparent and open to formal members of the church upon request.
Section A. Structure
The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture's teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:4; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6.). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board. All elders will have equal authority, but not necessarily equal influence.
The Senior Pastor will work in cooperation with the Elder Board Chairman to ensure healthy ministry development and strong accountability. Agenda items for the elder meetings must be submitted to the Elder Board Chairman prior to the elders’ meeting. An elders’ meeting may not be held without a majority of the elders present and the entirety of the elders informed. The Elder Board Chairman will be selected by consensus decision of the Board of Elders with no fixed term and may not be one of the pastors. The Elder Board will consist of the Chairman, the Senior Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons Board and additional elders, who will assume responsibility as agreeable and necessary.
Section B. Number and Tenure
The number of Elders serving on the Board of Elders is to be a minimum of three (3) and may vary from time to time up to fifteen (15) by resolution of the Board of Elders without amendment of these bylaws. In no case will the number of Elders serving on the Board of Elders be less than three.
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
1. The Fellowship Bible Church Senior Pastor automatically serves as an Elder for as long as he remains employed by the Church.
2. An individual’s service on the Board of Elders may be discontinued by his own decision or by a consensus decision of the other elders. A person leaving the Board of Elders would not preclude his service as a future Elder, subject to the regular selection process.
3. The Secretary and Treasurer will serve for a commitment of one year and may be renewed for any number of successive years. Either of these positions may be held concurrently by another officer or Elder if necessary.
Section C. Qualifications
Qualifications for the office of an Elder include that each person must be (Titus 1:6-9):
1. Above reproach
2. Able to teach
3. Husband to one wife
4. Not addicted to wine
6. Not antagonistic
10. Free from the love of money
12. Manages own household well
13. Not a new convert
Section D. Resignation and Removal
Any member of the Board of Elders may resign if they move away from the area, are incapacitated, disqualified, or come to significant doctrinal differences. Such resignation, which may or may not be made contingent on formal acceptance, is to take effect on the date of receipt or at any later time specified therein.
Any Elder may be removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Board if
he is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (according to pertinent Scripture, including 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9), after thorough corroborating investigation by the Elders, in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15–18 and 1 Timothy 5:19. When an Elder is removed because of sin that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, the removal shall be accompanied by a public rebuke, and notice shall be made before the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly-scheduled worship service as prescribed in 1 Timothy 5:20.
In order to remove a member serving as an Elder, the Board of Elders will first conduct a reasonable inquiry and hearing concerning the cause of removal. Persons under consideration for removal may not be counted for purpose of establishing quorum nor have any vote in such proceedings. A consensus of the Board of Elders not under consideration for removal will constitute the removal of said Elder.
Section E. Compensation
Elders will not receive any stated salaries for their services on the Board of Elders, but by resolution of the Board of Elders expenses of attendance, if any, may be allowed for each regular or special meeting of the Board of Elders. Nothing herein contained will be construed to preclude any Elder serving the Church in any other capacity and receiving reasonable compensation for that service. This Section will not preclude the Pastors receiving compensation as pastors, which will be determined by the remaining Elders.
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS
Section A. Annual Meeting
An annual meeting of the Board of Elders is to be held in May of each year, or at such other time and place as may be designated by the Chairman or Secretary of the Board in accordance with the notice provisions herein, for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.
Section B. Regular Meeting
The Board of Elders shall meet not less than monthly for church business and prayer.
Section C. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Elders may be called by or at the request of the Chairman or any three of the Elders. The person or persons authorized to call special meetings of the Board of Elders may determine the location of the special meeting called by them.
Section D. Notice
Notice of any meeting of the Board of Elders is to be delivered not less than five (5) days nor more than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the scheduled meeting. The attendance of a Board of Elders member at any meeting will constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting except where a Board member attends a meeting for the expressed purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convenient. Neither the business to be transacted nor the purpose of any regular or special meeting of the Board of Elders, need be specified in the notice or waiver of such meeting unless specifically required by law or by these bylaws.
Whenever under the provisions of these Bylaws notice is required to be given to any Elder or other officer, such notice may be given in writing, by mail, by depositing the same in the post office or letter box, addressed to such director or officer, at such address as appears on the books of the Corporation or by electronic means such as electronic mail or facsimile transmittal. Such notice shall be deemed to be given at the time when it is mailed or transmitted. Any notice required by these Bylaws may be waived in writing by the person entitled to receive such notice.
Section E. Quorum
A majority of the Board of Elders will constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business at any meeting of the Board of Elders provided that if less than half of the Board of Elders are present at the said meeting, a majority of the Board of Elders members present may adjourn the meeting to another time without further notice.
Section F. Manner of Acting
The Book of Acts reveals that the authority for the direction of the affairs of the church was vested in the elders. The elders are responsible to be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and to discern on behalf of the congregation the Holy Spirit's direction. It is the intent of the Board of Elders to employ the method of Consensus as the most appropriate decision-making model. Consensus means either unanimity among the board members or a general--although not necessarily uniform--agreement after all present board members have had a fair and reasonable opportunity to be heard. Consensus will have been achieved if most board members are in agreement and the board members in the minority are willing to support the view of the majority. Consensus requires that each and all elders publicly support the decision of the entire Elder Board.
When the Elders believe an issue is sufficiently significant to require congregational input, the elders will present the pertinent information to the congregation. The congregation will have opportunity to give input to the elders. It is the responsibility of the elders to discern the direction of the Holy Spirit through the truth of the Scriptures, prayer, an understanding of the pertinent issues at hand and input from the congregation.
Section G. Telephone Meeting
Any meeting of the Board members may be conducted in simultaneous multiple locations if the various locations are effectively connected by telephone conference call lines. In the event any meeting will be so held the results of any vote taken will be reduced to writing and signed by all members present regardless of their position taken in any particular vote.
Section H. Informal Action by Elders
Any action required by law to be taken at a meeting of the members of the Board of Elders, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is to be signed by all of the members entitled to vote with respect to the subject matter thereof.
Section I. Church Council
At the discretion of the Board of Elders, a Church Council meeting may be called to provide input to the Board of Elders. The Church Council consists of the three divisions of church leadership: the pastoral staff, which is responsible for the day to day operation of the church; the Deacons, who direct the financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church; and the Elders, who oversee the doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church. The Elders may also include, when needed, small group leaders or other key ministry leaders who are not on staff in a Church Council meeting. All are to be under the authority of, and in submission to, the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS
Section A. Officers
The officers of the Church as required by the State of Nevada are the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director. The President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director will be appointed by the Board of Elders. Such other officers and assistant officers, agents and assistant agents as may be deemed necessary may be elected or appointed by the Board of Elders. Any two (2) or more offices may be held by the same person, except that the offices of Chairman or Secretary may not be held by the same person concurrently.
Section B. President
The President will be the principal officer of the Church, and, subject to the control of the Board, will preside at all meetings of the Elders as Chairman of the Board. The President will chair all Board of Elders meetings, unless otherwise stipulated by the consensus of the Board of Elders. The President may sign, with the Secretary or any other officer of the Church authorized by the Board, such documents and deeds of the Church as necessary or appropriate including, but not limited to, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments which the Board has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution thereof will be expressly delegated by the Board or by these bylaws to some other officer or agent of the Church, or will be required by law to be otherwise signed or executed, and, in general, will discharge all duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be assigned by the Board from.
Section C. Secretary
The Secretary will have the following responsibilities: (a) be responsible for the keeping of the minutes of the Board and Committee meetings in one or more books provided for that purpose; (b) see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws or as required by law; (c) be custodian of the corporate records; and (d) in general, discharge all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Chairman or by the Board. The Secretary will be chosen annually by the Board of Elders for a one-year commitment.
Section D. Treasurer
The Treasurer will have the following responsibilities: (a) monitor the financial books of the Church; (b) keep regular books of account; c) render to the Board of Elders from time to time as may be required, an account of the financial condition of the Church; and (d) in general, discharge all duties incident to the office of Treasurer, and such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairman or by the Board.
Section E. Director
The Director is merely a placeholder name as required by the State of Nevada.
Section E. Compensation
Officers will not receive any stated salaries for their services as officers, but by resolution of the Board of Elders expenses of attendance, if any, may be allowed for each regular or special meeting of the Board, provided that nothing herein contained is to be construed to preclude any Officers serving the corporation in any other capacity and receiving compensation for that service.
Section F. Vacancies
Any vacancies occurring in any office to be filled by reason of any increase in the number of Board members or resignation or termination are to be filled by the Board of Elders as soon as practical. Any member so elected to fill a vacancy will be elected for the unexpired commitment of their predecessor in office.
Section G. Delegation of Authority
In case of the absence of any officer of the Church, or for any other reason that it may deem sufficient, the Board of Elders may, by consensus, either delegate the powers of duties of such officer to any Elder or employee of the Church, for the time being, or may eliminate some or all of such powers or duties of such officer.
Section H. Election and Tenure
The Board of Elders will appoint officers of Treasurer, Director and Secretary annually at its annual meeting. Each officer will hold office until the first of the following to occur: until their successor has been duly elected and will have qualified; or until death, incapacity, or if he moves out of the area; or until removal in the manner hereinafter provided.
Section I. Removal
Any officer or agent may be removed by the Board of Elders whenever, in its judgment, the best interest of the Church is to be served thereby, but such removal will be without prejudice to the contract rights, if any, of the person so removed. Election or appointment of an officer or agent will not in itself create contract rights.
Section J. Qualifications
The Chairman and Secretary must be Elders. The Treasurer must be either an Elder or a Deacon of the Church and meet the qualifications specified in these bylaws for the position of Elder or Deacon.
ARTICLE VIII. DEACONS
Section A. Deacons
The Bible teaches that Deacons "lead by serving" (Acts 6). The Deacons serve under the authority of the Board of Elders in various capacities within the church.
Section B. Selection
When the need arises for deacons, the Board of Elders will notify the church members of the need. The congregation will be reminded of the qualifications of a deacon and then have 30 days to provide nominees to the elder board for approval.
The elders will then conduct interviews with deacon nominees. Selected candidates will be re-presented to the members with a period of 14 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
During the annual review, both the individual and the other deacons will evaluate his continued service as a Deacon, again considering the biblical qualifications as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as a Deacon may be discontinued by his own decision or by the consensus decision of the Board of Elders. Upon their request, the Elders will have the opportunity to participate in the review process.
A person leaving the Board of Deacons would not preclude his service as a future Deacon, subject to the regular selection process.
Section C. Term
Though the Scriptures do not set a fixed term for the office of deacon, in order to allow for changing circumstances and callings, deacons will review their calling and commitment every year in August. If a deacon desires to continue in office for another year, the elders will review and approve the renewal of their term. If a deacon decides to step down at the end of their term, they will not be precluded from future service.
Section D. Duties
The Board of Deacons, working under the authority of the Elders, will be responsible for the execution and assistance of benevolence, ordinances, and facility operations of the church, as well as other needs as required.
Section E. Structure
The Board of Deacons will consist of a chairman and assistant to the chairman who will answer to a designated elder on the board of elders. The remainder of the deacons will assume responsibilities as agreeable and as needed.
Section F. Meetings Of Deacons
All meetings of the Deacons will be convened by their designated Chairman. Minutes of each meeting will be maintained by a Recorder who is to be appointed by the Chairman. Meetings will be conducted under the same rules of notice, quorum and action as prescribed for by the Board of Elders.
Section G. Qualifications for Deacons
The deacons are to be “able and proved as servants” and should demonstrate the following qualifications (I Timothy 3:8-12):
1. Individual of dignity
2. Above reproach
3. Not double tongued
4. First tested as servants
5. Not addicted to wine
6. Spouses must be faithful
9. Not fond of sordid gain
10. Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
11. Husband of one wife
12. Manages household well
In addition, all Deacons must be Active Members of the Church. Change of membership status for any Deacon member will automatically remove such person from participation as a Deacon.
Section A. Resignation and Removal
Deacon may resign during his one year commitment of active service. Written notice of a move specifying the effective date of the resignation may be given to the Chairman of the Deacon Board or to the Secretary of the Church. A Deacon may be removed at any time by resolution adopted by a consensus of the Board of Deacons or the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE IX. FINANCIAL POLICIES
Section A. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church is to begin on the first day of January each year.
Section B. Sale of Assets
A sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of property or assets of the Church may be made by the Board upon such terms and conditions and for such considerations, which may consist in whole or in part of the money or property, real or personal, as may be authorized by the Board of Elders.
Section C. Contracts
The Board may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contracts 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.
Section D. Seal
The Church shall not maintain a corporate seal.
ARTICLE X. INDEMNIFICATION
Section A. Indemnification of Officers, Elders, and Agents.
The Church shall indemnify its elders, officers and agents to the full extent as provided by law.
ARTICLE XII. MISCELLANEOUS
Section A. Corporate Office
Fellowship Bible Church of Carson City shall maintain a registered agent and a registered office within the State of Nevada. The Church may have other offices within or without the state and need not be identical with the office of the registered agent in the State of Nevada. The address of the registered office and registered agent may be changed from time to time by the Board of Elders.
Section B. Amendments
The Articles of Incorporation and these bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed and new articles and bylaws may be adopted by a consensus of the Elders present at any regular meeting or any special meeting of the Elders called for that purpose. Notice of the proposed amendment (including the suggested text of the change) shall be given in writing to all board members at least 20 days before the meeting at which the vote thereon is to be taken, and shall identify the persons proposing the amendment.