The name of this organization shall be CORNERSTONE BIBLE CHURCH. This church shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, and its stated purpose is to provide a place of worship for its members, to receive and disburse gifts and bequests, and to do all things necessary or incidental to carrying on such purposes.
This church shall be subject to the direction of Jesus Christ as His will is expressed in the Bible. A Board of Elders shall be the governing body of the church in seeking and interpreting the desire of the Lord for the congregation. The elders shall be diligent in serving and communicating with the membership and shall be sensitive to the needs and desires of the church body.
Section 1: Eligibility
Candidates who are willing to (1) Make a confession of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Accept the Doctrinal Statement; (3) Abide by the Statement of Commitment; and (4) Abide by the constitution of this church, shall be nominated for membership by the Elders. After completing the membership application, each person shall meet with at least two elders for the purpose of hearing their commitment to Christ. Upon approval of the elders, their candidacy for membership shall be communicated to the church two weeks before they are brought forward for membership. These two weeks are for congregational feedback concerning their acceptance into membership. Upon elder approval, based on the feedback, they shall be received into membership at any normal worship service.
Section 2: Responsibilities
Church members who are 18 years and older have voting privileges. Additional responsibilities of church members are summarized in the following Statement of Commitment:
Having received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I do now in the presence of God and this church joyfully commit myself to one another in the Body of Christ. By the aid of the Holy Spirit, it is my desire . . .
A. To seek the unity of the Spirit in all things by avoiding gossip and other sins of the tongue (Eph. 4:3);
B. To resolve conflict biblically according to Matthew 18:15–17;
C. To be thoughtful and courteous to one another, to be slow to take offense, and to be quick to forgive and to seek forgiveness (Eph. 4:32);
D. To encourage and pray with and for one another, sharing my burdens, sorrows, and joys; and bearing others burdens, sorrows, and joys (Rom. 12:15; Jas. 5:16);
G. To use my spiritual gifts for the edification of the church (1 Pet. 4:10–11);
H. To contribute, as the Lord directs, to the financial support of the church (2 Cor. 9:6–15);
I. To bring up my children, as may be entrusted in my care, in the way of the Lord (Eph. 6:2–4);
J. To not forsake the assembly of myself together with other believers at Cornerstone Bible Church (Heb. 10:24– 25);
K. To endeavor by example and by prayer, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved (Acts 1:8);
L. To purpose that when I remove myself from this place, I will as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where I can carry out the spirit of this Statement of Commitment and the principles of God’s Word.
Section 3: Discipline
The purpose of church discipline is to restore a member who errs to a Biblical standard of conduct and doctrine (Galatians 6:1); to maintain purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6); and to deter sin (1 Timothy 5:20). Any member of Cornerstone Bible Church who teaches or insists on holding false doctrine, and/or who persists in disturbing the unity or peace of the church shall be disciplined by the church accordingly. Scriptural guidelines establish sequential steps, which should be followed progressively until repentance and restoration occur (Matthew 18:15–18).
The members of this church agree that there shall be no appeal to any court (1 Corinthians 6:1–8) because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third and fourth stages of church discipline. It is clearly understood that the discipline process will continue to conclusion even if the erring member leaves the church or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership.
If the erring individual, after any such warnings or dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Board of Elders, then he/she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership (2 Corinthians 2:5–11).
Section 4: Termination
Membership shall be terminated for any of the following reasons:
The government of the church, the conduct of its business, the supervision of its general work, its organizations and its spiritual life, shall, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, be vested in a plurality of Elders.
Section 1: Qualification
Elders shall be nominated from the church membership on the basis of their spiritual qualifications as described in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9. They are to be godly men who adhere to the doctrinal statement of Cornerstone Bible Church and whose faith and ability to serve have been examined and approved by the church body as further described in section 3.
Section 2: Official Duties
The duties of the elders shall be . . .
Section 3: Nominations, Elections, & Terms
Nominations for new elders may be submitted by church members to the Elders no later than four weeks prior to the election of new elders. The list of elder approved nominations will be submitted to the congregation two weeks before the business meeting at which the election is to be made. They will be elected to eldership by a two-thirds vote of the members at Cornerstone Bible Church present at any business meeting having a quorum. There will be no term stipulations for elders. The elder . . .
A chairman and a vice chairman of the Board of Elders shall be elected by the elders at their first meeting after the annual meeting. The Chairman shall be a Board member other than a Pastor.
The Board of Elders shall consist of as many as are gifted and called by the Holy Spirit at Cornerstone Bible Church.
Section 4: Senior Pastor
We recognize within the elders, there will be those designated as pastoral staff (1 Timothy 5:17), with one being designated as the Senior Pastor.
When the senior pastorate is vacant, the Board of Elders may serve as or appoint a search committee to pursue a suitable pastoral candidate. The candidate must gain two-thirds approval from the elders before being recommended to the congregation.
The pastoral candidate for senior pastor shall be elected by a two-thirds of the membership present at a business meeting having a quorum. His tenure shall be for an indefinite period of time, subject to his ability and availability to serve. In the event the senior pastor is unable to carry out regular assignments, he may at the discretion of the other elders, be required to step down from service for a period of time, until he is able to once again fulfill his calling.
Section 5: Other Pastoral Staff
When any other Pastor’s position is vacant and/or deemed necessary by the Elders, the Board of Elders shall nominate an individual for the position, and he shall be elected by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at a business meeting having a quorum. This also includes any interim pastoral position deemed necessary by the elders.
Any other non-pastoral staff positions are at the discretion of the elders.
Section 6: Dismissal of Elders
Any elder, including the senior pastor or other pastoral staff, may be removed from their position for any of the following reasons:
Section 1: Types of Meetings
An annual business meeting must be called by the Board of Elders during the month of February. A notice of this meeting and agenda must be distributed by the Board of Elders to all members at least two weeks prior to the meeting. The chairman of the Board or his designee shall chair all business meetings.
Other meetings may be called at any time by the Board of Elders at its own volition or at the written request of 25% of the membership. If Elders are being elected, two weeks notice is required.
Section 2: Quorum
At any business meeting, a majority of elders must be present as well as 50% of the voting membership.
This Constitution, with the exception of the Doctrinal Statement, may be amended at a business meeting by a 2/3 vote of the total active membership. The Doctrinal Statement may be amended by an 80% vote of the total membership. Notice of the proposed amendment must be distributed by the Board of elders to all members at least 30 days prior to the business meeting.
In any dispute arising between church members or leadership pertaining to any matter of spiritual teaching, the shepherding of the church, and/or practices or policies related to its government, this dispute shall be resolved by the Board of Elders or an independent Third Party committee selected solely for the purpose of resolving the dispute. A decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration of the concerns of the parties and issues involved, in a spirit of humility, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (I Corinthians 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:1-3).
In case of division of the church caused by conflict (from which we pray God by His mercy to preserve us), all property and assets of the church shall belong to those who abide by its Constitution.
All matters not covered by this Constitution shall be the responsibility of the Board of Elders.
The elders may upon prayerful consideration and a unanimous decision, dissolve the work of the ministry of Cornerstone Bible Church at any time deemed appropriate, sensible, and/or necessary.
Upon dissolution of this church organization, the elders shall cause the property and all assets herin to be sold, either through private or public sale. From the proceeds, firstly all current and long-term obligations of the church shall be paid. Secondly, all remaining funds shall be directed to such one or more Christian organizations, the benefit of the church’s supported missionaries, and/or such other Christian endeavors as the elders shall determine.
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