We, the members of the local assembly of believers worshipping at 4041 Squankum-Allenwood Road, Allenwood, New Jersey, shall be known as: Grace Bible Church.
We, by this constitution, agree to abide by the common beliefs, goals, and commitments contained herein. In faith we believe that this covenant truly represents an operational understanding of the biblical work and witness of our local church, organized October 26, 1947, and incorporated in the state of New Jersey in 1950, and known at that time as The Baptist Gospel Tabernacle. Further, we proclaim that in all matters of discipline, order, and polity, the Word of God – the Bible – shall be our final authority and the sole and final source of all we believe.
II. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS:
We hereby adopt this Constitution as voted upon by the church membership on July 29, 2015.
Any former constitution, by-laws, resolutions, or parts of same heretofore adopted by this church, are hereby repealed, and this constitution and by-laws shall take immediate effect when adopted by the church.
This Constitution, with the exception of the doctrinal statement may be amended at any regular or called business meeting of the church by a three-fourths vote of a quorum, provided that the notice of such amendment has been given by bulletin and pulpit on two successive Sundays.
The doctrinal statement may only be amended or changed by unanimous support from the pastors and a three-fourths vote of a quorum, at a similarly called business meeting.
III. CHURCH COVENANT:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do seek, as we are led and aided by the Holy Spirit, to practice the following guide for Christian conduct:
To walk together in Christian love; to strive earnestly for the advancement of His Church in knowledge and holiness; to promote its spiritual success; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel through all nations;
To maintain family and private devotions, to biblically educate our children; to seek the salvation of the lost; to walk cautiously in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all gossip and excessive anger; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
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 in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the words of our Savior, to secure it without delay;
And when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this guide and the principles of God’s Word.
IV. DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
A. What We Believe about the Scriptures:
The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is God’s special revelation to mankind (Gal. 1:11-12; 1 Thes. 2:13) and comprises the sufficient and only infallible rule of faith and conduct (1 Tim. 3:15-17; Mt. 4:4). The Scriptures are completely inerrant in their original documents and pose the final authority and absolute truth in faith and life (Psm. 19:7; Jn. 17:17). Although men composed the Bible, these writers were moved by the Holy Spirit to write God’s words (2 Tim. 3:16-verbal and plenary inspiration) without error and without overriding their personalities and education (2 Pet. 1:21). The Scriptures are to be interpreted literally, unless specifically called to do otherwise by the authorial intent. Though there is only one meaning for each biblical passage (2 Pet. 1:20-21), many applications may flow from that interpretation. Each believer has the responsibility to submit to the Word (Jn. 8:31) by personally ascertaining the true meaning of Scripture (Ac. 17:11) under the illumination of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12-14; 1 Jn. 2:20).
B. What We Believe about the Trinity:
There is only one true and living God (Dt. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:5-6; Jas. 2:19) existing as three Persons-Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). Each Person is divine, distinct, eternal and equally deserving of our worship and obedience. Though each member of the Godhead is the same in essence; they execute different, yet harmonious roles. Examples of the roles are seen in the work of creation (Gen. 1:26) and salvation (Eph. 1:3-14).
C. What We Believe about God the Father:
God, the Father, is an infinite, personal spirit (Jn. 4:24), perfect in all attributes (Mt. 5:48). He sustains and rules His universe in a sovereign, wise and loving way (Ac. 14:15-17; Rom. 11:36). He has decreed all things that come to pass, without approving sin (Hab. 1:13), with the intent of drawing glory to Himself (Isa. 6:3; 1 Chron. 29:11; Eph. 1:11-12; Rev. 1:6). He both hears and answers prayer (Mt. 21:22; 1 Pet. 3:12), and saves all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:3). As Creator, He is the Father to all men (Acts 17:24-29), but He is the spiritual Father only to believers (Rom. 8:14-15; Gal. 3:26).
D. What We Believe about Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ is fully God (Jn. 1:1-3; 20:28; Col. 2:9) and fully man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:14); yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). His dual nature is unchangeable, indivisible, inseparable and without distinction. He was incarnated in the latter days (Jn. 1:14; Gal. 4:4) through the virgin birth (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:18; Lk. 1:35) for the purpose of revealing God (Jn. 14:9) and providing redemption (Heb. 2:17; 9:12). He honored the divine Law by perfect obedience and accomplished salvation for man by His atoning work on the cross (Heb. 10:12) that involved the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death (Rev. 5:9). His voluntary and substitutionary offering (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:8), predestined from eternity past (Ac. 2:23), is the only suitable means to propitiate God’s wrath (1 Jn. 4:10). After His death, Jesus rose bodily on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4), ascended into heaven (Lk. 24:51) and currently rules at the right hand of God as the believer’s Advocate (1 Jn. 2:1), High Priest (Heb. 7:26), Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and Head (Col. 1:18). He is the Lord (Lk. 6:46) and the only acceptable Savior of all mankind (Ac. 4:12; Jn. 14:6). The day will come in which He will personally and visibly return in power and glory for His bride, the church (Jn. 14:3; Ac. 1:11). He will judge all mankind (Ac. 17:31; Jn. 5:22) and consummate His redemptive mission (1 Cor. 15:23-28).
E. What We Believe about the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity (Ac. 5:3-4). The Spirit indwells every believer of the New Covenant (Jn. 14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19) at the moment of salvation (Rom. 8:9), baptizing them equally into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). He convicts the world of sin (Jn. 16:8), regenerates lives for salvation (Tit. 3:5), illuminates the Scripture (1 Cor. 2:14-15) and continually transforms believers into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). The Holy Spirit fills believers that are in submission to God (Eph. 5:18) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13). He sovereignly administers spiritual gifts to every member of the church (1 Cor. 12:7, 11) with the intent of glorifying Jesus Christ (Jn. 16:14). We do not believe that the charismatic gifts are administered today as they were in the early church (2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4).
F. What We Believe about Man:
On the sixth literal day of creation (Gen. 1:31), God created man and woman in His own image (Gen 1:27). The chief purpose for their creation was to bring glory to God (Isa. 43:7; Col. 1:16). In rejecting God’s benevolence and revealed will (Gen. 3:6), man disobeyed God and incurred the penalty of physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17). Adam’s sin is imputed to all humans and this original sin causes separation from God beginning at the point of conception (Psm. 51:5; Rom. 5:12). Humans are sinners by nature, by choice and by divine declaration (Mt. 15:18-20; Jn. 3:19; Rom. 3:9-18, 23). Every unredeemed human is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:16). They are subject to His wrath (Rom. 1:18; Eph. 2:3), utterly incapable of choosing God (Jer. 13:23; Mt. 19:25-26; Jn. 6:44) and remain totally at the mercy of God’s grace to obtain salvation (Rom. 11:5-6; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).
G. What We Believe about Salvation:
Since sinful man stands before a holy God condemned (Rom. 3:19, 23; Gal. 3:22), God from eternity past decreed to redeem some humans through Christ (Eph. 1:5). The shed blood and death of the Messiah purchased the salvation for God’s elect from every generation (Rev. 5:9). The moment of salvation begins as the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinner’s heart (Jn. 3:3-7) through the instrument of the Word of God (Jn. 5:24; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). These individuals have a responsibility through God’s grace to freely accept Jesus by faith (Mt. 11:28-30; Jn. 3:36) and repent of their sins (Mt. 4:17; Ac. 2:38). Christ’s righteousness is imputed (Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:21) to the surrendering believer, and he or she is “set apart” (sanctified), declared “not guilty” (justified) before God (Rom. 3:26; 5:1; 1 Cor. 1:30) and delivered from condemnation to eternal life (Rom. 5:18; Tit. 3:7). Salvation is a gift solely of God’s grace and not on the basis of any human merit or works (Ac. 15:11; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Though “good deeds” in no way achieve human salvation (Isa. 64:6), they give evidence of a redeemed heart and new purpose in life (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 3:8; Jas. 2:14). True believers will be kept by God’s power to persevere and thus can be assured of their eternal salvation (Jn. 10:27-30; Rom. 8:30, 38-39; Phil. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:10; 1 Jn. 5:13; Rev. 14:12).
H. What We Believe about Christian Conduct
Christians are to make it their priority to be found pleasing to the Lord (2 Cor. 5:9; Col. 1:10). They are to love God with all of their heart and love their neighbor as themselves (Mt. 22:37-40). They are to be a faithful steward of God’s resources (Mt. 25:14-30). They have been delivered from sin to be a slave to righteousness (Rom. 6:11-13). In understanding their new freedom (Gal. 5:13), believers are to obediently serve only the Lord (Psm. 100:2), grow in His grace and knowledge (2 Pet. 3:18), overcome sin in the pursuit of holiness (Gen. 4:7; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Jn. 3:5-9), separate from worldliness (Jas. 4:4), live blamelessly (Phil. 2:14-15), mature in Christlikeness (Rom. 8:29) and faithfully persevere to the end (Mk. 13:13), all through the abiding presence and empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:15-17; Gal. 3:3).
I. What We Believe about the Church:
Jesus Christ is the Head (Col. 1:18), Builder (Mt. 16:18) and Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4) of the church. His flock is composed of all born-again believers; members of one unified, loving and living spiritual body (Jn. 13:34-35; Eph. 2:11-22; 4:3). Under the supreme authority of Christ, the church has the mandate to encourage and instruct believers through the Word (Eph. 4:11-13; 2 Tim. 4:2), discipline the unruly (Mt. 18:15-17), exercise spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11), pray (Ac. 2:42), fellowship (Heb. 10:24-25), appoint qualified men for the office of elder and deacon (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:5-9) and advance the gospel (Mt. 28:18-20)-all under the corporate banner of worship in the name of Christ (Col. 3:17) for the glory of God (Eph. 3:21). The church is also responsible to keep the Lord’s ordinances of believer’s baptism by immersion (Ac. 2:38; 8:36-39) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20), wherein the elements commemorate Christ death and anticipate His return (1 Cor. 11:23-32).
J. What We Believe about the Last Things:
Every human being is destined to die physically (Heb. 9:27). Upon death, believers will immediately be ushered into the presence of God where they will enjoy heavenly rest and joyful fellowship with Christ (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23) for eternity (1 Jn. 5:11-12). They will eagerly await final glorification when they receive their resurrected bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-54; 1 Thes. 4:16). After the Great Tribulation (Mk. 13:19) Jesus will return to judge the world in a personal, visible and bodily form (Mt. 24:30-31; Ac. 1:11; 2 Pet. 3:7). Unbelievers’ souls will be kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Lk. 16:19-26), when they too will be united with their bodies (Dan. 12:2). The lost will appear before the Great White Throne for judgment (Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11), and then will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13-15). In a literal hell, the reprobate will be separated from the benevolence of God and subject to eternal, conscious suffering (Mt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thes. 1:9). God will then establish a new heavens and a new earth that will exist for all eternity in righteousness (Isa. 65:17-18; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-7) whereby He may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28).
We believe and teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body—the Church—of which Christ is the head, the supreme authority, and the foundation; and that the members of this one universal and invisible spiritual body are directed by the Word of God to publicly identify themselves with a visible local church.
The membership of Grace Bible Church shall be composed of individuals who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and affirm the tenets of the Church Constitution, and who offer evidence, by their confession and their conduct, that they are living in accord with their affirmations and this Constitution and Bylaws, and are actively pursuing and continuing in a vital fellowship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. A prospective member must attend Grace Bible Church regularly for a minimum of six months in order to be considered for membership. The pastoral board of Grace Bible Church shall have final authority in all matters of church governance, as set forth and described in the Bylaws.
Members should also affirm the Grace Bible Church’s Statement of Faith through a written membership covenant or otherwise, as the Church’s governing body may direct.
Subsequent to attendance at the membership classes, examination and recommendation to the church by the pastors, the candidate shall be voted into membership by a three-fourths majority vote of a quorum at any regular or special business meetings. On the following Communion Sunday the “right hand of fellowship” shall be extended to the new member. Candidates considered for membership shall be those who have made a public profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, affirm the core essential doctrines of the faith, been baptized by immersion after salvation (except in extreme situations), promise to avoid divisive behavior against the doctrinal and philosophical decisions of the church, and strive to commit every aspect of their lives’ to the Lordship of Jesus Christ all under the authority of Holy Scripture.
It shall be the duty of every member to uphold the church in prayer, faithfully attend the scheduled church services, exercise their spiritual gifts in a church ministry, informally serve others in the body and support the church with their finances.
No one shall be considered for the role of church leadership unless they are a member of the Grace Bible Church. Teachers at all levels must be members of Grace Bible Church.
Since we desire to see all of God’s people formally identify themselves with His church, special provisions shall be made for student and seasonal memberships that will not be counted toward the necessary quorum.
In an effort to maintain the intent of church membership, the church shall not accept a member’s resignation if the pastors believe the purpose of said resignation is to avoid church discipline, nor shall the church accept a member’s resignation once the discipline process has begun.
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: taking membership with another church, personal request to be removed from church membership, disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal, or death. Furthermore, if a member fails to attend church for a period of three months his or her membership may be terminated. Situations such as sickness and travel, when discussed with a pastor, are notable exceptions to this rule.
We believe and teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Jesus Christ and that the order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are called pastors and deacons.
We believe these qualified male leaders (1 Tim. 2:11-15; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-7) have Christ’s authority in directing the affairs of the church, and that the congregation is to submit to the decisions of these leaders unless contrary to Scripture.
After an examination of the candidate, the church officers are to be presented to the congregation for affirmation by way of a three-fourths majority vote at any of the business meetings.
We believe and teach the autonomy of our local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. Yet we recognize that it is scriptural for churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Our local church shall be the sole judge of the method and measure of this cooperation, through the pastors’ interpretation and application of the Scriptures.
While the word “pastor” is used in this constitution, we believe the terms “pastor” and “shepherd” and “bishop” and “overseer” and “elder” spoken of in Scripture all refer to the same office.
Potential pastors are selected and examined by the existing elder board. Subsequent to examination, qualified candidates shall be voted in by a three-fourths majority vote of a quorum at any regular or special business meetings.
Pastors shall be selected by the other pastors and approved by the congregation based upon the following criteria:
1. Desire for the office. (1 Tim. 3:1)
2. Male in gender. (1 Tim. 2:11-15; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-7)
3. Above reproach in character according to the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
4. Faithful attendance with his family at church activities.
5. Philosophical like-mindedness with the present pastors.
6. Unanimous support from the existing pastors.
7. Complete agreement with the Grace Bible Doctrinal Statement and Constitution.
8. Promise to peacefully resign from the office if in continual disagreement with the collective decisions of the leadership board or failure to fulfill the above criteria.
While we believe and teach the biblical plurality of pastoral leadership in the local body (among both staff and lay pastors), we do recognize the need to acknowledge our senior pastor, though equal in authority, as a leader amongst the leaders.
It shall be the responsibility of the pastors to exercise all the duties incumbent upon them in Scripture which include: preaching the whole counsel of God, administering the ordinances, presiding when present over worship and prayer services, serving as an example of Jesus Christ and caring for our Lord’s sheep.
Staff pastors’ absence from services other than those that are part of his vacation time, or for illness, shall have the prior approval of the other pastors. The staff pastors’ salaries shall be set by the lay pastors, and if they desire, with the cooperation of the deacons. If less than two lay pastors are serving, the pastors’ salaries shall be set by the lay pastor, if any, and the deacons together.
Lay pastors shall serve for a two-year term with a mandatory 6-month sabbatical. Lay pastors may serve on this basis for life if they meet the necessary qualifications. The relationship between the staff pastors and the church shall be for an indefinite period until terminated by the provisions outlined below.
In the event that a staff or lay pastor is led to cease serving in this capacity, it shall be obligatory on his part to give a one month notice of the termination to the remaining pastors, except upon mutual agreement. In the event that a staff pastor is terminated from employment by the other pastors that pastor shall be compensated for a period of one month and his pastoral duties shall cease immediately upon his dismissal, except upon mutual agreement. In the event that there is only one pastor, the deacons will administrate these matters, if necessary.
When the office of senior pastor becomes vacant the elders and deacons shall appoint for the pulpit committee at least five members whose lives give evidence of spiritual insight. The committee shall examine potential pastoral candidates. Qualified candidates shall speak at least twice at a Sunday service. Notice of the service at which the candidate is to speak shall be given by bulletin and pulpit at least two weeks in advance of the service. There must be opportunity for the candidate to answer questions from the membership at a separate meeting time. After examination by the pulpit committee and fulfilment of the Sunday pulpit requirement and if it is agreeable to both the pulpit committee and the candidate, the candidate will be recommended to the congregation for vote. Candidates shall be voted in by a three-fourths majority vote of a quorum at any regular or special business meetings.
Additional pastoral staff and/or support staff may be hired at the discretion of the elder board with input from the deacon board and compliance with the church budget.
Deacons are biblical officers selected primarily to assist the pastors and free them up for their specific areas of service. All the deacons are under the authority of the pastors.
It shall be the duty of deacons to serve well, to lead by example, and to encourage the flock to fulfill the duties of every loving Christian servant. Specifically deacons are called to attend to the needs of the church by caring for the finances and church property. The deacons are responsible to oversee the widows and monetary needs of the congregation and surrounding community. They shall also be responsible for the custody and oversight of said property such as leases, deeds, and agreements. Deacons shall keep a true and faithful account of all church funds, received and paid.
It shall be the duty of deacons to give a report to the congregation at its congregation meeting. The deacons shall take all motions to the congregation regarding financial matters such as approval of an annual budget. With respect to how or when expenses may exceed a budgeted amount: budget line items along the lines of staff salary and benefits, ministry, missions, non-budgeted line items, or any others within the spirit of these categories, must receive congregational approval prior to exceeding the budgeted amount by more than $2,000.
Budget line items along the lines of facility and administrative, or non-budgeted items within the spirit of these categories, do not require congregational approval in order to exceed the budget. However, these instances still require pastor and deacon approval. In these instances, when a budget line does exceed its budgeted amount by more than $2,000, the congregation must be notified at the nearest appropriate congregational meeting.
Deacons receive their authority from the Word of God and from the pastors, and are chosen from, and affirmed by the membership. Similar to the pastors, meeting the following qualifications are necessary to be a deacon at Grace Bible Church.
1. Desire for the office.
2. Male in gender. (1 Tim. 3:8-13)
3. Above reproach in character according to the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
4. Faithful attendance with his family at church activities.
5. Philosophical like-mindedness with the present pastors.
6. Unanimous support from the existing pastors.
7. Understanding of the Grace Bible Doctrinal Statement and Constitution.
8. Promise to peacefully resign from the office if in continual disagreement with the collective decisions of the leadership board or failure to fulfill the above criteria.
The deacon’s term of office shall be for one year, but he may serve indefinitely if annually recommended and reaffirmed.
In the event that there are no deacons or elders presiding, this special provision shall take effect: Nominations shall be taken by private ballot at any regular or special business meeting of the church. Anyone receiving seven or more nominations shall be presented to the church in writing at the following service. At a special meeting the congregation shall select by prayer and private ballot up to ten names to be voted on as deacon. Any man receiving affirmation by three-fourths of the voting members present shall be, by the grace of God, a deacon. This is a special provision. The greatest care, prayer, and discernment shall be exercised in this delicate matter.
E. ELDERS AND DEACONS’ ACTIONS AS CORPORATE TRUSTEES:
a. Elder/Deacon Board as Trustees. For purposes of clarifying compliance with the state law under which our church is incorporated as a not for profit religious corporation, the elders and deacons together shall serve as the board of trustees. The board of trustees shall be comprised of all elders and deacons who have been appointed by the church membership and are actively serving the church at any given time and shall be referred to as the Elder/Deacon Board. At all times there should be a minimum of five Elder/Deacon qualified trustees.
b. Officers. The Elder/Deacon board shall annually elect a Chairman from among the elders and deacons on the board who shall also act as president where so required or designated by law and shall similarly annually elect from among its members a secretary and treasurer. The Chairman/President, secretary and treasurer are authorized to execute and file any annual or other reports required by the State of New Jersey or other governmental entity.
c. Execution of Contracts. Any member of the board of trustees is authorized to execute contracts on behalf of the church so long as the action, and commitment of funds if needed, have been approved by the other trustees and where necessary the church membership, as authorized under the provisions of this Constitution and bylaws.
d. Avoidance of Conflicts. No member of the board shall derive any personal profit or gain directly or indirectly from his position of leadership on the board. Any person who has a personal or financial interest in any matter that is the subject of consideration by the Elder/Deacon board shall disclose said interest to the board members and refrain from any participation in the decision of the matter. Members of the board who are employees of the church shall not participate in the Elder/Deacon Board’s actions concerning matters pertaining to their compensation or that of a family member.
e. Business transactions. The foregoing provisions are intended for the purposes of conducting the business transactions of the church in matters involving property, finances, contracts, etc. Nothing in this section is intended to modify, limit or diminish the exercise of spiritual oversight of the church by the elders and deacons in fulfilment of their biblical responsibilities as elsewhere described in this Constitution.
All regular and special business meetings of the church shall be held on the church premises and minutes shall be recorded in writing. The minutes of the previous meeting shall be voted upon at the following meeting. Meetings shall be conducted decently and in order to preserve church unity. All questions or concerns should be addressed privately to one of the church officers (deacon or pastor) prior to the meeting.
The chairman of the deacons and/or any of the pastors shall preside over the meetings.
The annual business meeting of the church shall be held during the month of January. Another congregation meeting shall be held in July.
Special business meeting may be called by the pastors by giving notice by bulletin and pulpit at least two weeks in advance of the meeting stating the purpose and time of the meeting.
One-third of the church membership must be present to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and all items must receive a minimum support from three-fourths of the member’s present constituting the quorum for approval on all binding items. All those voting must be present on the church property at the time of the vote. In the instance when the transaction of business must be completed, yet a quorum is not constituted a special meeting may be scheduled by the pastors or the vote may occur on a Sunday morning service.
Only members of Grace Bible Church who have been in regular attendance and have attained their 18th birthday are entitled to vote in the business meetings of the church. Pastors shall be the final authority on voting privileges.
G. FACILITY USAGE:
Any member wishing to organize a new group, committee or society in the church shall first obtain the approval of the pastors. The pastor or official designee must approve all uses of the church facilities. Any group wishing to use the church facilities must complete and agree to the “Church Facility Use Policy,” the “Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement,” and an “Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement.”
VII. STATEMENTS OF FAITH:
The Statements of Faith do not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For the purposes of Grace Bible Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the pastors of Grace Bible Church are the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. In addition to our Doctrinal Statement, the Grace Bible Church also reserves the right to observe and implement the following principles:
Grace 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 Biblical standards and the Church’s corresponding Statement of Faith. It shall be a high priority for the Church to restore such persons into conformity with the fellowship as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. The discipline of the Church shall be entrusted to the Pastors. If Biblical discipline is necessary, the Pastors have the authority to place individual(s) under church discipline (including termination of membership). Members and/or non-members who stir up dissension within our church, and that contrary to our Doctrinal Statement and Statement of Faith, will be disciplined according to the principles set forth in Titus 3:10-11.
B. MARRIAGE, GENDER, and SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen. 1:27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that God created the human race male and female and that all conduct with the intent to adopt a gender other than one’s birth gender is immoral and therefore sin (Gen. 1:27; Deut. 22:5).
We believe that God has established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman and that all intimate sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is immoral and therefore sin. (Gen. 2:24-25; Ex. 20;14,17; 22:19; Lev. 18:22-23; 20:13,15-16; Matt. 19:4-6, 9; Rom. 1:18-31; 1 Cor. 6:9-10,15-20; 1 Tim 1:8-11; Jude 7). In other words, 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.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, polygamy, transsexuality, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10.)
Christian marriage is a representation of Christ’s relationship to His bride, the church (Eph. 5:31-32). As a result of this biblical belief, Grace Bible Church reserves the right to perform only heterosexual marriages between one man and one woman.
In summary: Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Grace Bible Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors and staff of Grace Bible Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Grace Bible Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman (see Grace Bible Church’s “Wedding Ceremony Guidelines”).
Additionally, Grace Bible Church shall only hire and permit into membership those who agree with this policy. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Bible Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Grace Bible Church members and regular attenders and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Grace Bible Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22.)
We believe that 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.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Grace Bible Church.
C. SANCTITY OF LIFE
We believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its’ dimension, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other state or condition from conception through natural death. Thus all human life is sacred and worthy of protection, even from the moment of conception. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139.) Grace Bible Church will fight for the life of the unborn, the dignity of the aged, and the physically or mentally challenged.
We believe and teach the worldwide commitment to bringing the Gospel to all nations and peoples. It is to this end that Grace Bible shall send, and support by prayer and offerings, missionaries to carry the love of Christ and His Word to the world. We are committed to inform and involve all the membership in the fulfilment of this plan, claiming world victory in Christ Jesus.
VII. DISSOLUTION CLAUSE:
No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director or officer of the corporation or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. Upon dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed equally to the Mission Societies (which qualify as non-profit organizations) which support the missionaries under appointment by the Grace Bible Church, Allenwood, New Jersey.