sunday school - 9:30 am
morning service - 10:30 am
evening service - 7:30 pm
prayer meeting - 7:00 pm
Constitution and By-Laws
Article I - Name
The name of this church shall be Williamsburg Independent Bible Baptist Church located in the community of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania.
The purpose or purposes of this corporation are: To form an independent and non-affiliated Baptist Church to preach and teach the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as the inerrant Word of God; to administer the ordinances of the New Testament, and to establish and maintain a Bible School and Sunday School; and to provide for the spiritual improvement of its members and communicants, by ministering to its own community and by furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ and supporting His ministry throughout the world; and to acquire and hold real estate, encumber and dispose of the same, as well as personal property, incident to the purposes of aforesaid and for these purposes to have, possess, and enjoy all the rights, benefits and privileges of the said Act of Assembly; also to provide a five day week educational system ranging from pre-school, kindergarten, through twelfth grade high school and college, which will be to teach boys and girls the arts and sciences and Christian conduct with the fear of God. Such educational system shall be operated as a ministry of Williamsburg Independent Bible Baptist Church.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and its spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to support its constitution, by-laws, and resolutions; and to contribute cheerfully, Scripturally and regularly to the support of the ministry and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to educated our children in Christian teaching; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to practice personal and ecclesiastical separation from the “world” as revealed in the Scriptures; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that 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 covenant and the principles of God's Word.
This church holds the following statement of faith as being a summary of Christian doctrine whose authority consists only in its agreement with the Word of God.
1. Of The Scriptures
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired of God, and inerrant in the original writing, and that they are of supreme and final authority in matters of faith and practice, the true center of Christian union.
II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:19,20.
2. Of The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit Whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; that He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost – equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
John 4:24; Ps. 83:18; Ex. 15:11; Mark 12:30; Matt. 28:19; John 10:30; Eph. 2:18.
3. Of The Creation and The Fall
We believe in the literal Genesis account of creation. We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings since the fall are born with a sinful nature, and, in the case of those who reach the ago or moral responsibility, are sinners in thought, word, and deed.
Gen. 1:26,27; Rom. 3:23; 5:12
4. Of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin, and is true God and true man; that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood and His resurrection, and we believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there as High Priest and Advocate.
Matt. 1:18-20; Luke 1:26-38; Jn. 1:1, 2, 14, 18; 20:28; Gal. 4:4, 5; I Cor. 15:1-4; Heb. 10:9-12; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; I Cor. 15:1-20; Jn. 20:24-29; Heb. 1:3; Acts 1:10, 11; I Tim. 2:5.
5. Son of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relationto the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of jjudgment that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, baptizes, empowers, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer in accordance with the Scriptures, We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts, and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established. Because of the Word of God, we reject the Charismatic movement.
Jn. 1:33; 3:5, 6; 14:16, 17, 26; 15:25-27; 16:8-11, 13; Mt. 3:11; 28:10; Heb. 9:14; Lk. 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; II Thes. 2:7; Acts 5:30-32; Eph. 1:13, 14; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Acts 11:16; Lk. 24:49; Rom. 8:14-16; 8:26, 27; II Thes 2:13; I Pet. 1:2; I Cor. 12:4-11; II Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12; I Cor. 14:1-40.
6. Of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature; that being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin, He honored the divine law by His personal obedience and by His death made a full atonement for ours sins; that, having risen bodily from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and, uniting His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. We believe in the eternal security of the believer in Christ; that it is impossible for one born into the family of God ever to be lost; that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. We believe in this the Church age, commonly known as the dispensation of the age of grace, that the Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer from the moment he receives Christ as Savior. We believe this indwelling alone makes it possible to live a victorious christian life; that the speaking in tongues and divine healing movements are not related as outward evidence of the Spirit-filled life; that the Spirit-filled life is to be the normal experience of every believer and that regardless of one's place or station ion life, he is filled with the Spirit when he is yielded to the Holy Spirit and is occupied with Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
Eph. 2:8; Jn. 3:16; Is. 53:4, 5; Heb. 7:25; Col. 2:9; Heb 2:18; Jn. 1:12; 10:27, 28; I Jn. 5:9-13; I Pet. 1:3-5; Jude 1; Jn. 3:5; Eph. 2:8, 9; Gal. 3:26; Tit. 3:5; I Cor. 6:19, 20; Rom 8:1-14; Jn. 14:16-18; 16:7-14; Eph. 6:17; 5:18; Heb. 4:12.
7. Of The Priesthood of Believers
We believe in the priesthood of all believers; that all believers have immediate access into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus; that we need no human agency to intercede for us before the throne of Grace; and that Jesus Christ is our only mediator before God.
Heb. 10:19; 13:15; I Pet. 2:1-10; I Tim. 2:5.
8. Of The Church
A. We believe that the universal church is the mystical body of Christ of which he is the living Head, and the regenerate believers of the age, Jew and Gentile alike, are members.
Eph. 5:23-32; Mt. 16:18; Acts 2; Col. 3:11; I Cor. 12:13.
B. The local church is a body of baptized (immersed) believers in Christ, with Scriptural officers of pastors and deacons, organized to meet together for the purpose of observing the ordinances and to carry out the principles, precepts and commission of Christ, to meet together in one place.
I Tim. 3:15; Acts 2:41-47; 14:23; Eph. 4:11-16; Mt. 28:18-20.
C. We believe that the scriptural ordinances of the Church are baptist (immersion) and the Lord's Supper; that baptism should be administered to believers only as a symbol of their belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and as a testimony to the world of that belief; and that the Lord's suppers should be partaken of by the baptized believers only to show forth His death till He comes.
Mt. 3:16; Acts 8:26-39; Col. 3:12; Rom. 6:3-5; I Cor. 11:23-28.
D. We believe in the sovereignty and independence of each local church from any centralized power, whether from other churches, denominations, or the State. WE believe in the separation of Church and State. We believe in obeying the “Powers that be” of government except where they violate the commands of God's Word.
Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:29; 15:3, 19-31; Dan. 3:17, 18.
9. Of Prophecy
A. We believe in the literal fulfillment of the prophecies and promised of the Scriptures which foretell and assure the future regeneration and restoration of Israel as a nation.
Es. 37:11-14, 21-38; Rom. 11:26, 27.
B. We believe in the “blessed hope” – the personal, premillennial, pretribulational and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when the church will be gather together unto Him.
Tit. 2:13-18; I Cor. 15:51-58.
C. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when the church will be gathered together unto Him.
I Cor. 15:35-37.
D. We believe this age will end with the rapture of the Church, at which time the Holy Spirit as the restrainer and in-dweller will be removed from the world, thus paving the way for the following events:
10. Of Angels, Fallen and Unfallen
A. We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual being known as angels; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning” – the highest in rank – sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
B. We believe that Satan is the originator of sin, and that, under the permission of God, he, through subtlety, led our first parents into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their prosperity to his own power; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God, opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped; and that he who in the beginning said, “I will be like the most High,” in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ and of Salvation by grace alone.
C. We believe that Satan was judged at the cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper, now rules as the “god of this world”; that, at the second coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
D. We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
Lk. 15:10; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:12
E. We believe that man was made lower than the angels; and that, in His incarnation, Christ took for a little time this lower place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels.
A. by baptism and after baptist into full fellowship of the church.
B. by testimony and letter of commendation from another church of like faith and order.
C. by restoration to the Lord and fellowship with the believers.
Each candidate for membership shall appear before the Pastor and Deacons to be examined as to his or her Christian experience. If approved by the Pastor and Deacons, the name of the candidate shall be presented before the church at the following regular scheduled church service, and by a three-fourths audible vote shall be received into fellowship. No candidate can become a member of this church who is a member of any secret society.
Members failing to support the church by their attendance and gifts within a period of three (3) months without legitimate excuse (such support and excuse to be defined by the pastor and deacons) will be considered “inactive”, after having received a call by a member of the Board of Deacons. If not restored to the “active” list within the next three (3) months, their names shall be removed from the church roll by a majority vote of the church. Letters of dismissal may be granted to anyone who is a member in good and regular standing. Such letters must be addressed to some other church of the same faith and order. The member's name will remain upon the rolls of this church as an “inactive” member until notification that the member requesting the letter from us has been received into the church thus addressed.
Those professing faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior shall, become candidates for baptism and shall be immersed in water by the Pastor or in the absence of a pastor, by a person authorized by the church in accordance with the Scriptural teaching. This ordinance shall be prerequisite to church membership and any of its privileges.
2. The Lord's Suppers
We believe that the Lord's Supper or Communion should be administered to any baptized believer and must consist of elements of unleavened bread and unfermented wine or known as grape juice. This service also is to be preceded by serious self-examination and conducted as often as the Pastor and Deacons direct.
The government of this church, the conduction of its business, the management and control of its property, and its organization shall be vested in the membership and administered by the Official Board. The Official Board shall consist of Pastor(s) and Deacons. The Pastor shall assume the office of Chairman of the Board. No real property shall be bought, sold or mortgaged without approval of the Official Board and a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of voting members present at a duly called meeting for that purpose. Said meeting must be announced in at least three of the regular services of the Church. The Official Board shall also act as Board of Directors.
The Williamsburg Independent Bible Baptist Church of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, shall be and remain independent and autonomous. However, it may participate in membership and activity with organizations of like doctrine for the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as long as it does not infringe upon the independence or autonomy of this Church.
1. Pastor – Duties and Qualifications
A. The word “pastor” means (Webster) a shepherd or spiritual overseer. The Scriptures refer to the office commonly called pastor as elder or bishop. I Tim. 3:1-5; I Pet. 5:1-4; I Tim. 5:17; I Thes. 5:12, 13; Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17 are examples of such and also show clearly that the pastor is to oversee and supervise the affairs of the church. He shall have unrestricted liberty in presenting any matter he deems necessary to the church for its consideration and instruction.
B. It shall be the duty of the pastor to preach regularly at the church, to administer the ordinances of the Gospel (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), and to perform the various duties incumbent on his office.
C. He shall be the duty of the pastor to preach regularly at the church, to administer the ordinances of the Gospel (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), and to perform the various duties incumbent on his office.
D. Office workers, paid employees, and associates will be selected by the pastor and then presented to the church for acceptance. Their length of service shall be indefinite. Their dismissal will be by a majority of the active voting members present.
E. He shall be moderator of the church and preside at all its business meetings, ex-officio member of all the committees and organizations, which includes the privilege of voting, in charge of the pulpit and responsible for supply speakers. In legal matters, he shall act as president, except when the church is without a pastor; then the Chairman of the Deacon Board shall act as president.
F. I Tim. 3:1-6 and Titus 1:7-9 give the qualifications of the pastor. The life of the pastor and his family should be an example of Godliness and spirituality. They should not indulge in worldly or sinful practices which would tend to weaken the testimony of this church (I Thes. 5:22). No one who uses intoxicating liquors, drugs or tobacco in any form, or who brings disrepute upon his ministry through sinful language, practices or associations shall be considered for pastor, or having fallen into such, be retained as pastor.
Rom. 12:1, 2; II Cor. 6:11-18.
G. Because of the office, the pastor shall be counted worthy of double honor (I Tim. 5:17). No accusation shall be accepted against him without two or three witnesses (I Tim. 5:19).
H. No person shall be considered for the office nor serve as pastor of this church whose beliefs and teaching are not in accordance with the Articles of Faith, or who will not declare himself to be a fundamental, premillennial, independent Baptist.
I. The length of term of office shall be as follows:
The relationship between the pastor and the church shall be an indefinite one until dissolved by the option of either by giving one month's notice. The severance of the relationship between pastor and the church may be considered at any regular business meeting of the church, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the church one month prior to said meeting. A majority of the members present voting shall be sufficient to decide the matter.
J. Dismissal of the Pastor. If at any time the pastor becomes guilty of immoral conduct, or guilty of criminal offenses or unscriptural conduct, or teaches or preaches heresy and false doctrine, and refuses to be in compliance with this constitution, the officers of the church may call a special meeting of the church and ask for the resignation of the pastor. If the pastor refuses and cannot justly defend himself, then the church may dismiss him by a majority vote of active members.
2. Call of a Pastor
A. When a vacancy occurs in the pastorate, the deacons shall act as a pulpit committee.
B. The Chairman of the Deacons shall act as Chairman of the Pulpit Committee, who shall contact with the approval of the majority of the committee, a minister of a good report to candidate for the pastorate.
C. When a minister is contacted, he shall be given the Articles of Faith and Constitution with which he must be in full agreement and so state to the pulpit committee prior to candidating for the pastorate of this church.
D. It shall be announced in at least one regular public service prior to the visiting minister's speaking that he is a candidate for pastor.
E. It shall be announced at the regular service in which the candidate speaks that a vote by ballot shall be taken the following mid-week service as to whether to call the candidate as pastor. Only one candidate shall be considered at a time. The candidate will be required to preach one Sunday, morning and evening services.
F. The minister shall be called to the pastorate by a three-fourths (¾) vote of the active voting members present.
G. The pastor's salary is to be determined by the church. His salary shall be reviewed at least once each year by the deacon board of the church. He shall be given two weeks paid vacation each year with additional time, if desired, to attend fellowship meeting and Bible conferences of his choice.
The church shall elect by ballot from its membership at the annual business meeting men to serve as deacons. The number of deacons will be governed by the needs of the church and will be eligible to become a deacon after having been a member of the church for one year. Their term shall be three years and arranged to end alternately. A simply majority of the ballots cast is necessary for each election. No deacon shall succeed himself to office more than two times, after which he shall remain ineligible for office for a period of one year before being reelected. The qualifications for deacons shall be those set forth in the New Testament.
Acts 6:3; I Tim. 3:8-13.
A treasurer shall be elected from amount the Board of Deacons annually. The treasurer shall receive all money given to the church and apply the same as directed by the church, keep a complete up-to-date, and accurate record of the receipts and disbursement of these funds, give a financial report at each regular business meeting or when otherwise directed by the pastor to do so. Money received shall be deposited as quickly as possible in a bank selected in advance by church authorization. The treasurer's term of office shall be one (1) year.
5. Financial Secretary
A financial secretary shall be elected from among the Board of Deacons. He shall along with the treasurer be responsible for receiving, counting and crediting in their proper form in books provided for this purpose, all offerings and money received by the church. He shall, when requested furnish receipts, in satisfactory form to those on whose behalf he is receiving and crediting funds. In the event the Financial Secretary is unable to perform his duties, or there is a vacancy in the office, the duties of the Financial Secretary shall fall upon the Treasurer or acting Treasurer until action is taken by the Deacons for a substitute. His term of office shall be one (1) year.
A clerk shall be elected annually from among the Board of Deacons. The clerk shall keep a fair and complete record of the proceedings covered in each business meeting, be responsible for records, keep a complete up-to-date register of all members, indicating full name, age, sex, and date of birth, write all letters of dismissal, send out notices of church business meetings, announce the results of votes, prepare any papers authorized by the church, also to post in the membership register the termination of membership either by death, dismissal, or letter and be prepared at all times to close the books and to turn over books, records and church property to a successor. His term of office shall be one (1) year.
7. Sunday School Superintendent
A Sunday School Superintendent shall be elected annually from among the Board of Deacons. It shall be his duty to direct and superintend the Sunday School under the supervision of the Pastor. His term of office shall be one (1) year.
8. Sunday School Teachers
All teachers of the Sunday School and substitutes shall be appointed by the Pastor and approved by the Board of Deacons for an indefinite period of time. They must be members of the church and shall be required to sign a workers' covenant.
9. Qualifications of Officers
All officers of the church and Sunday School must be members in good standing, faithful to all public services of the church and separated from worldliness and fleshly practices.
If the church should decide by majority vote that one of its members seeking Baptist ordination possesses the spiritual qualifications for full ordination, having been called or intending to enter full-time Christian work, they shall invite other Baptist Churches of like faith and order to send their pastor and two brethren to constitute a council to examine the qualifications of the man in question, to which council the propriety shall be referred. It shall be the custom of this church to ordain its own members only. Only male members shall be ordained. The candidate shalll be examined and approved by the Pastor and Deacons before a council is called.
It shall be the policy of this churh to support missions, missionaries and organizations who are known to be in agreement with our statement of faith both in doctrine and practice.
1. The fiscal year shall begin January 1 and end on the following December 31.
2. No money shall be raised by the church or an assisting department through unscriptural means for pecuniary gain such as suppers, chances, chances, raffles, or the sale of merchandise. The church shall be maintained through the “tithes and offerings” of the Lord's people.
3. The treasurer's books shall be audited at least annually.
4. The church building and its facilities shall be used primarily for its own services and shall be available for other use only upon approval of the Board of Deacons.
5. The Sunday School shall be the Church studying the Bible. It shall be under the supervision and control of the Pastor and deacons at all times.
6. Other departments of religious training, teaching and exercises may be established by the Pastor at his discretion. The minutes and records of any and all departments of the church shall be available to the pastor at any time and all departments of the church shall be available to the pastor at any time and an annual report must be read and approved at each annual business meeting of the church. Failure to provide such reports and records, and failure to receive pastoral approval shall be considered sufficient reason for automatic termination of the work as a church department and the conclusion of all its services.
7. The Official Board may establish temporary committees as the need arises and at its discretion. All temporary committees appointed by the Official Board shall be expected to report at the next business meeting following their appointment. All permanent committees shall be expected to make an annual report report at the annual business meeting of the church.
8. In accordance with the fiscal year, the Official Board shall determine the time and place of its annual meeting. Each and every officer, department head, and committee shall be informed sufficiently in advance to prepare proper reports in writing which will enable the church to hear the report even in the absence of the department head.
9. The church may conduct business at any regular business meeting or called meeting with a quorum present. A majority of the “active” members present of the church shall constitute a quorum. In the conduct of business and rules contained in “Robert's Rules of Order” shall govern all parliamentary procedures, unless otherwise state in these by-laws.
10. Special business meetings may be called at any time, at any of the regularly scheduled services, by the Pastor and Deacons for the discussing of routine business.
11. All members shall have the right to vote in all matters except in the calling or dismissing of a pastor and the buying, selling or encumbrance of real property, at which time the members must be eighteen (18) years of age.
Article XII – Amendments
This constitution may be amended by a three-quarter (¾) vote of the active members present at any business meeting, provided that notice of proposed amendments shall have been announced two Sundays prior to the meeting at which the vote will be taken.
Article XIII – Dissolution
If this corporation is dissolved, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision of the payment of all of the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purpose as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), as the Board of Directors shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Please of the County in which the principal office of the Corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations or organization, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and granted exclusively for such purposes.